I have a new obsession. And that obsession is watching penguins.
That sounds kind of creepy. But for the last few days I have been absolutely transfixed by the Penguin Cam that is streaming from SeaWorld San Diego in promotion of the new Discovery Channel/BBC miniseries, Frozen Planet. Done by the same people who created the Planet Earth series, Frozen Planet is a 7-episode look at life in the polar regions. The documentary will examine the environment and wild life of both the Arctic and Antarctic and is narrated by Alec Baldwin, who I really like (voice mail messages to his daughter withstanding).
I probably wouldn’t have even been aware of this program normally. I’m not a big Discovery Channel person. I don’t know if I could even tell you where it is on my cable line-up. I think the only show I’ve ever watched previously on Discovery was Cash Cab and I think I stumbled upon that accidentally. I do not celebrate Shark Week like everyone else. I had heard good things about Planet Earth and always meant to watch it, but just haven’t gotten around to it.
But then a NPR blogger posted the link to the penguin cam and I noticed references to it on Twitter. Curiosity got the better of me. And then I just couldn’t look away. I’ve always liked penguins – they are one of the few exhibits that I always try to check out if I am at a zoo – and actually do know a little about them from watching March of the Penguins. Something about them is just so cute. I think it might be their little waddle walk. Watching them just shuffle around would probably be amusing to me on its own.
However, every once in a while, the penguins do something that literally makes me laugh out loud. One little guy appeared to be doing the limbo under the camera. Sometimes one of the penguins will run from the very back of their bio-dome full speed straight at the camera. Occasionally one of the penguins will just stare right into the camera for a very long time like they are sizing up the viewer. My absolute favorite, however, is when nothing appears to be going on and all of a sudden a head will just pop up and then quickly disappear.
I really have no idea why this tickles me so. Nothing earth shattering happens. As I’ve said previously, I don’t consider myself a huge animal person. But there is just something about these penguins that makes me smile. Probably best not to over analyze it.
Go here to check out the awesomeness for yourself. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Frozen Planet debuts with two back to back episodes on Sunday March 18th at 8 pm EST