(bird calls) (dramatic music) – [Host] Mankind and the elements. For some, it’s an uncomfortable bond. – Water’s very powerful. It’s very deceiving and you have to have great respect for it. – [Host] For others, when weather strikes, inspiration begins. – We’re just nine and 11 year old girls who did a science project. – [Host] These are the
people who challenge nature, seek out its limits, reveal its secrets, and embrace its awesome power. In this episode, we’ll meet two sisters whose ambitious science experiment took them up and out of this world. – [Girl] We hope that
our projects teach them that they can do whatever they want if they put their heart into it. – [Host] A woman climbing
to outrageous heights in order to clean the
nation’s wind turbines. – You’re basically doing
construction work on ropes. – [Host] And a photographer
wading in the icy waters of the Great Lakes to shoot
what he calls liquid mountains. – Where I’m at, it’s more
like a giant washing machine. – [Host] These pioneers of
the great outdoors ahead on That’s Amazing. (dramatic music) When you think of the Great Lakes, you may not expect this. These photographs of
magnificent towering waves weren’t taken in the
Pacific or the Atlantic. They were taken at Lake Erie. – The thing that I find
amazes a lot of people that aren’t familiar with them
is the sheer size of them. I’ve been with lots of people that for the first time when
they’re seeing them, they’re like, “Really? This isn’t an ocean?” – [Host] Dave Sandford is
a professional photographer from Ontario, Canada. To do his work, Sandford waits for the
perfect weather conditions, heading out into fierce
winds and ice cold water to make his masterpieces. (dramatic music) – Lake Erie is in the most
southern part of Ontario. It’s the smallest of the Great Lakes. As far as the depth goes,
it’s the shallowest by far. – Being a large lake, but relatively shallow compared
to the other Great Lakes, creates unique wave conditions. The waves on Lake Erie
tend to be closer together with a lot more of the violence
on the white water on top. – There’s a lot of people that have lost their lives on Lake Erie. There’s been estimated
somewhere over 8,000 ship wrecks on Lake Erie over the years. – At her worst, Lake
Erie can be murderous. In fact, when she’s murderous,
we call her a widow-maker. (upbeat music) – To be a nature photographer, I think that one of the number one things you have to have is patience. The first wave photo that
I posted from Lake Erie, I came home that night
and I posted an image and right away, the number of comments on it, it was crazy compared to
what I normally would get. And the number of likes. (laughs) If I know I’m going in the water, it starts from like the moment
I wake up in the morning. There’s a lot of mental preparation. It is an adrenaline rush too, for sure. Like, I have no idea how things
are going to unfold. It’s before the sun’s even coming up and you can see the water in the distance and those waves exploding into the air and it’s just such a cool rush. The window of opportunity to
photograph the lakes for me is generally from maybe
mid-October through early December. It’s the best time of the year when you still have that warm air masses that are around this region and then those cold air
masses that are coming from up north that give you
these really prime conditions. Obviously weather changes
and it’s constantly changing. The biggest factor is wind
speed and wind direction. A southwest wind is the best. And minimal wind speeds, I’m usually looking at
around 30 miles an hour at the bare minimum. The high end of it,
um, you’re actually getting the category one hurricane level winds, over 70 miles an hour. It’s a crazy mass of water and that’s when you’re getting these waves that are upwards of 30 feet. The tough thing about lake waves is it’s not like ocean waves where you have sets that come in and then there’s a bit of a lull. Lake waves are constantly pounding. You know, you virtually have like two seconds, two and a half seconds between each wave. And where I’m at, it’s more
like a giant washing machine. It’s not easy. You’re kind of cold after a while too. That water’s only around
the 50 degree mark. There’s days where
there’s ice in the water and you’re literally like what am I doing? Water is very powerful. It’s very deceiving and you have to have great respect for it. You can get pulled under and
pulled out with a rip current. It’s obviously a lot
stronger than you are. You have to know your limitations
and know when to say when. (piano music) The waves that are generated from this refraction off the pier, those are the waves
that I’m photographing. Where you have, you know, two masses of water, two waves that are moving
in opposite directions that are meeting and
colliding and they actually, they’ll hit and they twist and they turn, and it’s a phenomenal thing to see. It’s just building this
massive liquid mountain that literally lasts all
of like a second, if that. Sometimes it’s a fraction
of a moment in time. And that’s one of the things that I love is the challenge of capturing that moment. – [Host] Dave Sandford’s
liquid mountain photographs have appeared in several
online publications, including the Washington Post. He also sells prints on his website. – I guess one of the
things that I really hope is that my photos can allow people to appreciate what they have
as far as nature goes and learn to love it. And cherish it and
embrace it and protect it. (calm music) – It’s not very many people really know, but the Great Lakes has
thousands of ship wrecks. In Wisconsin, for sure, we know we have 750, um,
historic ship wreck losses. My name is Caitlin Zant and
I’m a maritime archeologist with the Wisconsin Historical Society. (water splashes) I would say the main goal of what we do in maritime archeology is to
preserve our maritime history and also the history of the
United States in general. The ships are quite sturdy, but they’ve also been under water for up to 100, 150 years. Our ship wrecks don’t disappear over time like they do in the oceans. The fresh water that’s very cold actually does a really good job at preserving these ship wrecks. One of the really great
things about Lake Michigan that makes it really unique is the fact that you do
have fresh clear water. You can see, many times,
especially on deep wrecks, 100 to 150 feet. When you are down there
looking at a ship wreck, you start to think of all
the sailors that sailed on it or if it was a passenger ship, the passengers that happened to be on it. You can still find pieces of
clothing in certain areas, buttons, shoes. And so that really gives insight to the lives of these sailors. There’s definitely a little
bit of a thrill of discovery. When we go down on a ship,
even on a ship that we know, we think we know what it is, but there’s still always that little sense of excitement that
you’re gonna find something that no one else has seen before. (dramatic music) – [Host] You’re likely to spot them only in the most remote of places, where the wind blows fiercest. Giant wind turbines. They’re increasingly
supplying more and more of our clean energy. And when they break down,
they need to be fixed fast. It’s a job only a few people
are equipped to handle. Those who are afraid of
heights need not apply. – You’re basically doing
construction work on ropes. Most people think, G”od,
you’re insane.” (laughs) That that’s totally dangerous. But actually, it’s statistically
safer than driving to work. When you’re driving past
wind turbines on the highway, you may never know that there’s
somebody up there dangling, but next time, you should look up there because you might see me. – [Host] Jessica Kilroy is a rock climber. But she makes her living as
a wind turbine technician, repairing damaged turbine blades on towers that are as tall as 350 feet. – It’s easy to do this job safely. You just have to do it carefully. I’m a rock climber and it’s obvious that when you’re rock
climbing all the time, you’re not making any money. You end up living in your van and wondering how you’re
gonna pay the bills. Rock climbing and blade repair
require the same skills. Being able to have no fear of heights, be comfortable on ropes
as well as being able to figure out how to get yourself
out of a weird situation. – [Host] Here in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the average wind speed
is 20 miles per hour. But these turbines can easily operate at winds twice that strength. Since wind farms are
built in remote areas, the turbine towers themselves are often the tallest
structures for miles. This can make them perfect lightning rods. (thunder booms) Towers have lightning protection systems that ground electricity. But sometimes, lightning
exits out of the blade, damaging its fiberglass exterior. Blades can also crack
due to weather erosion from dust, rain, snow and ice. Exposing its wooden interior
to corrosive moisture. If left unchecked, the blades will weaken and eventually break off the tower. – That’s the main problem. And we don’t want blades
just breaking off. That’s usually why we repair
them as soon as possible. Usually you see like a small dark spot and that’s where lightning has struck and then you can grind
into it and look further and see how deep it goes. We repair the fiberglass
using sanders and grinders and crowbars or whatever you
need to get the job done. It’s really similar to surfboard repair, except there’s 350 feet
of nothingness beneath me. You’re on the blade and you straddle it and the wind is bucking you
around and you’re on a bull. Feel like I’m in the rodeo. I think it’s easy for people
to look at me and think blonde chick, climber, life
must come easy for her. But I’ve had to fight for this life. I was born with my bones
not aligned correctly. I had to wear straight leg
braces up until high school. The doctors said I could
not do so many things. They said you can’t do
this, you can’t do that. And, like, my dad is a climber. Back in the ‘80s and the ‘90s, my dad and his friends
were out climbing big walls and putting up first
ascents in the Tetons. And I was just like, dude, you guys are the coolest ever
and I want to be you guys. I had so many years as a kid of just looking at climbing magazines and watching my friends
running around outside, jump roping, playing basketball, doing all the things that I wanted to do. (exhales) That part’s hard. Sorry. (breathes deeply) I decided I’m not gonna let
people’s limits be my limits. And I decided to go so much further past what I even thought my own limits were. The first thing I
usually do is harness up. There’s a ladder in the inside. It’s 350 feet tall and you just climb every
rung of that ladder all the way up to the top. The view from the top is
expansive and just awesome. You’re the tallest thing around. You can get butterflies in
your stomach a little bit. There is outside risk with this job. There’s adverse weather conditions, as well as forest fires. This summer, I was on a wind turbine where a wildfire just
came rolling through. We bailed really quick. And when we were out, you know, driving away, I have a picture out the window and the wind turbine was just
like swept up in the fire. (calm music) I feel blessed to be able to be in some of the most beautiful
places in the world, except I get to help the environment. I get to feel like I am
actually contributing to the green energy movement. – [Host] There are over 4,400
wind turbine technicians in the United States with jobs expected to
double in the next 10 years. – Next time you’re passing
a wind turbine, look close. Look real close. You might see a little speck up there and that little speck might
be me living my dream. – [Host] It’s our generation’s
canary in the coal mine. A disorder called colony collapse is ravaging our bee population
by one third each year, endangering our future. – The colony collapse disorder
is a mystery to scientists. It’s not one thing that’s killing them. I think it’s everything
we are doing in nature. – [Host] With nearly one
third of the American diet made up of crops pollinated by honeybees, bee keepers across the
globe are struggling to protect their colonies. – [Man] The commercialization
of bee keeping is hanging on a very fine thread. The bees, if they go,
we are in such trouble. – [Host] But in a tiny town
in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Gunther Hauk works to change
out relationship with bees to ensure our mutual survival. – A crisis is always a great blessing because a crisis always tells us that the path we are on
is not the right one. When you look into bee-keeping, everything that was invented
in the last 100 years was invented for the
bottom line of bee-keeping. – The overuse of pesticides, the development of monoculture farming have all done a pretty hard number on the pollinators that we
do rely on for our food. – A monoculture is a field of plants where only this plant exists. Nothing else. – [Host] Monoculture
farming is widely used to increase agricultural efficiency. Over time, it can lead to
accelerated crop infestation and disease, requiring
increased use of pesticides. Industrialized bees are
shipped thousands of miles from crop to crop to pollinate
vast monoculture fields. – Bees being trucked from
apples in New York state to Maine for the blueberries
and then back down to Florida, that’s like us eating only
broccoli for one month and the next month we
only eat wheat and so on. We would not be healthy. – The commercial bee-keeping world is not resisting change
because they don’t care that their bees are having a hard time. It’s because changing their practices would make their jobs and
careers unsustainable. People like Gunther who
are trying new things on a relatively small scale are adding valuable perspective and maybe someday a path forward. – [Host] At Gunter Hauk’s
honeybee sanctuary, localized bee-keeping
methods demonstrate hope for honeybee health. – A honeybee sanctuary. It’s a contemporary idea. Honeybees did not need a
sanctuary until very recently. – [Gunther] We work with bees in a highly unconventional way. – [Alex] We don’t need to ship our bees in order to be successful. A localized bee is the strongest bee. – We have an apiary here with 35 colonies. We are on 25 acres, planting things for the bees so that the bees can forage
on a lot of different plants that are good for them and good for us. Bees, they are actually sun creatures. They don’t fly out at
night, only after sunrise. And they go home before the sun sets. Climate change and the warming has definitely an effect on the bees. – [Host] According to Hauk, warmer winters play a role in disrupting the rhythms of a healthy hive. – On a normal year, a hive might need only
10, 15 pounds of honey to survive the winter time. When it’s warm in the winter time but there’s no forage for
them to gather outside, they’re eating a lot of honey but they’re not bringing anything else in. So you have trouble with starving. Many bee-keepers in our area lost 80% of their colonies last
winter due to this up and down. And our losses are only five to ten percent. – We can actually leave
all the honey for the bees that they need to go through the winter. We really only take the surplus. We actually cater to their needs, and the result is that
they are very healthy. There is a natural
harmony in all of creation and it is all interrelated. The bees can actually
teach us so many things. One of the things we can
learn is really to serve is better for life. It’s a full hive. We don’t rely on asking the
bees what can I get out of you? We actually can serve the bees and ask the question: what do
you really need to be healthy? (laughter) – I definitely look up to my sister. She has a lot of great
things that I can learn from. And I think she’s an awesome older sister. – Ow. Thank you, Meimei. Kimberly is my best friend. She’s never gonna be replaced. – [Kimberly] I like to do martial arts, and then I also like to do basketball. – I like to do archery. And to play piano. I have a lot of favorite subjects. I like math and english and social studies and science and technology. – I like technology the best. These are some of the programs that I did. But I also really like science. – I like challenges. We saw some videos of people doing weather balloon launches online. – We thought that it would be a really fun family project to do. (air hissing) A weather balloon is basically
just a very large balloon. – There is weather. – To see what the weather is going to do. – So they send up different instruments attached to the bottom
of the weather balloons. – And they’ll transmit the data and saying oh, it’s gonna be partly cloudy. – There are 16,000 weather balloons launched every day around the world. The weather companies, the forecasters, only recover 30% of them. The other 70%. – Are still floating in space. – No, they’re not. – Well. They’re popped.
– They’re still somewhere. – They’re somewhere in the earth. – Try not to interrupt me. (upbeat music) – [Kimberly] This is
our Loki Lego Launcher, the first spacecraft in the
Yeungstaff Space Program. – For the first launch, we
didn’t really have a goal. – We just wanted to get it off the ground. – We didn’t really understand
as much science then. We were kind of just letting go of it and hoping that it went well. – The calculations were right. We call it the Loki Lego
Launcher because Loki is our cat. Our flight computer keeps
track of a number of things, including altitude, latitude, longitude, speed, temperature, pressure,
voltage, current and power. There is a lot of data
that we can learn from. – The first launch went to 78,000 feet. The images were awesome. When we first saw them, we screamed. It’s just the blackness of space. And then there’s Loki sitting
there in the middle of it, right on the horizon. The first media that kind
of wrote an article about us was a local tech news
website called the Geekwire. And then someone from the
Washington Post saw it, and so they wrote an article about it. And then other people saw it and they wrote articles about it. – [Man] You’re gonna have to
bring the Loki Lego Launcher. – (gasps) No! No! No way! No way, seriously? – [Man] You’re gonna meet the president. – Our parents told us that we were going to the White House Science Fair. (upbeat music) – Well hello everybody,
welcome to the White House. – When he actually
walked through the doors, we were all in complete awe and like, admiration because this is President Obama. – He was really easy to talk
to and he was really friendly. – [Obama] What do you guys have here? – So we built a spacecraft
called the Loki Lego Launcher and we sent it up to 78,000 feet. – [Obama] That’s crazy! – He talks to all of
these like famous world leaders and he makes decisions that
affect the fate of our country. And we’re just nine and 11-year-old girls who did a science project. This is a rough run of the flight computer and we’ll probably put the VI sensor here. I’m making some changes
to our original design because we’re adding some new components and taking off some. – On the second launch,
we added a bigger balloon because we wanted it to go higher and we also wanted it to go faster. We added an APRS radio tracker, which sent us location and altitude data in almost real time. – However, the APRS might not be very accurate at ground level. So having the GPS unit
as well is very helpful. We rewired voltage slash
current slash power sensor, so it would connect to a solar panel that we installed on our spacecraft to measure how much current
it was getting from the sun. And we had a hypothesis that
as our spacecraft went higher, we would have more solar current because we thought that
since there’s less particles in the air, it wouldn’t
block the sun’s rays. The last thing that we changed
was our Lego minifigure. We thought that she would
be a good role model because she’s just a girl
who’s strong and she’s brave and she doesn’t give up,
even when things are hard. Soon, it was time for launch. – [Both] Three, two, one. – Lift off! (upbeat music) Do you see it? – [Rebecca] We couldn’t
believe that it actually went 101,000 feet. I think we screamed again. (screams) – [Kimberly] Our current
data was really interesting because our solar panel
was producing more current as the altitude was going up, which indicated that our
hypothesis was correct. – Getting something correct, especially when you don’t know
that much about the subject always feels good. I hope that more kids, especially girls, follow paths and do
projects like ours and STEM. And I hope that our projects teach them that they can
do whatever they want if they put their heart into it. – They don’t have to stick with
whatever is girly or boyish. Girls are awesome and
girls can do anything. (laughter) – [Host] It’s taken 6,000 years for nature to carve out these remarkable formations. The Marble Caves of Chile Chico are located on a peninsula of solid marble bordering a remote glacial lake that spans the Chile and Argentina border. The lake is fed by rivers coming from several surrounding glaciers. As the glaciers melt and grow, the water slowly carves the marble, leaving behind masterpieces
fit for a museum. The distinct bright blue waters are caused by suspended particles from the glaciers reflecting the blue part of the sunlight. Getting to this location isn’t easy. It’s a long journey requiring a flight, a 200 mile drive into the wilderness, and a boat ride just to get there. But it’s worth it. The remarkable swirling
patterns on the blue cave reflect the lake’s blue waters, changing with the water
levels and the seasons. Nature truly is the greatest artist. (calm music) – Don’t go anywhere. Being in a bald eagle nest is surreal. This is a wild animal. She’s being rowdy. It’s very capable of hurting
you if you’re not careful, so you have to take your time. A little rough, huh? Sorry about that. It’s an experience
that’s hard to describe. My name is Jim Campbell-Spickler. I’m a forest canopy ecologist
and a wildlife biologist. And I’m pretty sure I have
the best job in the world. (bird whistles) My job is to climb into the eagle’s nest and capture and work with chicks. Yeah, he’s a monster. And the reason why were doing this is we’re trying to get blood samples and we can use those blood samples to look at environmental contaminants and how they get into the
bald eagle’s food source. You’re gonna make me chase you, huh? Why don’t you come off of there? Come down. It’s a challenging species to work with. It’s got a really sharp hooked beak and its talons are big and powerful. And you don’t want to let
them grab a hold of you because they can really do some damage. All right, let’s go down. This is a wild animal, so you never know what could happen. The Channel Islands are an island chain off the coast of southern California. These guys don’t look too bad. They’re a desert island system. You get out there and you can
stand on top of these bluffs and you can see the Pacific. A whole 360 degree view of
just the most beautiful ocean you could ever imagine. You’ve got not only bald eagles. You have peregrine falcons that are nesting on the sea cliffs. Just tell me if she’s coming in. Oh! You’ve got a host of different sea birds. And it’s just a magical place. Our research, it may look invasive. But really, one of our primary concerns is the safety of these young
birds that we’re handling. So we go to great lengths to ensure that we don’t injure them and that when we put
them back in the nest, they’re just as well off as
when we first encountered them. He likes you. The bald eagle’s our national bird, so it’s quite an honor for me to get to work with this species. Quite often, I’ll just sit
in that nest for a moment and just take in the
view and just think, wow. It’s just an honor to get up there and be able to share that
view and that experience with them just for that moment in time. – Atropa belladonna will kill you. Datura will put you to sleep forever. Aconitum will kill you. Laung will produce cyanide and kill you. Every plant here in the
Poison Garden is poisonous and has the ability to kill you. My name’s Trevor Jones. I’m the head gardener of Alnwick Garden. This plant is giant hogweed. It will get up to around
about eight foot high. It’s phototoxic so will burn your skin and give you blisters
for up to seven years. This garden is set in the Wall Garden of the Old Castle in
Northumberland in the UK. We would have around about 95 plants. And we’re adding to the
collection all the time. This plant is aconitum or monkshood. A wonderful brood of flowers, but the whole of the plant is poisonous. The berries crushed up and
fed to you will kill you. The leaves themselves will kill you also, as will the root and the stem. We have to obviously
maintain the garden, so we have to tend the plants. And when we do that, we have to be very careful
of the way we operate. So we have to cover some of our skin when we deal with
particularly dangerous plants. This plant is laung. It produces cyanide. And we all know what that’ll do to you. So it was the charge of the duchess, Duchess of Northumberland. So rather than having a herb garden, she decided to create more interest and have a poison garden. Well they’re very, very common plants. In fact, a lot of them are what we call cottage garden plants. And they’re grown in
many people’s gardens, but people don’t know how
harmful they actually are. This is atropa belladonna. Four berries are enough to kill a child. People are intrigued by poisonous plants. I’m often very worried when they come out because many of them will be
growing these plants at home. They don’t realize the
powerful impact plants can have on us as humans. – [Woman] Is it something
that you find fascinating? – Definitely. – [Woman] Why? – It’s a good way to get rid of your wife. (laughter) – [Host] In this curious lagoon, the rivers may run red, but rest assured, it’s water, not blood. Although you could be forgiven
for confusing the two. The Red Lagoon is located
12,000 feet above sea level in an area of Chile so remote that it wasn’t even known to
the National Tourism Office until 2009. And maybe that’s a good thing because much like the pyramids in Egypt, the lagoon is believed to be cursed. Legend says that the waters
are owned by the devil himself. The thermal temperature of the water at 100 to 120 degrees stops even wild animals
from approaching it. Devils aside, what causes
this blood red water? Well, biologists studying the lagoon recently traced it to algae growing in the depths of the lake. Still, much of this
lagoon remains a mystery. A visit to this place is a reminder that there’s still much to
marvel at on this planet. – I’ve had an absolute
fascination with sharks since I was a little kid. I knew I wanted to be a marine biologist by the time I was five, and I got to snorkel with my first shark when I was about eight years old. And I was literally hooked
on these awesome animals. I’m Jillian Morris. I am a shark conservationist,
a shark diver, and an underwater videographer. I’ve traveled all over the world and I have to say that Bimini has some of the bluest
waters I’ve ever seen. All different shades. Some people joke about the
50 shades of blue in Bimini. The island is really, really small. It’s about six miles long. But, the world just below the surface is really what’s incredible. You’ve got blue crystal clear water. It’s teeming with marine life and is the reason why we live
on this tiny little island. The great hammerhead dive site is about a quarter of a mile off shore. It’s a place where in very shallow water, you’re able to get in and
see these very large sharks up close and personal. It’s very rare to actually
be able to be in the water with so many of them like
we can here in Bimini. Especially in crystal clear shallow water. Unfortunately, sharks get
a really bad reputation. They’re not man eating monsters. They’re not mindless eating machines. They’re actually really intelligent, social, incredible animals. They’re also really incredible
for the health of our oceans, which all of us rely on every single day. There’s something really
special about hammerheads. I’ve been in the water
with some very big sharks, including great whites and tiger sharks, but nothing compares to
the great hammerhead. The way they move, their
power, their grace. They can turn on a dime and
they have those wide set eyes. They’re my favorite animal on the planet and being able to dive
with them as much as we do, I feel really, really lucky. (birds calling) (speaking in foreign language) – [Host] In Chennai, India, there’s a tiny camera repair shop run by a man named Joseph Sekar. (speaking in foreign language) Sekar got his nickname because every day he feeds thousands of hungry parakeets on the roof of his home. (speaking in foreign language) The 2006 tsunami that hit southeast Asia flooded parts of India and
displaced thousands of birds. Sekar noticed a pair of
parakeets outside his home and set some rice out for them. Then more started to show up and well. (speaking in foreign language) Feeding 8,000 parakeets twice
a day is a great expense. Sekar spends about 40%
of the money he makes repairing cameras to
buy food for the birds. (speaking in foreign language) But for the Birdman of Chennai, there’s more to life than money. (speaking foreign language) (birds calling) – Darkness is the canvas. The light is my brush. With light painting, you can create new worlds in the darkness. My name is Hannu Huhtamo,
and I paint with light. I live in Finland. We have amazing nature here. We have long summer nights that
are warm and full of light. But on the opposite, there
is also this dark part. It’s called the polar night. It starts in December, and it lasts for about 50 days. The sun doesn’t rise
above the horizon at all. And for a light painter,
that is quite good. I do long exposure photography, which is a photographic technique that allows me to draw with light. The exposure times can vary
from, uh, seconds to hours. And the idea is to use the light source as the brushes or pencils. And the dark surroundings are the canvas. When I start, I might do
some sketches on paper. After that, I go to the location. I search for details
that I want to emphasize. In some light treatment, it will start to look like
a completely new place. Going to a dark woods or
to an abandoned house, you first think that oh,
I don’t want to go there because they’re just so
nasty-looking dark places. But through light painting, I have examined these places
and they look beautiful. See the place differently.