LONDON It’s already been demonstrated on multiple occasions that awesome footage of nature combined with David Attenborough’s dulcet tones is perhaps the key to unlocking true happiness.
Planet Earth II, the six-part BBC documentary that aired in November, was no exception to this rule.
From high-octane iguana chases to love-sick bowerbirds, we’ve rounded up some of the most memorable moments below…
1. The great iguana/snake chase of 2016.
You might not have thought a plucky iguana evading a pack of chasing snakes could be more intense than all eight Fast and Furious films combined, but here we are.
2. This capybara’s reaction to a jaguar attacking a caiman.
Another Planet Earth II moment to enter meme territory was the clip of a stunned capybara looking on in horror as a jaguar made off with a caiman.
If there’s one thing Planet Earth II does well, it’s animal reaction shots.
3. This sassy “talk to the hand” lizard.
There’s more to the “world’s sassiest lizard” than meets the eye.
Gifs of his hand gesturing may have captured hearts on the internet following the “Deserts” episode of Planet Earth II, but the real reason behind his leg movement was a desire to cool off his feet.
Hence this unintentionally brilliant desert dance:
4. This bird’s attempt at romance when horribly wrong.
The bowerbird we saw in saw in the “Cities” episode of Planet Earth II may have been a thief, but at least he was a romantic thief.
The bird pinched a red love heart for his treasure-laden nest only to have it stolen by an imposter male who he mistook for a female.
As Attenborough put it, “It’s not easy finding sex in the city.”
5. Funky dancing bears.
The itchy bears that featured in the “Mountains” episode were already brilliant enough on their own, but when their funky moves were remixed to “Jungle Boogie” things were taken to a whole new level:
6. This super-determined fox.
When your next meal is hiding several feet beneath the snow, you sometimes have to go the extra mile to get it.
The face-planting fox in the gif above featured in the “Grasslands” episode. Despite several failed attempts he did eventually manage to catch the vole he was after.
7. The time a pack of lions met their match with this huge buffalo.
Normally you’d expect a pack of lions to come out on top against pretty much anything, but the buffalo in the clip above seemed largely nonplussed by their attack.
It was a tense matchup that divided the internet, but in the end the buffalo was able to walk away relatively unscathed and the lions had to go hungry.
8. This epic bird jumping contest.
As we discovered in the “Grasslands” episode, Willowbirds have a fairly unorthodox method of attracting a mate: they repeatedly jump up and down, as high as they can possibly go, until they’re the only male left jumping.
As with all of Planet Earth II, the editing in the clip above is on-point.
9. Finally, the great 2016 giraffe escape.
It might not quite rival the great iguana/snake chase of 2016, but it certainly comes close. After a pack of chasing lions closed in for the kill on a fleeing giraffe, the lanky beast did the only thing it could: it ploughed its way through the lead female and made a jaunty run for sweet, sweet freedom.
Along with animal reaction shots, unexpected outcomes is another thing Planet Earth II has become famous for.