The conditions of Earth are not just good for life, they are perfect. Everything about our planet - its size, its distance from the Sun, its spin and tilt, its moon - is perfectly suited to our existence, and our planet's forces serve to nurture its spectacular biodiversity. A Perfect Planet shows in stunning detail how Earth has always been more than the sum of its parts. Unlike any other astronomical body, it is a living world.
A Perfect Planet, published on 26 November 2020 by BBC Books, accompanies the BBC television series. This gallery features the images from NPL that were used in the book.
Sergey Gorshkov / Tolbachik Volcano erupting with lava flowing down the mountain side. Kamchatka, Russia. November 29th 2013. Winner of the Wildscapes category, Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards (WPOY competitio...
Staffan Widstrand / Arctic wilderness landscape, Ellesmere Island, Canada.
Guy Edwardes / Gatklettur, Arnarstapi, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland, March 2017.
Claudio Contreras / Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) colony and Barcena volcano, chick in nest, San Benedicto Island, Revillagigedo Archipelago Biosphere Reserve / Archipielago de Revillagigedo UNESCO Natural World Heri...
Denis-Huot / Group of male African lions (Panthera leo) resting with storm clouds overhead, Masai-Mara Game Reserve, Kenya. September.
David Gallan / Bushfire in spotted gum (Corymbia maculata) forest on the far south coast of New South Wales, Australia. January 2020.
Floris van Breugel / Sprouting Coconut palm on stony beach on the south shore of Tutuila, American Samoa. January 2012.
Doug Perrine / Red hot lava from Kilauea Volcano flowing into ocean at West Kailiili, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island, Hawaiian Islands, USA.
Mark Moffett / Peruvian Pinktoe Tarantula (Avicularia urticans) flooded from nest by annual 20-30 rise of the Amazon River caused by runoff from the Andes, Peru
Doug Gimesy / Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) in a Eucalyptus tree after recent bushfires, just before having a visual inspection for its health. If it is determined that a closer examination is required to determin...
Bence Mate / Grey heron (Ardea cinerea) in rain with another heron behind, Lake Csaj, Kiskunsagi National Park, Pusztaszer, Hungary. January.
Richard Kirby / Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) mother and calves, Svalbard, Norway, February.
Solvin Zankl / Sea star / Common starfish (Asterias rubens) at brachiolaria larva stage (60 days old), digital focus stacking
Ingo Arndt / Christmas Island Red Crabs (Gecarcoidea natalis) crossing closed road, during annual migration, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, Australian Territory, November 2009.
Michael Pitts / Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) hatchling swimming out to deep water from Karan Island, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Gulf.
Mark Carwardine / Northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) with horn removed, after initial release into the wild, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya, June 2010, Extinct in the wild, only eight left in captivi...
Konrad Wothe / Giant Green Sea Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) group, Goose Barnacles (Lepas anserifera) group and Ochre Sea Stars (Pisaster ochraceus) at low tide, Olympic National Park, Washington
Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals / A mother Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) and her joey, surrounded by burnt trees. Survivors of a bushfire in Mallacoota, Australia, January 2020.
Pedro Narra / West African mudskipper (Periophthalmus barbarus) portrait, Joao Vieira Poillo , Bijagos Archipellago. Guinea Bissau
Danny Green / North American otter (Lontra canadensis) eating a fish, Yellowstone National Park, USA, February
Ashley Cooper / Heliostats, large reflective mirrors directing sunlight to the PS20 solar thermal tower, the only such working solar tower currently in the world. Sanlucar La Mayor, Andalucia, Spain. May 2011
Ashley Cooper / The Syncrude upgrader plant for processing tar sands to create synthetic oil. Alberta, Canada. August 2012
Ashley Cooper / Women constructing solar cookers at the Barefoot College in Tilonia, Rajasthan, India. The Barefoot College is a worldwide charity, founded by Bunker Roy, its aims are, education, drinking water, elec...
Lucas Bustamante / Rainbow over cloud forest, Cosanga, Napo, Ecuador, May 2014.
Tony Wu / Eden's whale (Balaenoptera edeni edeni) with mouth open, feeding on anchovies, with birds swooping in to grab fish jumping out of the water. Gulf of Thailand, Pacific.
Doug Perrine / Hot lava from the 61G flow, emanating from Pu'u O'o on Kilauea Volcano, flows through lava tubes into the ocean in front of a double rainbow at the Kamokuna ocean entry in Hawaii Volcanoes National Pa...
Sergey Gorshkov / Snow goose (Chen caerulescens) mobbing Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) Wrangel Island, Far East Russia, June.
Will Burrard-Lucas / Southern carmine bee-eater (Merops nubicoides) flock flying from river cliff. South Luangwa, Zambia. October
Denis-Huot / African elephant (Loxodonta africana) herd silhouetted in distance walking through a storm, Masai-Mara Game Reserve, Kenya. September.
Hougaard Malan / Dunes of Sossusvlei. Namib Naukluft National Park, Namibia. April 2012. Non-ex.
Jack Dykinga / Glowing gases rising from Halemaumau Crater, Kilauea Caldera, in evening with Milky Way in the sky above. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, August 2010.
Jeff Vanuga / Fumerole at Castle Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA, January 2013.
Cheryl-Samantha Owen / Blacktip reefs shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) swimming in shallow water at dusk, Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles, Indian Ocean
Sergey Gorshkov / Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) chasing a Snow Goose (Chen caerulesens) off its nest, Wrangel Island, Russia
Thomas Marent / Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) female with young holding leaves over their heads to protect them from rain, Camp Leakey, Tanjung Puting National Park, Borneo, Indonesia
Thomas Mangelsen / Lesser Flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor) flock preening and feeding at dawn, Lake Bogoria, Kenya
Norbert Wu / Waves breaking, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
Gary Bell/ Oceanwide / Stony Coral (Acropora sp) bleaching, Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Sergey Gorshkov / Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) running with a Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) egg in its mouth, Wrangel Island, Russia
Huw Cordey / Pathway made of plastic shoes ( flip flops) washed up on the beach and collected within 20 metres of the middle of the picture. In the background is a Aldabra giant tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea)...
Tui De Roy / Flightless cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi) on nest looking at Galapagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus). Crab on rock below. Cape Douglas, Fernandina Island, Galapagos.
Tui De Roy / Marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), Punta Espinosa, Fernadina Island, Galapagos
Nick Garbutt / Straw-coloured fruit bats (Eidolon helvum) at daytime roost in 'Mushitu' (ever-green swamp forest). Kasanka National Park, Zambia.