Ancient Impossible, the new H2 series, picks up where HISTORY’s long running Ancient Discoveries left off. In this next generation of storytelling, Ancient Impossible reveals how many of today’s technological achievements were actually developed centuries ago. Colossal monuments, impossible feats of engineering and technologies so precise they defy reinvention–the ancient world was far more advanced than we ever imagined. We’ll travel through history to reveal a radically different picture of the past, with innovations so far ahead of their time, they’re still in use today. New science uncovers a lost world more like our own than we ever suspected, and reveals how modern technology has its blueprint in the ancient world.
Where to Watch Ancient Impossible
Where to stream every episode from the first season of Ancient Impossible. Filter these episodes by what's available to watch free or on your streaming services using the tabs above.
Season 1Hulu | History | History | Rent or Buy
S01 E01Jun 30, 2014
Ultimate Weapons Jun 30, 2014 We think of weapons of mass destruction as a modern concept, but the ancients also created fearsome weapons of their own, some even more destructive than we can create today. Centuries before the widespread discovery of gunpowder, one ancient genius managed to build a cannon that could fire a projectile using the power of steam! We reveal an ancient troop ship mightier than an aircraft carrier, and death rays that could burn enemy ships. How were the ancients capable of creating seemingly impossible warfare technologies thousands of years before modern times?
S01 E02Jul 7, 2014
Moving Mountains Jul 7, 2014 How did the Ancients move impossibly huge objects? Why did the Roman forces at the siege of Masada decide to shift an entire mountain by hand? We reveal the ancient technology that allowed the Egyptians to move a 1,000 ton obelisk, and show how the Romans moved even heavier objects at the temples at Baalbek. As well as moving stone and earth, the ancients needed to move mountains of water, using technology we still find impressive today. Who were the most successful Mega Movers of the ancient world and how were they able to make the impossible…possible?
S01 E03Jul 14, 2014
Monster Monuments Jul 14, 2014 A massive monument carved out of solid rock, a monster-sized super-dome that defies the laws of gravity. These awe inspiring feats of engineering defy explanation, yet they are not modern–they were actually built thousands of years ago. The Great Pyramid was the tallest structure on earth for over 4,000 years! But what techniques, materials and tools could ancient engineers have used to build it? Stonehenge is one of the most mysterious structures ever built, but could the secret to its construction ever be revealed? Abu Simbel is ancient Egypt’s greatest monument which even eclipses today’s Mount Rushmore. How did the ancient engineers make the seemingly impossible possible?
S01 E04Jul 21, 2014
Warrior Tech Jul 21, 2014 Today, modern soldiers are equipped with all the latest battlefield technology. But what cutting edge weapons and defenses were the ancient warriors armed with? Could ancient warriors have had an early version of the machine gun, centuries before we ever imagined they could? Could the ancient Saxons have been armed with "super swords" made with steel as strong as any metal made today? And is it possible that the ancient Greeks invented an early version of a bullet proof vest during the time of Alexander the Great? We reveal how the fully equipped soldiers of today compare to the seemingly impossible warrior tech of the ancient world.
S01 E05Jul 28, 2014
Ancient Einsteins Jul 28, 2014 Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, these are some of the most ingenious minds in history. But many of their accomplishments would never have been possible without some of the geniuses of the ancient world. The fact is that most of our modern world is possible because of the incredible minds that lived thousands of years ago. We show the amazing genius of Archimedes, who managed to make water flow uphill and pull a ship up a beach single handed! Meet Philon the genius behind the world’s first robot, and Ctesibius who was experimenting with pneumatics centuries before anyone else. As impossible as it sounds, Heron of Alexandria invented the world’s first steam engine, as well as automatic doors and vending machines! You’d be surprised to find out just how much of today’s technology would be impossible without these “Ancient Einsteins.”
S01 E06Aug 4, 2014
Power Tools Aug 4, 2014 Powerful automated stone-cutting devices, incredible power drills capable of cutting through even the hardest granite, fire engines that can respond to and extinguish a fire anywhere in a city; even precise surgery tools so fine they are used on the human eye. These tools are not from the modern world, but are in fact thousands of years old. Most would be lost to time and not again for centuries. How was the ancient world able to create such incredible power tools? Why were they lost, and could there be even more advanced ancient power tools waiting to be discovered?
S01 E07Aug 11, 2014
Greatest Ships Aug 11, 2014 Some of the greatest ships in history were actually designed, built and sailed thousands of years ago. Join us as we examine the greatest warship of the ancient world, the Greek Trireme. What made Triremes so deadly and fast? We also examine the most impossibly opulent ships ever created, the notorious sex ships, built by the notorious Roman Emperor Caligula. Ships built for pleasure which contained marine technology that would not be reinvented for centuries. We also explore what many believe may have been the world's first ironclads the Korean Turtle Ships.