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Falling asleep to nature documentaries on Netflix is a nighttime routine lots of people already swear by—but wouldn't it be even better if you could trim out all of the talking heads and narration, leaving only the ambient sounds of nature and some gorgeous B-roll? That’s exactly what the BBC is doing with the Planet Earth series, via 40 hours of quiet, meditative footage on its Earth Unplugged YouTube channel.
The footage consists of soaring aerial establishing shots of mountains, close-ups of colorful vegetation, and prolonged steadicam sequences from deep within the jungle. Unlike a typical Planet Earth episode, the visuals aren’t accompanied by the dulcet tones of David Attenborough. Instead, the soundtrack features birdsongs, babbling brooks, and crashing waves.
The YouTube series is part of BBC Earth’s Real Happiness Project, an initiative based on a study conducted by the BBC and the University of California, Berkeley which posits that watching nature documentaries can actually cheer you up.
The massive 40-hour footage dump is split up into four separate 10-hour installments: Island, Jungle, Desert, and Mountain. Personally, I’m all about the jungle video, which combines the songs of exotic birds with the occasional splash of a creature moving about a calming river.
It might seem odd to strip out most of the things people love about nature documentaries and stretch the experience out for ten hours, but for those of us who love media wallpaper, this collection is a great backdrop for writing, falling asleep, or doing household chores.
So dim the lights, don your favorite pair of headphones, and chill out to the beautiful sights and sounds of nature. Better yet, throw one of the videos up on your 4K TV and lose yourself in a good book.