Field Frame Friday: Jungle Documentary Secret

If you’ve ever enjoyed the beautiful cinematography of a jungle nature documentary, we have news for you! Your expectation of what a rainforest looks like might be a bit skewed. Rainforests are some of the most biodiverse places in the world, and documentaries often make it look like these forests are chock-full of lianas and epiphytes (colloquially called vines) that make it impossible to walk between trees. While dense foliage like this does exist, it typically only exists at the edges of rainforests, where all layers of the forest­­­­––from the canopy to the ground––have access to direct sunlight. Once you step into the jungle, there’s actually far more space between trees and it’s much easier to travel through the forest. So why are documentaries misleading? Because with all their gear, it’s easier for cinematographers to access the edge of the jungle and not the interior! This photo was taken in the lowland Amazon rainforest in Peru, approximately 50 meters from the edge of the jungle.

[Photo and caption by Allison Lau]

[Edited by Maggie Creamer]

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