The much anticipated Blue Planet 2 started on the BBC last night and it was everything I hoped for.
With the fantastic David Attenborough as narrator, the programme took viewers beneath the surface of the ocean revealing some of the incredible creatures that live there.
We watched a tusk fish use tools to open a clam, throwing the shell repeatedly against a rock to get to the food inside.
We saw dolphins surfing massive waves in South Africa; just for the sheer thrill of it.
But two few things really stood out for me.
1. False killer whales chasing a pod of bottle nose dolphins
‘I didn’t know they hunted dolphins’ was all I could say when this clip began. So imagine my delight when, just as the chase was reaching ridiculous speeds, the dolphins suddenly stopped and turned around to face the whales.
What followed proved to me that we could learn a lot more from certain animals, than they ever could from us.
The dolphins changed the way they were communicating; the frantic whistles and clicks became calmer noises as they seemed to greet the false killer whales like old friends. And amazingly, the whales began to nudge the dolphins gently as if greeting them back.
It was incredible.
2. The walrus’s search for land
BBC nature documentaries are, in my opinion, fantastic at highlighting environmental concerns. Global warming is nearly always up there, but watching a walrus struggle to find land on which it’s baby can rest was absolutely heartbreaking.
And it was a job extremely well done. Us humans are fickle, and making us feel compassion for an animal which isn’t the most attractive, or friendly, is a difficult task. But I found myself willing this mother on as she hugged her baby to her, allowing it to rest a while on her belly while she scouted for a safe and stable iceberg.
On the other side of the coin, the polar bear that attempted to hunt her herd, failed miserably and for a minute you felt relieved for the walrus. Until you realised that the polar bear was also a mother, and she had two young cubs to feed. Likewise, she was also struggling to find food due to the changing conditions and melting sea ice.
The plight of these animals, and the struggles they were facing are due to rising temperatures and rapidly melting sea ice. This is due to the activity of man.
When a nature documentary hits a main TV channel, it gets people talking. And when people start talking about the world around us, particularly an ecosystem which is under threat, change is much more likely to happen.
The Blue Planet 2 website really impressed me as well. Intrigued as to whether they would highlight the issues facing our seas, I had a little snoop around and was really happy to see an entire page dedicated to conservation, and how we can all get involved. They even have a link to listen to radio shows which examine our impact on the oceans.
The series took a staggering 4 years to film and produce, with the team involved mounting 125 expeditions in 39 different countries, visiting every continent and going across every ocean. The techniques they used and the footage they gained is absolutely incredible.
Something as simple as watching a documentary is one of the easiest ways to learn more about the world around you. So what are you waiting for?