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

Oct 18th


From the beginning of time we've worked to protect ourselves against the very element that keeps us alive...Water. We love it and hate it. With water covering 75% of the Earth's surface, it's no wonder we struggle to stay safe and dry. We fight against ferocious weather and floods with state-of-the-art roofing, wraps, tarps, tunnels, clothing, boats, and much more... devising extreme tests to probe the limits of our modern waterproof technology.
Oct 18th


Just the whiff of a foul odor can make your head spin, your eyes water, your stomach turn--it can even send you hurling. From cesspools, military stink bombs, and rancid rotting meat... to cow farms and landfills... to bad breath, B.O and beyond, the world is full of stink--and we've spent centuries battling the funk. So how do we deal with these horrific odors? Hold your breath 'cause these sensational stories are gonna STINK!
Oct 18th

Battle Ready

U.S. soldiers today face enormous challenges, often stationed in desolate locations behind enemy lines. Keeping them protected is priority number one--and the military is making enormous leaps in devising a wide array of high-tech equipment to protect today's soldier. From elaborate elite training facilities, to GPS-guided air drops, to revolutionary high-tech tents and fire-retardant uniforms, we explore the science and technology of building, operating and protecting a base in a warzone.
Oct 18th

More Candy

Candy is America's sweetest guilty pleasure--so appealing that we spend $25 billion annually to experience it. This episode journeys across the country to show that behind every delicious bite is a fascinating story of imagination and innovation. Fourth-generation candy makers Nick and Gino Marini reveal how they're redefining the limits of confectioneering with their latest sensation...chocolate-covered bacon. The crew that makes the iconic red and white Starlight Mints demonstrates how they give each piece its trademark color pattern. Discover they key ingredient that gives Lemonheads their sour punch...and the surprising substance that puts the polish on Mike and Ikes. How much sugar is in cotton candy? You'll be surprised.
Oct 18th

Weird Machines

It has been said that necessity is the mother of all invention--but that is not always the case. Some strange machines are built for sheer spectacle, some a glimpse into the future or even the past, while others are just plain...Weird. Take a look at machines that specialize in high functionality and low practicality, prompting two very important questions: What is it do I get one? An Alaskan navigates the Juneau waters with his homemade submarine. A California company shocks local beach bums with their fully submersible "shark boats." We'll also meet a bicep-curling robot that's built to save lives; scale a mountain with a 21st century Batman-esque rope ascender; witness an engineered, forty-foot vortex of fire known as the Flame Tornado; and hit the backcountry trails with a snowboard-motorcycle hybrid inspired by a shopping cart.
Oct 18th

Food Trucks

Food Trucks are hitting the big time--across much of America, they're changing the way we eat. From humble beginnings as chuck wagons and hot dog carts, they've taken off as ethnic eateries, gourmet specialists, and even high-tech mega trucks that serve thousands at disaster scenes. Not surprisingly, it takes some pretty sophisticated engineering to make it all work--and turn a truck into a kitchen on wheels.
Oct 18th

What's In Your Pocket

Teddy Roosevelt carried a revolver. The night they each died, Abraham Lincoln carried a $5 Confederate note and nine newspaper clippings, while John Wilkes Booth carried a candle and pictures of five women, including his fiancí©. Why? Most people don't even think about it anymore. We simply put what we were carrying yesterday, and the day before that, back into our pockets. Do we really need everything we carry with us? What's new and what's old? What's useful and what's dead weight? In this episode of Modern Marvels, we ask the question: IS THAT A.. IN YOUR POCKET?
Oct 18th

Swamp Tech

It's a great American wilderness--millions of acres of wild, primeval land with its own people, its own technology...and its own rules. Survival there depends on smarts and science, guts and grueling work...and a unique approach to one of the world's most uncompromising environments--swamps. Watch an assembly of the distinctive airboat, then hop on board for a breathtaking journey and discover the surprising history behind this swamp staple of transportation. Take a wild ride on a big-tired swamp buggy, and taste test some local delicacies that bring new meaning to "acquired taste." Witness a massive engineering project to divert the mighty Mississippi River, and meet the machines that make that job possible. Plus come face to face, literally, with enormous pythons and menacing alligators.
Oct 18th

Built By Hand

We live in a highly mechanized world in which billions of products are made by machines--but there are some things that can be built only by using an even more sophisticated tool--the human hand. In New Mexico, a pilot who builds his own jet-powered glider takes to the skies--his very life depending on his handiwork. Canoe makers in Montana, and a knife maker in Washington, handcraft items so unique that customers are willing to pay significantly higher prices than if they were machine made. In the farmlands of Central California, craftsmen keep alive the ancient art of weapon making--see their gleaming suits of armor in action, as weekend warriors do battle. Ever wonder how those impressive animal skeletons in museums are constructed? The artists of Skulls International in Oklahoma City share their secrets. And in Hollywood, the Chiodo brothers reveal how handmade special effects have a charm and character that today's computer animators can't duplicate.
Oct 19th

Inside Your Walls

Don't look now--but there's a lot more to your walls than you'd ever imagine. Take a penetrating look inside something we consider utterly mundane, and uncover a surprising and sometimes shocking world. A computer-managed home in Colorado showcases the high tech gadgetry destined to inhabit every wall in the future. At the headquarters of Ortho in Atlanta, a network of walls with cutouts and Plexiglas windows reveal how pests and creepy crawlies of all kinds can congregate in huge numbers inside our homes. In Washington, scientists at Underwriters Labs play with fire in the name of research, investigating how our walls can keep us safe--or expose us to a fiery death. And in Los Angeles, a security company demonstrates innovative new technology that can "see" through walls--detecting motion, heat, breathing, even heartbeats.