What Is a Natural History Documentary?

A natural history documentary is a type of film or television program that explores the natural world, often focusing on animals, plants, and ecosystems. These documentaries aim to educate viewers about the diversity and complexity of life on Earth, while also entertaining them with stunning visuals and compelling storytelling.

What Is the Purpose of a Natural History Documentary?

The primary purpose of a natural history documentary is to increase public awareness and understanding of the natural world. By showcasing different species and habitats, these documentaries can inspire viewers to care about conservation efforts and take action to protect the environment.

For example, documentaries like “Blue Planet” have brought attention to issues such as plastic pollution in our oceans, while “Planet Earth” has highlighted the impacts of climate change on wildlife around the world.

How Are Natural History Documentaries Made?

Making a natural history documentary is no easy feat. Filmmakers often spend years in remote locations, waiting for the perfect shot or behavior to capture on camera. In some cases, filmmakers may use hidden cameras or drones to get footage that would be impossible to obtain otherwise.

Once the footage has been collected, it’s edited together into a cohesive narrative that tells a story about the natural world. This may involve adding narration or interviews with experts in various fields such as biology or ecology.

The Importance of Natural History Documentaries

Natural history documentaries play an important role in educating people about the environment and inspiring them to take action. They can help us appreciate the beauty and complexity of nature, while also highlighting threats posed by human activities such as habitat destruction or climate change.

For example, documentaries like “Chasing Coral” have raised awareness about how rising ocean temperatures are causing coral reefs around the world to die off at an alarming rate. By highlighting this issue through stunning visuals and storytelling, this film has helped spur action towards protecting these important ecosystems.


In summary, natural history documentaries are a valuable tool for educating people about the natural world and inspiring them to take action to protect it. By showcasing the beauty and complexity of nature, these documentaries can help us appreciate the importance of conservation efforts and work towards a more sustainable future.