South Korea, Earth’s Hidden Wilderness
Full HD Documentary 2018
Watch: The White Lions
Once a mountain kingdom of ancient palaces and emperors, Korea in the 21st century is largely known for its modern cities and decades of conflict. Tensions between North and South may be what defines it to outsiders but beyond the battle scars there is another side to Korea. In the south are large pockets of untouched wilderness where extraordinary animals flourish and Koreans continue to practice age-old traditions in tandem with the seasons and with nature. It is in these connections, rather than in division, that we see the true Korea.

At the southernmost tip of the peninsular we follow a pod of bottlenose dolphins through the volcanic islands of Jeju. They click at each other as they encounter a human in their midst, but the dolphins know this diver well – they have shared the ocean with the Haenyeo, or sea women, for thousands of years. We travel onwards to the isolated island of Marado, where three generations of sea women are preparing for a dive. Today is the start of the conch season, and they work hard whatever the weather to maximise their catch.

In the grounds of an ancient palace on the mainland, a raccoon dog family takes advantage of a rare event. Just once every five years, hundreds of cicadas emerge from below ground providing an easy feast for the raccoon dogs who voraciously fill their bellies. Those that escape their jaws make for the safety of the trees, where they metamorphosise into their flying form.

On the mud flats of Suncheon Bay we find a habitat that is neither land nor sea. Only recently has the ecological value of mudflats been recognised. A staggering 50 per cent of the earth’s oxygen is produced by phytoplankton – microscopic algae that are found here in great abundance. That is why the mudflats are known locally as the lungs of the earth. Plankton is far from the only life here – the mud of the bay is rich in nutrients and supports one of the most diverse ecosystems on the peninsula. We follow the story of a young mudskipper who has emerged for his first mating season. His journey to find love is paved with obstacles.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. Yeah, this video intentionally avoids the massive environmental damage the Korean governments do by ignoring or aiding companies that destroy the environment. This is especially true with the disgusting air pollution of South Korea. Yes, of course the pollution from China is awful and they poison the Yellow Sea but Koreans do plenty of self harm to Korea all on their own. It is a shame that environmental documentaries like this one rarely ever mention the whole story. It gives viewers the impression that everything is alright but in actuality it is the exact opposite in Korea and all around the world.

    Also gotta love the nationalist Koreans eager to point out that Japan hunts dolphins… yeah they also hunt whales against international law and fish tuna without concern for quotas. Yet these commentators only mentioned the dolphins because of the endless stupidity of Asian nationalism of whose politicians always raising the bloody red flag. If you really cared about dolphins then you'd agree with my first point but clearly all these "dolphin lovers" are fine with the documentary. Which is it? Are you an environmentalist or a nationalist puppet reliving the Japanese occupation at all opportunities? Why else bring up the obvious? You know Koreans eat dogs, right? Stop throwing rocks when you live in a glass house. Are you going to comment on all other nature docs that feature dolphins in East Asia and bring up the Japanese? France and Germany have fought more and way bloodier wars that caused much more destruction than Korea and Japan ever did but you fools cannot get over it, unlike the French and Germans. The Japanese generally are environmentalist fraudsters and insensitive towards the truth about their actions in WW2 but don't for a second think that Korea is any better. These commentators wouldn't know because of one sided documentaries like this that paint a rosy picture of an environment that is actually broken and South Korean politicians that whip up nationalist fervor via anti-Japanese hate fests so that South Koreans can hate outsiders and ignore the problems created by their own leadership!

  2. It’s impressive that some people can hold their breath for so long and under water at that. However, dolphins aren’t scared of scuba gear like sperm whale is. I would want scuba gear just so i wouldn’t have to keep going up for air. That’s a lot of time and energy to have to keep rising and diving. You can’t spend as much time as you might want to in your in the middle of doing something with a dolphin.

  3. I like the hawk-man : so wise, skillful and serene.In South Korea they respect the freedom of the hawk. In Russia our government doesn"t even respect the freedom of expression of its people. And these old women who dive without oxygen for mollusks ,in Russia the women of this age had already dived under the ground or , if the best happened , they dive down only to the level of a grocery store.

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