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Unravelling deep sea mysteries

Madhur Tankha

Bringing rare pictures and insights about the earth and its oceans



Inside stories: Animal Planet will air its brand new eight-part series, “Oceans”, from May 13.

NEW DELHI: To help the viewers explore the earth's largest water bodies and trace the impact of human activity on them over the years, Animal Planet is coming up with a brand new series, “Oceans”, from on May 13. Combining expert photography and some rare insights into the subject, the eight-part series narrates intriguing stories like discovering the truth behind the rumours that the Mediterranean Sea has become a breeding ground for the Great White Shark and exploring ancient wrecks that tell tales of piracy in the past and present.

A team of intrepid adventurers -- explorer Paul Rose, maritime archaeologist Lucy Blue, marine biologist Tooni Mahto and conservationist Philippe Cousteau Jr. -- weave together the world of underwater archaeology, geology, marine biology and anthropology.

During their expeditions, the team stumbles upon local people whose lives and livelihood are completely dependent on the sea. Using the latest in scuba and submersible technology, the “Ocean” team of experts delves deeper than ever before.

“The Sea of Cortez”, which beams on May 20, examines the impact of humans on this sea and throws light on how it changed over the years.

In “The Southern Ocean”, which goes on the air on May 27, the team travels to the notoriously hostile Southern Ocean. Often described as “the lung of the planet”, the Southern Ocean plays a significant role in regulating levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. But parts of it are warming twice as fast as the rest of the world's oceans.

Answering critical questions about our own past and the future of the oceans is the episode “Red Sea” due on June 3. The Red Sea is one of the warmest seas in the world, yet coral reefs flourish here. In the face of global warming, the series sets out to discover whether these waters hold the key to the future health of corals.

One of the most critical water bodies influencing our climate is the Atlantic Ocean. And in one of its corners lies crucial evidence about our past and future. “Atlantic Ocean”, beaming on June 10, investigates the oldest living evidence of life on Earth.

Covering almost 15 per cent of the earth's surface, the Indian Ocean's remote corners contain some of the most pristine marine habitats. It is also surrounded by many of the world's populous nations. In “Indian Ocean”, slated for June 17, the team sets out to discover the pressures that are changing this ocean and its resources. Shark fishing has been increasing at an alarming rate with tens of millions being caught each year worldwide.

Exploring what happens when the powerful Indian Ocean collides with the edge of a continent is the episode “The Indian Ocean – Coastal Waters” due on June 24. The team works with scientists to predict future weather patterns in this area. They also come face to face with one of this area's most mysterious creatures, the sea horse.

In “The Mediterranean Sea”, to be shown on July 1, the team explores the profound effect of human activity on the endangered sea.

Any changes in the Arctic Ocean will have an enormous impact on the earth's oceans and on the planet's climate. In “Arctic Ocean”, to be screened on July 7, the team finds out how the Arctic and its eco-system has been changing and thereby affecting the rest of the world.

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