One Ocean. 20,000 Islands. A Quarter of the World's Water.
The extraordinary wildlife, culture and history of this immense, fascinating ocean and its myriad islands are revealed in stunning detail in this acclaimed BBC series.
With its coral reefs, turquoise lagoons and dramatic oceanic atolls, the South Pacific is the archetypal paradise. But from the shores of Hawaii to Easter Island and a thousand tiny remote islands, this ocean holds some of the most bizarre and intriguing surprises on Earth...
The incredible photography and discoveries of this series capture the amazing natural sights of the region: from erupting undersea volcanoes to jewelled tropical reefs and from tiger sharks catching albatross chicks to giant crabs opening coconuts. It reveals how the islands' isolation has helped evolve flesh-eating caterpillars, vampire bugs with antifreeze in their veins, a strange nocturnal parrot with a mating call like a bull frog and the fascinating monkey-tailed skink.
South Pacific also tells of the people whose ancestors journeyed thousands of miles to the islands. Some acquired new survival techniques such as the palolo worm-harvesting Samoans or the Solomon islanders who fish with spider webs and kites, while others developed bizarre rituals such as the Pentecost land divers who leap from 25-metre wooden scaffolds.
With incredible natural spectacles, dramatic footage and fascinating stories, South Pacific will change the way you view this ocean forever.
Runtime: 60 minutes
South Pacific - Pacific Ocean - Netflix
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to Antarctica) in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east. At 165,250,000 square kilometers (63,800,000 square miles) in area (as defined with an Antarctic southern border), this largest division of the World Ocean—and, in turn, the hydrosphere—covers about 46% of Earth's water surface and about one-third of its total surface area, making it larger than all of Earth's land area combined. Both the center of the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean. The equator subdivides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific. Its mean depth is 4,280 meters (14,040 feet). The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the world, reaching a depth of 10,911 meters (35,797 feet). The western Pacific has many peripheral seas. Though the peoples of Asia and Oceania have traveled the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times, the eastern Pacific was first sighted by Europeans in the early 16th century when Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and discovered the great “southern sea” which he named Mar del Sur (in Spanish). The ocean's current name was coined by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521, as he encountered favorable winds on reaching the ocean. He called it Mar Pacífico, which in both Portuguese and Spanish means “peaceful sea”.
South Pacific - Early migrations - Netflix
Important human migrations occurred in the Pacific in prehistoric times. About 3000 BC, the Austronesian peoples on the island of Taiwan mastered the art of long-distance canoe travel and spread themselves and their languages south to the Philippines, Indonesia, and maritime Southeast Asia; west towards Madagascar; southeast towards New Guinea and Melanesia (intermarrying with native Papuans); and east to the islands of Micronesia, Oceania and Polynesia. Long-distance trade developed all along the coast from Mozambique to Japan. Trade, and therefore knowledge, extended to the Indonesian islands but apparently not Australia. By at least 878 when there was a significant Islamic settlement in Canton much of this trade was controlled by Arabs or Muslims. In 219 BC Xu Fu sailed out into the Pacific searching for the elixir of immortality. From 1404 to 1433 Zheng He led expeditions into the Indian Ocean.
South Pacific - References - Netflix