Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Recap 5/4/14: Season 1 Episode 9 “The Lost World of Planet Earth”

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Recap 5/4/14: Season 1 Episode 9 “The Lost World of Planet Earth”

Tonight on FOX Carl Sagan’s stunning and iconic exploration of the universe as revealed by science, COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY returns to FOX with a new episode called, “The Lost World of Planet Earth” Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about a profile of U.S. geologist Marie Tharp (1920-2006), who created the first comprehensive map of the entire ocean floor. Also: a look at the Earth’s autobiography according to its atoms, oceans, continents and all living things.On last week’s episode we took a look at the work of geochemist Clair Patterson (1922-95), who calculated the age of the Earth—4.5 billion years—using a uranium-lead dating method, and also drew attention to the dangers of lead in the atmosphere and the food chain.  Did you watch last week’s episode?  We did and we have a ful and detailed recap, right here for you.

On last week’s episode we saw a spotlight on the work of female astronomers, including Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941), who cataloged stars by class, and Cecilia Payne (1900-79)(guest voiced by Kirsten Dunst), who calculated the chemical compositions of stars. Also: an exploration of the lives and deaths of stars; and a visit to the planet of a star orbiting a globular cluster.  Did you watch last week’s episode?  We did and we have a full and detailed recap, right here for you.

On tonight’s episode The Ship of the Imagination embarks on a journey through space and time to grasp how the autobiography of the Earth is written in its atoms, its oceans, its continents and all living things. Later, American geologist Marie Tharp (guest voice Seyfried) creates the first true map of Earth’s ocean floor, and discovers microscopic life that exists deep beneath the ocean.

Tonight is going to be another interesting episode of Cosmos for sure and you’re not going to want to miss a minute. Tune in at 9 Pm EST on FOX and we’ll be recapping it right here for you but in the meantime, hit up the comments and let us know your thoughts on the show so far.

Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page for Updates

Neil is standing on the great elapse of time, we are 350 million years ago into the past showing us an Earth we’re unfamiliar with. The dinosaurs were still a hundred million years in the future, there were no birds of flowers; giving the planet a different atmosphere, causing insects to grow at a larger size. The atmosphere had twice the amount of oxygen compared to today, the more oxygen on the planet the bigger the bugs would be.

Why was there so much oxygen back then? Well it was produced by a new kind of light. What kind of life could change the Earth’s atmosphere so drastically? Plants that could reach for the sky; trees. Trees somewhat defy gravity, because plants used to be only able to reach around waist height. Now life can build upward, this changed everything and it made Earth become a planet of the tree. There were hundreds and billions of trees on the Earth, what possible harm could come from that?

Neil shows us a cliff in Nova Scotia, it’s a calendar that shows us of the world that flourished here; the tree surrendered its organic muscles to become a fossil. The tree gave off oxygen as a waste product, which they still do today; but when a tree dies it releases carbon dioxide into the air. There are places on this planet where you can walk through time; he shows us layers of rocks that represent where a flood took place. With every step Neil takes, he gets closer to the past. This was the beginning of the end of the Permian world, death has never come so close to reign supreme since; eruptions within Siberia lasted hundreds of years and the lava would bury millions of square miles.

Neil walks into the Halls of Extinction, huge quantities came out of the volcanic fissure; these greenhouse gasses warmed the planet, one of the largest accumulations of coal came from Siberia mainly because of the volcano that was alive then. The animals back then weren’t able to adapt to climate change quickly, which left a lot of them dying out. Methane rich ices began to melt after volcanic eruptions; newly liberated methane gasses were released and made the climate even hotter; it even destroyed the Ozone layer.

The circulatory system of the ocean shut down and almost killed all the fish in the sea, but bacteria were the ones who were able to survive. This poison gas almost killed almost all of the animals on the planet; this was the closest that the world was close to extinction. For a few million years, Earth could have been known as the planet of the dead. You are alive, because animals were able to survive through these harsh times.

Neil shows a mountain that was made by life, it was made before all hell was let loose it is the largest fossil reef. The reef flourished and grew for several years, when the creatures died near the reef they were converted into oil and to gas. This marine ghost town was buried underneath the surface; imagine what this place looked like seventy million years ago. Until about 220 million years ago New England and North Africa were next to each other, but they ended up splitting after several years later creating the Atlantic Ocean. By the time we got here, we were caught off of what happened to the people before us.

In 1570 Abraham created the first modern Atlas, before the ink was dry he stepped back from his masterpiece and discovered the continents that were far apart; he believed that the continents used to be attached and that were a hunch at the time. Alfred was enlisted into the war he was injured, he ended up being hospitalized and read a lot of books; the fossils were of the same species of the fern, the discovery of the same dinosaurs were found on the same continent. It was thought that there were land bridges back then, why would there be a land bridge though? Under what circumstances could tropical plants flourish in the Arctic?

Alfred believes there used to be a super continent a long time ago, but the continents were created when the super continent started drifting. Alfred was questioned and became a laughing stock in the field because he couldn’t find evidence of how the super continent drifted. Alfred was on a mission and was lost in a blizzard; he was never found and never knew he became one of the greatest geologists in history. The problem is we aren’t always faithful to the core values of science, in 1952 Marie was working on papers until Bruce came and handed her papers showing images from sonar. Marie ended up discovered the proof of moving continents, she and Bruce created the first true map of the Earth.

We’re now taking a trip to an area in the world that are off limits for a lot of species on Earth, two thirds of the Earth lay on the bottom of the water. Below a thousand meters we find a world that has no sun light, Neil shows us the largest Submarine ridge. The past is another planet, but most of us don’t really know this one; we don’t see the mountains. The highest peaks of the ridge rise four kilometers over the water’s floor. More people have walked on the moon than have been deep into the water, due to the pressure being far too strong for humans to survive in. The fact that sunlight can’t penetrate the waters doesn’t mean there is no light down there, there are species that glow underwater emitting a light themselves.

There is no photosynthesis in the water, meaning there is no energy for plants to feed off of. The thick black smoke releases the chemical that allows the creatures to survive. One day on some future Earth, the mountains under the water could rise changing the planet. A volcano under water is similar to what created the Hawaiian Islands years ago. We live on the crust of a seething cauldron, the mantle is hot and churning; the crust is only as thick as the seed on an apple. The crust resists the core because of the coolness, but when the heat of the core goes through the world quakes. If we could watch our plant on its own time scale, which changes are made several years apart we could see the dynamic changes of the Earth.

Whenever you walk on Earth, lost worlds lie beneath your feat. The sequence of volcanic eruptions that made cliffs almost ended the Triassic world. The Triassic extinction group has been awhile for a long time and took the center stage; the dinosaurs had a long run of a hundred and seventy years. The molten rock beneath the Earth flooded a part of India; the knockout punch literally came out of the blue.

An asteroid hits Earth, we see a giant explosion that is taking out the surface of the Earth, a few animals larger than a hundred pounds were able to survive; dinosaurs froze and starved to death. Creatures submerged themselves underground; when they came up to the surface again they saw the changes of the Earth. Before the environment was very harsh, that humans would have a hard time to live; years went by and it became an environment perfect for us to live in. There was a massive flood that created the Mediterranean Sea. Tectonic forces brought contents together, reorganizing the patterns of ocean currents. Our ancestors once buried deep in the ground to hide from predators, but as the dinosaurs died out we came out from out burrows and began to explore; later we grew opposable thumbs and later learned to walk upright. As years went by we kept evolving, learning how to use tools, the primates started using tools to remake the planet.

The glaciers on Earth began to shrink, imagine how resourceful our ancestors had to be at the time to adapt to the changes that the world continued to go through, throughout the years. There was a time where ice exposed a gateway to another dimension, the maniac changes of the climate and sea levels finally ended and gave us what we have today. The rivers carried silk from the highlands, on those fertile plains we learned how to grow things and feed ourselves.

The way planets tug at each other, the way the motions effect climate all combine to gives us the means of the mud in the river deltas to give us the start of a civilization. Our climate is due to last for fifty thousand years, which is a relief. We are dumping carbon dioxide into the climate at too much of a fast rate, it could change the climate that’ll drown our local cities and ruin our means of feeding ourselves. Why can’t we summon the courage of the generations before us, the dinosaurs never saw the asteroid coming; what’s our excuse? There’s a corridor in the Halls of Extinction that is empty and unmarked, the end of our story could lie in there.

There’s an unbroken thread that stretches out for three billion years that connects us to the first creatures on Earth, hundreds and millions of times before it came to us there were several obstacles in our path to get to where we are today. Neil congratulates us for surviving; we are the relatives of people who survived the harshest moments in life, now we are passed the baton. Many geologists believe that the lands of the Earth could reunite once again. It’s not surprising that we’re a mystery to ourselves; we are far from becoming masters our house. What happens in the Halls of Extinction is being recorded by us, right now.

The End!



  • NealWV

    I knew the show would get into the politics of global warming. They didn’t let me down when they equated our fossil fuel use to the Siberian traps. We burn allot but not that much and it will be a flick of a match to compared to the hundreds of thousands of yrs of the Siberian eruption. Why don’t you all just admit that it is a religion with earth as your deity and liberalism is your sermon and all of the media is your alter. Oh yeah and don’t forget how you fanatics compare those who aren’t in your religion as deniers. Which is a unveiled attempt to compare us to the likes of Ahmadinejad for saying there was no holocaust. Just call us infidels and secure your place up there with those you compare us to.

    • Danyy

      believe what you want to believe dude. As well as creationists believe that evolution is some kind of global scientific conspiracy, AGW deniers believe that it is some kind of green party + liberal conspiracy (ignoring the fact that AGW was proven by any climate scientist, no matter if they origins are from communist China, socialist Sweden or conservative Germany) .It is an fact dude. as well as evolution, as well as big bang. Im not going to argue you, not in this age of information and internet. If you have already decided to not accept scientific facts (because of politics or some other nonsense reason), then nothing will convince you otherwise.

    • MrLogic

      What was the amount of coal burnt during the mass extinction vs what we are burning now? Just curious about the numbers.

      Also note that we don’t have to match the cow released in synergy to affect the climate. Back then, we are talking about a huge change in the atmosphere and 90% extention rates. Today we are talking about a few more droughts here and there and the possibility that it makes more sense to invest in cleaner energy since that saves more resources than the impact of small changes in the climate pattern.