BLUE PLANET is coming back – after film crews spent four years scouring the seas for a fresh cast of mysterious and beautiful, aquatic animals.
Here’s your guide to some of the incredible creatures featured in the new series, narrated by David Attenborough.
BBC The new season of Blue Planet promises some staggering encounters – narrated by Sir David Attenborough
What is the giant trevally?
Blue Planet II TV crews may have captured one of their most incredible sights yet: a vicious fish called a giant trevally leaping out of the water trying to snatch a flying seabird.
The giant trevally is an enormous beast capable of growing to 80kg, bigger than many sharks.
Typically the creatures hunt alone or in packs and prey on fish from shorelines in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, but have also been known to kill turtles and small dolphins with a body slam method.
They eat in a single bite to stop other fish from poaching their food, and can jump 6ft and reach speeds of 37mph.
Giant trevally are often considered prized by fishermen as they can snap rods and fishing lines with their strength.
What is the Asian sheepshead wrasse?
Another creature featured on the new series is the Asian sheepshead wrasse, or Kobudai, which was filmed on a kelp-covered shipwreck in Japan.
The marine fish is one of the largest species of wrasse native to the Pacific Ocean.
It can be recognised by its pinkish-grey skin and large swelling-like protrusions that resemble a “forehead” and “chin”.
The fish can reach up to 3.2ft in length and typically inhabits areas consisting of rocky reefs.
What is the zebra mantis?
The zebra mantis shrimp or striped mantis shrimp, is a creature typically found across the Indo-Pacific region.
It can grow up to 40cm in length, making it one of the largest mantis shrimp in the world.
Mantis shrimps typically are classed in two categories, smashers and spearers, and the zebra mantis falls in the latter camp.
It ambushes small fish by spearing them in a slashing motion with their raptorial appendages (front legs).
What is the fangtooth?
With its long teeth and prickly scales, the fangtooth fish, or Anoplogaster cornuta, looks like it swam straight out of a horror movie.
Its gigantic teeth are actually the longest of any fish in the ocean in comparison to its body size, which typically can reach 6in in length.
The fangtooth’s eyesight is relatively poor, so scientists think it hunts by chemoreception, where it essentially must bump into food in the dark waters.
Handout The fangtooth’s gigantic teeth are actually the longest of any fish in the ocean, in relation to its body size
Adult fangtooth fish hunt on other fish and squid, while younger ones will filter zooplankton from the water.
It is one of the deepest living fish discovered and has been observed as deep as 16,000ft.
Typically they’ll remain at the depths during the day to avoid being hunted by tuna and marlin, and then will rise nearer to the surface to hunt by starlight, and are thought to use their teeth as protection.
The fish is found throughout the world in tropical or moderate oceans, including off the coast of Australia.
What is the mobula ray?
Mobula is a type of ray that is similar in appearance to manta rays, and is typically found in typical or warm seas.
They are often called flying mobula or devil rays due to their ability to spectacularly breach out of the water.
They can reach heights of 6ft 6ins when they launch out from the ocean, and can remain airborn for several seconds.
Mobula rays are closely related to sharks, but have flat bodies and distinctive pectoral fins.
Most species don’t have a tail stinger, or they have one that is encased so it is not harmful.
Getty – Contributor The mobula ray can launch itself over 6ft out of the water
When is Blue Planet II on TV?
The new series of Blue Planet II was announced back in February and will air on October 29 at 8pm on BBC1.
Renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough will be presenting the series and his familiar voice will form part of the narration.
The seven-part documentary sequel comes 20 years after the original series, which set out to explore the deepest and darkest realms of the world’s oceans.
One of the most memorable and heartbreaking scenes was a brutal attack by a group of killer whales on one of their babies.
Other creatures featured included dolphins, fish including marlins and sea birds.
And when it aired in 2001, it received widespread acclaim from both the public and critics alike.
It also made nearly £20 million in the sales of DVDs, books and broadcast rights, while the show was sold to more than 150 territories across the globe.
Latest trailer for Blue Planet II gives glimpse of epic new series narrated by David Attenborough
A beginner’s guide to Bitcoin and how it could make you millions… or leave you really poor
IT’S 2010 and you walk into your local Post Office, slap £75 on the counter and ask for your money back in dollars. The cashier hands you back $121.50 for your hard-earned pounds – $22 …
IT’S 2010 and you walk into your local Post Office, slap £75 on the counter and ask for your money back in dollars.
The cashier hands you back $121.50 for your hard-earned pounds – $22 more than you’d get back for the same transaction today.
Getty – Contributor Bitcoin has taken the financial world by storm, but is the cryptocurrency a way to make easy money or a bubble waiting to burst?
On that same day, if you had instead spent your £75 on a mysterious virtual currency named Bitcoin, you’d now be sitting on a pile of money worth £9.5MILLION.
Indeed, since those early days, the online money has multiplied in value – give or take – 125,000 times over.
Such is the investment value of Bitcoin, that Julian Assange claims it funded both him and Wikileaks when he was forced to invest in the currency as the result of US sanctions.
And financial experts reckon its value could skyrocket even further in the next few years.
So just how do you invest in the shadowy world of Bitcoin?
What is Bitcoin and how did it start?
Bitcoin became the world’s first entirely virtual currency when it was introduced in January 2009.
Users cannot carry coins or notes and its value appears only as a number on a screen.
It was created by a shadowy online account which went by the name Satoshi Nakamoto.
New currency is created via a complex online process called mining which uses supercomputers to create new Bitcoins using computer coding.
In its early days, Bitcoin proved relatively worthless – with one notorious example seeing an early pioneer paying for a pizza using two bitcoins.
Getty Images – Getty The currency proved useful to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who claims it helped him bankroll his whistleblowing site
Today that pizza would be worth the equivalent today of £15,000.
Indeed, within a few years, the currency already had its own ‘buried treasure’ story.
Brit James Howells threw out a computer containing 7,500 Bitcoins on its hard drive – the equivalent of £56MILLION.
As only the computer the currency was bought on can be used to redeem it, the money was all but lost to Welshman Howells.
The broken Dell laptop is now believed to be buried below a mound of rubbish at a tip in Newport, Wales.
How can Bitcoin be bought?
The most common way to buy the currency is to download a broker app such as Coinbase and Blockchain.
These allow users to use a credit or debit cards to exchange pounds for Bitcoin.
Users do not have to buy whole Bitcoins and can purchase a small percentage that matches the value of their cash investment.
Once a request has been made, online ‘miners’ will decide whether to approve the transaction.
If approved, the money will be taken from a user’s account in exchange for Bitcoin.
When selling, users can use the same app to sell their Bitcoin in return for its cash value.
The value of Bitcoin has increased 125,000-fold in just seven years
How much could Bitcoin be worth?
Bitcoin bought at the beginning of 2017 is now worth ten times what it was in January.
Many commentators believe the craze is a bubble ready to burst.
But in reality, nobody knows with any great degree of certainty what will happen to the cryptocurrency in the long term.
Wall Street commentator Ronnie Moas reckons it should increase by 40 per cent by mid-2018.
By contrast, economist Kenneth Rogoff predicted “the price of bitcoin will collapse” in a piece for the Guardian.
Game Sale: Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch games prices slashed for Christmas including FIFA 18, Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed
GAME has rolled out a Christmas sale on some of the most popular gaming titles out right now. So if you’re still searching for some last minute presents it might be worth a look – as pr…
GAME has rolled out a Christmas sale on some of the most popular gaming titles out right now.
So if you’re still searching for some last minute presents it might be worth a look – as prices are much cheaper than they were this time last week.
FIFA 18 cover star Cristiano Ronaldo
The sale includes titles such as Fifa 18, Overwatch, Destiny 2, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Star Wars Battlefront 2, LA Noire and Call of Duty WWII.
A range of accessories are also available at discounted rates.
Christmas gifts 2017: The cheapest Xbox, PS4 and PC games you can buy including Call of Duty WWII, Assassin’s Creed and Overwatch
Most of the offers in this sale are valid until December 27, however some of them will be running for longer. Check GAME’s official website for details.
It’s also worth checking out Amazon at the moment as it’s got discounts on a wide range of games which can be found here.
What’s in GAME’S Christmas sale?
Destiny 2 – £19.99
What the critics say about Destiny 2
IGN: “Destiny 2 succeeds where the original failed the most: its delivery of a story-driven campaign good enough to match its finely tuned first-person shooter gameplay and great looks.”
Gamespot: “There are a variety of changes both under the hood and throughout your activities that make it a significant improvement over the original and a better experience for more than just the most hardcore players.”
Trusted Reviews: “Destiny 2 is one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played this year. Featuring a stellar, albeit easy, single-player campaign, excellent combat and class mechanics, and the most enjoyable cooperative multiplayer I’ve seen in a shooter since Gears of War 4, Destiny 2 is a must-buy.
Overwatch – £24.99
Blizzard Overwatch has been one of the most popular games of 2017
What the critics say about Overwatch
IGN rate the game at 9.4 out of 10 and describe it as the “crossroad at which pure tactile joy meets refined, intelligent design to create a rare spark of magic.”
Trusted Reviews has Overwatch at 4.5 stars and praises its “inventive and varied action that’s always fun, a diverse cast of characters and abilities” and its constant ability to surprise.
Fifa 18 – £32.99
EA Fifa 18 was released to rave reviews
The verdict on FIFA 18
“FIFA 18 is once again powered by the Frostbite engine, only this year it’s been tweaked and refined.
“Yes, it’s still probe to weird glitches and bugs, but on the whole, it’s tremendously impressive.”
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Ubisoft The popular animated series has been converted into a hit game
What the critics say about South Park: The Fractured But Whole
IGN: “By a wide margin, South Park: The Fractured But Whole is the funniest roleplaying game since South Park: The Stick of Truth came out three years ago.”
Trusted Reviews: “Ubisoft has created the ultimate South Park experience. The Fractured But Whole is outrageous, shocking and absolutely hilarious.”
Assassin’s Creed Origins – £34.99
Ubisoft Assassins Creed Origins sees the game head way back in time to ancient Egypt
The verdict on Assassin’s Creed Origins
“The world is stunning to look at – and is teeming with intricate details, from underwater caverns to secret tombs hidden in pyramids.
“Wander away from the hustle and bustle and there’s an entire ecosystem of flora and fauna.
“Vultures circle in the sky above the barren deserts, hippos and crocodiles patrol deeper waters while wild buffalo graze in the shallow pools.”
Star Wars Battlefront 2 – £34.99
EA Star Wars Battlefront 2 has met a mixed reception since its release
The verdict on Star Wars Battlefront 2
Almost everyone in the industry has praised how the game looks on all platforms with its visuals distinguishing it from other popular Christmas tit
The reviews for the single player campaign have also been largely positive, along with the quality of the multiplayer.
However, fans and reviewers alike have been disappointed by the prominence of micro-transactions in the multiplayer which encourage players to spend additional money to unlock their favourite characters and more.
LA Noire – Nintendo Switch £29.99 – PS4 and Xbox One – £29.99
What the critics say about LA Noire remastered for Nintendo Switch
Gamespot: “When it first released in 2011, L.A. Noire was an anomaly; its facial capture tech was an innovative showcase of animation, and it’s focus on slower-paced interrogation puzzles widely contrasted the big-budget shooters of the time.
“Six years later, the game has surprisingly managed to make its way onto Switch. While a few sacrifices were made in performance and graphical fidelity to get L.A. Noire running, the ambitious spirit of this stylistic 1940s-era detective adventure remains.”
Call of Duty WWII – £42.99
Activision Call of Duty WWII is one of the most popular online shooters this winter
What’s the verdict on Call of Duty WWII?
What’s in the Fortnite Battle Royal update and does the winter patch include Christmas skins and gear?
THE Winter Fortnite update for Battle Royale mode on Xbox One, PS4 and PC is now live. But what does the update involve and what Christmas gear can you download in the patch? What’s in the Fo…
THE Winter Fortnite update for Battle Royale mode on Xbox One, PS4 and PC is now live.
But what does the update involve and what Christmas gear can you download in the patch?
Epic Games The new Winter patch includes new festive weapons, along with the usual tweaks and bugfixes
What’s in the Fortnite Battle Royal update?
On December 14, the hit Epic Game title went offline in order for maintenance work to be undertaken ahead of the patch v.1.1.1 launch.
Now the Fortnite and Battle Royale Winter update is live on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
The official Fortnite Twitter account has just tweeted to say it’s now available to download.
They tweeted: “The holiday update is live! Get festive with new skins, wintery weapons and snow filled Save the World missions! Stop reading this and get in game with your squad.”
Epic Games You are now able to access your inventory from the menu without having to load into a mission
It typically takes 75 to 150 hours of play to unlock over 65 rewards by the end of the season.
The game allows you to play any mission and earn Seasonal Gold, but can be used to bag seasonal items or see what is up for grabs in the weekly section.
And you can now manage your storage with the global inventory, which can be accessed from the menu instead of being loaded into a mission.
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