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In this fascinating programme from the BBC, documentary-maker David Malone explores the secrets of ocean waves. He finds that waves are not made of water - waves are energy in motion, travelling long distances, but away from shore the water that passes the energy usually just moves in small circles...



We can watch waves endlessly (although not often in such beautiful ways as this), without appreciating their true nature. The sound of waves, for instance, doesn't come from water, but from millions of vibrating bubbles...


...and there are waves not just on the surface between water and air, but between layers of water...


...the most complex (and the most important) of which are oceanic Rossby waves, which can take months or years to cross an ocean and have many effects on our climate, including being the reason why the British Isles aren't locked in ice (more on their importance here, in far more detail than was possible in the programme)


Waves do not just happen in water - they underlie so many other processes of life and nature, taking forms that we often don't see or recognize...


... and by the end of this extraordinary programme we can see David Malone's mother, at the very end of her life cycle, as (among many other things) a very complex and beautiful wave.


This excellent and thought-provoking film has been shown several times on UK TV. If it comes your way and you haven't seen it, it's definitely worth catching.


If you like this...

[A fascinating video, "Nature by Numbers"]