South Pacific: Ocean of Islands

Sunday, 20:30 on BBC Two

The South Pacific islands are the most remote in the world. Their extraordinary isolation has created some of the most curious, surprising and precarious examples of life found anywhere on Earth; from giant crabs that tear open coconuts, to flesh-eating caterpillars that impale their prey on dagger-like claws.

Human culture is different too. The men of Pentecost Island celebrate their annual harvest by leaping from 20 metre high scaffolds, with only forest vines to break their fall. And on the tiny island of Anuta, possibly the most remote community of people on the planet, the locals survive entirely on what they can grow and catch.

The South Pacific's innumerable islands look like pieces of paradise, but the reality of life here is sometimes very different, with waves the size of buildings, brutal tropical storms, and, in the far south, even blizzards. This is the real South Pacific.

Narated by Benedict Cumberbatch
Producer: Huw Cordey
Executive Producer: Fiona Pitcher

Sun 10 May at 2009 20:30
Mon 11 May 2009 at 19:00
Tue 12 May 2009 at 20:00 on BBC HD

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