Tommorrow, National Geographic Channel is premiering a really cool special highlighting the various features on world’s seafloor called Drain the Ocean. I had the good fortune of being able to preview this special film. I was instantly drawn in, especially in the opening scenes where the Johnson Sea Link was prominently filmed in action. Florida, don’t make this mistake, you NEED the JSL!! But I digress…
Drain the Ocean has a very clever hook. We can’t actually visit many of the areas of the deep sea, hidden under millions of gallons of seawater, but geologists and oceanographers have mapped much of the seafloor. The premise is that if you removed the overlying seawater, what you would see is a landscape with features that can be interpreted much like landscapes above sea level are. In fact many of the phenomena are the result of biologic actions over very long periods time or cataclysmic geologic forces. National Geographic has turned its graphic artists loose on these maps and have envisioned an earth without its vast oceans. The result is a stunning view of the scale and immensity of several features of the deep sea. For instance, take a look at these mud volcanoes off the coast or Spain and Portugal.
I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but this is one that is worth watching though. I can honestly say that I have not been this impressed with a science documentary since Blue Planet and Planet Earth, both of which sought to awe you with nature’s quirks and majesty. Drain the Ocean instead informs by taking a unique angle that kept me attuned. It had me going off across the world to unify various concepts, such as hydrothermalism or enormous built up walls of carbonates – the remains of millions of animals with calcium carbonate shells and tests (see image below). And just so you know, I don’t hand out compliments lightly when it comes to science and nature films. My only complaint was the narrator’s voice was much too deep and serious.
Catch it on the National Geographic Channel, Sunday August 9th and 9pm Eastern US/Pacific US.