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Virtual Ocean - example videos
Ocean covers more than 70% of our planet.
Australias coastline stretches 35,000 km, one the longest of any country in the world, and to the north lie many 1000's of islands and reefs in the area known as The Coral Triangle.
No other area on earth hosts as many marine environments and associated species ranging from tropical to temperate as our region.
David Hannan's unique approach to filming is to discover and fully document marine habitats and colourful sea creatures going about their lives. Nature and life itself happen in 'real time' in a natural ebb and flow and literally endless variety in moods and countless magical moments, brought to the screen it becomes a 'Virtual Ocean'.
Above: Serenity Promo - Textless, 3minMusic: 'Serenity' by Terry Oldfield
Be transported into a dreamland of seascapes, ocean moods, a rich visual tapestry of the sea, woven together with magic marine moments captured and set to an enchanting and reflective soundtrack composed by Terry Oldfield, one of the world's masters of music for relaxation. It's as refreshing as a summer breeze.
Segments or entire Full length version (on Blu-Ray disc) available
Above: Sunrise Tathra - 5minsMusic: 'Nature Sounds' by Sam Hannan
Rugged towering rock stacks from ancient lava flows stranded in the sea along this stretch of isolated beaches and headlands defy the Pacific Ocean on the Sapphire Coast near Tathra in Southern NSW, Australia.
Dramatic moody cloudscapes at sunrise foreshadow wild weather, heavy seas and crashing waves - but for now all is calm. A peaceful morning in golden light.
Above: Spangle Fish-In-Your-Face - 6min 21sMusic: 'Abstract Ambient' by Sam Hannan
The Spangled Emperor is the largest of the Emperor fish. It can grow to nearly 1 meter and 10 kg and live more than 30 years.
Known also as North West Snapper and other names, Spangles are reef dwellers that inhabit shallow areas inshore but are also found up to 200m deep out in continental shelf waters around Australia from Northern NSW, around the Top-End down the coast line of WA.
Sizeable adults usually form only small schools of similar size and move across the reef and flats where they feed. They are very selective carnivorous bottom-feeders mostly eating bivalve molluscs, snails, octopus and squid with their hard toothy mouths.
Known amongst anglers as fierce and powerful fighters - if not somewhat fickle, experienced divers have warned to keep shiny objects such as rings or watches hidden when confronted by these fish face-to-face!
Filmed at Ningaloo Reef, WA, by David Hannan in moody afternoon lighting, these Spangles make for a great display with loads of personality in a Virtual Ocean Aquarium.
Above: Decor Fur Seals - 5minsMusic: 'Undersea Slide' by Sam Hannan
Montague Island off the south coast of NSW is famous for its Fur Seals where this engaging presentation was filmed. Around 1000 animals of several species are seen in season - some with confusing English names.
The most numerous are Australian Fur Seal who mainly breed on rocky islands in the Bass Strait but are found hauling out on rocky ledges and pebble beaches from southern NSW, around Tasmania, Victoria into South Australia where they sit in tightly packed groups, often partly on top of neighbouring seals.
Generally darker coloured New Zealand Fur Seals intermingle but maintain more space around them and may bite another seal that gets too close. Occasionally Australian Sea Lions visiting from South Australia, Antarctic Fur Seals and Leopard Seals are also recorded here.
Historically hunted to the brink of extinction, population recovery has been slow, and all Seals and Sea Lions in Australian waters are now wholly protected.
Usually curious and friendly towards divers, all are skilful hunters feeding mainly on fish, squid, octopus and crustaceans abundant in these southern temperate waters.
Above: The Wrasse - 5minsMusic: 'Dancing Dreams' by Tania Rose
Hump-headed Wrasse can grow over two metres in length and are found near coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific including Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Males such as this one are mostly electric blue in colour, while the females are reddish. The ornate facial patterns appear to be unique to each individual, while the distinguishing hump on the head gets more prominent as the fish ages.
They dine primarily on crustaceans and molluscs, but are also one of the few predators that eat toxic animals such as boxfish and even the heavily spined Crown-of-Thorn Seastar.
They are solitary animals, often found just in a male-female pair or small groups, and prefer open habitat near the reef edge. They are long-lived - up to 50 years - but have a very slow breeding rate, and their numbers continue to decline in the wild.
Their exotic beauty makes them a target for the live fish or marine aquarium trade, so the interaction and trust you witness in this presentation is very rare. Filmed near The Whitsunday Islands.
Above: Trevally Schooling - 3mins SamplerMusic: 'Abstract Ambient' by Sam Hannan
Trevally also called Jacks are a family of fast-swimming predatory fishes that hunt in the waters above reefs and in the open sea. The Bigeye Trevally (Caranx sexfasciatus) is distributed throughout the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, ranging from South Africa in the west to California and Ecuador in the east, including Australia to the south and Japan in the north.
Bigeye Trevally are known to form large slow moving schools that mill around reefs during the day consisting of more than 1500 fish, becoming more active at night when feeding in small groups or individually.
The species is known to grow to a length of 120 cm and 18 kg, are popular with anglers and artisanal fishers and can be successfully kept in very large tanks - so why not have them in your virtual ocean aquarium !
3min & 16min25s versions with ambient audio are available
Above: Sharx - 3mins SamplerMusic: 'Abstract Ambient' by Sam Hannan
These sharks are Grey Reef Shark (Carcharinus amblyrhnchos), Whitetip Reef Shark (Triaenodon obesus), Silvertip Shark (Carcharhinus albimarginatus), all filmed near Rabaul, Bougainville Island.
‘Monsters of the deep’ have long been thought figments of our collective imagination. But some believe they still exist… in the form of sharks. How wrong they are. These magnificent creatures predate dinosaurs. Like coral, they’ve survived several mass extinctions, and have played an equally vital role in shaping ocean evolution.
Sharks have been roaming our seas for over 400 million years. Fossil records show that thousands of species have come and gone, of which 370 - 480 are with us today. They can be found worldwide, with many dependent on coral reef ecosystems for protection and food.
As top-level "apex" or "keystone" predators, sharks have influenced adaptation and evolution all the way down the food-chain. Directly controlling the diversity and abundance of other species in the great web of life, they regulate herbivorous fish populations on lower trophic levels who in turn influence the growth of algae and corals ability to compete.
But - contrary to popular myth - sharks are not just instinctive ‘eating machines’.
Many species exhibit powerful problem-solving skills, and their brain-to-body-mass ratio is similar to many mammals and other higher order vertebrates. So they are as intelligent, curious and social as some of our more favoured animals.
A handful of species are known to have caused fatalities in humans. Urban legend accounts for more deaths by toppling softdrink vending machines and it's said to be 30 times more likely to be struck by lightning than die from shark attack. World-wide shark numbers are now in steep decline due to fishing for shark-fin soup.
3min & 14min30s versions with ambient audio are available
Above: Plankton Twirl - 5mins SamplerMusic: 'Whirly-Twirly' by Sam Hannan & Jacob Round
Emerging from a space where life becomes art, this seemingly otherworldly presentation of plankton rising from deep water during its vertical nocturnal migration was recorded in the shallows under lights near a coral reef in Papua New Guinea.
Plankton are any floating organisms found in oceans, seas, or bodies of freshwater and are defined by their ecological niche rather than taxonomic classifications.
Though most species are microscopic in size, plankton includes also larger organisms such as jellyfish, worms and bio-luminous ctenophores. The larvae of fish, crustaceans and many others eat, and are themselves, plankton.
Integral to the oceans web of life, plankton are a crucial source of food for larger, more familiar aquatic organisms such as fish or whales while photosynthetic species are also an important source of oxygen in the air we all breathe.
10min & 40min & other versions with ambient audio are available