Heights They Should Never Have Scaled: Our (Weird) Planet


In this article, I scrutinize the much-discussed “walrus scene” from Netflix’s nature documentary Our Planet (2019) for its formal and thematic similarities to weird fiction. I argue that these similarities reveal tensions in how we conceptualize the environment, the human, and the nonhuman. By comparing the narrative strategies in the walrus scene to similar strategies in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy (2014), I problematize the emergent crosstalk between the weird and the Anthropocene, and the ways in which it mediates the environmental crisis, via concepts such as “Anthropocene horror,” “world-without-us,” and “global weirding.”

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