When the trailer for BBC’s Planet Earth II was released, it promised to be the best wildlife documentary ever made. And the first episode, which aired on Nov. 6, totally lived up to the hype. Thanks to the technological developments with the cameras, the visuals are stunningly vivid. It’s unlike anything your eyes have ever seen on a screen.

Beginning the first episode, Sir David Attenborough looks down from a hot air balloon high above the Alps and promises to bring us “closer to animals than ever before and reveal new wildlife dramas for the first time.” 


And new wildlife dramas he did reveal. He takes viewers to some of the remotest islands to see how animals cope with the challenges. In one of the most memorable scenes of the episode, and possibly the greatest chase sequences ever filmed, a bunch of racer snakes are shown trying to prey on a baby Marine Iguana on one of the Galapagos Islands. The snakes, dozens of them, had their heads raised like a mythological beast warming up to a possibility of a great conquest. 


A baby iguana comes into the picture, slipping past one of the snakes. It knows it’s in dangerous waters, there are predators all around. It freezes. 


Thanks to the way snakes perceive their surroundings, the lack of movement helps the iguana avoid detection. But as a snake draws closer, the iguana decides to run for its life. The snake follows. Then two. Three. Before it knows, there are snakes coming in from all directions. The iguana is caught. 


But somehow, it manages to slither through the coils. The chase begins again. As the iguana is climbing up the rocks, jaws are snapping at its legs and tail. A couple of heart-stopping narrow misses later, the iguana is free. It’s will to live has won. 


Watch this incredible video here: