7 wonders of the seas
We dive into BBC1’S spectacular sequel to BLUE PLANET with veteran broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough
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’