The five great lakes of North America—Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario—were sculpted by the retreat of a glacier two million years ago. Together, they make up the planet’s largest freshwater ecosystem.
A landmark 3×1 hour series showcasing, for the first time ever, the natural history of Earth’s largest freshwater ecosystem: the five Great Lakes of North America.
The Great Lakes are one of the planet’s most significant ecosystems, providing one-fifth of the fresh surface water and drinking water for over 40 million people in a world severely lacking in freshwater.
Episode 1: Source to Sea
A drop of water from Lake Superior’s shores takes 200 years to flow through the five Great Lakes and into the Atlantic Ocean. Development forces beavers and grey wolves to coexist along this 4000-kilometer journey and scientists are working to keep invasive carp at bay. Freshwater preserves shipwrecks that have been downed due to ocean-like waves. Divers also investigate newly discovered underwater caves.
Episode 2: The Big Freeze
A polar vortex paralyzes fish and ducks, attracting tens of thousands of bald eagles. Wolves pursue a deer that has become stranded by a frozen lake. Snow is used by baby black bears for insulation, while ruffed grouse use it to hide from lynxes. This is the story of how the Great Lakes’ life is shaped by snow and ice.
Episode 3: Marvels and Mysteries
Extreme and unpredictable temperatures characterize spring in the Great Lakes. During this disastrous period, the wonders of evolution, such as glowing rocks, are on full display. Legends of ancient sea monsters have been inspired by the world’s largest surgeon spawning here. Black bears, moose, and wolves prowl the forests that are home to the only photosynthetic vertebrate on the planet.
Where can I watch Great Lakes untamed?
Great Lakes Untamed, a documentary series is available to stream now. You can watch the 3 part series on Smithsonian Channel, Amazon Prime, Roku or Apple TV.