Modern Marvels

About the show

Celebrating ingenuity, invention and imagination on a grand scale, "Modern Marvels" tells the amazing stories of the doers, dreamers and sometime-schemers who create everyday items, technological advancements and manmade wonders.


Upcoming episodes

Jan 18th

Strangest Countdown

This countdown special kisses the conventional goodbye, raiding the Modern Marvels archives for the most bizarre wonders we've ever presented. Our top ten contenders demonstrate that the inside scoop on innovation often lies outside the norm. You'll be scratching your head at the weird assortment of oddities--technologies ranging from a gooey slime that could be a terrorist's worst an exacting art form requiring the help of millions of ravenous beetles. The final destination at number 1: a devise so strange and destructive that its inventor allegedly destroyed it to avert a catastrophe.
Jan 18th

Amazing Job Countdown

The variety of jobs in America is endless--but some have to be seen to be believed. Our countdown of the top ten most fascinating jobs from our archives proves how daring and innovative the American worker can be. A nationwide quest finds amazing jobholders in the wild blue yonder and the depths of a secret occupations ranging from the daffy to the dangerous to the downright creepy. And at the end of our journey, we find two business partners performing a job so perilous that one misstep can be deadly.
Jan 18th

Super Strong Countdown

America has always prided itself on its technological strength--and this countdown embarks on an odyssey featuring the strongest of the strong. Whether they lift, pull, hold or haul, every heavy-duty titan among our top ten choices has the muscle to reshape our world. Our contenders take our cameras on land, sea and air as they push the limits of power and endurance beyond the imaginable. And our choice at number 1 pulses with so much strength it could destroy our other nine finalists with one push of a button.
Jan 21st

Retro Wash

Rummage around in your garage. You'll likely find remnants of gadgets past - a typewriter, analog TV, LPs, film cameras and brick-sized mobile phones. These products served us well and we remember each one with nostalgic fondness. We'll take a trip down memory lane to examine how these oldies-but-goodies worked and find out how more advanced tech superseded them. At the Palm Corporation in Sunnyvale, California, we'll follow the evolution of hand-held tech. At the Houston Chronicle, we'll learn how the print edition of a major American newspaper coexists with its online edition.
Jan 21st

Car Wash

Americans hit the car wash 2 million times a day--at a cost of $25 billion dollars a year. From tunnel systems to in-bay automatics, we'll go beyond the suds to see how car washes are built to clean. We'll get wet inside the largest car wash in the U.S.--a seven acre mega facility complete with a dog wash, chapel, and barber shop. We'll head to a car wash manufacturer where electric eyes are trained, auto conveyers are built, and mega vacuums suck up bowling balls. We'll learn some tips on how to clean our cars at home. Watch as we plaster a $160,000 Porsche with tar, glue, egg, bird droppings, and a bucket full of sludge... and then challenge a detailer to get it off. Cleaning radioactive waste from a train? No problem, if you go to the Energy Solutions rail car wash. Then, it's off to see how car manufacturers design and build vehicles to survive the car wash.
Jan 21st

Super Hot

Explore the world of extreme temperatures. See what happens to Pyroman, a life-size mannequin, as he is exposed to over 3,000 degrees F. Visit Underwriters Laboratories and see how common household appliances can go lethal. Follow geologists as they take lava samples from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. Finally, journey into a fusion facility in San Diego, California and watch as scientist's heat plasma to over 200 million degrees F in hopes of someday creating an inexhaustible power source.