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ZDF Enterprises distributes groundbreaking underwater documentary “Mysteries of the Abyss: A Science Revolution”

Sensational findings published in latest edition of science magazine NATURE

ZDF Enterprises is handling the international sales of the groundbreaking underwater documentary film “Mysteries of the Abyss: A Science Revolution” (52’ HD).

Directed by multiple award winner Florian Guthknecht (producer of “Lord Howe Island – Paradise Unchanged“), the film follows marine scientists for two years as they travel on their research ships through the world’s oceans to the hot spots of the deep, dark sea. Their extensive research was supported by the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. During the shoot, the production team witnessed sensational findings that they not only caught on film, but also publicized recently in three editions of the internationally renowned and award-winning science magazine NATURE. This magazine, which is issued weekly in English, is, next to SCIENCE, the most highly regarded magazine for natural sciences in the world. The publication of an article in NATURE is considered as a career crowning point among scientists.

The film deals with many facets of “life at the limits,” including a submarine accident at 600 meters below the surface of the sea, which endangers the lives of the scientists.

Many animals in the deep live without light! Up to as recently as 35 years ago, scientists could not conceive of life without the sun. But the discovery of the so-called “black smokers” proved that generations of scholars had erred. Masses of meter-long worms, snails, crabs and mussels do indeed live in the eternal night. They do not need the sun, for they live in a kind of symbiosis with bacteria that draw energy from hydrogen sulphide or methane. Science manuals had to be rewritten. Since then, however, only few further scientific discoveries from the deep were made. Yet recently, biologists Nicole Dubilier and Christian Lott from the Max Planck Institute in Bremen discovered that there is another source of energy besides methane and light: hydrogen! One type of mussel lives from this molecule, which leads to much more interesting speculations. This newly discovered basis for life, and new metabolic pathway for animal organisms are a scientific sensation. Is the existence of this deep-sea dweller proof that a higher form of life is possible practically anywhere, even in outer space? The presence of hydrogen has been ascertained on many planets. And this is not the sole discovery that caused a sensation. During their expeditions, the scholars encountered creatures that exist in such varied deep-sea habitats as underwater volcanoes and cold fountains. And they found evidence that our climate is influenced by what happens in the depths.

Director and filmmaker Florian Guthknecht (Flowmotion Film) has been working successfully for over 12 years now as author and director of documentaries and animal films, and as producer of television productions. Guthknecht, who has won over 30 international film awards, directed and shot “Mysteries of the Abyss: A Science Revolution.” Cameraman Sigurd Tesche has been honored with over 50 international awards. Roberto Rinaldi, Jacques Cousteau’s last cameraman, was responsible for the underwater shooting. Thanks to a brand-new type of HD lens, the filmmakers were able to present the first images from the very bottom of the sea shot within 35 days in Germany, France, Portugal and Italy.


About ZDF Enterprises
Founded in 1993, ZDF Enterprises GmbH is the wholly-owned subsidiary and commercial arm of ZDF German Television Network, one of Europe's largest and most respected broadcasters. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for the development, production and global distribution of quality original programming. The company is also responsible for all program acquisitions and international co-productions on behalf of the network, and acquires programming for world-wide distribution. Its vast program library ranks as the largest in the German language. The extensive catalogue includes television movies and mini-series, drama series and comedies, documentaries, family entertainment and children's programming. ZDF Enterprises also oversees all licensing and merchandising activities based on its high-profile programs, including book and music publishing and the licensing of its program properties in all key product categories. Committed to the future, ZDF Enterprises has embarked on numerous New Media initiatives, ranging from opportunities within the burgeoning e-commerce industry to the creation of themed edutainment dimensions featuring the recognized program brands with which ZDF has become synonymous.

Contact ZDF Enterprises
Christine Denilauler (Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications), Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1, D-55127 Mainz/Germany, tel.: +49 6131-9911130, fax: +49 6131-9912130, e-mail:,


Christine Denilauler

Christine Denilauler

Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications

+49 (0) 6131 / 991–1130
+49 (0) 6131 / 991–2130
ZDF Enterprises GmbH
Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1
55127 Mainz | Germany