Jan van IJken (previously) is known for his stunning videos of the microscopic world. In his latest work, Planktonium, he dives into the ocean and helps you see the unseen. This short film shows plankton up close in all of its variety and weird beauty.
While these creatures are invisible to the naked eye, a microscope reveals just how beautiful and diverse they are. Jan used one to film them and reveal their beauty and delicate structures in the finest detail. Jan notes just how important plankton is for life on earth, despite its micro size:
“Phytoplankton (small plant-like cells) are producing half of all oxygen on earth by photosynthesis, like plants and trees do on land. Zooplankton are forming the base of the food chain of aquatic life. Plankton are also playing an important part in the global carbon cycle. The plankton are threatened by climate change, global warming and acidification of the oceans.”
Planktonium simply displays these stunning little creatures, without any voice-over or explanation. But there’s stunning music that accompanies it and makes it completely magical thanks to Norwegian artist Jana Winderen. “She is recording audio environments and creatures which are hard for humans to access, both physically and aurally – deep under water, inside ice or in frequency ranges inaudible to the human ear,” the description reads, leaving me intrigued to hear more of her work.
The short version of Planktonium is available for free, but there’s also a 15:23 minutes long full version in 4K. This one is paid, and you can rent it for $3.46 or buy it for $4.62. You will find more information here.