Preview Subtitle for Lost Worlds


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It was once the heart of the
Mayan civilization that ...

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stretched across Central America,
a great city known as Tikal.

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It's temples were the tallest
in the Western world ...

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monuments to it's
kings and architects.

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For centuries, Tikal grew larger,
it's science and arts flourished.

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Then, a thousand years ago,
at the height of its power,

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the city was suddenly abandoned.

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What happened in this lost world?

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What keeps all cities, all
civilizations alive ... then and now?

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Cities like New York are triumphs
of human technology ...

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they feel as if
they will last forever.

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And they give us the sense that we're
somehow apart from the rest of nature.

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In big cities, it's easy to take a
lot of things for granted:

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Food comes from the supermarket,
water comes from the faucet,

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or does it?

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Eight million New Yorkers drink clean
water from the Catskill mountains,

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a hundred miles away.

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If New York had to build water
purification plants,

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it would cost billions.

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Here, nature provides that service,
free of charge.

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If we could follow the rainfall
down through the leaf litter,

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we'd find that what we think of as
dirt is a world teeming with life,

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a metropolis much more densely
populated than the city it serves.

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In every square inch,
billions of microbes ...

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and other organisms,
go about their business,

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building and enriching the soil
we grow our food in ...

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helping condition the air
we breathe ...

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and cleaning the rainwater
on its way downhill to the reservoirs.

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It's just one example of what
scientists call biological diversity ...

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the variety of interconnecting life that
keeps things healthy all over the planet.

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Everywhere, nature has found
ways to thrive.

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Each place, each ecosystem shapes its
own community of plants and animals.

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In every ecosystem, there is a balance
of relationships that keeps it working.

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The giant seaweed called kelp,

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is many things to many creatures.
It's a hiding place

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It's a nursery for spawning fish

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and it's a food supply
for the sea urchin,

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a spiny creature with
a big appetite.

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[...]
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