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Giant trevally fish eats bird out of sky in Blue Planet II

The idea of a fish leaping out of the water to catch a bird sounds like a fisherman's tale.

But while it seems to defy the natural order, that extraordinary scene has been caught on camera for the first time.

Crews filming the BBC's new natural history series Blue Planet II were told that giant trevally fish had been seen hunting seabirds off the coast of the Seychelles.

What they found, and filmed, might prove to be the stand-out moment of the series, which begins next Sunday night.

The dramatic hunting sequence will captivate viewers and is likely to draw comparisons to the award-winning snakes versus iguanas scene from Planet Earth II last year.

 Scroll down for video

A trevally fish is pictured leaping out of the water to catch a bird off the coast of the Seychelles

A trevally fish is pictured leaping out of the water to catch a bird off the coast of the Seychelles

The monster tracked the flightpath of the tern before intercepting and eating it ... in one gulp.

Series producer James Honeyborne said: 'It's one thing seeing a fish flying through the air, that's unexpected enough.

'But then seeing a fish flying through the air and catching a bird in its mouth, wow... yep – a bird-eating fish. 

The fish launches out of the water with phenomenal speed and acceleration and catches this bird in mid-air. And we filmed it in ultra slow-motion.'

Giant trevallies, which can hunt alone or as a school, prey on tens of thousands of terns that take off from shorelines in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

The giant trevally (pictured) features in the new BBC natural history series Blue Planet II which hits our screens next weekend

The giant trevally (pictured) features in the new BBC natural history series Blue Planet II which hits our screens next weekend

In Hawaii the fish was once considered a god and took the place of a human sacrifices. They can reach top speeds of 37mph and jump 6ft

In Hawaii the fish was once considered a god and took the place of a human sacrifices. They can reach top speeds of 37mph and jump 6ft

Ferocious and powerful, the creatures typically eat other fish but are known to take juvenile turtles and small dolphins. 

They are highly prized by game fishermen because they put up a strong fight and can break rods and snap strong fishing lines.

The Blue Planet II film crew gambled on getting the footage because they did not have evidence to prove its bird-eating behaviour was anything more than a myth. Miles Barton, who directed the sequence, said: 'I was sceptical, to say the least. 

God of the sea  
The giant trevally can grow up to 5.5ft long and weigh more than 12stIt kills its prey, which can include turtles and small dolphins, with a body slamIt eats in a single bite to stop other fish stealing foodIn Hawaii the fish was once considered a god and took the place of a human sacrificesThey can reach top speeds of 37mph and jump 6ft

 

But our researcher Sophie [Morgan] talked to these fishermen, and they convinced us, so we decided to do the shoot.

'You only do one or two of these types of risky shoots on a show. This was our biggest gamble.

'We arrived and got very excited because yes, there were splashes everywhere – the fish were leaping out of the water and seemed to be grabbing birds. 

But it

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