Volcanoes are among the most spectacular and powerful forces on our planet. They create new land, change landscapes and destroy civilizations, but more than two billion years ago, they also breathed life into our world. From the ocean abyss to snow-covered summits, this ambitious series paints a detailed picture of the struggles and amazing intimacy required to survive around volcanoes.
Spectacular scenery provides the backdrop for the extraordinary animals and plants that have learned to juggle with fire. Fragile and engaging, these creatures teach us lessons in survival in a world as fascinating as it is dangerous.
On the flanks of this still active mountain, the vegetation has been burnt away by lava flows leaving barren stretches that are recolonized over hundreds of years. At the foot of the volcano, fields, pastures and towns have grown over the oldest lava flows. In this harsh environment, nature struggles to conquer ash and lava before the next eruption erases its efforts ... and the phoenix must rise again.
In the vast emptiness of the Pacific Ocean, tectonic movements construct or swallow islands. In the Tongan archipelago, two little-known animals have learned to cope with these ephemeral lands risen from the ocean depths: the sooty tern, a seabird that never dares wet its wings for fear of drowning, and the Alvin shrimp, a blind crustacean that manages to find its way around the abyss. When an underwater volcano becomes an island, the fates of these two extraordinary paradoxes are linked.