Water seems ordinary – it pours from our taps and falls from the sky. But you would be surprised at what a profoundly strange substance it is. It defies the normal rules of chemistry, it has shaped the Earth, its life and our civilisation. Without it, none of us would exist. The water in our rivers, lakes and oceans all came from outer space. How it arrived here and how those molecules of water were formed is a story scientists have only learned in recent years and which takes us back to the beginning of the universe.
Alok Jha will take you on a dual journey – first, an expedition to Antarctica, where the power and importance of water is made manifest in the great ice fields, icebergs and world-shaping weather systems of the Southern Ocean. And secondly, on a parallel scientific voyage that takes us from the origins of water in the Big Bang, through the beginnings of life on Earth, the shaping of human civilisations and then back out into space as water becomes the key marker in our search for life in the Solar System and beyond.
Alok Jha is the science correspondent for ITV News in the UK.