Fly Fishing Fish and Other Amazing Animals
Last night I watched a re-run of Blue Planet II on BBC America.
I love that program.
There is not a lot of quality documentary style programming on Television anymore. Much of it is so dumbed down it has become most tiresome to watch.
Nobody got time for that shit.
But Blue Planet on BBC is so beautifully filmed and so full of fascinating creatures. It’s like a really good book, a walk through an incredible art gallery, and a biology class rolled into one gorgeous package.
Someone compared it to nature porn, which I guess is a thing (?), but I had never heard of it. And yes, it was a seductively beautiful production. But it was also full of new and exciting discoveries and never before seen footage of plants and animals doing astonishing things.
The episode last night featured all kinds of wonderful creatures that inhabit the oceans.
A school of bottle nose dolphins was filmed rubbing themselves on a gorgonian, which is an aquatic plant that grows on the floor of the Red Sea. Research has shown that gorgonians have certain anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties in the mucus layer that covers their branches. The adults appeared to be demonstrating to the babies in the school this important practice in proper dolphin hygiene. Amazing!
Then there was the tusk fish, an unfortunate looking fish with a wicked under bite and pointy, funky little teeth who digs up clams and uses the hard edges of the reef to crack them open before gobbling them up. Resourceful!
And there were Charlie Tuna looking trevally fish launching themselves out of the water, flying really, to catch birds in flight above the water. The filming of this particular phenomenon was spell binding and heart stopping as a little baby tern, new to flying, narrowly escapes being dined on by these macho, but resourceful, fish. Whew. He made it!
There was so much amazing footage and so many interesting creatures, like the schools of dolphins filmed surfing the big waves, apparently, just for the sheer joy of it.
I’ve seen this particular episode of Blue Planet II before, but I never get tired of watching it and sitting open mouthed at how awesome this planet we inhabit is.
Think about it, in one episode there were fish practicing and teaching intuitive medicine, fish using tools to perfect their culinary skills, flying fish fly-fishing…for birds, but still, and surfer dude fish enjoying a little recreational activity, just for the hell of it.
Which all had me wondering: Are we really the most intelligent creatures on the planet, or are we just the most well adapted?
What do you think?
If you haven’t checked out Blue Planet or Blue Planet II, I highly recommend them.
I think we could all, always, use a little more schooling in, or just a reminder of, the things that make life on earth so incredible.