Watch Blue Planet - Seas of Life

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Oceans make up around two thirds of the surface area of the planet Earth. This series will do its best to review how the seas have been filled with life over the years. Blue Planet - Seas of Life is a British nature documentary that was filmed in different locations. The series itself was produced by the BBC and premiered in 2001 for audiences in the United Kingdom. Blue Planet - Seas of Life is narrated by David Attenborough, who is renowned for his work on other nature documentaries.

The series received quite a bit of critical acclaim from reviewers. This also earned Blue Planet a Prime Time Emmy Award, which was provided in the Best Music category. Blue Planet also comes with an eighty minute behind the scenes look at the series. Fans can even check out 10 minute feature vignettes of each episode.

BBC Earth
1 Season, 8 Episodes
September 12, 2001
Cast: David Attenborough, Pierce Brosnan
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Blue Planet - Seas of Life Full Episode Guide

  • Life on a coral reef starts with one coral larva that lands in the right place and grows. Soon it's a coral head, cemented and secure on the seabed. A tiny alga that lives in its tissues allows the coral to grow night and day and as more corals settle, a reef develops. Overcrowding follows as corals expand and soon they're fighting - digesting their neighbors alive under cover of darkness. A hard, limestone skeleton protects corals, but bumphead parrot fish bite straight through rock and coral with their powerful jaws. These fish erode the coral and the material they swallow comes out the other end as fine sand. On a single reef they can produce tons of sand every year. This soft sand forms beautiful tropical white beaches and eventually creates tropical islands. A sinister crown of thorns starfish slides on to a coral, spreads its stomach over the polyps, and digests them whole. The only protection a coral can hope for is a small crab that takes up residence in the coral's branches and uses its pincers to nip the starfish to see it off. Night on the reef is a tough time. Moray eels slither around the corals hunting by smell. Whitetip sharks use their electrical sense to trace any movement in the sleeping fish. Feeding frenzies disturb the otherwise eerie calm of the reef. An entire reef can be destroyed by one big storm: hundreds of years of growth wiped out in a few hours. But out at sea, new life continues to develop and, in time, coral larvae return to colonize the rubble and a new reef grows on the wasteland.

  • Just when the weather is at its worst, 100,000 gray seals haul themselves up through the surf on to Sable Island off Nova Scotia. This is the world's largest colony of gray seals and perversely they've come to breed in winter. Within 18 days the pups are abandoned, but spring is on its way with plenty of food. An eight-ton basking shark filters 1,000 tons of seawater through its gills every hour to sieve out plankton, and large numbers are attracted to plankton blooms. On the seafloor, seaweed stretches towards the sunlight, and off the coast of California, underwater forests of giant kelp grow up to 100 meters high. Massive schools of fish shelter here and sea otters snooze at the surface winding strands of kelp around themselves as anchors. By July, the seasonal seas are warming up fast. On the coast of Nova Scotia large female lobsters are marching 150km from cold, deep waters where they spent the winter, to warm shallows where they can incubate their eggs. In August, pacific salmon return to the coast of Alaska and are hunted down by huge salmon sharks. By early autumn, Pacific white-sided dolphins are turning up in British Columbia in great numbers. Rather than fish for herring they like to play - engaging in a dolphin's version of tag, as they pass a strand of seaweed from flipper to flipper. As fast as winter approaches in the north, spring is coming back at the opposite end of the world. Handfish walk across the bottom of the sea, using their fins like hands. There is also a beautiful courtship ballet performed by Australian squid that change color as they dance. A male leafy seadragon is a devoted parent, carrying dozens of eggs on his belly and relying on his perfect leafy camouflage to hide them from other hungry fish.

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Blue Planet - Seas of Life is available to watch and stream on BBC Earth. You can also buy, rent Blue Planet - Seas of Life on demand at Netflix, Amazon online.