In honour of Australia’s National Science Week, here are 5 nature documentaries narrated by David Attenborough! Learning doesn’t have to be boring.
1) Great Barrier Reef
In 1957, Sir David Attenborough first visited and scuba dived on one of our planet’s most extraordinary phenomena, the GREAT BARRIER REEF. Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, the heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms.
Sixty years on and fulfilling a long held ambition to revisit the ecosystem he describes as ‘like no other in the natural world’, Sir David returns to unlock the secrets of the Reef–embarking on a personal journey that reveals the true extent of its diversity and complexity.
Combining cutting-edge scientific research alongside innovative filming techniques, David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef provides a new, compelling and visually spectacular perspective, as well as unprecedented access to some of the most remote parts of our unique, irreplaceable Reef and its magical residents and visitors.
2) Life That Glows
Luminous beings, creatures with their own internal light, enchant and astonish us. The sea at night sparkles, as millions of luminous plankton reveal the shapes of dolphins, fish and whales in a truly spectacular and magical light show. But why do animals produce living light? For centuries we could only marvel at the beauty and the mystery.
Join Sir David Attenborough and a team of the world’s leading scientists and deep-sea explorers on LIFE THAT GLOWS – a breathtaking journey to reveal the secrets of living lights.
Witness creatures that very few have ever encountered in their glowing state, including bioluminescent millipedes glowing on the forest floor of California’s high mountains, the mesmerising flashing light patterns of the synchronous fireflies in the dark woods of Pennsylvania, and luminous earth worms in France, to name a few.
3) The Hunt
The contests between predators and prey are the most critical events in nature. The outcome of these interactions is seldom a foregone conclusion. For both sides, it is a matter of life and death.
This series takes an intimate look at the remarkable strategies of hunters and, in some cases, the hunted, exploring the challenges animals face and the tactics they employ. It is how animals respond to a particular challenge that determines whether they are successful. The strategies of both predators and prey are shaped by where they live, so each episode focuses on one principal habitat, whether savannah, jungle or ocean. Stories range from the desert lions that use the cloak of a sea mist to ambush oryx to the killer whales that use teamwork and sonar to pinpoint prey in the open ocean, from the spider that alters its hunting strategy to match its prey to the octopus that walks across land to reach fish trapped in rock pools.
Confident and cinematic in style, THE HUNT is a celebration of nature’s most determined, specialised and cunning predators and their equally cunning and elusive prey. It combines the epic landscapes of Planet Earth with intimate, engaging behaviour.
4) The Life of Birds
THE LIFE OF BIRDS celebrates the incredible variety of the world’s best loved creatures and provides fresh insight into their fascinating way of life. Three years in the making, David Attenborough travelled around the globe, visiting 42 countries from the Arctic to Antarctica to uncover the private lives of these conquerors of the air.
Birds take centre-stage for the first time and turn out to be remarkably bright and engaging animals. Apart from their advanced acrobatic skills, they have some bizarre ways of finding food and getting a mate. In Japan, crows crack open nuts with the help of cars and in Australia, choughs gang up and kidnap their neighbours’ young. Far from the comfortable image of birds singing away in British gardens and swimming on ponds, humble hedge sparrows are cheating on their mates and coots are killing their young!
5) Conquest of the Skies
In this series, their tenth collaboration, David Attenborough and producer Anthony Geffen once again push the boundaries of documentary filmmaking to explore the power of flight–surely one of the greatest wonders of nature.
Over one hundred billion creatures fly through the air today, from nectar-drinking hummingbirds to armoured airborne beetles; from bats hunting in the dead of night to bizarre winged lizards.
In CONQUEST OF THE SKIES, David Attenborough travels through time to unravel the astonishing 300-million-year story of how flying animals first appeared and then evolved into the huge variety of aeronauts that fill our skies today. Only now, with today’s CGI, the very latest high resolution filming techniques and cutting-edge scientific analysis, can he reveal the hidden mechanics behind their gravity-defying skills.
Have you seen any of these titles yet? What did you think?