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'Animals are amazing.'
'And the more we find out about them,
the more amazing they seem.'
That feels pretty harsh.
'That's why scientists all over the world
'are trying their best to copy them.'
This is in the future...
'Making brand new inventions...'
'..based on what animals can do.
'Some are astounding.'
We've just dived under the sea.
This is not at all pleasant.
Yes, it's gone!
'But they're all inspired by the Miracles of Nature.'
'How engineers decided elephants might be able to
'help them rescue trapped miners.
'To prove it, I've come to a disused Californian gold mine
to take part in a pretty unusual experiment.'
Hello. Right, I'm in the gold mine.
'I'm in, like, a very narrow corridor, it's very cramped.'
'But above me, at the surface, it's suddenly a hive of activity.'
I've come to like an old, broken...
Of course, they can't hear me - the radio doesn't work down here.
And my cellphone? Well, that's long since given up the ghost. No signal.
So I have no means of communication between here and the surface.
And that is a problem, because, in about 30 seconds' time,
they're going to explode the doorway into this gold mine.
So here's the situation.
I am now trapped in the mine.
I've got no means of telling anybody on the surface
where I am or how I am.
The only thing that stands a chance of saving me
has its roots on the other side of the planet -
Scientist Dr Kate Evans has offered to show me just what that is.
'We're installing a massive loudspeaker to test Kate's theory
'that elephants can pick up vibrations through solid rock.'
Well, what we really want to do is kind of pretend it's an elephant,
if you see what I mean.
'Kate hopes this speaker will act like an elephant's foot...'
-This is genuinely quite exciting.
'..and transmit low frequency sounds straight into the ground.'
'To copy the huge weight of an elephant,
'we pile heavy sandbags on top.
'With our elephant-tech transmitter finally complete,
'Kate and I retreat to a safe distance.'
This sound - who's saying what in it?
We previously recorded a known female.
And so, what we hope is that this call will attract the males in.
'we're broadcasting the offer of a girlfriend.'
But even with an offer like that,
there is no guarantee of success.
Because the nearest male elephants
our camera team have been able to find
are more than a mile away, drinking at a bend in a noisy river.
Is it even remotely possible that they'll pick up on our signal?
Time to find out.
The call isn't being transmitted through the air,
so we can't hear it.
But we can see the speaker moving.
And astonishingly, the elephants move straight away as well.
Within moments, the three males are moving away up the bank.
But are they really going to come more than a mile to our loudspeaker?
There you go!
'And then, out of the blue, they appear.'
There's three! Wow!
-They're straight through.
-He's definitely looking for something.
He's got something on his mind, hasn't he?
There's no doubt the lead male has heard our call.
He makes his way straight towards the speaker.
But can you imagine his disappointment when,
instead of a female elephant,
all he finds is a scruffy pile of stacks?
I'd like to think we just had a bit of a chat...
What did we say?
Shot the breeze. I've no idea, no idea.
'So, with the help of elephants,
'we've successfully managed to send signals through the earth.
'But how can that elephant technology
'rescue me from a Californian gold mine?'
Well, it's not quite an elephant, but it is an ELF -
an extreme low frequency device.
And it can do, hopefully, what elephants can do so effectively,
which is transmit, communicate, through solid rock.
Quite a lot of it, in this instance.
All I've got to do is assemble it.
'It works in exactly the same way as our artificial elephant's foot.
'Only this time, the speaker is pointing upwards.'
This bit here will connect the device with the rock.
Obviously, you don't need me to tell you
that people do get trapped in mines for real
without the benefit of a TV crew
and, more importantly, without the benefit
of any means of communicating with the surface.
Sometimes with terrible consequences.
This device could give them a chance.
The whole system has been designed so it can run from car batteries,
which is pretty handy if you're stuck down a mine like this.
So the control box, if I set this thing to five,
that is telling them...
And there it goes.
That's telling them I'm in sector five, so they know where I am.
And I can tell them the air quality is OK.
So now, they know where I am and how I am.
At least, I'm telling them,
because I know the signal is leaving me and going up into the rock.
What I've no way of knowing right now
is whether or not they're receiving that vital information.
In other words,
have we the capability to do what the elephant does,
and pick those vibrations up?
100 feet above me, the ELF's inventors,
Jim Squire and Jay Sullivan, believe we have.
With the help of this small spiked cylinder.
This is the ELF's ear.
All right, let's start acquiring.
At this sort of depth, we should have the answer
in around ten seconds, if he's sending right now.
OK, it looks like we're getting a signal now.
And there it is.
Location five, good air.
And that's the point at which they'd normally send in the rescue teams.
But...I don't really need them.
Well, no, they didn't actually shut me in a gold mine
and blow up the only exit.
There'd have been a lot of paperwork.
And, anyway, the point is we've proved it works. Thank you, guys!
And thank you too to the African elephant,
whose extraordinary super sense
is definitely one of the Miracles of Nature.