The 21 best science movies and shows streaming on Netflix that will make you smarter

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Michael Pollan cooked

Sometimes, the best way to spend a long weekend or a hot summer day is to curl up on the couch and enjoy a film.

If you’re looking for something entertaining and beautiful that’ll also make you knowledgeable, there’s an incredible variety of science- and nature-focused documentaries and TV episodes streaming on Netflix right now.

You can find compelling documentaries that’ll captivate you with the beauty of the planet, you can delve into the details of how food arrives on your plate, or you can explore the mysterious and alien world that exists in oceans around the globe.

But there’s a downside to all of that choice: It’s a lot to choose from. So to make it easier, we’ve asked our colleagues to pick out some of their favorites from the Netflix documentary selection.

Here are our favorites, listed in no particular order:

Films come and go from Netflix every month, but as of the date of publication, all these films should be available on Netflix.

SEE ALSO: 24 health ‘facts’ that are actually wrong

"Cooked" (2016)

What it’s about: Journalist and food expert Michael Pollan explores the evolutionary history of food and its preparation in this four-part docuseries through the lens of the four essential elements — fire, water, air, and earth. 

Why you should see it: Americans as a whole are cooking less, relying more on unhealthy, processed, and expensive and prepared foods. Pollan aims to bring viewers back to the kitchen by forging a meaningful connection to food and the joys of preparation. [Click to watch]

"Blackfish" (2013)

What it’s about: This film highlights abuses in the sea park industry through the tale of Tilikum, an orca in captivity at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. Tilikum has killed or been involved in the deaths of three people while living in the park. 

Why you should see it: This documentary opens your eyes to the troubles of keeping wild animals in captivity through shocking footage and emotional interviews, highlighting potential issues of animal cruelty and abuse when using highly intelligent animals as entertainment. Sea parks make billions of dollars off of keeping animals captive, often at the expense of the health and well-being of its animals. This documentary played a huge role in convincing SeaWorld to stop their theatrical "Shamu" killer whale shows. [Click to watch]

"Particle Fever" (2013)

What it’s about: This documentary follows six scientists as they prepare for one of the biggest and most expensive experiments in history: recreating conditions from the Big Bang with the launch of the Large Hadron Collider in Europe. Their aim is to unravel the mysteries of the universe and the origins of matter.

Why you should see it: Physics is often considered a forbiddingly dense subject, but ‘Particle Fever’ gives you a window into physics without breaking your brain. It documents the discovery of the famous Higgs boson particle that many physicists think holds the key to understanding the universe. Instead of getting bogged down with the complexities of particle physics, the film focuses more on the human drama of the discovery, and how it could change our understanding of the world around us. [Click to watch]

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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