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03.10.2020

SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL GOES ON AN EXPEDITION THROUGH LATIN AMERICA WITH HUMBOLDT: EPIC EXPLORER

DOCU-DRAMA DEPICTING THE EXTRAORDINARY DISCOVERIES OF ONE OF THE GREATEST EXPLORERS AND SCIENTISTS PREMIERES MARCH 25 AT 8 PM ET/PT

 

NEW YORK – February 19, 2020 – More than 200 years ago, a German scientist Alexander von Humboldt spent five years traveling across the South American continent, making revolutionary discoveries about the workings of the natural world. Now, in Smithsonian Channel’s HUMBOLDT: EPIC EXPLORER, historian and bestselling author, Andrea Wulf, follows in his footsteps, delving into Humboldt’s landmark insights into human-induced climate change, evolution and continental drift. The documentary will take viewers from Humboldt’s fraught childhood near Berlin through his legendary South American expedition – from the Orinoco River to the Andes Mountains, and his one visit to the United States. HUMBOLDT: EPIC EXPLORER premieres Wednesday, March 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.

 

Humboldt was just 29 when he began his travels in 1799 through Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico and Cuba. He recorded languages, climbed Mount Chimborazo, studied Aztec artifacts and canoed down raging rivers. Today he is immortalized by the Humboldt penguin, the Humboldt Current that flows north along the west coast of South America and the Humboldt Institute in Colombia.

“Everything in nature is connected” – this was Alexander von Humboldt’s revolutionary new idea that led President Thomas Jefferson to greet him as the greatest natural philosopher of his time. Upon visiting Washington D.C. in 1804, Humboldt became an advocate of the American abolitionist movement and, according to new research, may have inspired the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution. After returning to Europe and writing extensively about his discoveries, he became one of the most famous people on the planet, with thousands of people across Europe and the United States celebrating the centenary of his birth in 1869. Now, 220 years after Humboldt traveled throughout South America and Mexico to the United States, viewers will retrace his journey and groundbreaking observations.

 

HUMBOLDT: EPIC EXPLORER is a collaboration with the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The museum has organized the exhibition “Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature and Culture,” which will be on view at the museum’s flagship building in Washington, D.C. from March 20 to Aug. 16. The exhibition brings together more than 100 paintings, sculptures, maps and artifacts to examine America’s national identity through its relationship to nature. Humboldt’s 1804 insights into America from his travels and friendships with prominent Americans such as Thomas Jefferson continue to be reflected in the spheres of American science, literature, politics, exploration and the visual arts.

 

HUMBOLDT: EPIC EXPLORER is produced by Spiegel TV for Smithsonian Networks, ZDF and ZDF Enterprises in association with Arte. Linda Goldman and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.