Palau was one of many tropical locations featured in “Chasing Coral,” a documentary that premiered as a Netflix Original Documentary on July 14.
Directed by Jeff Orlowski and produced by Larissa Rhodes, the documentary follows scientists as they seek to capture the mass bleaching events occurring worldwide through time lapse photography. The documentary features scientists at the forefront of researching the phenomenon who explain the magnitude and speed at which corals are dying from the accelerated rise in ocean temperatures and explain why what is out of sight should not be out of mind.
Palau-based Lightning Strike Productions, owned by Richard W. Brooks, was commissioned along with other underwater camera operators with access to tropical coral reefs around the world to contribute time-lapse footage of corals affected by the latest bleaching event.
While vast sections of tropical coral reefs around the world were filmed dying in the span of a few months, the Palau footage showed that Palau corals were largely unaffected in the latest bleaching event. The scientists in the film predict that if the mass bleaching events continue at the present rate, the majority of the world’s corals will be dead in 30 years.
Richard W. Brooks, owner of underwater film and photography company Lightning Strike Productions, sets up a camera in Palau’s waters as part of an effort worldwide to record a time lapse of the speed and magnitude at which coral reefs are dying. He returned to the same six spots every day for two months with his previous shots laminated so the framing would be the same every day.
Photo courtesy of Lightning Strike Productions