Wild Pacific (2009) (DVD)
This landmark series explores the sheer scale and majesty of the largest ocean on Earth, the isolation of its islands, the extraordinary journeys wildlife and humans have gone through to reach these specks of land, and what happened to both after their arrival. Unimaginably vast, the Pacific is 99% water and only 1% land - you could fit the whole of the world's landmasses into it and still have enough room for another Africa! The distance between these islands can be huge - literally hundreds or thousands of miles - but somehow, life made it there. Isolation does curious things - animals evolve and adapt in strange ways. Witness flesh-eating caterpillars, giant crabs capable of opening coconuts, geckos that can breed without any need of a male, frogs that have never been tadpoles... Beyond cliched images of swaying palms and idyllic beaches, this is the real, immense and surprising South Pacific.
Following in the critically acclaimed footsteps of Blue Planet
and Planet Earth
, BBC Earth's Wild Pacific
is a six-episode series narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch that explores the diverse ecosystems that comprise the globe's largest ocean. Only the flexible survive in the Pacific, as its vastness produces natural oddities found nowhere else. Coconut-crushing crabs, brilliantly adorned birds, and carnivorous caterpillars roam the specks of land peppering the deep blue landscape, while bizarre invertebrates escape the ocean's depths nightly to feed on the plankton-rich surface. Many of the Pacific's isolated human tribes still adhere to ancient traditions (including the world's first bungee-cord divers) that have remained unchanged for centuries. Ironically, the same isolation that harshly challenged Mother Nature to adapt or perish is now responsible for the region's present-day reputation as a lush tropical paradise. --David Callanan