Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blue Planet - The Deep

The Deep is Part IV of BBC's Blue Planet series from 2001. I found it extremely interesting that more humans have visited outer space than inner space; by the latter I mean the deep ocean. Creatures found in this realm are the inspirations for creatures in movies, specifically Aliens and The Abyss... hm, these are both James Cameron films. And, if you have seen his latest creation, Avatar, you probably noticed some really cool plant-like organisms that have a remarkable resemblance to giant christmas tree worms and the seeds of the great eywa tree behave like jellies. I have included a photo I took of 2 little worms seen while snorkeling in the Dry Tortugas.
I'll get the annoyances about The Deep out of the way first. The same idiot who master minded the insertion of ridiculous sound effects in the previous program Open Ocean got his sticky fingers all over this one too. The film could also use some well placed analogies to put size in perspective as well, since there is nothing else in the shot to give scale. For instance, "a siphonophore 40 m [105 feet] in length" doesn't really hit home unless you compare it to something else... like a 10 story building. Overall, this film gives a deep water snapshot of the biota hiding down there; realize there is still so much yet to be discovered. To give a few noted examples from the program - the black smokers (hydrothermal vents) were discovered in 1979, and the brine pools (aka cold seeps) were seen for the first time in 1990. Thank you, Johnson-Sea-Link and HBOI. It can only leave you thinking, "what else is out there?" Maybe creatures that can survive without sunlight in the food chain at all? Oh wait, they found those ecosystems in the deep sea already, didn't they? And that, my friends, is why I rate as follows:

RATING: ~~~~ (4 out of 5 waves) a must see, especially if you want to start a classroom-type discussion

What types of things inspire you? Everyone around you is passionate about something, even the most boring person you know... maybe you should ask what inspires them?

P.S. I totally considered name dropping on this one from the thank you credits... but I choose humility and a smirk instead.

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