The Atlantic

The Beauty and Horror of Blue Planet II

David Attenborough’s latest documentary gorgeously reveals the world’s oceans—and shows how badly humans are screwing them up.
Source: Audun Rikardsen / BBC

“Never,” declares Sir David Attenborough in the first episode of Blue Planet II, his latest hallucinatory swath of masterpiece nature television, “has there been a more crucial time to explore what goes on beneath the surface of the seas!” Attenborough is perorating from the prow of the research vessel Alucia as she plies indigo waters, blipping and whirring and swishing her sensors over the deep. “With revolutionary technology we can enter new worlds and shine a light on behaviors in ways that were impossible just a generation ago. We’ve also come to recognize an uncomfortable fact: The health of our oceans is under threat. They’re changing at a faster rate than ever before in human history.”

The sea around him spreads away, miracle-stuffed, glowing with vitality. At 91 years of age, Attenborough looks rather pelagic himself, a, the frigging humans, and how we’re ruining everything.

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