YouTube is a great platform where you can watch lots of documentaries for free. In this post, I collect the 9 best documentaries on YouTube, including nature, education, technology, food, crime, etc. If you want to watch them offline, you can try MiniTool Video Converter to download them.

There are numerous videos on YouTube. In today’s post, I would like to focus on the best documentaries of all time on this platform. What genres of documentary do you like? If you prefer documentaries related to nature, education, food, or crime, you can find the best documentary you prefer in this post.

In this post, I recommend the nature documentary, education documentary, food documentary, and crime documentary for you and also show you how to download them to your devices if you want to see them offline.

What are the Best Documentaries on YouTube?

Watching documentaries can broaden our horizons, encourage critical thinking, and so on. According to the viewers’ interests, I mainly focus on the following aspects.

  • Nature Documentary
  • Education Documentary
  • Food Documentary
  • Crime Documentary

Nature Documentary

“Our planet, the Earth, is, as far as we know, unique in the universe. It contains life. Even in its most barren stretches, there are animals. Around the equator, where those two essentials for life, sunshine, and moisture, are most abundant, great forests grow. And here plants and animals proliferate in such numbers that we still have not even named all the different species. Here, animals and plants, insects and birds, mammals and man live together in intimate and complex communities, each dependent on one another…”David Attenborough’s opening narration

Honestly, I am a fan of nature documentaries. I like to explore our planet through a documentary as it seems that I break the space and time limitations and go everywhere with the narrator in the documentary, standing at the foot of high mountains, waking on the snow-covered grasslands, and going throng jungles…

Do you also like this genre? Here, I mainly introduce the three top documentaries of nature on YouTube. They unveil in mysteries of our living planet and you can learn more about it.

Frozen Planet

If you care about polar penguins and polar bears, you can have a look at Frozen Plant. This nature documentary is a 2011 British nature documentary series, co-produced by BBC and The Open University. In May of the next year, the documentary won in three categories at the British Academy Television Craft Awards.

It focuses on the Arctic and Antarctic and it reveals the two regions at the greatest risk from global warming by the following 7 episodes:

  • To the Ends of the Earth
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter
  • The Last Frontier
  • On Thin Ice

Nature’s Great Race

The documentary was released by PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) in 2016 and it promises epic footage following the world’s most significant land migration. This PBS documentary consists of three episodes and each episode focuses on one animal–elephant, caribou, and zebra.

In the documentary, a scientific team tracked individual animal journeys precisely by using the latest tagging technology at that time to capture all of the actions, the close calls, the successes, and the failures.

As we know, every decision in migration could decide life or death. Now, through the lens of the scientist team, let’s see what compels those animals to risk everything and why they must win those great and dangerous races.

Wonderful Earth

Nature is the greatest magician which has been proved in Wonderful Earth. Through interactive elements, this documentary shows us the entire beauty of our earth. Lots of viewers are shocked by the planet.

Some viewers commented:

  • God’s nature is amazing … A finest good job.
  • Beautiful collection! God is glorified by his creation.
  • One of the best documentaries I have ever seen. Truly amazing and wonderful. The most beautiful planet in the universe.
Do you know that YouTube allows your comment to be Bold, Italic, and strikethrough? Read YouTube comment formatting to learn about that.

It is also perfect for little guys as it is a good teacher who guides them to explore our planet and they will learn how to take care of the wonderful earth.

Education Documentary

Education documentaries can broaden kids’ horizons and encourage critical thinking. Especially, if a teacher plays it in the class, students are guaranteed to spark a great discussion.

Here I introduce two documentaries and you can play them for your kids or students.

I Am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your Negro released in 2017 is based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House. The documentary explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin’s reminiscence of civil rights leaders–Medgar Evers, Malcolm, and Martin Luther King Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson’s observations of American history.

He Named Me Malala

To encourage your daughter or schoolgirl to be braver, you can play He Named Me Malala for her. The documentary presents a young Pakistani female activist named Malala Yousafzai who has spoken out for the rights of girls, especially the right to education, since the girl was very young.

Useful Suggestions for You to Make YouTube Safe for Kids
Useful Suggestions for You to Make YouTube Safe for Kids

This post will introduce some useful tips to make YouTube safe for kids. If you are interested in this topic, keep reading to get more details.

Read More

Food Documentary

Food documentary puts complex information together more interestingly and actively, especially for visual learners. As our society’s interest in food grows, so there are lots of food documentaries. In this part, I recommend two best food documentaries on YouTube.

H.O.P.E. What You Eat Matters

As a Chinese probe goes, food is the paramount necessity of the people. Nowadays, for most people in the world, there is no need to worry about food scarcity, but what tastes good and how to eat healthily are concerned about more. In terms of wellness, I recommend H.O.P.E. What You Eat Matters.

H.O.P.E. What You Eat Matters launched in Austria in 2016 and tackled subjects including obesity, food insecurity, and natural resource depletion.

Nowadays, terrible diseases like heart attack, diabetes, cancer, and more can be blamed on what we are eating which has been revealed in the documentary. It also exposes the relationship between our modern eating lifestyle and environmental destruction.

“This documentary also points out a solution–plant-based nutrition. Switching the meat-based diet to a plant-based diet will rebalance not just our health but our planet itself.
The highest form of living, the highest value–is compassion. And when there is compassion, we maximize well-being. Well-being does not mean money in the hands of a few, it means being shared across life’s spectrum.”Dr. Vandana Shiva

Super Size Me

How often do you go to McDonald’s for French chips or hamburgers? Twice a week, less or more? A guy named Morgan Spurlock (an American independent filmmaker) went to this fast-food restaurant for three meals in a month in 2003 and this was recorded in Super Size Me.

The documentary witnessed the drastic effect of Spurlock’s lifestyle on his physical as well as psychological well-being and explored the fast-food industry’s corporate influence, including how it encourages poor nutrition for its own profit.

Activate YouTube on Different Devices Using
Activate YouTube on Different Devices Using

Want to play YouTube videos on different devices? To do that, you need to activate YouTube by using Read the post to get the details.

Read More

Crime Documentary

Although crime documentary is based on cold hard facts, it is quite fascinating and exciting to follow the clues in documentaries to clear away the miasma and get the truth. In this part, I list two best crime documentaries on YouTube. What are they? Keep reading.

West of Memphis

If you have watched Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, West of Memphis is another true crime documentary you won’t want to miss. The documentary focuses on the crime that happened in 1993–three boys were cruelly killed in Memphis.

The director of the documentary reconstructed everything in that year and showed us a series of unexposed materials such as investigations and lawsuits.

A Murder in The Family

If you are interested in crime and drama, A Murder in The Family is highly recommended. It narrates that a British businessman was killed in his sleep and his mother tried to prove her daughter-in-law was responsible for her son’s death.

How to Reverse YouTube Playlist Easily on Desktops and Phones
How to Reverse YouTube Playlist Easily on Desktops and Phones

How to change the order of YouTube playlist with ease? Read the post and you will know how to do that with ease.

Read More

Download Best Documentaries on YouTube

Can you download YouTube videos? You can do that but there is a premise that the videos you want to download are just for yourself and not for dissemination.

How to download YouTube videos? Here I would like to introduce an easy-to-use YouTube video audio downloader—MiniTool Video Converter. This desktop application is free and 100% clean without any ads or bundled software.

MiniTool Video Converter can quickly download thousands of YouTube videos, audio, and playlists into MP4, WEBM, MP4, and WAV formats. Meanwhile, every time you download a video or audio, it will automatically download the original subtitle.

In addition to being a video downloader, it is also a video converter that helps you convert videos & audio into more than 1,000 popular conversion formats. Both video and audio formats are available.

With it, you can also finish the following items with ease.

How to download the best documentaries on YouTube via this tool? Here is the tutorial.

Step 1: Download MiniTool Video Converter by clicking the following button. Install it and then launch it on your computer.

MiniTool Video ConverterClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2: Navigate your way to the Video Download tab.

click Video Download

Step 3: Enter the name of the documentary you intend to download in the search bar and click on it to access the URL of the video which will appear in the upper address bar.

Or you can open YouTube to copy the URL of the video. Switch to MiniTool Video Converter and paste the URL into the address bar. Then, click the Download button next to the address bar.

click Download

Step 3: Download the video on your computer.

  • Choose the suitable output format.
  • Keep the Subtitle box ticked if you need the subtitles.
  • Click DOWNLOAD to begin the process.

Step 4: Play or check the downloaded video in the History panel.

  • Click Play to watch the downloaded video directly.
  • Click Navigate to file to locate the destination of the video file.
click Play or Navigate to file

That’s quite easy, right? If you want to download YouTube documentaries to other devices, like phones, you can refer to the methods mentioned in this post.

How to download the best or your favorite YouTube documentaries? Read this post and you’ll find the solution within a few seconds!Click to Tweet


Documentary guides us to explore the world and enlighten us. It is worth watching one in your free time. In today’s article, I have introduced the best documentaries on YouTube of different genres and I hope they meet your taste.

If you have some questions when downloading YouTube videos with MiniTool Video Converter, please contact us via [email protected].

Best Documentaries on YouTube FAQ

What are the 6 types of documentaries?
1. Poetic Documentaries
2. Expository Documentaries
3. Observational Documentaries
4. Participatory Documentaries
5. Reflexive Documentaries
6. Performative Documentaries
What is a good documentary to watch on YouTube?
Here are 9 best documentaries on YouTube:
1. Frozen Planet
2. Nature’s Great Race
3. Wonderful Earth
4. I Am Not Your Negro
5. He Named Me Malala
6. H.O.P.E. What You Eat Matters
7. Super Size Me
8. West of Memphis
9. A Murder in The Family
How can I download a documentary from YouTube?
To download a documentary from YouTube, you can try MiniTool Video Converter. This tool is free and 100% clean and you just need three steps to download it on your computer.
1. Get MiniTool Video Converter.
2. Search for the documentary you want to watch and then click the Download button.
3. Select the output format from the list. Click DOWNLOAD to begin the process.
  • linkedin
  • reddit