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Interactive video lesson plan for: Iridium and the Dinosaurs

Activity overview:

The iridium anomaly. 550 metres beneath the Earth's surface there exists a thin layer of space rock. Often taken as evidence of an extraterrestrial impact event resulting in the extinction of the dinosaurs, along with about 70% of all other species.

Footage from the 2012 documentary, "Down to the Earth's Core".

We have travelled into space and looked deep into the universe's depths, but the world beneath our feet remains unexplored and unseen. Now, that's about to change. For the first time in one epic unbroken shot, we embark on an impossible mission - using spectacular computer generated imagery to smash through three thousand miles of solid rock, and venture from our world into the underworld and on to the core of the Earth itself.

It's a journey fraught with danger. One thousand feet down we find ourselves inside one of the planet's most volatile places - the San Andreas Fault. Caught between two huge rock slabs, we watch as stress builds and then releases. It unleashes an earthquake and blasts us on towards rivers of molten rock, explosive volcanoes, tears in the Earth's crust and giant tornadoes of liquid metal. But for every danger, there are wonders beyond imagination.

Four hundred feet below the surface, a three hundred million year old fossilized forest, with every leaf and every piece of bark perfectly preserved. At one thousand feet down we enter a cave of giant crystals, glistening in deadly 122 degree heat. More than two miles underground we find buried treasure - gold and gems. Deeper still there are valuable resources - salt, oil, coal and iron. And over one hundred miles down we see the sparkling beauty of diamonds.

As we descend we piece together our planet's extraordinary story. We rewind time to discover how prehistoric forests became modern-day fuel. 1700 feet down a layer of rock reveals the extraordinary story of the dinosaurs' cataclysmic death. We watch stalactites form and gold grow before our eyes. The deeper we travel into the underworld the more we understand our world above the surface. A bigger picture takes shape - a cycle of destruction and creation, driven by the core that sustains our dynamic planet and makes the Earth the only planet with life in a seemingly lifeless universe.

Until, finally, three thousand miles down, we reach the core. Inside it lie the secrets of life as we know it - the magnetic force field that protects life on Earth from the sun's deadly rays, the ancient heat source that keeps our planet alive. Down to the Earth's Core brings the latest science together with breathtaking computer generated imagery. The result is an unmissable journey into an extraordinary world - full of dangers, wonders and secrets. And it's all down there, beneath our feet, right now waiting to be discovered.

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