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These covert cameras employed by wildlife videographer John Downer imitate natural elements of the Arctic Norwegian environment to grab an insanely closeup view of the polar bear’s journey. Jacob Resneck at Cool Hunting writes:

Downer employs three types of cameras to track the lives of two mother bears as they lead their clubs across Arctic Norway in search of seal hunting grounds for the den’s survival. Not letting any of the frozen conditions get in the way of filming, the three cameras each offered a unique way of capturing the bears. The Snow-cam, disguised as a lump of snow, was equipped with four-wheel drive and tundra wheels to get across land and ice. The Blizzard-cam is rigged with propellers, allowing it to reach speeds of 37 mph, while the Iceberg cam was thoroughly waterproofed to maneuver between sheets of ice and under water to capture the polar bears swimming under the ice.

The cameras didn’t always blend into the Arctic’s barren environment though, and late last year an adult male polar bear smelled a ruse, discovered he was on candid camera, and destroyed more than $200,000 worth of equipment with his mighty paw. Fortunately secondary cameras caught the entire act, showing the bear’s impressive cunning and stupendous strength.

John Downer’s film, Polar Bear: Spy On The Ice, premieres stateside tonight on Animal Planet, but you can watch clips on the BBC site, including the one where the curious polar bears destroy a few of the cameras.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).


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