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Between our knowledge and their achievements, lies a deep secret.
Since 2012, several independent scientific studies have radically changed our thinking about the biology and physiology of marine mammals. We believed that orcas or killer whales were surface predators but we have just discovered a sub-species that is capable of diving to depths over a thousand metres. The same goes for elephant seals: they have been recorded at depths of 2,133 metres! We knew that sperm whales were capable of deep dives even though we had no way of observing them: but now they have been captured on film in the deep ocean trenches off the coast of Mexico. But the sperm whales’ deep diving record of 2,500 metres has just been shattered by a relatively unknown outsider – the Cuvier’s beaked whale recorded dives in 2014 at depths of 2,992 metres for a duration of two hours and 15 minutes – the longest and deepest dive of any mammal. Scientists are now focusing their attention on other members of the mysterious beaked whale family and are expecting to find more records and possibly even new species of these champions of the deep who live far from our coasts.
Using tags attached to the animals, cameras in the deep ocean trenches and 3D scanning images, this film follows and illustrates a modern scientific revolution. Constructed as a dramatic progression towards the deep sea trenches – from the least deep dive to the deepest – it shows animals that are extremely rare and highlights the remarkable physiological adaptations that allow them to dive so deep.