Marine iguana vs. racer snake. It’s an animal kingdom matchup reminiscent of the 1985 Marvel Universe feud between Captain America and the Serpent Society. And it’s the perfect inspiration for anyone trying to get through the final stretch of a harrowing journey.
In the UK on Nov. 6, the BBC aired the first episode of the second season of Planet Earth, a documentary series that beautifully captures in high definition animal life in over 40 countries. In the first episode, there was a particularly thrilling scene of a young marine iguana running, jumping, and swerving for its life from hoards of racer snakes on an island in the Galápagos.
Racer snakes, aptly named for their alarming ground speeds, live on land but hunt aquatic prey like fish and iguanas. Marine iguanas, the only lizards adapted to live in the ocean, hatch on land before they make their way to the ocean. The lizards’ harrowing journey is an annual ”bonanza” for the snakes.
It’s impossible not to get caught up in the drama: especially with the newly hatched iguana’s two-minute dash across the pebbly island beach narrated by Sir David Attenborough and set to a dramatic score by composer Hans Zimmer (who also scored movies like Inception, The Lion King, and Interstellar). At one point, the iguana pauses to see if it can hide in plain sight. As it sprints, more and more racer snakes emerge from rocks and slither in hot pursuit. In a heartbreaking moment, the iguana is caught up a terrifying knot of snakes, before somehow wriggling itself free. Finally, the lizard lands a jump between two rocks that the snake cannot bridge. The snake falls through the gap, its mouth wide open.
It’s quite the adrenaline rush.
It’s also kind of the perfect inspiration for Americans voting today: It’s been a nightmare of a campaign, but we’re in the final stretch. Hopefully we will all make it through this stressful time intact.
American viewers will be able to watch the series on Jan. 28, 2017.