Narrated by Hollywood actor Paul Rudd – who Marvel fans will know and love as tiny superhero Ant-Man – Tiny World is a docuseries showcasing nature’s smaller, lesser-known heroes, living within ecosystems around the world.
But, what exactly went into filming the nature documentary? And how did the team get down on the level of these tiny creatures to bring their world to life?
RadioTimes.com has some some behind-the-scene facts and nature TV firsts from the new documentary.
Tiny World facts
Filming took 3611 days
That’s exactly 9.89 years! During this time, the Tiny World team captured 200+ different species, over 3160 hours of footage – 140 hours of this was done on a drone. Each episode was then cut down from an average of 240 hours of filming. The most filmed animal was a chipmunk.
The team filmed a wood frog coming out of cryogenic suspension after surviving winter. It almost freezes solid and as it defrosts, seemingly comes back to life.
40 days were spent waiting for eggs to hatch
Over one month was spent filming dwarf cuttlefish and over 40 days were spent waiting for the cuttlefish eggs to hatch.
The smallest creature to film was 1mm
Acorn ants are smaller than a grain of sand and the entire colony of 1000 can live inside an acorn. Using tiny camera rigs, the team captured how they live. At 1mm, the smallest animal to feature in the series is the Coral Planula.
In order to get down to the level of tiniest creatures, the crew used special technology, with creator Tom Hugh-Jones joking that it was like “Honey I Shrunk the Kids”.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, he said: “We used a lot of these microscopic cameras, which have a very small lense at the front which makes the animal seem bigger than they actually are and we worked with racing drone pilots, who fly these tiny, little drones through the bushes.”
The crew filmed the incredible mating rituals of the peacock jumping spider. The males perform incredible courtship dances in which they wiggle their legs, make noises and use their brightly coloured ‘fan-shaped’ appendages to wave at a female.
Tiny World TV Firsts
Coqui Frog fight
The crew captured the first TV footage of the defensive behaviour of the coqui frog. The male frogs diligently guard their brood of eggs until they hatch, fighting off marauding snails, which made for an epic battle in miniature form.
Tri Tri Goby climbing
The team captured the first TV recording of a tri tri goby (fish) climbing. They did this by scaling and abseiling waterfalls over 50m tall.
Miniature Leaf Chameleon
This is the first time the UV glow and mating ritual of this chameleon has been captured for TV.
For the first time a highspeed robotic arm was used to capture a falling raindrop.
The crew embarked on an expedition to a remote part of Madagascar to capture the first images of a Helmet Vanga rearing its chick.
This is the first TV footage of a midwife toad dropping its eggs.
Harris Antelope Squirrels
The team filmed never-before-seen behaviour of this ground squirrel chewing on rattlesnake skin to mask their scent.
Tiny World are the first production crew to capture the defence strategy of this species. When threatened by predators, the gecko opens its jaws wide to reveal a deep blue mouth and then shoots a sticky, smelly liquid from its tail.
Tiny World premieres Friday, October 2 on Apple TV+ If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.