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Documentary Crew Used a Totally Normal Robot Penguin to Film Migration

Here’s something you may have missed: In 2013, BBC produced a 3-part documentary series called Penguins: Spy In The Huddle, which was narrated by David Tennant and chronicled how wildlife producer John Downer and his team filmed a penguin migration up close, getting some fascinating angles that are about as intimate as one could hope to capture.

Watching the clip from the documentary above, it might take a second, especially to the untrained eye, but there is something amiss with one of those penguins. It took us a while to realize it too, so don’t be embarrassed that you didn’t see it, but one of the penguins–specifically the one that only ever moves by sliding on its stomach–is not a real penguin at all.

It is actually “EmperorCam,” a camera-filled robot penguin that was meant to blend in with the group of penguins and film their lives for nearly a year, recording every second of their winter migration. It also has the ability to move, so we’re thinking one of the crew members is controlling it remotely.

For such regal creatures, we’re actually disappointed in the mighty emperor penguin. Their initial skepticism is a positive sign, but they seem to accept the clearly fake robot penguin with open flippers relatively quickly. They must figure he’s some sort of trend setter, what with his innovative method of travel. In fact, EmperorCam becomes so influential that towards the end of the clip, he even seems to be leading the migration.

The good news is that it looks like at the moment, humanity is safe from an uprising by a race of super-intelligent penguins.

HT: Twister Sifter

Featured image courtesy of BBC

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