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Introduction by Leo Richards...
I set up Natural World Facts in 2012 with my brother when I was 9 years old, already with a passion for wildlife and the natural world. Almost a decade later, the project is still going, with frequent videos posted on a variety of zoological topics over on my youtube channel.
My fondness for nature began to grow when I was around 2 years old, for I spent my time digging around in our little London back garden (much to my mum's dismay), gathering what I found into little jars and matchboxes for later study. Worms, beetles, earwigs, you name it! But what fascinated me most were the woodlice - these captivating little crustaceans that seemed so out of place among the others.
As I grew older, I became obsessed with Attenborough's films. The DVD for his series 'Life' had come free with my mother's newspaper, and it was the first time I opened my eyes to the wonders of the natural world beyond my garden wall! The great migrations of whales crossing entire oceans, the conflicts of penguins and leopard seals in the frozen seas of Antarctica, and the wonders of vibrant coral reefs. That's when I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up. I wanted to see and protect these breathtaking creatures, and I wanted to talk about them on the telly just like the man who'd inspired me!
In 2010, my older brother (a tech whizz) helped me set up a blog where I would publish daily nature facts. My first ever foray into science communication! It was called Nature Control, and looking back on it now, it was terrible. But it my first step towards where I am now.
In 2011, I told my brother I didn't just want to write facts about animals, I wanted to present them! Remembering how captivating I'd found Attenboroughs films, and filled with a passion to tell the world about the wonders of wildlife, this felt like a natural step. So we re-branded, forsaking Nature Control and going with Natural World Facts instead. A name we spent about 5 minutes coming up with, but one that has stood the test of time regardless! We set up a new website, and on the 8th of August 2012, released my first ever video. A fact file about hermit crabs.
I kept on making these films. For a few years, while I wrote and presented, my brother would film and edit our videos, releasing them on our YouTube channel. But when he left for University, I took over everything. The channel grew slowly, gathered a very small but friendly community of followers who believed in me and encouraged me to keep going!
In 2018, I gave up.
It wasn't until February of 2021 when everything changed. After an almost 3-year absence from YouTube, I created a film about a species of deep-sea shark which had captivated me! I'd seen it on an episode of River Monsters, where Jeremy Wade hauled a great hulking Greenland shark out from the depths of the Arctic Ocean! I don't know what spurred me to make a film about it, but it was arguably the moment I developed my new passion. The deep sea. Since then, I've created over 50 documentaries about the deep sea, each one longer than the last, covering everything from hydrothermal vents to deepwater brine pools and coral gardens! I set up this website and the Deep Sea Hub to compliment those films.
In late 2021 I began studying Marine Biology, and through my University I made a number of connections with real-world deep-sea scientists, major exploration organisations, and science-communicators. People who were keen to help me on my mission to document the wonders of the depths. It's my hope that someday I might be able to work on wildlife documentaries for television or streaming services. But who knows what comes next - I'm too busy enjoying the now.