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Jan 20, 2018

Squid wars and methane explosions: how Blue Planet II captured never-before-seen views of the ocean

On her very first dive into the frigid waters of Antarctica, Orla Doherty’s yellow submarine began taking on water. So she did what she was supposed to — she stuck a finger in the puddle at her feet and licked it. It was salty. That meant it wasn’t drinking water spilled by one of the crew members; it was saltwater leaking into the sub — at 1,476 feet (450 meters) below the surface. “That made my heart start beating quite fast,” says Doherty, a producer for BBC America.

Doherty braved the perilous Antarctic waters for the TV series Planet Earth: Blue Planet II, which premieres in the US on January 20th. The sequel to the 2001 The Blue Planet takes viewers into a seven-episode tour of the world’s oceans, from coral reefs to the bottom of...

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