Our planet is defined by stunning, fascinating landscapes – yet large parts of these vistas remain hidden and inaccessible to most of us.
It is only from a bird’s eye view, from high above, that we are able to take in mighty mountain ranges, vast forests or endless deserts in all their glory – and truly appreciate the individual details and elements that make up the greater whole.
Drones, helicopters and balloons reveal spectacular views of great glaciers in the European Alps, tropical rainforests in Borneo, craggy karst mountain ranges in China, expansive Mongolian grasslands, massive forests in Lapland and wide-ranging river deltas like the Okavango and the Nile – from up close and from far away.
The view from above allows us to better understand biological and ecological systems and connections and to discover treasures hidden or obscured by largely untouched nature: treasures like the snow mice who rear their young near the last remaining large glaciers of the Alps, or the wrinkle-lipped bats that make their homes in subterranean caves at the heart of Borneo’s jungles and attract the attentions of Oriental pied hornbills and Wallace’s hawk-eagles. Then there are the eastern black crested gibbons who have withdrawn to refuges in the distinctive hills and rockfaces of China’s unique karst mountains.
All these natural wonders and more are all too often hidden from human view but can be espied from above. The non-obvious behavior as architects of termites and elephants in the vast Okavango Delta in Botswana, the birthplace of the Blue Nile in the Ethiopian Simien Table Mountains, where geladas keep their territories in the steepest slopes. Or the dunes of Lençóis in Brazil, a coastal landscape that is radically transformed by seasonal cycles. If they are flooded, or lie on the dry, it’s a magical desert, with wave after wave of shimmering white sand.
The bird’s eye perspective also reveals the complexity of mass migrations, including those of the large herds of reindeer that leave their winter homes in the forests of Lapland and travel to the coast following the seasonal availability of food, or the thousands of Mongolian gazelles who journey to the lush green pastures every year to give birth to their young. The full intricacy and majesty of our planet is only revealed from a height all too often inaccessible to humans – until now.
A production by Terra Mater Studios