The Most Extreme

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The Most Extreme
Genre Nature documentary
Developed by Shelby Wilson
Country of origin New Zealand
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 77
Running time 46 Minutes
Original network Animal Planet
First shown in United States
Original release July 1, 2002 – June 12, 2007
External links

Most Extreme is a documentary television series on the American cable television network. It first aired on July 7, 2002. Each episode focuses on a specific animal feature, such as strength, speed, behavior, anatomy, or diet, and examines and ranks ten animals that portray extreme or unusual examples of that quality. The rankings serve only to give a broad depiction; a scientifically rigorous procedure is not employed to quantify them. For instance, the episode that focuses on the greatest jumpers suggests that the klipspringer can jump 7.6 m (25 ft) high. However, the figure in meters is more likely to be the correct figure for feet, which should be 2.3 m (7.5 ft).

Along with each animal on the countdown, each episode presents a computer-animated segment which compares the animal's ability with something equivalent in humans, followed by an interview segment with people who share some common trait. For example, in "Super Sharks", the animal ranked #1 was the hammerhead shark, for its extreme senses of vision and smell, along with its ability to sense voltages as small as a half-billionth of a volt. This was then compared with a team of human hackers, including StankDawg, who were war-driving around a neighborhood and looking for faint wireless signals. Old, often public domain, cartoons, movie clips and trailers are often included.

The series is made in New Zealand by a small production team at NHNZ. The termite has had the most #1 ratings but has only been in 15% of the top 10's.

The series airs in Australia on Channel Seven (first run) and on subscription channel Animal Planet (replays).


The show was narrated by Adam J. Harrington. On Animal Planet, the episodes were also announced by Scott Lope.

Season 1[edit]

Parasitic worms, like this tapeworm, are among the most horrific animals of the world, according to episode 9.
# Original airdate Title Overview Animal that was Number-one
1 7 July 2002 Jumpers The fastest, highest and best jumpers. Flea
2 7 July 2002 Gluttons The greediest eaters in the world. Caterpillar
3 14 July 2002 Speed The fastest animals on land, air and water. Tiger beetle
4 21 July 2002 Birth Extreme reproduction in number of young, size and other factors. Tapeworm
5 28 July 2002 Cheats The ways animals trick one another. Cuckoo
6 3 August 2002 Survivors The animals who best survive extreme conditions. Water bear
7 11 August 2002 Fighters Warriors of the animal kingdom. Ant
8 18 August 2002 Builders The animal kingdom's most innovative construction engineers. Termite
9 25 August 2002 Horrors The animals that most inspire terror in human beings. Parasitic worm
10 3 September 2002 Strength Proportionally, the strongest animals in the world. Rhinoceros beetle
11 11 October 2002 Biters The deadliest, most prolific and most extreme bites. Cookie-cutter shark
12 3 November 2002 Smarts Geniuses in the animal kingdom. Parrot
13 10 November 2002 Lovers Most extreme courtship rituals. Spider

Season 2[edit]

According to episode 17, the mimic octopus is one of nature's best disguisers. To discourage its predators, it mimics the species that prey on them.[1]
# Original airdate Title Overview Animal that was Number-one
14 11 May 2003 Moms Mothers with the heaviest, hardest or most unusual jobs on the planet. Sea louse
15 15 June 2003 Dads Fathers in the wild can go to extremes to take care of their young. Seahorse
16 22 June 2003 Venom Animals with the most lethal venomous bites or stings. Box jellyfish
17 29 June 2003 Disguise These animals are experts at pretending to be what they're not. Mimic octopus
18 13 July 2003 Swarms Hordes in the animal kingdom including millions and even billions of individuals. Argentine ant
19 7 September 2003 Body Parts Animals with relativelty large body parts. Giraffe
20 14 September 2003 Predators The most efficient hunters come in many sizes. Shrew
21 21 September 2003 Stinkers The worst smelling animals, including one with stench that kills. Skunk
22 28 September 2003 Super Senses The world's best at keeping up with their environments. Shark
23 23 November 2003 Eaters Animals with the most unusual menus. Vulture
24 30 November 2003 Daredevils Top stunstmen of the natural kingdom. Barnacle goose
25 7 December 2003 Defenders The best and most unusual self-protectors. Bee
26 21 December 2003 Oddities Strange animals and their human equivalents. Deep-sea anglerfish

Season 3[edit]

One of the members of the world's most invasive animal, according to episode 41, the Botany Bay cockroach makes its home in Australia.
# Original airdate Title Overview Animal that was Number-one
27 3 August 2004 Gross Outs The most disgusting behavior in the wild. Fly
28 10 August 2004 Home Designers The most extreme, unusual and innovative animal architects. Termite
29 7 September 2004 Tough Babies The strongest babies in the animal kingdom, with human comparisons. Sand tiger shark
30 14 September 2004 Wild Partiers How the most extreme partiers in the wild compare to human get-togethers. Christmas Island red crab
31 21 September 2004 Monster Myths The reality behind some of the most feared animals in the world. Wolf
- 25 September 2004 The Best of the Best Retroactive examination of #1s from earlier episodes, with a countdown to the most extreme among them. Cookie-cutter shark (from Biters)
32 12 October 2004 Killer Cats The most ferocious felines in the world. House cat
33 19 October 2004 Battle of the Sexes Males and females of some species have very little in common with one another, and they aren't always good for each other's health. Whip-tailed lizard
34 23 November 2004 Big Mouths Proportionally, the ten largest mouths in the world. Wide-mouth frog
35 30 November 2004 Deadly Snakes The most venomous, dangerous and prolific killer snakes. Cobra
36 14 December 2004 Killers The animals with the highest human kill counts. Mosquito
37 8 February 2005 Bloodsuckers Vampires in the animal kingdom. Tick
38 15 February 2005 Super Sharks The "highest tech" sharks in the water. Hammerhead shark
39 22 February 2005 Poison The deadliest chemical defences. Golden poison frog
40 1 March 2005 Super Dogs The 10 dog breeds that have evolved the farthest from their wolf ancestors. Chihuahua
41 8 March 2005 Global Conquerors The most invasive animal species. Cockroach
42 15 March 2005 Outrageous Flirts The unusual ways that animals attract one another. Elephant
43 27 April 2005 Athletes The most athletic animals and their human equivalents. Arctic tern
44 4 May 2005 Odd Couples When two kinds unite: unexpected animal partnerships. Greenland shark/Ommatokoita
45 25 May 2005 Movers The animals that move the best with the least limbs for movement. Scallop
46 1 June 2005 Troublemakers The animals that causes the most troubles for humans just doing what the do. Termite

Season 4[edit]

In spite of persistent myths, discussed in episode 58, lemmings are not suicidal.[2]
# Original airdate Title Overview Animal that was Number-one
47 25 October 2005 Hissy Fits The worst temper tantrums in the animal world. Elephant
48 1 November 2005 Living Dead Not actual zombies, these extreme animals which are playing dead or dormant can appear to come back from the dead. Water bear
49 8 November 2005 Divers The animals that can hold their breaths the longest or dive the relative deepest. Whale
50 29 November 2005 Dieters Some animals can eat a lot without gaining weight, while others can go long times between meals. Tick
51 24 January 2006 Loudmouths The world's loudest animals. Snapping shrimp
52 2 February 2006 Appendages The most unusual animal attachments. Anglerfish
53 7 March 2006 Transformers 10 transformers capable of altering themselves in extreme ways. Ribeiroia
54 14 March 2006 Fashion Disasters Animals whose appearances can put them in danger. Deer
55 21 March 2006 City Slickers Animals best adapted to life in human urban environments. Macaque
56 28 March 2006 Workaholics The hardest working animals in the natural world. Honey bee
57 25 April 2006 Slime Balls The animals who have found the most or most innovative ways to use slime. Banana slug
58 2 May 2006 Animal Myths The most misunderstood animals. Lemming
59 6 June 2006 Gourmets Animals put time and effort into their food preparation. Honey bee
60 13 June 2006 Diggers Most extreme cavity makers. Termite
61 20 June 2006 Weird Weapons The strangest ways animals defend themselves or attack. Electric eel
62 26 September 2006 Cleaners Nature's most unusual neat-freaks. Japanese macaque
63 3 October 2006 Pirates Animals who act like pirates, taking from others or hunting for treasure. Amazon ant
64 10 October 2006 Gardeners The unusual ways that animals impact vegetable growth. Lemon ant
65 17 October 2006 Freeloaders Opportunistic animals that gain benefits by associating with others. Tapeworm
66 24 October 2006 Awesome Ancestors Prehistoric animals larger than their modern descendants/relatives. Megatherium

Season 5[edit]

# Original airdate Title Overview Animal that was Number-one
67 24 April 2007 Inventors Innovative tools nature-built right into an animals' body. Wood frog
68 1 May 2007 Night Lights The brightest animals in the wild. Deep-sea anglerfish
69 8 May 2007 Leaders Animals with extreme numbers of followers. Termite
70 15 May 2007 Medics The unusual ways some animals self-treat. Axolotl
71 22 May 2007 Freaky Fliers Animals with unusual ways of moving through air. Spider
72 5 June 2007 Bodysnatchers Animals that take over the bodies of others. Toxoplasma
73 12 June 2007 Gadgets The animals which create/use the most tools. Chimpanzee
74 19 June 2007 Psychics Animals that seem to predict the future. Ladybird beetle
75 26 June 2007 Dirty Jobs The "jobs" of animals that are the most revolting. Dung beetle
76 3 July 2007 Crazy Collectors The most hoarders in the wild. Pack rat


  1. ^ Roach, John (20 September 2001). "Newfound Octopus Impersonates Fish, Snakes". National Geographic News. National Geographic. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Woodford, Riley. "Lemming Suicide Myth Disney Film Faked Bogus Behavior". Alaska Fish & Wildlife News. Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 

External links[edit]