A look at some of the planet’s great gatherings, creatures that come together in inconceivable numbers – sometimes in millions, billions, and even trillions. Included are bats and bees, locust and ants, monarch butterflies in Mexico, 17-year cicada hatches, grunion in the Sea of Cortez and carp in the Mississippi River, sardine runs off the coast of South Africa, super flocks of parakeets in the Australian Outback, mayflies on the 4th of July, and even penguins and wildebeest. Some gather to breed or to migrate, some for protection, some simply to keep warm in the cold. But in the process, a kind of super-organism is created in which individual intelligence is superseded by a collective consciousness that shares information and moves with a single purpose for the benefit of all. Check out swarm intelligence, essentially a living embodiment of social media in the natural world.


“The Gathering Swarms” is a documentary about how life comes together on this planet. It doesn’t matter if it’s animals or humans, we flock together into communities out of necessities. Super-organisms are powered by collective consciousness and there’s a great amount of detail paid to it. However, I would’ve liked to have seen a much larger documentary dedicated to the subject matter.

I’m really starting to love the PBS Nature HD presentations. While they pale in comparison to the BBC releases, they cover a far odder nature of material with the same level of scholarship. It’s just that Nature gets an hour to explain how this impacts big decisions like breeding and migration. You can’t squeeze all that material into one place.

The Blu-Ray comes with no special features. However, you get stunning A/V Quality. The 1080p transfer will make you believe that animals exist. Well, you should believe they exist anyways. The Dolby 5.1 track is lossless, but there’s always some sort of hold up. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

RELEASE DATE: 07/08/2014

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