Children and teenagers will never again know true freedom because mobile phones mean they can’t get lost, thinks Sir David Attenborough.
The 93-year-old wildlife presenter says young people can never lose contact thanks to modern technology. And that’s a shame, the legendary broadcaster suggests.
He recalls travelling to Indonesia in 1955, getting on a small boat and sailing east among the islands.
‘Nobody knew where we were,’ he tells Time Out Magazine in a lengthy and fascinating interview . ‘There were no mobile phones.’
When asked whether there is something he experienced as a child that he wishes teenagers could today, Attenborough says: ‘Getting lost.’
Now, he says that young people will never experience the kind of freedom he had.
He says: ‘There’s no way in which you can be out of contact.’
The BBC presenter admits to being ‘terrified’ when he became completely lost in the middle of a rainforest. ‘The first time you go, it’s quite a daunting business. You can’t see the sun. You’ve got no way of orientating yourself,’ he says.
‘You will easily get lost and I have been lost, and it’s terrifying.’
Attenborough adds that if he could bring an extinct animal back to life, it would be a pterosaur – a flying reptile which lived among the dinosaurs.
‘I would love to see a pterosaur,’ he says. ‘They were the size of small aeroplanes.’
Opening his arms out wide as if pretending to fly, he adds: ‘How did they flap their wings? How did it get into the air?’
He becomes frustrated as he speaks about the devastating effects climate change is having on the planet. He recalls feeling horror when he saw a coral reef had been destroyed by humans.
He says: ‘One of the most magical moments of a naturalist’s life is the first time you dive on a coral reef. We were filming ‘Blue Planet’ and we got there expecting to see the most beautiful spectacle imaginable.
‘We dived down and it was gone. Dead. Because of humans. I just felt… horror.’
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