Into the mighty blue

By Xu Fan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-01-07 08:12:26

Into the mighty blue

Crew members of the documentary series Deep Sea are excited about their voyage.[Photo provided to China Daily]

A new documentary follows the crew of the submersible Jiaolong as it plumbs the depths of the Indian Ocean, Xu Fan reports.

China's first manned deep-sea submersible vessel, Jiaolong, got plenty of news coverage, but few readers and TV viewers learned much about the personal stories of those who stayed inside it days and nights at sea.

These are tales of joy, sorrow, stress and nostalgia, as revealed in the recent TV documentary series Deep Sea, mainly revolving on China's exploration of the southwestern Indian Ocean.

The series presents both the mysterious undersea world and the daily life of the scientists and aquanauts - the latter group today is fewer in number than astronauts.

In the three-episode show, a pilot is seen coming back from a virgin dive and getting teased about it by colleagues at a ceremony that involved pouring water on the person's head.

A captain hopes to calm the high waves by tossing out an apple, a word (pingguo) with a similar pronunciation in Mandarin for "safety".

In another segment, Jiaolong has a surprise encounter with an egg-laying shrimp near an undersea volcanic vent.

The program is produced by the state broadcaster CCTV 10 and several other partners, including an Australian film studio that specializes in ocean photography.

Premiered by CCTV 10 from Jan 1-3, the series will return through CCTV 4 and CCTV 9 in the near future. It will also run in other countries, such as the United States, France, Germany, Australia and Indonesia.

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