7 won­ders of the seas

We dive into BBC1’S spec­tac­u­lar se­quel to BLUE PLANET with vet­eran broad­caster and nat­u­ral­ist David At­ten­bor­ough

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IN 2001, view­ers were cap­ti­vated by the BBC’S ground-break­ing nat­u­ral his­tory se­ries Blue Planet, pre­sented by David

At­ten­bor­ough, which un­veiled the amaz­ing se­crets of our seas and oceans.

Now, in Blue Planet II, the vet­eran broad­caster re­turns to re­veal more re­mark­able un­der­wa­ter species, and the 91-year-old ad­mits he was taken aback by the crea­tures cap­tured on film, in sev­eral cases for the very first time.

‘I’ve made films about things like coral reefs for 50 years and thought, “What else can they show?” but ev­ery pro­gramme has some­thing new that makes my jaw drop,’ he says. ‘I’m as­tounded by the new species and behaviour that we see.’ The seven-part se­ries, which has been four years in the mak­ing and filmed off the coasts of 39 coun­tries, uses pi­o­neer­ing film­ing tech­niques from low-light cam­eras that cap­ture footage at the dark­est depths, to suc­tion cam­eras stuck to the backs of or­cas.

‘The un­der­wa­ter cam­era tech­nol­ogy is now par­al­lel with what we do on land – it’s amaz­ing,’ says At ten bor­ough .‘ be­ing able to put a cam­era on an orca is an ex­tra­or­di­nary achieve­ment. I gulped at that se­quence.’

Blue Planet II also looks at the threats faced by our oceans. ‘i’m con­vinced of cli­mate change and that hu­man be­ings could do some­thing about it,’ says At ten bor­ough .‘ what we do here has a di­rect ef­fect on the oceans, and that has an ef­fect back on us.’

Here, At­ten­bor­ough talks us through some of the se­ries’ in­cred­i­ble high­lights…

Episode Four: BIG BLUE

SUR­VIVAL IN THE re­mote open oceans is tough. In or­der to sur­vive, baby tur­tles use de­bris as rafts to stay afloat, while we also wit­ness dra­matic footage of the ‘boil­ing sea’ ef­fect cre­ated by lantern­fish be­ing trapped on the sur­face of the wa­ter by preda­tors in­clud­ing spin­ner dol­phins.

We also see whale sharks (right) mak­ing an epic voy­age across the Pa­cific to a spot where, sci­en­tists now think, it may be safest to give birth.

Episode Five GREEN SEAS

THIS PRO­GRAMME FO­CUSES on the un­der­sea forests of kelp, al­gae and sea-grass where we find sea ot­ters help­ing Garibaldi fish pro­tect their gar­den from sea urchins.

‘Off the coast of Aus­tralia, the big male cut­tle­fish fight over the fe­males,’ says At­ten­bor­ough. ‘How­ever, the smaller males pre­tend they’re fe­male by show­ing a white stripe down their side, which mat­ing fe­males do when they re­ject a male. That makes the big­ger males leave the scene, al­low­ing the lit­tle males to say hello to the fe­males!’

Episode six COASTS

OUR COAST­LINES ARE teem­ing with life. This pro­gramme shows puffins try­ing to feed their young while dodg­ing skuas, hun­gry king pen­guins fac­ing a bar­rier of ele­phant seals, and the leap­ing blenny at­tempt­ing to avoid the waves and at­tract a mate.

‘Fish­er­men in the Gala­pa­gos is­lands no­ticed that sea lions worked as a team and spread out across hun­dreds of me­tres of sea to drive 60kg tuna into en­closed bays,’ says at­ten­bor­ough.

‘we cap­tured that on screen by us­ing drones in the skies above.’

‘ev­ery pro­gramme has some­thing new

that makes my jaw drop’


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