Episode 7 Blow Your Mind


Episode 7

Dr Chris and Dr Xand are in Greenland to learn about glaciers and icebergs. Neptune's skipper Ragi has a difficult time docking at the iceberg.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Episode 7. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

BOTH: We are Dr Chris and Dr Xand.

0:00:020:00:04

We're tracking down the most awesome...

0:00:040:00:06

..incredible...

0:00:060:00:07

BOTH: ..and epic things in the universe!

0:00:070:00:10

BOTH: Come with us

0:00:210:00:22

and discover unbelievable things that will blow your mind!

0:00:220:00:27

Blow Your Mind will be bringing you loads of top experts

0:00:270:00:31

and scientists to help you find out more about some amazing stuff...

0:00:310:00:35

..from the Arctic to elephants, spaceships to sharks,

0:00:350:00:38

and this week it's all about ice.

0:00:380:00:41

Yes, frozen water.

0:00:410:00:43

So, hold on to your brains.

0:00:430:00:45

BOTH: Here's what's coming up!

0:00:450:00:47

Neptune skipper Ragi has a nightmare docking at the berg.

0:00:470:00:50

We confront the biggest, scariest and most awe-inspiring land predator

0:00:500:00:55

in the natural world - the polar bear.

0:00:550:00:59

And we set foot for the first time on a mega berg.

0:00:590:01:02

Chris, a week ago,

0:01:050:01:07

if you'd told me I would be desperate to find out more about

0:01:070:01:10

icebergs, well, I wouldn't have believed you,

0:01:100:01:12

but they are incredibly cool.

0:01:120:01:15

-I know.

-I mean, really, properly, excitingly cool.

-I do know.

0:01:150:01:18

And dangerous, like, dangerously cool.

0:01:180:01:20

Yeah, I do know, Xander, I'm the one who lived on an iceberg

0:01:200:01:23

and I'm telling you all this stuff!

0:01:230:01:25

Well, hurry up and tell us some more, then.

0:01:250:01:27

Last time, you were on the Neptune

0:01:270:01:28

and the captain was just about to attempt to dock the ship

0:01:280:01:32

to let you and the team put some scientific kit onto the berg.

0:01:320:01:35

It looked pretty dangerous. What happened?

0:01:350:01:37

Well, like anything to do with icebergs, it wasn't easy,

0:01:370:01:40

but I'll show you. See for yourself.

0:01:400:01:42

I had joined a bunch of scientists in Greenland.

0:01:470:01:50

Our journey started on a glacier, but now we were stalking an iceberg,

0:01:500:01:55

trying to climb aboard to continue our icy experiments.

0:01:550:01:58

Today's team of intrepid explorers and scientists are...

0:02:000:02:04

..Chris Packham, wildlife and nature expert...

0:02:050:02:07

..expedition doctor and all-round brave guy, me...

0:02:090:02:13

Dr Helen Czerski, physicist and oceanographer...

0:02:130:02:16

..Andy Torbet, extreme explorer and glacial diver...

0:02:170:02:22

..Doug Allan, polar cameraman and glacial diver...

0:02:230:02:27

..Peter Wadhams, ocean physicist and ice expert...

0:02:280:02:31

..Ragi Elson, Arctic sailor and the ship's captain.

0:02:330:02:37

Ragi is really experienced in the seas of the Arctic.

0:02:390:02:42

Because of that, he was incredibly cautious of landing the team

0:02:420:02:46

on an iceberg that was actually moving.

0:02:460:02:49

You should always take the worst scenario and work from that.

0:02:500:02:55

Be prepared for the worst.

0:02:550:02:57

Ships the size of Neptune can be badly damaged by the super-hard ice

0:02:570:03:02

of a berg, which is why Ragi was super cautious

0:03:020:03:05

and took things very, very slowly.

0:03:050:03:08

Ragi was still taking it slowly as he guided the Neptune alongside the ice.

0:03:100:03:15

It's impossible to predict how a moving berg will behave.

0:03:150:03:19

Collisions are hard to avoid.

0:03:190:03:21

RADIO CHATTER

0:03:230:03:25

And there was another unexpected problem.

0:03:280:03:31

The team had discovered a huge ledge of ice jutting out

0:03:310:03:35

just beneath the water.

0:03:350:03:36

This is known as an ice ram, and it was right under the ship.

0:03:360:03:40

There's several hundred thousand tonnes of ice down there

0:03:400:03:44

and we're on top of it.

0:03:440:03:46

If a crack opened and it broke off,

0:03:470:03:50

the buoyancy would bring the whole thing up above sea level

0:03:500:03:54

and we would be tipped over one way or the other.

0:03:540:03:57

It looks like a nice, neat place to moor,

0:03:570:04:00

but actually it's quite dangerous.

0:04:000:04:02

That's another reason why Ragi was

0:04:020:04:04

so keen not to make contact with the berg.

0:04:040:04:07

But then...

0:04:070:04:08

That's the second time the Neptune had slammed into the berg.

0:04:100:04:14

That was enough for Ragi.

0:04:140:04:15

He insisted on searching for a safer landing site.

0:04:150:04:19

Wowee. That looks really tricky, Chris.

0:04:210:04:24

The skipper has so much to think about when he's docking that ship.

0:04:240:04:28

It's scary to think it would just be tossed in the air

0:04:280:04:30

if a part of that berg rolled.

0:04:300:04:32

Yes, if it rolls, the force that would be released is massive,

0:04:320:04:35

easily enough to tumble our little ship.

0:04:350:04:38

-So the skipper is absolutely right be careful.

-Yeah, for sure.

0:04:380:04:41

He's got all of our lives in his hands.

0:04:410:04:42

I didn't realise when you went on this expedition

0:04:420:04:45

-it would be so dangerous.

-Well, you know, I'm very brave,

0:04:450:04:47

so I was fine, which is a good thing, because ice isn't the only danger.

0:04:470:04:51

We were about to come very close

0:04:510:04:53

to one of the most terrifying other dangers -

0:04:530:04:56

much to Chris Packham's delight. Check this out!

0:04:560:04:59

As skipper Ragi scoured the berg for a new docking place,

0:05:010:05:05

we soon discovered that we were not the only tourists in the area.

0:05:050:05:08

-There's a polar bear swimming, what, 50 metres off the ship?

-Really close.

0:05:100:05:13

And he's just hanging out.

0:05:130:05:15

This is all my Christmases come at once. A polar bear.

0:05:160:05:20

I really, really, really hoped to see one,

0:05:200:05:23

but I never thought we would.

0:05:230:05:25

But then, you know, these are marine mammals.

0:05:250:05:28

They can cover great distances in the sea,

0:05:280:05:31

and they frequently do, swimming between the ice floes.

0:05:310:05:34

How exciting, though, honestly.

0:05:340:05:36

Polar bears hunt on sea ice for most of the year, but it was summer,

0:05:370:05:41

so most of the sea ice had melted,

0:05:410:05:43

and the team's berg was the only ice left in the area.

0:05:430:05:47

This bear wasn't alone.

0:05:480:05:49

There was another bear up on the berg.

0:05:490:05:52

A polar bear on our iceberg. Hold on, hold on.

0:05:540:05:58

Oh, I don't believe it. I really don't.

0:06:000:06:03

There's actually another bear on the ice.

0:06:030:06:06

Through my binoculars, it's a little speck.

0:06:060:06:09

So, in the space of just half an hour, we've seen three polar bears.

0:06:100:06:15

One in the water off the ice berg,

0:06:150:06:18

one here, happy, smiling,

0:06:180:06:20

and about 500 metres over there is a third bear on our iceberg.

0:06:200:06:25

It is bear-tastic.

0:06:250:06:27

Look at him. He's just lovely. Lovely, lovely bear.

0:06:320:06:37

Despite the team's excitement,

0:06:380:06:40

these predators were a real problem for the science team.

0:06:400:06:44

Bears are really curious,

0:06:440:06:46

and capable of attacking anything or anyone that enters their territory.

0:06:460:06:51

The intention is to go on that iceberg, but three bears

0:06:520:06:55

in 15 minutes, that adds a bit of excitement to the whole thing.

0:06:550:06:59

I can see why everyone was so excited.

0:07:020:07:04

I've only ever seen polar bears in zoos

0:07:040:07:06

and they're pretty impressive there.

0:07:060:07:08

It must be mind-blowing to see them in the wild.

0:07:080:07:10

Yes, wild is the right word, because that is what you have to

0:07:100:07:13

remember all the time - they are wild, and they're hunters.

0:07:130:07:16

A male bear can get up to ten feet tall standing up,

0:07:160:07:20

and they can weigh up to 1,000 kilos.

0:07:200:07:21

And they just see other animals and humans as food.

0:07:210:07:25

So, you can see why we had to be very, very careful.

0:07:250:07:28

The next day we saw even more. Take a look.

0:07:280:07:31

In a single day, we saw five more bears.

0:07:330:07:37

That's eight altogether.

0:07:370:07:39

Our safety officer called an emergency meeting.

0:07:410:07:44

There are going to be a few simple rules here

0:07:450:07:48

that I think all of us can just get into our minds early on.

0:07:480:07:51

Number one, nobody is wandering off the ship on their own.

0:07:510:07:55

Number two, you've got to make sure there are watchers out.

0:07:550:07:57

Number three, you're going to need some equipment with you to

0:07:570:08:00

make sure that you can fend off the bear if he comes too close.

0:08:000:08:03

Having seen bears stalking seals on ice similar to this,

0:08:050:08:09

they are very clever.

0:08:090:08:11

They will see a seal from a long way away and they will take

0:08:110:08:14

advantage of the dips and hollows to stay out of sight.

0:08:140:08:18

Just try to be super bear aware.

0:08:180:08:21

If suddenly you find one very close,

0:08:210:08:24

then drop a piece of clothing on the ice.

0:08:240:08:27

Put a pair of dirty socks in your pocket.

0:08:270:08:29

Something nice and smelly, so you've got a couple of things to drop.

0:08:290:08:33

They will buy you vital seconds.

0:08:330:08:34

The Inuit have a great saying,

0:08:360:08:37

which says it's not the bear you can see that's going to get you.

0:08:370:08:41

So, it's the one you can't see that will get you.

0:08:410:08:44

Good advice about the socks. Xand? Xand?

0:08:450:08:49

I was just taking Chris Packham's advice.

0:08:490:08:51

I never would have thought a bear would be interested in my socks.

0:08:510:08:54

-Xand, there aren't any bears around here.

-That's cos I've got my socks.

0:08:540:08:57

-They'll keep anything away.

-Urgh!

0:08:570:08:59

Anyway, we did eventually make it onto the ice, despite the bears.

0:08:590:09:03

The next morning, we found a mooring spot.

0:09:030:09:05

RADIO CHATTER

0:09:070:09:10

Ragi had found what he thought was an ideal place for the Neptune

0:09:120:09:16

to dock, but the bear risk called for additional safety measures.

0:09:160:09:20

Here is the rifle.

0:09:200:09:22

He would be on guard.

0:09:230:09:25

He's a Greenlander, and used to living with the threat of bears.

0:09:250:09:28

Let's hope we don't have to use it.

0:09:290:09:32

The man leading the shore party was Andy Torbet.

0:09:320:09:36

About to get the gangway across to the iceberg,

0:09:360:09:38

and take those first few steps.

0:09:380:09:40

We'll recce sites that we can get these big ship anchors in.

0:09:400:09:44

The point of all this, is to get the scientists on there safely

0:09:440:09:48

so we can do the science.

0:09:480:09:49

Let's go.

0:09:510:09:53

LAUGHTER

0:10:020:10:05

That's why we need crampons.

0:10:050:10:06

-First on the iceberg! How does it feel?

-It's awesome.

0:10:120:10:16

This is where the adventure properly starts.

0:10:160:10:18

After Andy slipped, the rest of the crew went more carefully.

0:10:190:10:24

This is how you imagine big lumps of ice.

0:10:260:10:28

-Feel that on the top, feel it on the top.

-It's just like marble, isn't it?

0:10:280:10:31

There's nothing, there's no give in that.

0:10:310:10:34

'They needed ice that was hard and stable to attach the ropes to.'

0:10:340:10:38

-That's fine, go for there.

-'So, the drilling got under way.

0:10:380:10:42

'But before too long, they had company.'

0:10:440:10:47

He does seem to be moving a little bit towards the left, doesn't he?

0:10:490:10:52

-He is, he's walking left.

-Yeah, exactly.

0:10:540:10:57

Oh, eyes on! He's just there.

0:10:570:10:59

-Here he is. Look.

-He's very close.

0:11:000:11:04

-Very close to us.

-Could you give us an update on the situation?

0:11:050:11:10

He's still moving left to right.

0:11:110:11:13

Very good, thank you.

0:11:130:11:16

'As long as the bear kept its distance, the team could carry on.'

0:11:160:11:20

Beautiful.

0:11:200:11:22

Yep, through, through.

0:11:220:11:23

Yeah!

0:11:250:11:26

Couple more. One more.

0:11:280:11:30

Awesome. Done.

0:11:320:11:34

First step on the iceberg.

0:11:350:11:37

First person to fall over on the iceberg.

0:11:370:11:39

Yes, I think... Yeah.

0:11:390:11:41

A rather unceremonious first step for man, a giant leap for mankind.

0:11:410:11:46

Yeah.

0:11:460:11:48

The bears certainly made the team work quickly.

0:11:480:11:51

It took two days to find a safe place to dock,

0:11:510:11:54

but only an hour to actually moor.

0:11:540:11:56

For the moment, the bears had gone

0:11:580:11:59

and the scientists could get onto the ice.

0:11:590:12:02

Wow, that is absolutely fascinating stuff.

0:12:050:12:08

What did it feel like when you touched it?

0:12:080:12:10

I mean, it looks like it would be snowy and soft,

0:12:100:12:12

but I heard Helen say it was like marble.

0:12:120:12:14

It was like marble, absolutely solid, hard ice.

0:12:140:12:17

And it was brilliant the scientists made it onto the ice,

0:12:170:12:19

but there was this constant fear of polar bears.

0:12:190:12:22

They look so cute, though, don't they?

0:12:220:12:24

Yeah, but you have to keep reminding yourself they're potentially very

0:12:240:12:27

dangerous - they are one of the top predators on the planet.

0:12:270:12:30

That is mega-scary. I did like Andy's little routine

0:12:300:12:33

when he stepped on the ice for the first time.

0:12:330:12:35

-Yeah, that was pretty funny.

-Can we see it again?

0:12:350:12:37

-No, it's not fair, he slipped.

-Come on, you're never fair.

0:12:370:12:40

-Show it again.

-All right, run the VT!

0:12:400:12:43

OK, Andy, let's go then.

0:12:440:12:45

LAUGHTER

0:12:470:12:50

-That was really good. Can we just see it once more?

-OK, here goes.

0:12:500:12:54

Oops!

0:12:550:12:58

-Poor old Andy. Gets me every time.

-I know.

0:12:580:13:00

But seriously, it did take us all by surprise just how hard

0:13:000:13:03

-and slippy the ice was.

-It took you by surprise that ice was slippy?

0:13:030:13:07

Anyway, it's time for us to go,

0:13:070:13:08

-but there's lots more from the mega berg to come.

-Like what?

0:13:080:13:12

Well, looking underwater, for starters.

0:13:120:13:14

It's incredible down there,

0:13:140:13:15

and Chris gets help from the divers to examine

0:13:150:13:18

some amazing creatures that light up all by themselves.

0:13:180:13:20

But that's just a couple of the many things that will blow your mind!

0:13:200:13:25

Dr Chris and Dr Xand are with the top experts on the planet to show you more things that will blow your mind. In this episode, Neptune's skipper Ragi has a difficult time docking at the iceberg. Also, much to Chris Packham's delight, we encounter the biggest, scariest, most awe-inspiring land predator in the natural world - the polar bear. Explorer Andy Torbet is first to set foot on the mega-berg, with surprising consequences!


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS