Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything is a documentary TV series with host Latif Nasser. The series, segmented into six episodes, investigates the awe-inspiring and surprising ways in which we are all connected with each other, the world, and even the universe.
Connected is a fun series to watch if you want to be caught unawares. It talks about the most bizarre things, things that you don’t even think about and how they connect the world and the people in different ways. How something that is taking place just outside your home might have a huge impact on another continent. It makes you feel scared, hopeful, amazed, and most importantly, it never fails to surprise you and makes you wonder how much there is to know about the planet we live in.
The first episode, Surveillance, talks about the surveillance technologies that have cropped up due to booming scientific discoveries. In a world where people are constantly on the hunt to figure out ways to not be constantly followed online (yet put their whole lives up on social media), how such technologies can have a massive positive impact when it comes to other aspects. Like following birds and observing their migratory patterns to predict hurricanes, figuring out if facial recognition can help to uncover an animal’s mood, and how it can be used to keep nearly extinct creatures alive.
Definitely something we all do (yes, all) but no one wants to talk about, this episode focuses on how excrement can be an answer to a lot of questions. It delves deep into how poop can be used to detect almost everything about the person or that of an entire city. The episode also talks about how excrement can have a positive and negative impact when it comes to aquatic life.
This episode is the definition of “connected”. Starting from the Sahara Desert, Nasser follows the dust that travels from there to places that we cannot even possibly comprehend. Dust might seem insignificant if you see it just like that, but when taken together, those little fellas can help organisms in the ocean’s depth, prevent hurricanes and also provide nutrients to trees in the Amazon rainforest. It’s a truly amazing observation about how nature has the answer to every problem, and it will do everything in its power to nurture itself.
Probably one of my most favourite episodes, Digits has Nasser explore Benford’s Law – a truly amazing observation by Simon Newcomb, the story of which is simply mind-blowing. It’s amazing to see how this law, something that a human being observed, can be applied to everything that we see around us, from taxes, music, sports, crime, votes, social media and the entire universe as well. You name it, and Benford’s Law is probably there.
A 19th-century shipwreck gave birth to the weather forecast as we know it, the story behind which is honestly sad. However, from that, we move on to cloud computing and how the natural cloud and the not-so-natural cloud come together and combine. Nasser takes us through a truly online country, predicting and eradicating diseases, how internet cables are laid (which was horrifying and amazing to watch), how clouds are disappearing and what that might mean to the human civilisation, and how it is possible to artificially make it rain. If you have a cloud-related question, the answer might be here.
Nasser takes us on one last journey, where he talks about how, and where, the first-ever nuclear explosions took place in 1945. Trinite, the glassy residue left behind after, may have the answers to how the moon was created. We then come back to Earth and talk about Hiroshima, how people who have survived the heartless massacre have tried to prevent such a disaster from happening again. And how nuclear blasts can help in the world of art. That’s an odd assortment of stuff that are seemingly connected, right?
Summing up: Connected
Connected is a great documentary about how we are connected to everything and everyone around us. If you think one simple thing that you’re doing right now does not have the power to affect others, this show has some news for you. It’s informative and lively, and before you know it, you’ve breezed through it. There’s so much learn, and there’s so little we know.
Latif Nasser makes for a fun host. He’s excited to know and share new information and you’ll understand that from the way he says it. However, sometimes he does get too excited, which can get a bit distracting. But overall, a wholesome show that leaves you with a lot of knowledge and blows your mind in so many different ways.
Connected is streaming on Netflix.
Read our other reviews here.