New season of documentary reveals more Hainan nature mysteries

HAIKOU, China, Oct. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A report from Hainan International Media Center (HIMC):

The fourth season of the acclaimed nature documentary miniseries This is Hainan: Discovering Mysteries — depicting the secrets of rainforest life in south China’s Hainan province — officially premiered on October 13.

With the first episode focusing on the Big-headed Turtle — the “ruler of the river” living in the mountain rainforest waters, this season features more in-depth explorations of the daily lives of the many creatures living in the Hainan tropical rainforest, which is a global biodiversity conservation hot spot as well as a key wildlife gene bank.


Since beginning work on the first season in May, 2020, the Discovering Mysteries film crew has traipsed deep into the wilds of Yinggeling, Bawangling, Jianfengling, and other areas of the Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park. They have turned their cameras on a large number of iconic Hainan plant and animal species, including the Eld’s Deer, the Leopard Gecko, Weaver Ants, White-crowned Forktails, Phoenix Damselflies, Fragile Wart Frogs, and Bamboo Pit Vipers.

A Big-headed Turtle spotted in the rainforests of Diaoluo Mountain on the tropical island of Hainan.

According to director Zhou Shengtao, what sets the fourth season apart is a more direct focus on the reproduction, habits, migration, symbiotic and hostile relationships, and other instinctive behaviors of each featured species, allowing the viewer to form a deep connection with the creatures depicted and experience the love, power, ferocity, and tenacity of life in the tropical rainforest.

“Ecological and environmental protection are common values of humanity as well as an important area for international dialogue.” Zhou notes that this season continues to offer bilingual Chinese and English subtitles, as well as adding English language narration in the hopes of sharing the stories of China’s ecological and environmental protection with a wider global audience.

To faithfully record the scenery and species diversity of the Hainan tropical rainforest and capture key shots that can only be filmed during certain seasons and times, the team spent over 140 days filming in the rainforest and overcame an onslaught of adverse conditions including tight schedules, difficult tasks, heavy downpours, and scorching heat.

Jointly produced by the New Hainan App, Hinews, Nanguo Metropolis Daily, and the Hainan International Media Center, the first three seasons of the miniseries have received a total of over 180 million views on both domestic and international media platforms.