Introduction: Mysterious (01:23)
The Pacific Ocean is the largest on Earth. It is full of life, drama and undiscovered species.
Every September, Oliver Ridley sea turtles mass nest on Ostional Beach; the phenomenon is not understood. One million dig holes for clutches of one hundred eggs per nest in effort to predator swamp. Scavengers feast on the turtle eggs, but enough survive to carry on the species.
Malpelo Island (03:42)
The Pacific Ocean offers navigational tools to inhabitants; volcanic Malpelo Island attracts silky, hammer head, and whale sharks. They congregate from thousands of miles away, circling the land mass for up to months. Sharks can sense prey's electrical signatures; scientists reason they also detect the island's anomalous magnetic field.
Sand Circles (06:13)
In 1995, divers found circular patterns on the ocean floor off Amami Island; currents swept them away, and they reappeared elsewhere. The phenomenon baffled scientists for 10 years until the discovery of the white spotted puffer; the fish sweeps fine sand into a center love nest, engineering a design 20 times his size. After a female approves the artwork and releases her eggs, he guards them as the formation erodes and they hatch.
Chambered Nautilus (03:47)
Five mass extinctions have wiped out most life on Earth; the chambered nautilus survived all, but now only six remain. Its survival and movement are mysteries, being of few swimming shelled animals. It scavenges and hunts by day, and rests as it deeply dives at night.
Horseshoe Crabs (05:05)
The horseshoe crab, a 450 million year old species, is now struggling to survive; it is a sea bottom plowing chelicerate that grinds it prey to a pulp. It has ten specialized eyes on its shell and tail photo receptors. Since 2002, populations have drastically declined due to habitat destruction; at Aquatic Science Laboratory, they are grown in labs in effort to increase populations.
White Humpback Dolphins (02:44)
Born dark gray, the White Humpback Dolphin lightens until snowy. Chinese fisherman once saw them as bad luck, with high numbers competing for catches; China is now protecting the species, but populations are very low.
Firefly Squid (03:58)
Every year, at Toyama Bay, fisherman await the life cycle migration of up to one billion firefly squid; their luminescence radiates from protein crystals. They are a Japanese delicacy which must be harvested quickly as they die soon after spawning.
Nan Madol (02:26)
Pohnpei, Micronesia is home to the ancient citadel, Nan Madol; the Saudeleur Dynasty left behind a stone city with 50 foot high walls linked by 200 acre spanning bridges. Construction required movement of five ton columns; it is not understood how the task was accomplished.
Lord Howe Stick Insect (06:12)
Remote Lord Howe Island evolved a unique population of birds, insects and lizards; the Tree Lobster thrived there until a shipwreck introduced rats that ate through the population in two years; 1920 marks the last recorded sighting of the species. They were rediscovered occupying a single bush on Ball's Pyramid, a tall, formidable island. Scientists intensively breed them in labs, hoping to reestablish their numbers.
Glass Sponges (06:22)
Phil Newton is a world leader in deep ocean exploration; the Aquarius submersible can dive down to 1000 feet, enduring intense pressure. In Vancouver, Canada, a twenty foot reef of glass sponges endures 500 feet below the sea; it resembles Earth's first multi cellular life forms. They are filter feeders, siphoning silicates, and create reefs up to four stories high and 11,000 years old.
Turtle Graveyard (03:22)
Sabah's coral reef hides the tomb of lost turtles, an underwater cavern housing many remains and unhatched shells. The crypt is unique to the superior navigators; reasons for dying there are unknown.
Hatchlings (Credits) (02:53)
After fifty days on Ostional Beach, baby Oliver Ridley sea turtles hatch and begin a dangerous voyage to the ocean. Birds feast on them heavily; less than eight percent survive. (Credits)
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