20 years after the publication of the bestseller "The Swarm," the almost unknown deep sea is the focus of the thriller series of the same name. Central questions of our time are addressed: What exactly happens in the deep sea? What influence and what dangers does the ocean hold for mankind? What happens when the creatures there resist human intervention and the ecosystem collapses? The ecosystem of the deep sea and the importance of the ocean for mankind are not only addressed in the new series, but have been the central research topics at MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences for years.
Living things existed in the early ocean when no life could exist on land. While most science fiction thrillers feature intelligent creatures from outer space, Frank Schätzing invented a swarm intelligence in the ocean. It takes up the fight with humanity after it destroys the ocean habitat more and more.
Ocean floor still largely unknown over long stretches
"Of course, the series is fictionalized but the fact is that the ocean floor is actually still largely unknown over long stretches, and marine ecosystems continue to offer scientific surprises. MARUM and cooperating research institutions are working on deciphering processes in the deep sea and their significance for humans, and on better protecting this unique, yet already threatened habitat," says Prof. Michael Schulz, director of MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen and spokesperson for the Cluster of Excellence "The Ocean Floor – Earth’s Uncharted Interface" based here.
MARUM scientist Prof. Gerhard Bohrmann agrees that the series makes an important contribution to drawing attention to the largest ecosystem on our planet. "The deep sea and its geological, chemical, and physical processes are difficult to access and therefore still too little understood. Not unlike the TV series, we are traveling with ship expeditions and using highly specialized research equipment, such as autonomous vehicles and robots, to unlock the deep sea's secrets," says Gerhard Bohrmann. He supported Frank Schätzing 20 years ago in the research for the novel and provided scientific advice.
In the series adaptation, current topics of marine research addressed and experienced via protagonists in the manner of a science fiction thriller. However, as in Frank Schätzing's novel, the separation between science and fiction is not always easy in the TV series and ensures drama and suspense.
For the current production, Prof. Antje Boetius, scientist at MARUM and the University of Bremen and director of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research provided scientific advice to the production team.
The ZDF series will be available in the ZDF Mediathek from February 22 and will run on prime time television from March 6.
https://www.zdf.de/serien/der-schwarm [in German]
MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen
General Geology – Marine Geology
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