Desert Seas46:08

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Published on July 12, 2016

Desert Seas Never before has a film crew had such unrestricted access to the wonders of Saudi Arabia’s seas. Desert Seas narrated by Sir David Attenborough tells the story of how the peninsula of Arabia transformed from an ocean millions of years ago to the desert it is today. The Gulf is now home to a myriad of sea creatures but, just as Arabia was once ocean, a mere 10,000 years ago this expanse of water was a swampy flood plain. Since it drowned as sea levels rose, the Gulf is now the world’s hottest and saltiest open sea. The Red Sea, on the other hand, is a far older coral-fringed chasm formed as plate tectonics pulled Africa and Arabia apart; its reefs are prowled by huge moray eels and their shrimp entourages. Splash into the waves that line this desert land and join us as we explore these waters and see what other treasures hide within these mysterious and little-studied seas. We’re diving in at the deep end in this documentary about two sister seas: the muddy Gulf and the diamond-clear Red Sea. They lie either side of Saudi Arabia, but they’re worlds apart in their terrain and marine life. Sir David Attenborough introduces us to the inhabitants of the hot, salty Gulf, where rocks turn into cuttlefish and green turtles graze on the sea grass. Meanwhile, in the Red Sea, predatory trevally fish cruise the hood and barracuda are hunting in packs. Dangerous waters indeed, but the glorious camerawork and Sir David’s familiar, gentle narration make us want to dive right in. Stunning!

Along the east and west coasts of Saudi Arabia are two seas that contain a treasure of marine life that few knew existed — and even fewer had ever seen. The Arabian Gulf was formed at the end of the last Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago, and the Red Sea’s history goes back even further. And now, thanks to Saudi Aramco, for the first time millions of viewers across the globe are able to marvel and see up close the exotic marine life that populates these two bodies of water. Saudi Aramco teamed up with award winning British documentary makers Icon Films to produce Desert Seas, a 60 minute natural history production that took more than a year to produce. The film’s objective was clear: to expose the world to the wondrous subsurface realms of the Kingdom’s waters.


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