Twenty years ago, BBC's Natural History Unit (NHU) set out to make a series on the world's oceans with the groundbreaking original Blue Planet. Now, with new understandings of marine science and advances in underwater filmmaking, the NHU returns to the underwater depths. During more than four years of filming, the Blue Planet II crew mounted 125 expeditions, visited 39 countries, spent over 6,000 hours diving, and filmed on every continent and across every ocean.
Captured in stunning 4K Ultra HD, Blue Planet II travels through an exquisitely beautiful world - from remote island shores to the depths of our oceans - bringing viewers face to face with unexpected new landscapes. The series also witnesses the great changes and threats to the health of our ocean. Never before has there been a more crucial time to explore our remotest seas and examine what the future might hold for our blue planet.
The series' filming firsts include:
The ingenious Tuskfish breaks open hard-shelled clams by cracking them against coral outcrops. This is the first time that this behavior has been filmed professionally in detail.
Giant Trevally fish aggregate off a beach from which fledgling terns are learning to fly. If the birds land on the water, the Giant Trevallies will attack from beneath. Most incredibly though, if the birds are flying low enough to the surface of the water the Giant Trevallies will launch themselves out of the water and grab them in mid-air! This was a "fisherman's tale" that proved true - the predatory behavior of these aerial predators had not been studied before.
Grouper fish use the fish equivalent of sign language to reach across the vertebrate-invertebrate divide and encourage another species to help them hunt. Until now, this kind of gesturing behavior has been associated mainly with apes and birds such as ravens.
In New Zealand, False Killer whales form relationships with Bottlenose dolphins - an entirely different species. Both False Killers and dolphins have been documented socializing and foraging together. This is the first time this behavior has been filmed professionally and it was filmed by the Blue Planet II team both from the air and underwater.
Working from science and exploration vessel the Alucia, the Blue Planet II "Deep" team and scientists mounted an expedition off the central coast of Chile to film Humboldt squid from a submersible. The team captured squid hunting at depth - and even cannibalism. This was the first sub dive into the squid zone.
For the very first time, the Blue Planet II "Deep" team has filmed violent eruptions from methane volcanoes, of bubbles of gas the size of basketballs shooting out of the seabed almost a half-mile down.
No human has ever before been to where the "Deep" team landed on its final filming expedition - a thousand meters beneath shifting icebergs the size of a city-block off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The Blue Planet II team were the first humans to film, from manned submersibles, the unimaginable abundance of life from fish with anti-freeze in their blood to fields of giant sponges and swarms of krill that glow in the dark.
Male and female shrimp enter the Venus Flower Basket sponge when they are small, but eventually become too big to get out. This means that they spend the rest of their lives entrapped inside. This is the first time that these shrimp have been filmed in situ in the deep sea.
In Hanifaru, when plankton levels become dense, chains of feeding Manta rays loop around to form a "cyclone" of as many as 150 Reef Manta rays. This was filmed for the first time from the air.
Silky sharks and Blacktip sharks were filmed rubbing up against pregnant Whale sharks in the Galapagos for the first time.
The octopus grabs shells and rocks in its suckers and uses them as body armor as a camouflage and physical defense strategy against predators like sharks. This behavior was discovered by naturalist Craig Forster and is new to science.
Sea lions work together to hunt tuna in a labyrinth of small bays in the Galapagos Islands - a behavior not filmed professionally until now.
The 4K UHD release of Blue Planet II showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering brighter, deeper, and more lifelike colors, plus 5.1 DTS-HD master audio.
You can find the latest specs for Blue Planet II linked from our Blu-ray and 4K Release Schedules, where it is indexed under March 6.
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