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Galapagos – Islands Changed The World (BBC HD Documentary)

In the early 16th century, the first person in recorded history to set foot on Galapagos, the Bishop of Panama, deemed it a hellish place. He found no water and two of his men and ten of his horses perished. Through time, this forbidding archipelago became the haunt of pirates and whalers, but as more people came to Galapagos, they began to see it in a whole new light. In 1835, Charles Darwin’s brush with these islands became the catalyst for a revolution that would transform our understanding of life on Earth. From flightless cormorants hunting underwater to giant tortoises on the rim of an active volcano, a look at the hidden side of Galapagos, revealing why it is a fascinating showcase for evolution. Against a backdrop of smouldering volcanoes, brittle lava fields, fields of giant cactus and wave pounded shores, witness blue footed boobies plunge diving in to treacherous waters, sea lions surfing, the beautiful courtship dance of the waved albatross, Darwin’s finches as crafty tool users and hawks hunting marine iguanas. Galapagos is unlike any other place on Earth. The archipelago is made up of thirteen main islands, they sit astride the equator, almost a thousand kilometres off the coast of South America, and are connected directly to the heart of the planet. The product of a volcanic hotspot, from the moment they are born, the islands are carried on a remarkable millenia long journey before sinking back beneath the waves. The Galapagos islands are a fascinating microcosm of our planet and home to some of the most astonishing creatures found anywhere on Earth: iguanas swim the sea like dragons, short eared owls stalk petrels by day and 500 pound giant tortoises bellow over lava fields. One thousand kilometres due west of Ecuador, where four major ocean currents unite, vast undersea volcanoes break the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Early explorers described these otherworldly islands as „Las Encantadas“ „the Enchanted Islands“. In time they became known as Galapagos, the islands of the Tortoises. Darwin described them as a „world within itself“. Using spectacular HiDefinition cinematography from land, sea and air, and blending dramatic landscapes with intimate animal behaviour, drama reconstruction and stunning satellite imagery, this ambitious series presents the most complete portrait ever of these fascinating islands. Galapagos reveals how wildlife has found the most enterprising ways to get to grips with this restless volcanic outpost, why these islands are such a fascinating showcase for evolution, and the profound forces that influence the delicate balance of life.

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