The Emmy-winning team that brought us Planet Earth and The Blue Planet, amazing documentaries narrated by world-famous naturalist David Attenborough, is releasing a new series called Frozen Planet, and Inhabitat got a sneak peek this Earth Week. Frozen Planet follows the changing seasons and remarkable lives of a variety of animal groups that live in the Arctic and Antarctic in the most demanding of climates. But, because this is David Attenborough’s team, we don’t just follow a few polar bears and penguins. This film takes us under the sea ice to watch a “brinecicle,” or salt water icicle, extend its deadly reach to the sea floor, trapping starfish and any other creatures that can’t escape in time. We watch killer whales swimming in unison to create a wave that washes their prey off an ice floe above. The cameras even take us into glacial ice caves filled with remarkable crystal formations, and we follow a lone caterpillar through the tundra as it freezes solid every winter and reemerges in the spring to try again (for 14 years!) to reach maturity and make its chrysalis. Read on for more of our favorite scenes from this spectacular series.
Frozen Planet will make you view our fair planet with fresh eyes. You will follow the melt of glaciers, not only in a yearly pattern with stunning images of ice sheets dropping one thousand waterfalls into the northern sea, but with satellite images that show a 30 percent drop in Arctic sea ice overall in the last 30 years. And you will follow not just one colony of penguins but half a dozen species through the entire year of changing seasons, as well as a variety of exotic whale species and birds. Even tiny krill feasting on algae released from the underside of melting sea ice doesn’t escape the cameras of Frozen Planet.
If you’re looking for a way to introduce a child to the wonderful animals of this world, or interested in the bare facts of Arctic and Antarctic climate change without getting into the controversy of contributing causes, Frozen Planet is a wonderful way to fall in love with the Earth all over again while learning how concurrently resilient and fragile life is on this planet and how what happens 5,000 miles away will soon affect us all.