This beautiful TED talk by nature photographer Frans Lanting tells the story of our planet starting with its eruptive beginnings and revealing the story of the evolution of life.

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Frans Lanting narrates this set of nature photos over a soundtrack provided by Philip Glass. There are transcripts available in 30 languages on the TED website. Its stunning photos are a good introduction to a wide diversity of organisms but also reveals some of the patterns repeatedly found such as spirals, branches, and meanders. It presents some of the challenges organisms face to survive. There is no negative message in this presentation, just a desire to awe us.

To enhance its understanding for students, consider pairing it with an evolutionary timeline (see link). Length is 16:06 minutes.

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