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Atlas 4D

Premieres: Southeast Asia on Aug 8 at 10:00 pm; North Asia on Sept 21 at 8:00 pm; Australasia on Aug 8 at 7:30 pm

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This month, Discovery Channel takes you on a breathtaking journey to the Great Rift Valley, the tropical islands of Hawaii, and the Mediterranean in ATLAS 4D. Showcasing the natural beauty of the world with groundbreaking technology, the three-part series combines captivating photography and cutting-edge special effects to portray a stunning feature of history, civilizations, and geographies of these destinations.

Using state of the art computer graphics, ATLAS 4D features landscapes that have evolved over millions of years to tell the story of the Great Rift Valley, Hawaii and the Mediterranean. Uncovering connections between geology, natural history and indigenous peoples, ATLAS 4D reveals how the formation of the Rift Valley forced a crucial evolutionary step for humankind, how an ancient ice age provided Polynesian settlers in Hawaii with a breakthrough technology, and how the spread of Islam sparked the Italian Renaissance in the Mediterranean.

35 million years ago, the Great Rift Valley transformed Africa and changed history. Well-regarded as the cradle of civilization, the Great Rift Valley form the world's largest system of geological faults, stretching through 3,500 miles of East Africa from Ethiopia to Mozambique. This intriguing deep scar in the Earth's crust extends for nine thousand kilometres within a wild and seemingly endless landscape. ATLAS 4D showcases surprising connections between the Great Rift Valley, the land, and the animals and people that inhabit it today.

A major tourist mecca today, Hawaii was once characterised by Mark Twain as "the loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean." Although Hawaii became the United States' 50th state in 1959, the history of Hawaii goes back earlier to roughly 1,500 years ago when the Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands first set foot on Hawaii's Big Island. ATLAS 4D reveals why Hawaii exists, how it affects a huge slice of the globe and why the surf is always up. From blind spiders to the active volcanoes, this iconic island chain holds many stories that will surprise you. 

As a sea around which some of the most ancient human civilisations were arranged, the Mediterranean witnessed the burgeoning prominence of the Western civilisation, the clash of warring faiths and the rivalries of empires. Providing a way for trade, colonisation and war, the Mediterranean was the basis of life for numerous communities throughout the ages. The combination of favourable climates and access to a common sea had led to numerous historical and cultural connections between the ancient and modern societies. For the first time ever, ATLAS 4D reveals how the growth of Islam stirred the Italian Renaissance.