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Iguana Jones: Iguana's Deathdefying Snake Escape Video

Nov 09, 2016 04:30 AM EST

While there have been many studies of watching animal videos and interacting with pets as ways to relieve stress, this isn't always the case. Recent trending animal videos, however, have been so action packed that viewers could practically feel their hearts pounding in their chest. The viral video of the penguin love triangle had started the trend. Now, a footage of a marine iguana escaping death has taken center stage.

The chase was featured on BBC's Planet Earth II, a wildlife documentary series narrated by David Attenborough, a sequel to the acclaimed 2006 documentary of the same title. It showed how marine iguanas that were hatched on the Fernandina Island in the Galapagos are in danger from the very first moment they crawl out of their shells.

Marine iguanas are under constant pressure from non-native predators like rats, feral cats, and dogs, who feed on their eggs and young. Snakes, as shown in the video, also feature prominently on the list of animals that threaten marine iguanas, They are protected throughout the Galapagos and are considered vulnerable to extinction.

Matthew Meech, the film editor for Episode 1 of Planet Earth II, explained how they were able to capture the jaw-dropping scene: "With the iguanas and snakes sequence, we really wanted to set up the feeling that something wasn't quite right when the first iguana pops out, so as to make the first wide shot, when the snakes start creeping up on him, really stand out."

Meech had a tremendous amount of footage to work with but knew immediately that he had captured an incredibly rare moment on camera. "One of the amazing things about the encounter was that it was shot at such a high speed. So in real life, those things are moving much, much faster. It's incredibly hard to film them while running and keep everything in focus. But sometimes the focus didn't matter, as the moment was so intense. The music and sound design was obviously a big part of it too. The work everyone did was amazing."

Already given the nickname "Iguana Jones" by social media, the marine iguana's flight from certain death has attracted nearly 7 million views on the BBC's Facebook page and is being hailed by some as the possibly the "greatest TV moment ever".

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