Invisible Worlds
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Invisible Worlds

2010, Nature  -   34 Comments
Ratings: 6.19/10 from 16 users.

Invisible WorldsRichard Hammond's Invisible Worlds is a BBC television documentary programme presented by Richard Hammond that features state-of-the-art camera technology used to focus on what humans cannot see with the naked eye. It is one series long consisting of three episodes.

1. Speed Limits - Richard Hammond explores the extraordinary wonders of the world of detail hidden in the blink of an eye. The human eye takes about fifty milliseconds to blink. But it takes our brain around a hundred and fifty milliseconds to process what we see. We're not aware of this time lag going on, but in those few milliseconds, there are extraordinary things happening that completely pass us by. But what if we could break through this speed limit? Bend and stretch time in ways never thought possible.

What new marvels would we see? Now, using the latest high-speed cameras, Richard takes us on a journey beyond our eye's limits, letting us see secrets hidden in every element of our planet. A world where thin air can shatter rock. And water can tear through metal. A world where the fastest thing on earth lies right beneath our feet. And where a spectacular celestial display is finally captured, even though many have claimed it doesn't even exist.

2. Out of Sight - The human eye is a remarkable piece of precision engineering, but it is also extremely limited. Beyond the narrow range of light that makes up the familiar colours of the rainbow is a vast spectrum of light, entirely unseen. But what if we could see beyond the narrow boundaries of our eyes and peer into this invisible realm? Richard Hammond does just that, using groundbreaking new imaging technologies to take the viewer on a breathtaking journey of discovery beyond the visible spectrum, seeing the world, quite literally, in a whole new light.

From death-defying aerial repairmen in the United States using ultraviolet cameras to seek out an invisible force that lurks unseen on power lines, to German scientists unlocking the secrets of animal locomotion with the world's most powerful moving x-ray camera, to infrared cameras that can finally reveal the secrets within a humble beehive, he shows how new technologies are letting us see our world anew.

3. Off the Scale - The human eye can see extraordinary detail, but the eye of a needle held at arm's length is pretty much at the limit of our vision. Anything smaller is simply invisible, at least to the naked eye.?But what if we could see this hidden world all around us in greater detail and magnification than ever before? How different would our familiar surroundings then seem? Richard Hammond explores the astonishing miniature universe all around us, revealing that small is not only beautiful, it can also be very, very powerful?

From seeing the microscopic changes to ice crystals that can trigger an avalanche to watching in horror the invisible aftermath of a sneeze on a commuter train and learning how the surface of an ordinary-looking plant hides an astounding secret that will make walking on the moon safer, Richard harnesses cutting-edge technologies to transport the viewer into a spectacular micro realm.

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34 Comments / User Reviews

  1. terencegalland

    Terence Galland1 second ago

    On this scale human beings are massive the first item just amazing!

  2. Armorcladman

    I bought the DVD for this video in China and watched it there. It was awesome. I bought it here in U.S. and it would not play because of country code issues. Now I think I will see if I can watch it here and low and behold the thought police have removed it.

  3. Homerecoveryhouse1

    This is no longer on You Tube... I wanted to see it so badly.

  4. Christopher Platt

    very interesting! kept my attention span for the whole hour which is very unusual!

    1. thenesteamonster

      very unusual indeed because it lasted almost 3 hours... you must have experienced some kind of time distortion

  5. Hubert

    Doesn't this gives a hint that there could be an alternate Universe? a place where time and space is different from ours?

    1. thenesteamonster

      not really, there's nothing "alternate" about what i've seen in the doc, space time is the same because it's the same universe

  6. morsie2

    Absolutely brilliant!! So we need high speed cameras to see things in slow motion - who'd have thought...

  7. Mowgli33

    Wicked cool! Totally gnarly! Awesome! Amazing! and not to shabby of a doc. Vlatko- you rock!

  8. Jen Dando

    Ah Richard Hammond, my youngest (12) absolutely loves the programmes he makes, another one of his to look for is Richard Hammond's Engineering Connections... and on the beeb (and iPlayer) at the moment from his fellow Top Gear presenter... ‘James May's Things You Need to Know...’ good stuff :0)


    really good doc

  10. Gary V

    Nice 1 Vlatko, It was great to be able to watch this superb series of docs again. Awesome.

  11. Arnold Vinette

    This was a great documentary, I just loved it!

    The host was very funny and entertaining, the camera work incredible, and all of the stories very interesting. My favorite though was the horse poo fungus and its ability to withstand 22,000G's of acceleration. Wow!

    This was a real gem Vlatko, thank you for finding it and adding it to your collection.

    I just love BBC documentaries.

    In my next life I want to work for the BBC making all of these great documentaries. What a great life and career!

    Arnold Vinette
    Ottawa, Canada

  12. azilda

    @Dr. Sohini Shukla...i tried to go on your link but it requires an invitation...too bad...would have liked to see what you are about.

  13. karthick

    wow this doc is great thank you :)

  14. Mono

    @daniel @Inediblehulk ...fiber optics? prisms? definitely not worth surgery though, my guess is itll be just like looking into a mirror. i doubt it will cause a visual feedback meltdown and glitch the brain... although that would be cool. maybe im wrong, maybe the world governments have high tech fiber-prism loop-back goggles that they put on prisoners and tell them "LOOK AT YOURSELF!! LOOK AT WHAT YOUVE DONE!!!" while the tortured drool on themselves... lol, like i said, i could be wrong.

    but it IS possible without a knife! good luck not developing a brain twitch.

  15. azilda

    Daniel...try this one...put a mirror (with no frame) side ways against your nose...and look at your self in an other it on both side...there are two different looking you and one looks more feminine while the other looks more masculine. This is a little game we played in a party one day...quite the trip to see everyone this way.
    The mirror was the greatest tool is now use in thousands of different ways and not just for vanity!

  16. kretik77

    great series
    thanks Vlatko :)

  17. hashim

    can u see your ghost?

  18. TheQueenOfCheese

    wow...loved it. Thanks Vlatko :)
    i have never seen a black hole before and to think Hamster would be the one to show me :O

  19. Inediblehulk

    @daniel That question has been bugging me for years. I just don't have the stones to find out for myself. I imagine it can be done relatively easily and somewhat painlessly by a surgeon, as the optic nerve is surprisingly long. But I think it would be hard (or impossible) to properly focus the detached eyeball without the surrounding nerves and muscles. Probably pretty pricey too, as "curiousity" isn't something any health plan I've heard of would cover. If I ever find out, I'll come back to this page and TRY to put it into words for you.

  20. daniel

    i've often wondered what the visual effect would be if you could look into your own left eye with your own right eye...

  21. Dr. Sohini Shukla

    Dear Friend,
    We can not cope up with the visible and you have come with the Invisible.....
    Yes, All Main and Intersting you will find Invisible and you will have to cultivate the vision to see beyond.....
    Dr. SohiniBen Shukla.

  22. Achems Razor

    Great, interesting doc so far, watched the first hour.

  23. Stephen


    Just awesome :)

  24. azilda

    Eye opener!
    One aspect of looking that was not explored is the power of looking into each other's eyes.
    I have been experimenting very frequently with eye gazing for close to 7 years. The most memorable of these experiment was when i got to eyegaze into the eyes of a person who was in a comma. The person had had a car accident three weeks prior to my arrival at the hospital, the doctors were now approaching the family wondering "if" the condition of this young woman did not improve, would the family want to keep her alive due to the extreme condition of the patient.
    The third day of my presence in the hospital i was able to spend a lot of time with her alone because a huge snow storm had mobilized the roads. The grand father and i had arrived at 5am before the weather condition got out of hand, the other members were taking this day to rest for the first time in three weeks.
    Although i had tried to eyegaze several times with her the first two days, this was the day i was able to spend all the time i could eyegazing into the eyes of this young girl who seemed lost in some other world. While eyegazing i talked with her, mind to mind. I began to make a connection that afternoon, her eyes were shuting on and off, i had the impression she was trying to communicate something she had not done yet. At the end of the day this young person was on her way back with us, at the end of the week she was fully there even pointing to letters written on a board i had requested from the hospital. We had found a way for her to answer question. The very last morning of my week with them, i sat with her and asked her to write something with her left hand, her right side being paralysed. She wrote I Love you (*****), the name of her mother.
    I have done many other experiments with eyegazing and have found it to be very powerfull.
    There are many exercises to perform in order to prepare yourself to eyegazing.
    Step 1
    Is to observe the merging of 2 into 1 by gazing at candles in a dark room. Sit at a table with 1 candle in front of you. Light the candle and stare at it, cross your eyes slightly until you see 2 flames shining. Concentrate on the space between the 2 flames you see. This will be easy to obtain. Next, put a 2nd lit candle next to the 1st. Stare at both candles crossing your eyes slightly, you will see 3 flames. If you keep gazing at the middle 1 you may come to see only the middle 1. Once you are able to do this instantly you will also be able to do it with any objects.

    Step 2.
    The introduction to eyegazing happens in a very simple way. You just have to look at yourself in a mirror. Not at the face or hair or body but straight into your eyes. Stand approximately 2 or 3 feet from the mirror, relax your muscles and stare into the pupils of your eyes. To facilitate the gazing it is advised to tie back your long flowing hair to not obstruct the shape of your head. Cross your eyes very slightly and try to catch a glimpse of the middle eye that manifest itself between your 2 eyes. When you succeed you will also see 2 noses, 1 on each side of that middle eye. The image will transform itself in many images of your self and with time you will see only the middle eyes which will look like an eye inside a seed. Once you see the seed, concentrate on the very central dot of the middle eye. It requires so much attention that once you become aware that you have it, you then lose it. So the trick is to not think about what you are seeing, just look and let emptiness fill you, it will become easier to see with practice.

    Step 3.
    This is more easily achieved if you have practiced the first 2 steps often. Sit in front of a partner. You may do this with anyone even willing children. Use each other's eyes as if it were yours in the mirror. Relax your face and body, and stare into each other's eyes. Slightly cross your eyes until you can see the middle eye in the person in front of you. Remain silent and stare for as long as you wish. You will lose the middle eye repeatedly because once again if you see the middle eye and become conscious of it, it will disappear. So try not to think, just gaze.

    Step 4.
    To step 3 you may add the touching of the hands. Lay your 2 hands on the table in front of you. Each person’s left hand should be palm up while the right hand should be palm down. Lay your hand in each other's hand this way. Imagine there is a flow of energy circling from you to the other person from the other person to you. Like battery cables. Step 3 will create an energy field between the 2 people. The loving feelings felt by the 2 people will be strongly amplified by this exercise. Anytime you find yourself in a conflicting situation with a person, especially a child, you may stand in front of that person and practice this same exercise for a few minutes to re-establish a flow of peaceful energy.

    These exercises can be done focusing from the pineal gland through your eyes. Imagine you are seeing from inside your brain as if the gland is the fletching of the arrow. Your intent is the bow. The observer is superseded by the observed. You become alert, watchful like a young child.
    You are fully concentrated on the totality of who is in front of you. The past, the future are no more.
    You have become wrapped in the present.

    Experimenting with eyegazing has the advantage of changing the reality you see. A child was possibly born seeing eyes crossed and was trained to focus to our dimension of vision. What if we continued to train a child to see the way he was originally seeing????
    If any one has tried something similar, i would appreciate your input. If this sounds is...everything new is bizarre until it becomes the norm.

    1. Guest

      no answer yet???? Someone somewhere must have puzzled about this too.

  25. Atrophy

    funny how global warming and the impact of technology manages to work its way into so many science docs :P

  26. Whizzy

    Wonderful series!

  27. esmuziq

    cool technology !!!

  28. Raya

    One of the most visually stimulating documentaries I have ever seen

  29. esmuziq

    idd i have many pictures of these guys hangin in the same steady location

    when i take a picture with an exposure of lets say 24 seconds it doesnt show any trail nothing
    while everything else in the sky does :-)

  30. M

    wow !!! good eye ... mate

  31. prince

    you can see ufo 2:48 and 2:49