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Wonders of the Monsoon

  • 2014
  • Season 1
  • 5 episodes
  • Education
  • Nature

Summary

How life flourishes under the tumultuous weather system that is the monsoon.

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Episode 4: Strange Castaways

Summary

Documentary examining the plants and animals that thrive in monsoon areas, narrated by Colin Salmon. Crested black macaques take advantage of an abundance of fruit, and maleo birds use the sun to incubate their eggs on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. On Java, locals climb volcanoes to offer live sacrifices in thanks for the peaks' help in precipitating rain and fertilising plants with ash. The frequent and heavy rains in Borneo have destroyed the soils, created fierce competition for scarce nutrients, and driven evolution to produce some curious creatures. The Rajah Brooke's pitcher encourages tree shrews to relieve themselves to obtain the substances it needs, while the Bornean red leech is capable of swallowing the giant blue earthworm in one gulp.

Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Having lulled us into a false sense of security with charming shots of black crested macaques in Sulewesi displaying touchingly human behaviour, this film suddenly turns into a Hieronymous Bosch painting.

The cameras dive down to the forest floor in Borneo to reveal a world of writhing, scuttling insect life where competition for nutrients reaches epic levels. Leeches suck down massive earthworms as easily as if they were spaghetti, armour-plated caterpillars with Mad Max-style spikes demolish entire plants and armies of termites devastate vegetation that looks weirdly like internal organs with military precision.

Yet there is a strange exotic beauty about these places that are so reliant on monsoon rains.

How to watch

Loading

Streaming

Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
NarratorColin Salmon

Crew

rolename
Executive producerJames Honeyborne
Executive producerChris Cole
ProducerKathryn Jeffs
Series producerPaul Bradshaw

All episodes

  • Episode 4

    Strange Castaways

    Summary

    Documentary examining the plants and animals that thrive in monsoon areas, narrated by Colin Salmon. Crested black macaques take advantage of an abundance of fruit, and maleo birds use the sun to incubate their eggs on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. On Java, locals climb volcanoes to offer live sacrifices in thanks for the peaks' help in precipitating rain and fertilising plants with ash. The frequent and heavy rains in Borneo have destroyed the soils, created fierce competition for scarce nutrients, and driven evolution to produce some curious creatures. The Rajah Brooke's pitcher encourages tree shrews to relieve themselves to obtain the substances it needs, while the Bornean red leech is capable of swallowing the giant blue earthworm in one gulp.

    Review

    Rating: 3 out of 5.

    Having lulled us into a false sense of security with charming shots of black crested macaques in Sulewesi displaying touchingly human behaviour, this film suddenly turns into a Hieronymous Bosch painting.

    The cameras dive down to the forest floor in Borneo to reveal a world of writhing, scuttling insect life where competition for nutrients reaches epic levels. Leeches suck down massive earthworms as easily as if they were spaghetti, armour-plated caterpillars with Mad Max-style spikes demolish entire plants and armies of termites devastate vegetation that looks weirdly like internal organs with military precision.

    Yet there is a strange exotic beauty about these places that are so reliant on monsoon rains.

    How to watch

    Loading

    Streaming

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    NarratorColin Salmon

    Crew

    rolename
    Executive producerJames Honeyborne
    Executive producerChris Cole
    ProducerKathryn Jeffs
    Series producerPaul Bradshaw
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