If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of sheltering indoors — but if you’re looking for a video meme that illustrates this concept metaphorically, this clip from BBC Earth series The Bear Family and Me would likely qualify.
The excerpt, which the show originally posted online in December 2018, has suddenly gone viral — and for good reason: it’s both fascinating and jam-packed with “NOPE,” especially when viewed on a big screen.
In the clip, wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan demonstrates a more extreme method of gaining the trust of a family of polar bears: he locked himself inside a glass booth, which seems to be bear-proof… except this particular bear is hungry, and is in the mood for an entrée of “Human Under Glass.”
Per the show description, The Bear Family and Me goes further than any nature series in studying polar bears in the wild — something very few researchers have been able to achieve.
Polar bears are one of the most iconic animals on earth, and yet we know so little about them. Apart from fleeting glimpses, scientists and filmmakers have never been able to follow individuals to tell their story and record details of their family life. Now, taking what he has learnt while making the absorbing series The Bear Family and Me, wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan embarks on a new, ambitious and dangerous mission – to gain the trust of a family of polar bears and, using this unique opportunity, observe the life of these enigmatic animals as never before, over the course of a year.
Buchanan filmed the entire incident from inside the enclosure, so we can witness the bear’s efforts to sniff out a potential meal, in much the same way they would stalk their favorite prey, the seal.
You can check out more incredible (and sometimes scary) nature videos at BBC Earth’s YouTube channel.