Just like the rest of the nation, here at Wayfairer Travel we have been glued to our screens for the past two months watching David Attenborough’s latest fascinating instalment, Blue Planet II.
As we offer a range of safari holidays, we are huge fans of documentaries which allow us to explore the mesmerising world of nature, and Blue Planet II is a particularly spectacular production. We were especially excited to our very own destination South Africa featured multiple times on the series.
With this in mind, using data from the BBC and Wikipedia we have created a handy world map of where you can find the animals featured in series 1 and 2 of Blue Planet, making it that much easier for you to live out your own Attenborough adventures.
Have a look below at our map of locations featured in Blue Planet, along with additional information on some of the interesting species which have appeared in the series.
Cape Fur Seal, South Africa
The cape fur seal featured in episode five of Blue Planet II and is located in one of Wayfairer’s very own destinations, South Africa.
The cape fur seal is also known as a brown fur seal. It is the largest of the fur seal species and also the hardiest. South African fur seals are larger than their Australian counterparts, with the average African male fur seal measuring approximately 2.3m in length and weighing 200-300kg.
The South African fur seal can be found in the southern and southwestern coast of Africa from Namibia’s Cape Cross to the Cape of Good Hope to Black Rocks, near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape Provence.
The biggest threat to South African fur seals is the great white shark.
South African fur seals are known to be friendly animals who are curious about humans and will often interact with scuba divers, however on-land they are more anxious about human engagement.
Giant Trevally, Indian Ocean
The giant trevally featured in the opening episode of Blue Planet II. The giant trevally is also known scientifically as the Caranx ignobilis, and is a large marine fish which is part of the Carangidae family. Other names for the giant trevally include giant kingfish and ulua.
The species can be found throughout the water of the Indian Ocean stretching from South Africa to Hawaii, Japan and Australia.
A unique feature of the giant trevally is its steep head profile and strong tail scures. It is a silver colour with dark spots, although males can turn black as they mature. The species is the largest fish in the Caranx genus, and can grow up to 170cm and 80kg.
The giant trevally typically prefers turbid waters but can be found across a variety of environments including estuaries, shallow bays and deep reefs.
The species is an apex predator, which was evident when the species appeared in the Blue Planet II footage – where we saw a group of giant trevally hunting birds in the Seychelles.
The population of giant trevally in the Hawaii islands is on the decline, which is a cause of concern for conservationists.
Sea Pig, Pacific Ocean
The sea pig is officially named scotoplanes, but most commonly referred to as sea pig. The sea pig is not in fact a pig which can swim - but the species’ pink and rounded appearance explains where the colloquial name has derived from.
Unlike a pig, the sea pig is a genus of deep-sea cucumbers which is part of the Elpidiidae family.
Sea pigs live on deep ocean bottoms and can be found specifically in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Ocean. On Blue Planet II we see sea pigs living in the Pacific Ocean in episode 4.
Sea pigs obtain food by extracting organic particles from deep-sea mud, species who do this are known as deposit feeders.
The species are at threat from deep-sea trawling, just one trawler sweep can kill up to 300 sea pigs. The species play an important role in the nutrition of deep-sea predators and so this threat not only affects the se pigs but also the many deep sea animals who feed on them.
Hagfish, California Coast USA
The hagfish is an unusual looking creature. It is a marine fish which is shaped like an eel and produces slime. Given these features the hagfish is also sometimes known as a slime eel.
The hagfish is unique in that it is the only living animal which has a skull but no vertebral column.
Hagfish have been in existence for an incredibly long time and those hagfish alive today are remarkably similar to those from 300 million years ago.
The hagfish’s unique vertebrae have caused an element of controversy over the years when classifying the hagfish, with a debate occurring as to whether the hagfish evolved to lose its vertebra, or whether the species in fact precedes the evolution of the vertebral column.
David Attenborough’s Blue Planet is an incredible and insightful way to learn more about the wonderful animals which reside around our waters, and is the ideal inspiration for exploring more of our world.
If you want to explore more of the world’s nature have a look at our exciting selection of safari holidays.