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 30th


Dams block the force of a river with millions of tons of concrete. Produce enough electricity to power cities. Move potable water over hundreds of miles. And irrigate fertile valleys to produce food for nations. They prevent disastrous floods and produce "green" energy, but there is an environmental cost. With the exception of the Great Wall of China, dams are the largest structures ever built. Since the first large-scale dam was built in Egypt more than 5,000 years ago, engineers have devised various types of dams to withstand the forces of a raging river.
Oct 30th

Dangerous Roads

From Bolivia's "Death Road," to California's fog shrouded Highway 99 we visit some of the world's most dangerous roads. Whether dodging IED's on the road to Baghdad Airport or ducking avalanches on Colorado's Million Dollar Highway we'll find the danger that waits behind every blind curve. We'll ride down to the Federal Highway Administration's test laboratory to see what's being done to make roads safer in the US, and see how driving in some countries can be a chaotic nightmare. Finally, we'll ride along in extreme four-wheel drive trucks with some adrenaline junkies that drive boulder strewn trails for sport.
Nov 2nd

Deliver It

Got something strange to deliver? We'll head down the highway carrying gigantic wind turbine blades. We'll see how UPS got China's invaluable terra cotta warriors to a Los Angeles art museum. We'll deliver luxury yachts aboard a submersible carrier ship. And we'll ride to the track with prized thoroughbreds on their own special jet. Want dinner and a movie? Sounds like a visit to Netflix headquarters and Papa Johns Pizza. We'll ride radical with bike messengers in New York City, and deliver a donor kidney to a waiting hospital. And we'll anchor it all with a visit to the UPS Worldport hub in Louisville, Kentucky. The mammoth center has delivery docks for 100 jets, and handles 1.2 million packages a day.
Nov 2nd

Driver's Seat

Get behind the wheel and take control of the some of the largest, fastest, most powerful machines on the planet. These aren't your average vehicles and handling one of these rides is unlike anything else. But you need more than just a learner's permit to take control of these vehicles - you need training, experience, and above all, guts. You're in The Driver's Seat on Modern Marvels.
Nov 2nd

Gadgets 3

Explore the hottest trends in gadgets, how they've evolved and where they're going. See how the latest miniaturized, mobile gadgetry can fit all the technology that once filled an entire office into a single briefcase. Visit Brookstone, the ultimate gadget store. We'll meet a gadget collector who's turned his home into a gadget museum. And we'll visit basement inventors who have developed everything from an iron you slip over your hand to smart appliances that talk back. Revisit some of the original gadgets like the corkscrew and zipper and see how some gadgets evolve into new forms. Discover which gadget inventors may hold tomorrow's hottest new trends and learn why some gadgets succeed while others crash and burn.
Nov 2nd

Hot & Spicy

Chili head alert! It's time to get hot and spicy. Modern Marvels takes you to the home of sizzling Tabasco sauce --The McIlhenny Company of Louisiana, and to McCormick's in Baltimore, Maryland -- the leading spice manufacturing in the world. We'll head down south to see who likes it hot at the Southern Mississippi Chili Cook Off.
Nov 4th


You can fry it up, eat it for breakfast, or quaff it down on a hot summer day. In this episode of Modern Marvels, it's the world's most versatile grain: RICE. At last count, there were over 140,000 types - white, brown, long-grain, wild, short-grain, jasmine, Arborio, Basmati, black Thai, sweet, sticky - enough to satisfy any discerning palette. It's no wonder RICE in all its forms feeds more people worldwide than any other food product.
Nov 5th

Secrets Of Oil

Even if we stopped driving our cars tomorrow, America would still need five million barrels of oil a day - more than all of Southern Europe combined. Imagine it: Rubber, Plastic, Nylon, Aerosols, Resins, Solvents, and Lubricants - none can exist without Oil, still hailed as Black Gold. From the shirt on your back to the waxy sheen of a beautiful apple, the first secret of Oil is that it's everywhere you look. Then follow the resulting 'fractions' as they journey to the ordinary - like make-up or candles or plastic bags - to the extraordinary, including chemical weapons suits. We'll visit Vulcan Materials, where oil tanks are emptied into massive double-barrel mixers to make asphalt, and then continue to the Rolls Royce Aerospace Facility where complex Jet Fuels are blended. We'll journey back into time to see how an unemployed whale oil salesman in the 1870's turned a greasy oil-drilling by-product into a household staple: Vaseline.
Nov 6th

Super Human

In this episode of Modern Marvels we'll see how technology can give any of us super powers. In Utah, we'll see a researcher strap on an exoskeleton and lift hundreds of pounds with virtually no effort. In England, we'll visit "Mr. Cyborg," a man with the ability to control machines with the power of his mind. In California, we'll see wing-suited experts glide through the sky like Superman; then it's off to Georgia to see how engineers have invented a device to help us glide through the water like Aquaman. We'll see scientists at the University of Texas building artificial muscles that are 400 times stronger than our own, and in Las Vegas we'll strap on "velocity motion stilts" for a little bionic high jumping and high speed running.
Nov 9th

Super Ships

Take a journey into the world of super sized, super strong, super unique ships. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography takes viewers out to sea to witness their FLIP research vessel flipping a full 90 degrees, sinking over three quarters of its 355 foot length. In Miami, Florida, go behind the scenes of one of the largest cruise ships in the world. In California, step onboard the Navy's newest, most advanced transport ship and take a spin in one of America's strongest and greenest tugboats. In Boston, Massachusetts, venture into the frigid world of an LNG carrier, transporting enough natural gas to power a million homes for an entire week. Finally, learn how a ship that looks like an enormous spider on water may someday save lives.