An intrepid film crew has travelled 25 countries, dodged moko sharks, sidled up to saltwater crocodiles and spent hours submerged in near freezing waters to unveil the mysteries of the Pacific Ocean.

Deep within the estimated 700 million cubic kilometers that makes up this vast body of water live thousands of creatures that few humans get the chance to see.

But thanks to a book of images from footage shot across two years, more are being given a chance to delve into the beauty of the Pacific's natural wonders.

Big Pacific book edited by Rebecca Tansley to accompany a five-part series produced by Natural History New Zealand Divers on the wreck of a 2nd World War plane. Photo: Supplied
Big Pacific book edited by Rebecca Tansley to accompany a five-part series produced by Natural History New Zealand Divers on the wreck of a 2nd World War plane. Photo: Supplied

Titled Big Pacific, it is being released on Monday as a companion book to the National History NZ-produced four-part series of the same name, that will be aired on Prime early next year.

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Its release also coincides with Conservation Week.

The image-heavy book offers readers a chance to dive deep into the Pacific, without taking a foot off land, to see the "passion, voracity, mystery and violence" of the creatures and geological structures found within its depths and around the coastline.

The images traverse regions close to home, in New Zealand, to those as far afield as the Philippines, Japan and the remote volcanic archipelago - the Galapagos Islands.

Big Pacific book edited by Rebecca Tansley to accompany a five-part series produced by Natural History New Zealand Silver Dragon wave in Hangzou Bay near Shanghai China. Photo: Supplied
Big Pacific book edited by Rebecca Tansley to accompany a five-part series produced by Natural History New Zealand Silver Dragon wave in Hangzou Bay near Shanghai China. Photo: Supplied

The images chosen by Kiwi writer and director Rebecca Tansley, alongside words she has crafted, tell the stories of range of seemingly mysterious creatures and places, from the glowing firefly squids of Japan, the turtle tombs of Borneo to the marine iguanas of Ecuador.

Meet the dugong, the "lady of the sea", a medium-sized marine mammal whose propensity to do tailstands, along with its long neck has drawn comparisons to mermaids - a creature usually confined to fairy tales.

Explore the ancient city of Nan Madol, on a small island in the Federated States of Micronesia, which for 1000 years was the seat of the island's rulers until it was defeated by a competing clan around 1500AD.

Big Pacific book edited by Rebecca Tansley to accompany a five-part series produced by Natural History New Zealand clownfish and anenome picture supplied credit: NATURAL HISTORY NZ
Big Pacific book edited by Rebecca Tansley to accompany a five-part series produced by Natural History New Zealand clownfish and anenome picture supplied credit: NATURAL HISTORY NZ

Learn about the "passionate" relationship between the clownfish, made popular by the children's animated film, Finding Nemo, and the sea anemone.

The clownfish cleans the anemone of parasites and helps deliver it food, while the anemone keeps the little striped fish safe from predators.

Big Pacific book edited by Rebecca Tansley to accompany a five-part series produced by Natural History New Zealand Marine iguanas on the Galapagos Islands picture supplied credit: NATURAL HISTORY NZ
Big Pacific book edited by Rebecca Tansley to accompany a five-part series produced by Natural History New Zealand Marine iguanas on the Galapagos Islands picture supplied credit: NATURAL HISTORY NZ

Tansley says this may seem to be a "marriage of convenience but the symbiosis is so strong that a clownfish may not survive if separated from its anemone" .

Then there's the horseshoe crab, a creature that predates the dinosaurs, but which Tansley says in an "ironic twist of fate" is now facing the toughest survival test against pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction.

Big Pacific book edited by Rebecca Tansley to accompany a five-part series produced by Natural History New Zealand White Pointer great white shark picture supplied credit: NATURAL HISTORY NZ
Big Pacific book edited by Rebecca Tansley to accompany a five-part series produced by Natural History New Zealand White Pointer great white shark picture supplied credit: NATURAL HISTORY NZ

The Kiwi writer says her decision on which images to include in the book was based in part on aesthetics, but equally on their ability to tell a Pacific story.

She says these stories are not limited to the creatures themselves, but also tells the tale of their interaction with humans; the film crew, tourists and locals.

"I think it is really important acknowledging the fact that humans are part of the environment and are having an impact on it quite dramatically."

Big Pacific book edited by Rebecca Tansley to accompany a five-part series produced by Natural History New Zealand Nan Madol on the island of Pohnpei, Federated Islands of Micronesia. Photo: Supplied
Big Pacific book edited by Rebecca Tansley to accompany a five-part series produced by Natural History New Zealand Nan Madol on the island of Pohnpei, Federated Islands of Micronesia. Photo: Supplied

Big Pacific, published by Bateman, is out on shelves on Monday for NZ$59.99