Sure, Netflix has a bevy of cheesy rom-coms, sexy capers, and superhero content. But Netflix can also boast a number of visually stunning science documentaries on everything from microbes to food to our personal favorite — space. Whether you need some fun facts for a cocktail party or have a dire need to debate with people on Facebook, these Netflix documentaries are sure to give you a solid dose of trivia, and then some.
6. Particle Fever
Physics is no easy subject matter, but this documentary puts it into a perspective we can all relate to. Learn about the Large Hadron Collider — one of the biggest scientific feats known to man — and discover how one tiny atom could solve the Big Bang and unlock the mysteries of the entire universe. It’s been four years since Particle Fever debuted and it is still driving scientific conversations. It has won over a dozen awards, including the audience choice at the 2013 Sheffield International Documentary Festival.
This grimy documentary traverses the history of antibiotics from the discovery of penicillin in 1928 to now, when antibiotic-resistant infections seem to be growing and superbugs are surfacing across the globe. The documentary, albeit terrifying, casts these tiny microbes in a pretty adorable light, with black and white footage and microscopic images, sending an optimistic note that with the right resources we can keep up with the ever-evolving germs.
4. A Plastic Ocean
Prepare for ugly tears when watching this one. Releasing on Netflix on April 19, this documentary looks at the immortal waste taking over the planet: plastic. Filmed in 20 locations, you’ll see firsthand where those non-recycled water bottles end up and learn about the harsh reality of consumerism. It has already swept a ton of awards, including Best Documentary at the Sedona International Film Festival.
3. Chasing Ice
In this cinematic masterpiece, photographer James Balog offers up undeniable visual evidence of climate change. Featuring expert advice from Tad Pfeffer, a glaciologist from the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, who explains how the polar ice caps are melting at an accelerated rate and what that means for the fate of humanity. The doc scored prestigious awards, including an Excellence in Cinematography Award from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
2. Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World
This doc is less about the evolution of technology and more about the evolution of humans with technology. Featuring the world’s most famous hacker, Kevin Mitnick, SpaceX founder Elon Musk, NASA’s Lucianne Walkowicz, and more, you will learn about the evil side of technology and cybersecurity, the apocalyptic possibilities of a solar flare, and how we will have internet on Mars. If you’re not a tech geek now, you will be after watching this.
1. More Than Honey
Human survival hangs by the wings of these fuzzy insects. With stunning visuals of the Swiss countryside and the almond farms of California, More Than Honey dives into the complex world of bee colonies and all they are responsible for in the ecosystem. Learn about the science behind their behaviors, the threats to their existence, and all the beauty they create. This documentary is world renowned and has won numerous awards for best documentary at several film festivals across the globe.