David Attenborough’s Light on Earth (Life That Glows)

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David Attenborough fireflies

Our most recent production, David Attenborough’s Light on Earth (the BBC title is Attenborough’s Life that Glows) is a film entirely about bioluminescence – light made by living things.

After a long gestation at Ammonite, the film was fully funded by Terra Mater Factual Studios of Austria. It was first shown in Germany and Austria on 27th April 2016 and in the UK on BBC2 on May 9th 2016. In United States it will be found on CuriosityStream.

Written by Martin Dohrn, Joe Loncraine, Paul Reddish
Produced by Martin Dohrn and Joe Loncraine
Directed by Joe Loncraine
Photographed by Martin Dohrn, Jack Hynes and Fraser Johnston
Edited by Rama Bowley
Music by Fraser Purdie
Executive Producers for Terra Mater Sabine Holzer and Ivo Filatsch

David Attenborough takes us on an extraordinary tour through one of the least understood of all natural phenomena; bioluminescence. Most people regard light made by living things as a pretty scientific curiosity, but new technology allows us to record living light with unprecedented detail. This film reveals the true scale of bioluminescence; it is everywhere, in the deep ocean, shallow reefs, soil, plains and forests, and for a few nights each year in special places, in the air.

We now know bioluminescence has evolved on at least 50 separate occasions and can be found in many thousands of different species with almost every group of organism. The numerous ways living light is used are still being counted, but for many life forms, the reasons behind light making remain a complete mystery.

Whatever the causes, bioluminescence is certainly one of the most spectacular of all natural phenomena, but until now has been hidden from view to most of us. This spectacular reveals a world few even knew existed – a whole new planet we didn’t know we had.