Transcript: Great Blue Wild - S 1 - Episode -2 - Socorro Island | Aug 27, 2019

Aerial views show images of an archipelago with coral reefs and rich marine life.

The narrator says THE SOCORRO ISLANDS -
A REMOTE AND SPECTACULAR HAVEN
FOR MARINE LIFE,
IN THE WILD-BLUE WATERS
OF THE EASTERN PACIFIC.
A MUST FOR UNDERSEA EXPLORERS:
DIVING EYEBALL-TO-EYEBALL
WITH SOME OF THE OPEN OCEAN'S
MOST SPECTACULAR CREATURES...
MYSTERIOUS GIANTS,
RELENTLESS HUNTERS
AND LEGENDARY 'MONSTERS'
OF THE DEEP,
ALL CAUGHT IN A DAILY BATTLE
FOR SURVIVAL...
HOME TO CUNNING MASTERS
OF DISGUISE,
MAGNIFICENT SCHOOLS OF FISH,
AND PLAYFUL MARINE MAMMALS.

Clips shows images of sharks, mantas, sea turtles, octopuses, and different colorful schools of small fish.

The name of the show reads "Great Blue Wild."

A map shows the location of the islands, in the Eastern Pacific near Mexico.

The narrator says THE SOCORRO ISLANDS -
A TINY VOLCANIC ARCHIPELAGO,
RISING ABRUPTLY
FROM THE UNTAMED WATERS
OF THE EASTERN PACIFIC,
370 MILES
OFF THE WESTERN COAST OF MEXICO.
PRIMITIVE AND REMOTE,
SOCORRO IS UNINHABITED
BY HUMANS.THE ONLY WAY TO DIVE HERE
IS FROM LIVE-ABOARD BOATS.

A caption reads "Erick Higuera. Dive Master, Socorro."

Erick is in his early thirties, with short curly brown hair and wears a blue logo T-shirt.

He says SOCORRO IS A VERY SPECIAL PLACE
BECAUSE THE OPPORTUNITIES
TO ENCOUNTER BIG PELAGIC ANIMALS
ARE HIGH.
BUT ONCE WE GET IN THE WATER,
IT'S A TOTALLY DIFFERENT WORLD.
IT'S LIKE BEING IN...
IN A WILD LABORATORY.

The narrator says THE SOCORRO ISLANDS HAVE BEEN
CALLED 'THE MEXICAN GALAPAGOS'.
LIKE THE GALAPAGOS,
THE DEEP-BLUE WATERS OF SOCORRO
OVERFLOW WITH WILDLIFE.
LOST IN THE PACIFIC,
HOURS FROM THE NEAREST COAST,
ISLANDS LIKE SOCORRO
ATTRACT A BREATHTAKING ABUNDANCE
OF ANIMALS.EXPLOSIONS OF FISH
DRAWN HERE
BY AN ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTIC
OF THE ARCHIPELAGO -
ITS DEEP CURRENTS.
FAR BELOW THE PEAK,
CURRENTS CRASH
AGAINST THE ISLAND'S FLANKS.
THEN SURGE UPWARD
CARRYING WITH THEM NUTRIENTS
FROM THE DEEP WATER
THAT NOURISH
LIFE-GIVING PLANKTON
IN THE WARMTH OF THE SUN.
MICROSCOPIC MARINE CREATURES,
NO LARGER THAN THE DIAMETER
OF A STRAND OF HUMAN HAIR,
PLANKTON ARE THE FOUNDATION
FOR THE ENTIRE OCEANIC
FOOD CHAIN...
CRUCIAL TO THE SURVIVAL
NOT JUST OF LARGER FISH
BUT OF THE LARGEST
OF ALL FISH...
THE WHALE SHARK.
FORTY FEET LONG,
THE LENGTH OF A TRACTOR TRAILER,
WHALE SHARKS CAN WEIGH
MORE THAN 20 TONS -
FOUR TIMES THE SIZE
OF THE GREAT WHITE SHARK.

The caption changes to "Antonio Romero Guillot. Dive Master, Socorro."

Antonio is in his early thirties, with short wavy brown hair and a stubble. He wears a blue logo T-shirt.

He says WHEN YOU SWIM NEXT TO THEM,
YOU'RE NOT EVEN HALF
OF THEIR PECTORAL FINS.
YOU'RE LIKE A TINY LITTLE THING
SWIMMING NEXT TO THEM.

The narrator says THE GIANT MOVES SLOWLY
CLOSE TO THE SURFACE.
WHALE SHARKS
ARE FILTER FEEDERS -
VACUUMING VAST AMOUNTS
OF PLANKTON, FISH AND PLANTS
INTO A GAPING MOUTH SO WIDE
A SPORTS CAR COULD FIT INSIDE.

Erick says IF IT'S A 40 TO 50-FOOT
WHALE SHARK,
THE SIZE OF THE MOUTH
HAS TO BE LIKE...

He opens his arms and says I DUNNO...
THIS BIG, THIS WAY BIG.
AND IT GIVES YOU THE SENSATION
THAT IF IT OPENS ITS MOUTH,
IT WOULD SWALLOW YOU COMPLETELY.

The narrator says FILTERS IN THE WIDE MOUTH
COLLECT THE TINY PREY
WHILE SEAWATER,
UP TO 1,500 GALLONS AN HOUR,
IS EXPELLED
THROUGH MASSIVE GILLS.
THOUGH FORMIDABLE CREATURES,
WHALE SHARKS ARE LANGUID,
DOCILE FISH.
HOWEVER, A CLOSE ENCOUNTER
IS NOT WITHOUT ITS DANGERS.

Erick says IF YOU GET SLAPPED BY THE TAIL,
YOU'RE GONNA PASS OUT
OR YOU MIGHT GET
YOUR ARM BROKEN.
WE NEED TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS -
YOU KNOW,
KEEP AN EYE ON THE TAIL,
HOW THE TAIL IS MOVING,
AND AVOID TO BE TOUCHED BY IT.

Antonio says IT'S JUST A MAJESTIC ANIMAL.
THEY'RE SO BIG
AND THEY MOVE SO GENTLE.
THEY EVEN SOMETIMES SEEM
LIKE THEY'RE NOT MOVING AT ALL,
BUT YOU HAVE TO KICK REALLY HARD
TO ACTUALLY KEEP UP WITH THEM.

The narrator says THE DISTENDED ABDOMEN
ON THIS FEMALE
MEANS THAT IT IS PREGNANT.
SOCORRO IS A PIT STOP
FOR PREGNANT WHALE SHARKS
AND MANY MIGRATE HERE
EACH AUTUMN.
HOWEVER, LITTLE IS KNOWN ABOUT
MATING AND BIRTHING BEHAVIOUR -
THE LARGEST FISH IN THE WORLD
IS ALSO
ONE OF THE MOST MYSTERIOUS.
WHALE SHARKS LIVE LARGELY
OUT OF SIGHT -
ADDING TO THEIR MYSTIQUE
AND THE SPELL
THEY HOLD OVER HUMANS.

Erick says ONCE WE ARE RIGHT NEXT
TO A WHALE SHARK THAT BIG,
I MEAN YOU FINALLY REALIZE
THAT WE'RE SUCH A SMALL SPECIES
ON THE PLANET
AND THEY'RE SUPER GIANTS.
WE ARE SURROUNDED BY GIANT
ANIMALS IN THIS WORLD.

The narrator says AT SAN BENEDICTO,
THE WHALE SHARK
IS NOT THE ONLY GIANT
ENCOUNTERED BY DIVERS.
THE GIANT PACIFIC MANTA RAY.

Antonio says WELL, SAN BENEDICTO
IS REALLY SPECIAL
BECAUSE IT'S PROBABLY THE BEST
PLACE IN THE ARCHIPELAGO
TO ENCOUNTER GIANT MANTA RAYS.
IT'S PROBABLY, I'D SAY,
THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD
TO INTERACT WITH THEM.
THEY JUST LAY
ON TOP OF YOUR HEAD
AND JUST GO WITH, GO WITH THEM,
GO WITH THEM.
YOU FEEL A PART OF THEIR WORLD,
PART OF THEM.
LIKE, IT LETS YOU IN THEIR HOUSE
I'D SAY,
IT'S JUST AMAZING.

The narrator says THE PACIFIC MANTA
IS THE LARGEST SPECIES OF RAY
WITH A WINGSPAN
OF UP TO 30 FEET -
THE WIDTH OF A TENNIS COURT.
LIKE THE WHALE SHARK,
MANTAS ARE FILTER FEEDERS
TRAVELLING WITH THE CURRENTS
ACROSS EXPANSES OF OPEN OCEAN,
IN SEARCH OF WATERS MADE RICH
WITH PLANKTON,
BY UPWELLINGS
FROM DEEP BELOW THE SURFACE.
TWO BLADE-LIKE FINS UNFOLD
TO CHANNEL WATER INTO
THE MANTA'S LARGE, OPEN MOUTH.
TINY SHRIMP, KRILL
AND PLANKTONIC CRABS
ARE THEN SIFTED FROM THE WATER
BY TISSUE BETWEEN THE GILLS.
WEIGHING AS MUCH AS TWO TONS,
A LONE MANTA CAN EAT MORE
THAN 440 POUNDS OF PLANKTON
IN A SINGLE WEEK.WHEN IT'S NOT FEEDING,
THE FINS AT EITHER SIDE
OF THE MANTA'S BROAD HEAD
RESEMBLE HORNS
AND FOR GENERATIONS,
MANTAS WERE KNOWN AS DEVILFISH.
THEIR IMPOSING SIZE
AND BAT-LIKE SHAPE
FED INTO THE LEGEND
OF THE MANTA AS 'MONSTER'.
AND FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS,
TALE OF MANTAS SMASHING SHIPS
AND FEASTING
ON SAILORS PERSISTED.
NOT UNTIL THE 1970S,
WHEN DIVERS BEGAN INTERACTING
WITH GIANT RAYS
WAS THE EASYGOING NATURE
OF THESE GENTLE GIANTS
BROUGHT TO BEAR.

The caption changes to "Adil Schindler. Underwater videographer."

Adil is in his late thirties, with short straight graying hair and a shadow of a beard. He wears a blue T-shirt and a pendant necklace.

He says IT'S LOOKING AT YOU.
IT CONNECTS TO YOU
WITH ITS BIG EYE.
AND YEAH, I'VE NEVER SEEN THAT
IN ANY OTHER PLACE
WITH THAT INTENSITY.
AND BEING ABLE TO BE SO CLOSE
TO THAT ANIMAL -
THIS IS SOMETHING
YOU WILL NOT FIND
IN ANY OTHER PLACE
ON THE PLANET.

The narrator says UNLIKE MOST SPECIES OF RAY,
THE GIANT MANTA DOES NOT HAVE
A STINGER IN ITS TAIL.
ITS ONLY DEFENSE
AGAINST LARGE OCEAN PREDATORS
SUCH AS SHARKS
AND KILLER WHALES
IS ITS SIZE AND SPEED.
BUT NEITHER SIZE NOR SPEED
CAN DEFEND THE MANTA
FROM ONE OF THE OCEAN'S MOST
REMARKABLE CREATURES -
THE GARGOYLE-LIKE REMORA
OR SUCKERFISH.
HIGHLY SPECIALIZED OVER
50 MILLION YEARS OF EVOLUTION,
THE TOP OF THE REMORA'S HEAD
IS A POWERFUL SUCTION CUP
ALLOWING IT TO CLING ON
TO THE MANTA FOR A FREE RIDE.
THE REMORA'S GRIP IS SO INTENSE,
IT IS ABLE TO STAY ATTACHED
THROUGH STRONG CURRENTS
AND CAN EVEN HANG ON,
AS THE HOST FISH ATTEMPTS TO
SCRAPE IT OFF ON THE SEAMOUNT.
REMORAS WILL AT TIMES VENTURE
INTO THE MOUTH OF A MANTA
TO FIND FOOD
OR ESCAPE FROM PREDATORS.
THERE IS SOME BENEFIT
TO THE MANTA -
REMORAS FEED ON PARASITES
AND DEAD TISSUE.
BUT THESE HITCHHIKERS
CAN BECOME A NUISANCE AS WELL -
SLOWING DOWN THE MANTA
AND CREATING SKIN ABRASIONS
AND SORES
CAUSED BY THE CONSTANT SUCTION.
THESE GIANTS HAVE COME
TO SAN BENEDICTO
FOR ITS CLEANING STATIONS -
GATHERING POINTS ON THE SEAMOUNT
WHERE RESIDENT 'CLEANER' FISH
WILL REMOVE
TROUBLESOME PARASITES.
SAN BENEDICTO IS HOME
TO A CONSTANT UNDERWATER BALLET.
PROPELLED BY POWERFUL BEATS
OF THEIR PECTORAL FINS,
MANTAS MUST SWIM CONTINUOUSLY,
TO KEEP WATER MOVING
OVER AND THROUGH THEIR GILLS
FOR RESPIRATION.
IT IS A LIFE
OF PERPETUAL MOTION.ANCESTORS
OF SHARK-LIKE CREATURES,
RAYS FIRST APPEARED
IN THE OCEANS
MORE THAN 170 MILLION YEARS AGO.
MANTAS, IN PARTICULAR,
HAVE EXCEPTIONALLY LARGE BRAINS
SPECIFICALLY THE REGION
OF THE BRAIN
RESPONSIBLE
FOR SENSORY FUNCTIONS.

Antonio says WHEN THEY SWIM, LIKE,
NEXT TO YOU,
THEY ACTUALLY LOOK AT YOU
AND THAT'S WHEN YOU FEEL, LIKE,
A KIND OF BOND.
I THINK THEY ARE
VERY, VERY SMART ANIMALS.

The narrator says LIKE THEIR SHARK RELATIVES,
MANTAS HAVE SPECIALIZED
NERVE CELLS
THAT ALLOW THEM TO PICK UP
ELECTRICAL SIGNALS
FROM OTHER ANIMALS
MOVING IN THE WATER.
EYES LOCATED ON EACH SIDE
OF THE HEAD
PROVIDE AN OPTIMAL FIELD
OF VISION.
A THIN LAYER OF SLIME
ON THE SKIN
PROTECTS THE MANTA
FROM BACTERIA
HELPS TO HEAL INJURIES
AND REDUCES FRICTION
AS IT GLIDES GRACEFULLY
THROUGH THE WATER...WANDERING THE OCEAN,
GRIPPED BY AN ENDLESS SEARCH
FOR FOOD. CLARION ANGELFISH
INSPECT THE REEF.A POPULAR AQUARIUM FISH,
THESE RADIANT ANGELS
ARE LISTED AS VULNERABLE.
THEIR HABITAT AT SOCORRO
IS NOW PROTECTED.
BLACK-NOSED BUTTERFLYFISH,
OR BARBER FISH,
ACTIVE DURING THE DAY,
WHEN THEY FEED ON ALGAE
AND SMALL CRUSTACEANS,
THESE FISH SPEND
MOST OF THEIR NIGHTS
HUDDLED NEAR THE REEF'S SURFACE.
BARBERS ARE CLEANER FISH,
REMOVING AND EATING PARASITES,
FROM THE SKIN
OF LARGER MARINE ANIMALS,
SUCH AS SHARKS AND RAYS.
CLEANER FISH,
LIKE THESE BARBERS,
ARE AN ESSENTIAL PART
OF THE SOCORRO ECOSYSTEM,
CONTRIBUTING TO THE GOOD HEALTH
OF MANTA RAYS
BY REMOVING DEAD
AND INFECTED FLESH FROM WOUNDS
CAUSED BY SHARK BITES.
SOCORRO IS A HAVEN
FOR GREAT OCEAN GRAZERS...
THE WHALE SHARK...
AND THE MANTA RAY.

(suspenseful music plays)

The narrator says BUT IT IS ALSO HOME TO HUNTERS -
LIKE THE WHITETIP REEF SHARK.

Adil says EVERY TIME I DIVE THERE,
IT REMINDS ME
OF AN ANCIENT PLACE - VOLCANIC.
IT REMINDS ME SOME
OF
JURASSIC PARK.
IT'S KIND OF SPOOKY -
BECAUSE THE VISIBILITY
IS NOT ALWAYS STELLAR,
SO IT CAN BE MISTY
AND YOU DON'T REALLY SEE FAR.
YOU KNOW
THAT THERE ARE SHARKS AROUND.

The narrator says A SMALL SHOAL OF WHITETIPS
PATROLS THE UNDERSEA MOUNTAIN...
DRAWN TO SOCORRO
BY THE RESIDENT FISH
THAT FEED ON THE PLANKTON
NOURISHED BY NUTRIENTS,
DRIVEN UP BY CURRENTS,
FROM THE OCEAN FLOOR.
AS THE NAME SUGGESTS,
WHITETIP REEF SHARKS
ARE LARGELY FOUND
NEAR CORAL REEFS,
PREFERRING CAVES, CREVICES
OR ROCKY LEDGES FOR PROTECTION.
WHITETIPS ARE PRIMARILY
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS.
DAYS ARE SPENT RESTING
AND PRESERVING PRECIOUS ENERGY.
INDIVIDUAL SHARKS
WILL GATHER IN GROUPS -
CROWDING TOGETHER
AND STACKING ONE
ON TOP OF THE OTHER.
WHITETIPS ARE CAPABLE
OF LYING MOTIONLESS LIKE THIS
FOR HOURS AT A TIME.
UNLIKE OTHER REQUIEM SHARKS,
WHICH MUST SWIM CONSTANTLY
TO FORCE OXYGENATED WATER
OVER THEIR GILLS,
WHITETIPS ARE ABLE TO BREATHE
WHILE STATIONARY -
USING MUSCLES
AROUND THEIR MOUTHS
TO PULL IN WATER
THAT THEN FLOWS
OVER THEIR GILLS.
THESE SHARKS WILL REMAIN STILL
FOR MUCH OF THE DAY
BEFORE JUMPING INTO ACTION
AT NIGHT,
SCOURING THE DARKENED REEFS
FOR SMALL FISH, EELS AND CRABS.
LARGE OVAL EYES ALLOW THE SHARK
TO SEE IN DIM LIGHT.
BUT IN THE DARK OF NIGHT,
WHITETIPS RELY ON OTHER SENSES
SUCH AS SMELL
AND SMALL,
ELECTRICAL SENSING ORGANS
IN THE SNOUT CALLED AMPULLAE
TO DETECT PREY.
IN THE DISTANCE,
A FAMILIAR UNDERWATER SOUND
CAN ONLY MEAN ONE THING -
THE ARRIVAL
OF THE OCEAN'S DEEP THINKERS -
BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS.

(DOLPHINS WHISTLING)

The narrator says THREE METRES LONG,
POWERING OVER THE SEAMOUNT
WITH MUSCULAR THRUSTS
OF THE TAIL.NAMED FOR ITS SHORT,
STUBBY BEAK,
BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS
ARE SOCIAL ANIMALS -
TRAVELLING IN PODS OF 10 TO 30.
THEIR BRAIN TO BODY RATIO,
BELIEVED TO BE A MEASURE
OF INTELLECT,
IS SECOND ONLY TO HUMANS.
SHREWD CREATURES, DOLPHINS
ARE ABLE TO COORDINATE HUNTS -
HERDING AND THEN HARVESTING
SCHOOLS OF FISH.THEY ARE EXPERT
AT ECHO LOCATION -
MAKING CLICKING SOUNDS.

(CLICKING)

The narrator says AS MANY AS 500 PER SECOND,
THAT TRAVEL
THROUGH THE OPEN OCEAN,
BOUNCING OFF OF POTENTIAL PREY,
AND REVEALING TO THE DOLPHIN,
THE ANIMAL'S SIZE, SHAPE
AND LOCATION.

(WHISTLING AND CLICKING)

The narrator says ESSENTIALLY,
THEY SEE THROUGH SOUND.
A WHISTLE THEN SIGNALS THE CATCH
TO OTHER DOLPHINS IN THE GROUP.
EACH MEMBER OF THE POD
USES A 'SIGNATURE' WHISTLE
TO IDENTIFY ITSELF.
JUST LIKE LAND MAMMALS,
DOLPHINS BREATHE AIR,
TAKING IN OXYGEN
AT THE OCEAN SURFACE
THROUGH A BLOWHOLE
ON TOP OF THE HEAD.
CONSCIOUS BREATHERS,
THEY NEVER FALL
COMPLETELY ASLEEP.
ONE HEMISPHERE OF THE BRAIN
ALWAYS REMAINS AWAKE.
SO, EVEN WHILE SLEEPING,
THE DOLPHIN IS ABLE
TO SURFACE FOR AIR
AND REMAIN ALERT TO PREDATORS.
THE INTELLIGENCE AND CUNNING
OF DOLPHINS
HAS BEEN WELL DOCUMENTED.
BUT HERE AT SAN BENEDICTO,
THE DOLPHINS EXHIBIT A STRANGE
AND REMARKABLE BEHAVIOUR,
UNLIKE ANY OTHER.

Erick says THE DOLPHINS AT SAN BENEDICTO,
EVERY TIME THEY ENCOUNTER US,
THEY TEND STOP VERTICALLY
AND WHEN THEY DO IT,
THEY START SINKING
BECAUSE
THEY'RE NOT SWIMMING ANYMORE.
AND JUST BECAUSE
THEY STOP VERTICALLY,
AND START BLOWING BUBBLES,
AND THE GIVE US A CHANCE
TO BE SUPER-CLOSE TO 'EM.
BUT I THINK-- I'VE BEEN STARTED
THINKING LATELY
THAT THE DOLPHINS
ARE MIMICKING US.
IT'S KIND OF LIKE
A MIMIC BEHAVIOUR.

(WHISTLING)

The narrator says 80 MILES WEST OF SAN BENEDICTO,
A STONY PINNACLE RISES 100 FEET
FROM THE WATERS
OF THE EASTERN PACIFIC.
ROCA PARTIDA
OR 'PARTED ROCK'.
JUST 300 FEET LONG,
25 FEET WIDE,
COATED IN GUANO
FROM NESTING SEA BIRDS,
ROCA PARTIDA IS THE SMALLEST
OF SOCORRO'S FOUR ISLANDS.
BUT THIS LONELY SPIRE
IS JUST PART OF THE STORY.

Erick says I THINK ROCA PARTIDA IS,
IT JUST NEEDS TO BE CLASSIFIED
AS THE BEST SINGLE DIVE SITE
IN THE WORLD.
WHEN YOU GET IN THE WATER
AT ROCA PARTIDA,
DEFINITELY
YOU EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.
YOU DON'T KNOW
WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO SEE.

A team of dives jump of a rubber boat into the water.

(WATER GUSHING)
(WATER GURGLING)
(WATER GUSHING)

The narrator says A POWERFUL OCEAN SURGE
CAUSED BY WAVES
PASSING OVERHEAD,
CRASHES INTO THE SEAMOUNT.
THE SWELL PUSHES WATER
TO THE SURFACE
AND BACK DOWN
ROCA PARTIDA'S VOLCANIC WALLS.

Antonio says WE ARE DIVING IN TINY ROCKS
IN THE MIDDLE
OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN,
SO WE'RE GONNA HAVE THAT
IN EVERY DIVE FOR SURE.
DEFINITELY, 'CAUSE YOU WOULD
ENCOUNTER SOMETIMES
STRONG CURRENTS
(INDISCERNIBLE SPEECH)
AND IF YOU'RE NOT USED TO IT,
IT KINDA FREAKS YOU OUT
MAYBE A LITTLE BIT.

The narrator says HUNDREDS OF FISH
CAUGHT IN THE RIPPING CURRENTS
FALL HELPLESSLY
LIKE LEAVES FROM THE SKY.
FAR REMOVED
FROM ANY OTHER LANDFALL,
ROCA PARTIDA TEEMS WITH LIFE.
ITS STEEP VERTICAL WALLS
ARE HOME
TO SMALL MARINE CREATURES
AND STUNNING HARD
CORAL FORMATIONS,
EARNING ROCA PARTIDA ITS TITLE
AS THE CATHEDRAL OF THE SEA.
A TRUMPET FISH,
ITS SNOUT FACING DOWN,
FLOATS VERTICALLY
OVER THE CORAL,
STALKING SMALL HERBIVORES.
A LONG-TAILED STINGRAY
GLIDES OVER THE SEAMOUNT,
ITS DANGEROUS TAIL SPINE
TRAILING BEHIND.
130 FEET BELOW THE SURFACE,
WHITETIP SHARKS
NESTLE ON A ROCKY LEDGE.
BUT AS THE UNDERWATER CLIFFS
PLUNGE FURTHER INTO THE SEA,
DISAPPEARING
INTO THE BLUE DEPTHS,
AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT
WORLD AWAITS -
ON SOCORRO'S OCEAN FLOOR.
A TROPICAL FLOUNDER,
BARELY VISIBLE,
LIES IN WAIT
ON THE SPECKLED CORAL BED.
FLOUNDER ARE MASTERS
OF CAMOUFLAGE,
ABLE TO CHANGE COLOURS
AND PATTERNS
IN AS LITTLE AS EIGHT SECONDS.
THIS FLOUNDER
CRAWLS ON ITS FINS
BEFORE HUDDLING DOWN
ON THE SEABED -
A CAMOUFLAGED KILLER
PRIMED TO AMBUSH
PASSING FISH AND CRUSTACEANS.
FARTHER ALONG THE SEAMOUNT,
AN EVEN GREATER MASTER
OF DISGUISE -
THE OCTOPUS SEARCHES
FOR THE PERFECT SPOT
TO SURPRISE UNWARY PREY.
ONE OF THE FEW CREATURES
ON EARTH
ABLE TO ALTER ITS APPEARANCE
IN A HEARTBEAT,
THE COMMON OCTOPUS
POSSESSES THOUSANDS
OF COLOUR CHANGING CELLS
JUST BELOW THE SURFACE
OF THE SKIN.
THE OCTOPUS IS ABLE TO CHANGE
NOT ONLY ITS COLOURING
BUT THE TEXTURE OF ITS SKIN
AS WELL.
A COMPLEX NETWORK OF MUSCLES
AND NERVES
CONTROLS PROJECTIONS
ON THE SKIN
CREATING SMALL BUMPS
OR TALL SPIKES
TO MATCH THE SURROUNDING ROCKS
AND CORAL.
A PREDATOR IN DISGUISE,
THE OCTOPUS WILL WAIT
FOR CRABS AND MOLLUSCS
THAT WANDER INTO ITS PATH.
PREY IS GRIPPED BY POWERFUL ARMS
STUDDED WITH SUCKERS.
THEN PARALYZED BY NERVE POISON
SECRETED IN ITS SALIVA.
IF CAUGHT BY A PREDATOR,
THE OCTOPUS IS ABLE
TO LOSE AN ARM,
THEN MIRACULOUSLY REGROW IT
LATER WITHOUT LASTING DAMAGE.
A GREEN MORAY EEL,
MORE THAN SIX FEET LONG,
SLINKS ALONG THE OCEAN FLOOR.
SOLITARY ANIMALS
THAT SPEND THEIR DAYS
HIDING BETWEEN ROCKS
AND INSIDE CREVICES,
GREEN MORAY EELS HAVE
DEVELOPED AN UGLY REPUTATION
FOR BEING VICIOUS -
A BELIEF BASED LARGELY
ON THE FACT
THAT MORAYS CONTINUALLY OPEN
AND CLOSE THEIR LARGE MOUTHS,
SHOWING OFF A LINE
OF RAZOR-SHARP TEETH.
THIS BEHAVIOUR
MAY APPEAR THREATENING
BUT IT IS ACTUALLY NECESSARY
FOR SURVIVAL.
BY OPENING ITS MOUTH,
THE EEL TAKES IN WATER
WHICH IS THEN FORCED
OVER ITS GILLS PROVIDING OXYGEN.
MORAYS HAVE POOR EYESIGHT
AND RATHER THAN HUNTING
FOR FISH, CRAB AND SHRIMP,
THEY HOLE UP BETWEEN ROCKS
THEN POUNCE
ON UNSUSPECTING PREY.
WITH NOTHING HERE
BUT A PRONGHORN SPINY LOBSTER
MARCHING ON THE ROCKS,
THE GREEN MORAY SWIMS OFF.
AS WITH ALL CREATURES
OF THE OCEAN,
LIFE FOR THE MORAY
IS A DELICATE BALANCE
BETWEEN PRESERVING ENERGY
AND THE ENDLESS QUEST FOR FOOD.

(music plays)

The narrator says MEANWHILE,
CLOSER TO THE SURFACE,
ONE OF SOCORRO'S
MOST SPECTACULAR SCENES
IS UNLEASHED -
JACKS, THOUSANDS OF THEM
EXPLODING
INTO THICK, SILVERY CLOUDS.
THE EFFECT IS MESMERIZING.

Antonio says IT JUST GETS DARK.
WHEN YOU'RE IN THERE,
IT JUST GETS DARK
AND WHEREVER YOU LOOK,
IT'S JUST FISH EVERYWHERE,
EVERYWHERE.

The narrator says LIKE MANY FISH,
THE JACKS HERE AT SOCORRO
SWIM IN SCHOOLS
TO PROTECT THEMSELVES
FROM PREDATORS.
THERE IS SAFETY IN NUMBERS
AND A TIGHTLY ORGANIZED SCHOOL
OF JACKS
SWIMMING IN UNISON
MAY APPEAR
AS A SINGLE LARGE CREATURE
TO A POTENTIAL HUNTER.
WHEN THE SCHOOL IS ATTACKED
BY A PREDATOR,
THE ODDS ARE LOW THAT ANY ONE
FISH WILL BE THE PREY.
THE SAME DILUTION EFFECT
ALSO DECREASES THE CHANCE
OF AN INDIVIDUAL FISH
FALLING PREY TO PARASITES.
THE LARGER THE SCHOOL,
THE GREATER VIGILANCE
AGAINST PREDATORS.
WARNINGS ABOUT ADVANCING HUNTERS
CAN BE SOUNDED BY ANY MEMBER
OF A LARGE SCHOOL,
MAKING IT UNNECESSARY
FOR INDIVIDUALS
TO SPOT DANGER ON THEIR OWN.
AS THE SIZE
OF THE SCHOOL INCREASES,
MORE EYES ARE ABLE
TO SCAN GREATER AREAS
OF THE OCEAN FOR PREDATORS,
INCREASING SAFETY
AND ALLOWING MORE TIME
TO CONCENTRATE ON FEEDING.
FOOD IN THE OCEAN
IS NOT ALWAYS EASY TO FIND.
THE MORE EYES ON THE LOOKOUT,
THE GREATER THE CHANCES
OF DISCOVERING A MEAL.
PRECISELY SPACED
FROM ONE ANOTHER,
MOVING AT THE SAME SPEED
IN THE SAME DIRECTION,
THESE JACKS ARE ABLE
TO TURN QUICKLY AND IN HARMONY.
AS IF THE SCHOOL
HAS A MIND OF ITS OWN.
FROM SPECTACULAR
SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMERS
TO GRACEFUL, GLIDING GIANTS,
THE SOCORRO ISLANDS
ARE A WORLD UNTO THEIR OWN...
ONE OF THE MANY WONDERS
OF THE GREAT BLUE WILD.

Adil says IF YOU'VE NEVER BEEN TO SOCORRO,
THEN IT WILL BE A VERY UNIQUE
EXPERIENCE FOR YOU
IN THAT WAY THAT YOU WILL GET
SO CLOSE TO ANIMALS
LIKE NEVER BEFORE IN YOUR LIFE.
THERE'S SUCH A BIG VARIETY
OF BIG ANIMALS
AND THE QUALITY
OF THE INTERACTION
IS UNPARALLELED TO ANY PLACE
I'VE EVER SEEN BY FAR.

Erick says IF YOU WANT
TO EXPERIENCE THE UNEXPECTED,
IF YOU WANT TO INCREASE YOUR
CHANCES TO SEE BIG ANIMALS,
SOCORRO IS DEFINITELY
THE BEST PLACE TO GO.

Antonio says MANTAS ARE THE HIGHLIGHT
OF SOCORRO.
THEY LET YOU INTO THEIR WORLD
LIKE CRAZY.
THE BOND WITH THE ANIMALS THERE
IS JUST AMAZING -
THE MANTAS, THE DOLPHINS.
WHEN YOU HAVE THE CHANCE TO SWIM
WITH A HUGE WHALE SHARK,
OR A HUGE HUMPBACK WHALE,
IT'S JUST SOMETHING
THAT YOU CAN'T DESCRIBE.
YOU HAVE TO BE THERE.
YOU DEFINITELY HAVE TO GO THERE.

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

Series producer and director: Dan Hughes.

Narrator, Ross Huguet.

Executive producer, Craig Colby.

Produced by Blue Ant Media.

Copyright 2015, Blue Ant.

Watch: Great Blue Wild - S 1 - Episode -2 - Socorro Island