Secret Weapons

  • National Geographic

Secret Weapons

  • National Geographic



Employing the most advanced weapons systems on earth – nature’s top guns can walk on water, defy gravity, manoeuvre effortlessly through air and sea, detect and kill with the most advanced weapons on Earth. Using the very latest in special effects and animation, Secret Weapons reveals how nature is helping us to fight back.

Secret Weapons explores the extraordinary ways in which animals have overcome obstacles in nature. How do insects stay airborne when flying for them is like wading through treacle? How does the gecko hang upside down from a ceiling? Water is sixty times more viscous than air yet dolphins move through it at lightening speed. Secret Weapons investigates how these Olympians are inspiring a new generation of scientists to develop revolutionary technology that could help shape our future and even save lives.

Working closely with BBC Resources, Big Wave created ‘Robofly’, a futuristic robot inspired by nature, based on scientific and biological principles that made it utterly convincing and animal-like. Computer-generated cityscapes provided an incredibly life-like backdrop. Putting Robofly into a dramatic terrorist scenario, while at the same time weaving in and out of complex natural history and science sequences, pushed out the bounds of science documentary.

Using the fastest digital high-speed cameras, high-speed film cameras, lenses and blue screens available, Secret Weapons reveals what it is like to be an ant in a rainstorm, capturing extraordinary macro images of them being pelted by raindrops. Then marvel at the wing beats of a dragonfly, or the beautiful scales of a butterfly wing in extreme magnification.

Secret Weapons brings to light some astonishing facts – a gecko’s four feet could support one hundred times its own weight, spider’s silk is twenty times stronger than steel and certain heat-seeking beetles can detect fires more than seven miles away!

Secret Weapons portrays, often complex, natural phenomena in an accessible, entertaining and visual way. Blending actuality, dramatic reconstruction, animation, specialist natural history, high-speed photography, archive and dazzling special effects, the end result is a revelatory, entertaining and highly stylised science film.


“Superb! What an enjoyable, informative, and well-done show!” - Marty Mallonee – SRI International
  • Narrator:
    Simon Barritt Arnstein
  • Photography:
    Rob Goldie, Ben Herbertson, Steven Harper and Tony Allen
  • Music:
    Biondo Music
  • Editors:
    Salvatore Vecchio and Rick Aplin
  • Producer/Director:
    Nick Stringer
  • Executive Producer:
    Sarah Cunliffe


  • New York Film Festival:
    Best Art Direction – Gold Medal
  • New York Film Festival:
    Best Special Effects (Documentary/Info)
  • New York Film Festival:
    Best Science Documentary – Bronze Medal