This landmark series explores the outer limits of recent scientific discoveries and encounters sharks that can perceive human electric auras and dolphins that use ultrasound to see human embryos in the womb.

There are frogs that have mastered cryogenics and can literally freeze themselves out of life for six months, and lizards that cry blood.

In this ‘strange but true’ world, lizards walk on water, bacteria make gold and pets predict earthquakes. Science shows that most animals live in a different sensory and physical world to humans. Enter their world and weird phenomena such as raining fishes and stranded whales suddenly make sense.

Behind the Scenes

Here’s one we made earlier

To tell the story of how hippos secret calls carry along 30 kilometres of river, a remote mini-submersible was used among them for the first time. Filming in the crystal clear waters of Mzima springs in Kenya, the mini-sub nosed right in among the family groups.The problem was that whenever the sub broke the surface it frightened the hippos. The solution was to make a papier-mch hippos head, improvised on location out of local materials, that fooled the hippos. Having sorted out the hippo problem, the crew then had to cope with a troop of vervet monkeys intent on creating havoc with the equipment.

Heli Cam

‘In-flight Movie’ also pioneered the use of filming from a model helicopter. In the early days the pictures tended to be unstable and it was common to crash a helicopter for every shot shown on screen. There was also no on-board video so the helicopter had to be flown blind. Nowadays, accidents are almost unheard of, pictures are stable and there is continuous transmission of live pictures to the ground.

In-flight movie

In 1987, ‘In-flight Movie’ fulfilled the dream of capturing the view from the back of a flying bird. To achieve this feat, a Super-8 camera was stripped down to little more than a motor, a film cartridge and a lens, the result – a 200 gram camera that could be carried by a trained buzzard. ‘Eagle’ (1998) updated the technique using a tiny video camera with an onboard transmitter. This transmitted live pictures from an eagle flying across the Alps. Supernatural continued the pioneering work using a flock of greylag geese reared by a production team member. ‘Buff’, the flock leader was trained to carry a harness containing an even smaller camera – this ‘Goosecam’ captured amazing views from inside the flock.


Timeslice was used many times in Supernatural to allow the camera to move around stunning stop motion images. How was the amazing feat achieved? The Timeslice camera consists of an arc of 120 separate lens. Because each lens is in a different position it ‘sees’ a slightly different view of the same moment of time. These different views are projected onto the frames of a strip of movie film. When the film is replayed the viewpoint changes as the sequence of frames is played back. This gives the impression of travelling around a frozen event. Timeslice was developed by Tim Macmillan of Timeslice films. Similar techniques have subsequently been seen in films like The Matrix and many commercials.