DIVE IN DEEP WITH BLUE PLANE T II

Dis­cover our planet’s oceans like never be­fore

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Front Page -

The multi-award win­ning se­ries The Blue Planet was first broad­cast in 2001, a nat­u­ral his­tory TV se­ries on the world’s oceans. The orig­i­nal se­ries was ac­claimed for its mu­si­cal score and cin­e­matog­ra­phy, and was the first of its kind to com­pre­hen­sively ex­plore dif­fer­ent as­pects of marine life and be­hav­iour. Con­tin­u­ing on this jour­ney, Blue Planet II em­braces the ad­vance­ments in tech­nol­ogy since its pre­de­ces­sor to ex­plore new ocean habi­tats and present com­pelling new sto­ries. The se­ries will use rev­o­lu­tion­ary new tech­nol­ogy to get eye-to-eye with even the smallest of crea­tures. Says James Honey­borne, Ex­ec­u­tive Pro­ducer of the se­ries, “At first glance, it may seem as alien a world to us, as we are to it, but with the lat­est div­ing and sub­ma­rine tech­nolo­gies, it’s pos­si­ble to ex­plore the oceans to­day like never be­fore.”

Over the course of more than four years in pro­duc­tion, the teams be­hind the se­ries have mounted 125 ex­pe­di­tions, vis­ited 39 coun­tries, and filmed on ev­ery con­ti­nent and across ev­ery ocean. The se­ries uses new age tech­nol­ogy like tow-cams, suc­tion­cams and Ul­tra High Def­i­ni­tion probe cam­eras (amongst oth­ers) to record new be­hav­iours and ex­plore new ocean habi­tats. The se­ries also aims to bring view­ers faceto-face with con­cern­ing is­sues that are af­fect­ing the health of our oceans, and how this im­pacts us all.

A five-minute se­ries pre­quel was re­leased glob­ally in Septem­ber 2017, fea­tur­ing an ex­clu­sive sound­track called ‘(ocean) bloom’. Ra­dio­head, one of the world’s most ac­claimed rock bands, and Hans Zim­mer, one of the planet’s most ac­com­plished movie and TV com­posers joined forces on this project. In­spired by the sounds and mu­si­cal palette of

Blue Planet II, Ra­dio­head and Hans Zim­mer recorded an or­ches­trally reimag­ined ver­sion of the Ra­dio­head song Bloom, with Thom Yorke re-record­ing the vo­cals. This short in­tro­duc­tion to the se­ries, nar­rated by se­ries pre­sen­ter Sir David At­ten­bor­ough, fea­tures an ar­ray of the most awe-in­spir­ing shots and high­lights from the new se­ries, as well as sev­eral ex­clu­sive scenes that do not fea­ture in any of the seven episodes.

IN­TER­VIEW WITH JAMES HONEY­BORNE, EX­EC­U­TIVE PRO­DUCER

Why is now the right time for a new se­ries on the oceans? The ocean is the most ex­cit­ing place for us to be right now be­cause sci­en­tific dis­cov­er­ies and new tech­nolo­gies have given us a com­pletely fresh per­spec­tive on life be­neath the waves. This se­ries re­veals new sto­ries, fea­tur­ing spec­tac­u­lar new places and ex­tra­or­di­nary new an­i­mal be­hav­iours that help us to bet­ter ap­pre­ci­ate the won­der, magic and im­por­tance of the seas. How much harder is it to make blue-chip nat­u­ral his­tory films un­der­wa­ter com­pared to on land? The sea is a rest­less, ever chang­ing en­vi­ron­ment; that’s part of its great ap­peal and mys­tery. But with that comes great chal­lenges. Any­one who works with the ocean has to re­spect its capri­cious power. Film­ing un­der­wa­ter means be­ing at the mercy of its great forces – tides, cur­rents, winds, waves, crush­ing depths, poor vis­i­bil­ity…can all make life ex­tremely chal­leng­ing. Those un­pre­dictable el­e­ments, com­bined with the fact that we know less about the oceans than any other en­vi­ron­ment on Earth, means that un­der­wa­ter wildlife films are in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult to make. So we have joined forces with sci­en­tists, ex­plor­ers and marine ex­perts at the fron­tier of the known ocean to achieve this, to­gether.

How has new tech­nol­ogy been used in Blue Planet II? It is amaz­ing how much film­ing tech­nol­ogy has moved on since the orig­i­nal Blue Planet se­ries. We have har­nessed new tech­nol­ogy to tell sto­ries - some never seen be­fore - in com­pletely new ways. Our un­der­wa­ter teams can now dive for much longer than con­ven­tional scuba ever al­lowed. Re­breather div­ing gives our teams time to sit si­lently and watch, with no bub­bles or dis­tur­bance un­der­wa­ter, and re­ally get to know new crea­tures and their be­hav­iours.

The orig­i­nal se­ries would have shot aeri­als on 16mm film, from he­li­copters. Now we have ul­tra HD drones that can be de­ployed any­where they’re per­mit­ted – and they have rev­o­lu­tionised the way we can im­me­di­ately wit­ness oceanic events from above, adding de­tail and in­sight events like the ‘cy­clone’ feed­ing strat­egy of manta rays over the co­ral reef, for ex­am­ple.

And sub­mersibles car­ry­ing ul­tra HD and ex­treme low-light cam­eras have opened up the world of the deep ocean like never be­fore, record­ing pre­vi­ously un­seen events such as hunt­ing packs of Hum­boldt squid, at 800m deep.

What has been your high­light of the whole shoot?

I’ve had some great ex­pe­ri­ences, work­ing with ‘The Deep’ team, film­ing brine pools and a meth­ane vol­cano in the Gulf of Mex­ico, and on lo­ca­tion in Antarc­tica. But for me, it’s been those un­ex­pected mo­ments when we re­view ma­te­rial com­ing in from all over the world that has re­ally made my day. It’s one thing see­ing a fish fly­ing through the air, that’s

un­ex­pected enough, but then see­ing a fish fly­ing through the air and catching a bird in its mouth, wow...

.... the fish catches the bird?

Yep - a bird-eat­ing fish! The fish launches out of the wa­ter with phe­nom­e­nal speed and ac­cel­er­a­tion and catches this bird in mid-air. And we filmed it in ul­tra-slow mo­tion. To me it’s an iconic im­age, be­cause in a mo­ment, it trans­forms our un­der­stand­ing of what fish are ca­pa­ble of. It’s was orig­i­nally a fish­er­man’s tale – a story we had only heard ru­mours of – and the only way of find­ing out if it was true was to go into the In­dian Ocean and film it our­selves. I think that im­age alone speaks of the awe­some­ness, the power, the drama and the sur­prise that the ocean still de­liv­ers.

IN­TER­VIEW WITH MARK BRONLOW, SE­NIOR PRO­DUCER

In­tro­duce us to Blue Planet II: This is a once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity to in­tro­duce a new gen­er­a­tion to the won­ders of our ocean world. The Blue

Planet did an in­cred­i­ble job back in 2001, but with so many sci­en­tific dis­cov­er­ies in the oceans since then, along with ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy, we now pos­sess a whole new un­der­stand­ing of life be­neath the waves.

How is the se­ries di­vided into episodes?

The in­tro­duc­tory episode called ‘One Ocean’ is go­ing to in­tro­duce the au­di­ence to the cen­tral premise of the se­ries, which is that you’re go­ing to see things you’ve never seen be­fore. Through a se­ries of new dis­cov­er­ies in the pro­gramme you’ll re­alise that ev­ery­thing within the ocean has a re­la­tion­ship with ev­ery­thing else. We’ll see that the oceans are all in­ter-con­nected and ul­ti­mately, we all con­nect to the oceans.

Then we fol­low with five habi­tat-based pro­grammes, each giv­ing the au­di­ence a dis­tinc­tive ex­pe­ri­ence. None more so than ‘The Deep’ – this is our sci-fi film. We’ve spent more time in subs on our first shoot than in the en­tire orig­i­nal Blue Planet episode. We are the first peo­ple to get a manned sub to the deep sea (1000m) in Antarc­tica.

Then in con­trast there’s the ‘Co­ral Reefs’ film, full of fun, vi­brancy and colour. It show­cases the in­cred­i­ble con­cen­tra­tion of life crammed into th­ese over­crowded un­der­sea cities.

We then jour­ney off­shore into the ‘Big Blue’, one of the largest habi­tats on the planet, filled with in­cred­i­ble sto­ries of an­i­mals that go through ex­cep­tional feats of en­durance to sur­vive. In this vast marine desert we show­case a fam­ily of deep div­ing sperm whales, even tak­ing a ride on a mother’s back, as she dives into the abyss.

We may think of our ocean’s as blue but there is another surprising world of the ‘Green Seas’. From tow­er­ing un­der­sea forests of gi­ant kelp to vast prairies of sea grass, this is an al­most Brothers Grimm fairy tale of all the strange and mag­i­cal crea­tures that live within th­ese se­cret worlds.

Here sea dragons lurk, bizarre gi­ant cut­tle­fish breed, and an in­ge­nious oc­to­pus out­wits a for­est full of sharks.

In the last of our habi­tat-based episodes we visit our Coasts. They may be our win­dow to the oceans, where

we go for rest and re­lax­ation, but the crea­tures that live here have to go through in­cred­i­ble hard­ships to sur­vive in this di­vide be­tween land and sea. From sea lions that drive mas­sive tuna onto dry land to heroic puffins strug­gling to feed their young. This episode is go­ing to be ex­tra­or­di­nary be­cause we’ve got so many new, in­cred­i­ble sto­ries.

In each of the above habi­tat-based episodes, we try to give a snap­shot of the con­text of the mod­ern ocean.

But in our fi­nal episode, ‘Our Blue Planet – the Fu­ture’, we re­ally get into the sub­stance of the ma­jor is­sues im­pact­ing the world’s oceans to­day. Is it hope­ful or pes­simistic?

Well there’s no two ways about it, there are big prob­lems out there. There are sci­en­tific heroes (in my eyes) and ded­i­cated ex­perts who are try­ing to doc­u­ment it and find so­lu­tions. What are the chal­lenges of telling sto­ries about the oceans com­pared to mak­ing nat­u­ral his­tory films on land? Our chal­lenge is to make peo­ple fall in love with less fa­mil­iar an­i­mals and find per­son­al­ity in them. For in­stance, on the Great Bar­rier Reef we dis­cov­ered that there is marine life like the tusk fish, oc­to­pus and co­ral grouper that are ca­pa­ble of be­hav­iours so so­phis­ti­cated, so smart, that sci­en­tists com­pare their be­hav­iours to those of chim­panzees. Sud­denly we’re re­al­is­ing there isn’t this vast dif­fer­ence be­tween us and them. What’s the re­la­tion­ship be­tween sci­en­tist and film­maker on a project like Blue Planet II? In the past, with other ter­res­trial wildlife se­ries, the cam­era crew may have fol­lowed the stud­ies of a par­tic­u­lar sci­en­tist. They would have fol­lowed a sci­en­tist to a given lo­ca­tion, set their tri­pod down with a long lens and sat and filmed the sub­ject from afar. How­ever, be­cause of the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of un­der­wa­ter film­ing, the cost of boats and the com­plex­ity of launch­ing th­ese re­ally am­bi­tious shoots to the far-and-be­yond, a lot of sci­en­tists sim­ply just don’t have that ac­cess. So, on this se­ries, there’s been this won­der­ful syn­ergy where we’ve been able to work with the sci­en­tists and con­trib­ute to their sci­ence through our film­ing. KEY STO­RIES FROM ACROSS HABI­TATS

ONE OCEAN ‘One Ocean’ takes us on a jour­ney through the vastly vary­ing ocean life from the trop­ics to the poles.

Gi­ant Trevally

Writ­ten by Miles Bar­ton, Se­quence Di­rec­tor A fish that launches it­self, mis­sile-like, to take birds from the air, sounded too ex­tra­or­di­nary to be true. De­spite it be­ing a fish­er­man’s tale with no pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence to back it up, I de­cided it was worth tak­ing the great­est risk of my 30 year ca­reer. So four of us set off to a re­mote atoll on the Sey­chelles with 800kg of kit, in­clud­ing a sta­bilised cam­era, to film the ac­tion from a boat. De­spite see­ing splashes all around us from the start, the at­tacks on low-fly­ing terns hap­pened so quickly and ran­domly, it was al­most im­pos­si­ble for cam­era­man Ted Gif­fords to frame up on the ac­tion. The un­pre­dictabil­ity and con­stant drift­ing of the boat meant a frus­trat­ing week for Ted. But our Sey­chel­lois guide, Peter King, knew his treval­lies well. He sug­gested that we go back on shore to a re­mote beach where for a few days each month the tides brought the treval­lies close to shore. Here we had a much bet­ter view of the fish as they stalked the birds from un­der­wa­ter. Peter could even pre­dict the ones most likely to at­tack. So de­spite all the ex­pen­sive hi-tech equip­ment, it was lo­cal knowl­edge that en­abled us to turn the myth of a wild bird-eat­ing fish into a re­al­ity.

THE DEEP ‘The Deep’ takes us on a jour­ney into the deep­est parts of the ocean, dark and un­known.

Meth­ane Vol­cano

Writ­ten by Orla Do­herty, Pro­ducer We set out to cap­ture scenes at the ex­tra­or­di­nary brine pool – an al­most myth­i­cal lake at the bot­tom of the sea – and a death-trap to any un­for­tu­nate crea­ture that strays into

its toxic wa­ters. For sev­eral days, we had been cap­tur­ing won­der­ful footage of the scene that lay be­low us at the brine pool. But in the spirit of ex­plo­ration, we ven­tured fur­ther west in the Gulf, to a site de­scribed to me by Dr Sa­man­tha Joye, our ex­pe­di­tion sci­en­tist and deep sea re­searcher as a ‘thin cur­tain of bub­bles’. When we dived there the next day, we found noth­ing but a barren desert when we first touched down. Then sud­denly, just ahead of us, some­thing shot out from the seabed.

We watched it rise up into the wa­ter col­umn – a huge bub­ble, the size of a bas­ket­ball. As it as­cended, a trail of sed­i­ment fell away from it, drift­ing back down. Then another bub­ble, and another. Sud­denly, we were en­tirely sur­rounded by gi­ant bub­bles of meth­ane, erupt­ing from what had been an empty abyssal desert only min­utes be­fore. It felt as if we had voy­aged to another planet and we nick-named the site ‘War of the Worlds’.

We re­turned to ‘War of the Worlds’ twice more dur­ing our ex­pe­di­tion.

Both times, there was barely a puff com­ing from the meth­ane vol­cano. We had been un­be­liev­able lucky -the deep had given up one of its great se­crets, but only the once.

CO­RAL REEFS

Co­ral reefs are the un­der-sea mega-cities home to a quar­ter of all marine species.

their be­hav­iour is so so­phis­ti­cated that some as­pects of their in­tel­li­gence might ri­val that of chim­panzees. Groupers are mid wa­ter preda­tors feed­ing on small co­ral reef fishes. They are fast in the open sea but too large to ac­cess prey in cracks and crevices. For this rea­son they seek out the as­sis­tance of a more ma­noeu­vrable marine crea­ture – a reef oc­to­pus. But what is truly amaz­ing is that this is not sim­ply a pas­sive part­ner­ship – th­ese an­i­mals com­mu­ni­cate with each other. By as­sum­ing the head­stand po­si­tion and shak­ing their head from side to side above where a lit­tle fish is hid­ing, the grouper is able to tell the oc­to­pus where the prey is hid­den. Ges­tures such as this are thought to only oc­cur in the largest brained species and mean that fish are able to think flex­i­bly to achieve their goals. Not only is this be­hav­iour chal­leng­ing our un­der­stand­ing of what a fish knows but it’s also mak­ing sci­en­tist re­think the def­i­ni­tion of an­i­mal in­tel­li­gence. BIG BLUE The big blue is a marine desert far from shore and kilo­me­tres deep, home to spec­tac­u­lar marine crea­tures.

Lan­tern­fish & mob­ula rays

Writ­ten by Sarah Con­ner, As­sis­tant Pro­ducer Lan­tern­fish are part of a mass daily mi­gra­tion of an­i­mals that live in the deep sea in the day­time but rise at night into the warmer shal­low wa­ters in the open ocean to feed. How­ever, th­ese lan­tern­fish are thought to also stay at the sur­face at cer­tain times of the year into day­time to spawn. As preda­tors at­tack the lan­tern­fish, it can turn the sea white mak­ing it look like the sea is boil­ing.

The team had tried and failed to film this in the Co­ral Sea, off Aus­tralia in De­cem­ber 2014.

So when, 18 months later, the team heard of sight­ings of a ‘boil­ing sea’ from the other side of the Pa­cific Ocean, off Costa Rica, they re­acted quickly. Se­ries Pro­ducer, Mark Brown­low de­vel­oped a plan - they would to look for the preda­tor of the lan­tern­fish, which off Costa Rica wasn’t just yel­lowfin tuna but the larger spin­ner dol­phins. Mark worked from a re­search ves­sel sta­tioned 20 miles off­shore, as a base for search­ing and film­ing by helicopter. Be­ing able to cover vast dis­tances al­lowed Mark to find the dol­phins and with per­se­ver­ance man­age to film the boil­ing sea of lan­tern­fish be­ing feasted on by tuna from the air. Un­der­wa­ter cam­era­man, Roger Munns also man­aged to cap­ture the ac­tion un­der­wa­ter to cre­ate the dra­matic se­quence of spin­ner dol­phins and tuna as they hone in on the lan­tern­fish in the Big Blue.

The sur­prise was that mob­ula rays also joined the feed­ing frenzy. Pre­vi­ously it was thought th­ese rays only ate by fil­ter-feed­ing plank­ton. There had been a cou­ple of sci­en­tific papers pub­lished that showed small fish in the stom­achs of dead mob­ula rays but sci­ence had as­sumed the fish were eaten by accident un­til the Blue Planet II footage was shared with Josh Ste­wart from the Manta Trust & Scripps Re­search In­sti­tute. Upon anal­y­sis of the Blue Planet II footage, Josh felt con­fi­dent that it proved for the first time that the mob­ula rays were de­lib­er­ately and ac­tively hunt­ing the lan­tern­fish.

GREEN SEAS In our green seas, sun­light pow­ers kelp forests, man­groves, and prairies of sea grass.

Cut­tle­fish Spawn­ing Ag­gre­ga­tion

Writ­ten by Yoland Bosiger, Se­ries Re­searcher Ev­ery win­ter over a hun­dred thou­sand gi­ant cut­tle­fish ag­gre­gate to spawn along a re­stricted area of rocky reef in north­ern Spencer Gulf, South Aus­tralia. Th­ese cut­tle­fish are the largest cut­tle­fish species in the world reach­ing 10 kg in weight. It is also the only known spawn­ing ag­gre­ga­tion of cut­tle­fish in the world and males can num­ber eleven to one in the ag­gre­ga­tion. This huge bias is thought to have pro­duced an ar­ray of dif­fer­ent be­havioural strate­gies to win the fe­males af­fec­tions. Large males use size and brute force to fight off ri­val males while smaller in­di­vid­u­als use a sneaker strat­egy to try to slip un­no­ticed past a larger male to get to a fe­male. Some smaller males even mimic fe­males to de­ceive the larger males. New sci­ence, since The Blue

Planet re­veals that un­be­knownst to the larger males who are bat­tling amongst each other to gain ac­cess to a fe­male, it is in fact the wily fe­male who de­cides who to ul­ti­mately mate with. By flash­ing a white stripe along her flank she can tell an un­ap­peal­ing male that she is not re­cep­tive and be left alone while switch­ing it off if a more at­trac­tive suitor ap­proaches. As there were so many cut­tle­fish and so many dif­fer­ent be­havioural strate­gies play­ing out, it took the film­ing team a cou­ple of days to be able to get their eye in for this white stripe be­hav­iour.

It was only when the cam­era­man Hugh Miller de­cided to swim over the top of the cut­tle­fish rather than stay­ing at their eye level that the stripe be­came read­ily ap­par­ent. Hugh was then able to cap­ture a fe­male dis­play­ing a white stripe to her larger cut­tle­fish pro­tec­tor whilst show­ing no stripe to a male mimic.

The fe­male then mated with the mimic right un­der the gi­ant male’s nose! Blue Planet II has filmed the white stripe be­hav­iour pro­fes­sion­ally for the first time.

COASTS The coast is where two worlds col­lide. ‘Coasts’ is the story of how marine wildlife sur­vives in an ever chang­ing world.

Pa­cific Blenny Mak­ing Of

Writ­ten by Miles Bar­ton, Pro­ducer How do you film a 3-inch long crea­ture just above the tide­line as waves break along the rocky shore? This was the task I gave cam­era­man Rod Clarke on the Pa­cific is­land of Guam. It’s home to the pa­cific leap­ing blenny, which spends most of its life in the splash zone play­ing chicken with the waves. Rod’s first com­ment to me was “You never said they were that small!” as we peered at the rocks try­ing to find th­ese tiny, cam­ou­flaged fish. As ev­ery wave ar­rives the blennies leap away from the wa­ter by flick­ing their pow­er­ful tails. To film this be­hav­iour in ex­treme slow mo­tion Rod had to im­merse him­self for hours on end in the sea, perched on a small stool, with my­self pe­ri­od­i­cally shout­ing a warn­ing to save the cam­era when an ex­tra big wave ar­rived. Then we could move on to film a more in­ti­mate part of their lives that has never been filmed be­fore. We found one par­tic­u­lar male – our star. He had a nice nest hole a me­tre above low wa­ter

mark from which he emerged to graze the al­gae on the damp rocks. While graz­ing he was a drab green/brown but as soon as a fe­male ap­peared he would be­come jet black and bob and wrig­gle while flash­ing his or­ange dor­sal fin. This spec­tac­u­lar dance seemed to work as he was vis­ited by sev­eral fe­males who laid their eggs in his nest dur­ing the days that we sat in the waves film­ing him.

OUR BLUE PLANET In ‘Our Blue Planet’, Sir David At­ten­bor­ough ex­am­ines hu­man im­pact on the ocean.

Nor­way Or­cas - A story of hope

Writ­ten by Will Ri­geon, Pro­ducer Our ever-in­creas­ing ap­petite for fish has led to many of the world’s fish­eries be­ing over­fished. Al­most a third are now at risk of col­lapse. But is it pos­si­ble to sat­isfy our de­mand for fish, with­out emp­ty­ing the oceans?

Over­fish­ing in Nor­way in the 1950s led to col­lapse of the Nor­we­gian spring spawn­ing her­ring stocks, and by the late 1960s the her­ring were con­sid­ered com­mer­cially ex­tinct.

A mora­to­rium in the early 70’s, fol­lowed by strict reg­u­la­tion and bet­ter man­age­ment of fish­eries, has led to a spec­tac­u­lar re­cov­ery. Num­bers be­gan to in­crease in the 1980s and to­day, over a bil­lion her­ring pour into the fjords of Nor­way ev­ery year to over­win­ter, be­fore spawn­ing in the spring. This is now a vi­tally im­por­tant fish­ery again and one of the great­est nat­u­ral spec­ta­cles in our ocean – at­tract­ing hun­dreds of hump­back whales and one of the largest gath­er­ings of or­cas on the planet. An in­spir­ing story, demon­strat­ing that some fish­eries can be man­aged in a sus­tain­able way.

A sci­en­tist uses lasers to

mea­sure a whale­shark. Grow­ing up to 12 me­ters and over 20 tons, it is the largest

fish in the ocean. Sci­en­tist Jonathan Green at­tempts to un­ravel the mys­tery of why large preg­nant fe­males ar­rive

there ev­ery year. In a world where tens of mil­lions of sharks are killed ev­ery year for their

fins, un­der­stand­ing th­ese mi­gra­tions is crit­i­cal for the fu­ture of th­ese ocean gi­ants Scan this QR Code for

the au­dio reader Pho­to­graph by Jonathan Green

copy­right BBC NHU 2017

TOP LEFT: James Honey­borne, Ex­ec­u­tive Pro­ducer

of Blue Planet II

Pho­to­graph by Alex Board copy­right BBC

NHU 2017

TOP RIGHT: Sci­en­tist Steve Simp­son uses a multi-di­rec­tional

hy­drophone to record the sounds of the reef. Sci­en­tists

have re­cently dis­cov­ered that many fish on the co­ral rely on sound

at key stages in their life - and that man-made noise is in­ter­fer­ing with this Pho­to­graph by Roger Munns copy­right BBC NHU

2017

RIGHT: Mark Brown­low, Se­ries Pro­ducer

of Blue Planet II

Pho­to­graph by Alex Board copy­right BBC

NHU 2017

BE­LOW: The fang­tooth has the largest teeth rel­a­tive to body size for any fish in the en­tire ocean. It also has pres­sure­sen­si­tive canals in its head and along its body, which help it to de­tect move­ment in the pitch­black world it lives in. As a re­sult, it’s the most successful preda­tor in the deep ocean’s Mid­night Zone –a world the sun never reaches Pho­to­graph by Espen Rek­dal copy­right BBC NHU 2017

A mud vol­cano in the Gulf of Mex­ico, where bub­bles of meth­ane erupt from the deep seafloor, drag­ging plumes of mil­len­nia-old sed­i­ment with them as they rise

Copy­right BBC 2017

Pho­to­graph by Rachel But­ler copy­right BBC NHU 2016

Wal­rus mother and pup rest­ing

on ice­berg, Sval­bard, Arc­tic

Pho­to­graph by copy­right Alex Mus­tard 2017

A bustling reef in Fiji. Trop­i­cal reefs are some of the busiest places in our ocean and shoals of Sea Goldie spend their days for­ag­ing in schools in the clear wa­ters above patches of co­ral reef

ABOVE:

The whale shark vis­it­ing the re­mote Gala­pa­gos Is­lands. The Whale Shark is largest liv­ing fish in the ocean, but us­ing tiny teeth and fil­ter pads eats some of the smallest crea­tures in the sea, plank­ton.

For many years it was un­known why Whale Sharks came to Gala­pa­gos as un­usu­ally most were large adult fe­males and ap­peared to be preg­nant Pho­to­graph by Si­mon Pierce copy­right BBC NHU 2017

Hump­back whales, feed­ing com­mu­nally off the coast of Mon­terey. A vast deep canyon at the head of the bay is the source of great up­wellings which feed tonnes of sea­sonal phy­to­plank­ton, macroplank­ton and shoal­ing fish and this in

turn draws in the ocean gi­ants

Pho­to­graph by Joe Platko copy­right BBC NHU 2017

Sun­light breaks through the kelp for­est canop.

Macro­cys­tis, also known as gi­ant kelp, is found all along the west coast of North Amer­ica. It has a phe­nom­e­nal

growth rate, fu­eled by the sun and fed by nu­tri­ent rich up­wellings

Pho­to­graph by Joe Platko copy­right BBC

NHU 2017

ABOVE:

Ochre starfish are the main preda­tors of limpets in rock­pools. But the limpets are known to fight back Pho­to­graph by

Paul Wil­liams copy­right BBC NHU 2017

RIGHT: An At­lantic puf­fin with a beakful of food for its chick. Hornoya Is­land, Nor­way Pho­to­graph by Miles Bar­ton copy­right BBC NHU 2017

A su­per­pod of sperm whales gath­er­ing of the coast of Sri Lanka.

Sperm whales are large, in­tel­li­gent and so­cia­ble whales found around the world. Their num­bers plum­meted due to com­mer­cial whal­ing, but off Sri Lanka a rare sight of a su­per­pod can be seen in

spring per­haps show­ing us how the oceans used to look

Pho­to­graph by Tony Wu copy­right BBC NHU 2017

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