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David Attenborough returns in this landmark series to his most magical place on earth, the Great Barrier Reef.

In this first episode, David descends beneath the waves at night in the state-of-the-art Triton submersible, the first of its kind to visit the reef. He meets some of the tiny coral animals that built the reef and helped to turn it into an underwater wonderland. He then takes to the skies to witness the vast scale of their endeavour, a living structure that provides a home for thousands of species.

Using cutting-edge technology to generate computer scans of the sea floor, David learns that the Great Barrier Reef we know today is much younger than scientists ever imagined. He meets some of the people that have lived alongside it and who have told stories of its origins for thousands of years.

At the beautiful Lizard Island research station, David explores newly discovered research which uncovers a complex community of animals who form remarkable relationships among the coral. But none of this great diversity would be here if it were not for one extraordinary event that happens every year, providing a spectacular finale: the annual coral spawning.

Release date:

58 minutes

Last on

Wed 10 Jan 2018 17:00
BBC Two Scotland


Role Contributor
PresenterDavid Attenborough
WriterDavid Attenborough
DirectorMike Davis
ProducerAnthony Geffen

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Take an interactive journey

Take an interactive journey

Explore the beautiful but threatened world of the reef with this interactive guide.