The Blue Planet: The Deep

Prod: Alastair Fothergill
2001
After watching Finding Nemo,
by chance a DVD I had ordered came in the mail the next day ready to complement Pixar’s fishy fantasy. The Blue Planet is an 8-part documentary miniseries about the ocean, narrated by Mr. Nature Doc himself, David Attenborough. The episode called “The Deep” explores the deep ocean like never before, discovering all sorts of freakish and often unnerving species living in the dark. The depth means that very little animal or vegetable matter is floating around, making the water (when lit by the submersible) as clear as air. On DVD, this makes for some sharp-as-tack photography, and this hour-long episode is pure eye-candy all the way. As the camera crew–in this tiny diving machine designed to withstand the incredible pressures–descend the discoveries become more incredible. We’ve all seen the angler fish, with his little glowing lure and huge teeth, but did you know as some points in the ocean there is a lake at the bottom? Or that around the volcanic vents in the continental shelf there are worms and crabs designed to live in boiling water? This is a DVD sure to astonish anybody and I’m sure will hold up to several viewings. (There’s another episode on the DVD, “Open Ocean,” but I haven’t bothered with it yet!)
Side note: The reason I bought this is, well, for some time I’ve been interested in deep sea fishes and other creatures (among thousands of other interests, but it’s filed away in the brain). The other day somebody posted a selection of astonishing photos on Metafilter, causing me to link to it over on Stone Cold Pimpin’. In Metafilter’s comment section, one poster mentioned this video. I followed his link to Amazon and bought it used. I mention this because there is no way any computer algorithm could figure I’d be interested in such a project. Amazon’s still recommending I buy “Poison Ivy 2” for goshsakes.

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