A Rare Look at the Secret Life of Orangutans | Short Film Showcase

  • Published on Jul 2, 2018
  • In the vanishing lowland rainforests of Borneo, new research is underway to uncover and understand the unique cultural behaviors in wild orangutans.
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    The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the web and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.
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    National Geographic is the world's premium destination for science, exploration, and adventure. Through their world-class scientists, photographers, journalists, and filmmakers, Nat Geo gets you closer to the stories that matter and past the edge of what's possible.
    Photographer Tim Laman, researcher Cheryll Knott, and National Geographic Young Explorer Robert Suro have documented rarely-seen unique orangutan behaviors such as making pillows, fashioning umbrellas, and displaying regional greetings. With orangutan habitats disappearing at an alarming rate, the team hopes their research will help to protect this critically endangered species before it’s too late.
    To learn more, visit savegporangutans.org/
    Follow filmmakers Melissa Lesh and Trevor Beck Frost.
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    A Rare Look at the Secret Life of Orangutans | Short Film Showcase
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  • Pets & AnimalsPets & Animals

Comments • 623

  • National Geographic
    National Geographic  9 months ago +248

    About 7 million years ago there was nothing like a human on earth - there were simply great apes. What aspect of the lives of orangutans intrigued you the most?

    • caitgems1
      caitgems1 2 days ago

      +Sean Rowshandel aliens changed us.

    • Kytheam
      Kytheam 28 days ago

      +Left anti pc really bruh

    • nineteenthly
      nineteenthly Month ago

      +manictiger very funny.

    • manictiger
      manictiger Month ago +1

      We were NEVER APES! The world is 6000 years old and FLAT! You can't fool me, you roundies!

    • nineteenthly
      nineteenthly Month ago

      +OutlineBulls414 From immunological studies and experiments involving the heating of single stranded DNA in solution from different species, and a known rate of change in codons. Evolution is a fact.

  • Ginger Ninja
    Ginger Ninja 6 hours ago

    Orangutans seem to have this unique individuality. Their eyes communicate this deep intelligence and understanding, you can see the emotion and our shared heritage in their eyes. Such beautiful animals and it’s a tragedy that they’re almost certainly going to be extinct in the wild by 2035 if we don’t do something.

  • samcries gangee
    samcries gangee 13 hours ago

    Tiny bigfoot

  • B V
    B V 14 hours ago

    It's pronounced orangoTANG....like the drink. Lol.

  • Beaver Steve
    Beaver Steve Day ago +1

    "person" of the forest? PC madness gone wild.

  • jonathan verret
    jonathan verret 5 days ago

    Eventually we will realize the value of biodiversity and working with nature, rather than against it. Whether we realize it in time to save our species remains to be seen.

  • julia shinta
    julia shinta 7 days ago

    What can I as a common person who lives in Borneo do to help orangutans?

    • Safir
      Safir 4 days ago

      Use Ecosia & donate some money to credible tree planting organizations.

  • No Name
    No Name 8 days ago

    We humans are parasytes

  • Harshit Dutta
    Harshit Dutta 9 days ago

    Awesome video

  • Harshit Dutta
    Harshit Dutta 9 days ago

    I love zoo

  • Zacharie The Meme
    Zacharie The Meme 9 days ago

    I'd be scared shitless if I saw a lonely ape across from me in the middle of a river.

  • zingerman11259
    zingerman11259 9 days ago

    how can people watch this ant not be amazed about our common heritage

  • Alexia Is On Fire
    Alexia Is On Fire 12 days ago

    the secret life of Serena Williams' family

  • Ruzzell Crowe
    Ruzzell Crowe 13 days ago

    My dog makes a pillow and nest.

  • sophie
    sophie 13 days ago


  • I am Alucard
    I am Alucard 14 days ago

    making "pillows" if that isnt confirmation bias, i dont know what is.

  • Grottgreta
    Grottgreta 14 days ago

    That is absolutely amazing and bone-chilling at the same time. What a magnificent species.

  • Turd Launcher
    Turd Launcher 16 days ago

    Plug walk

  • Emable irankunda
    Emable irankunda 17 days ago +1

    they saying orangutan so weird?

  • Eiron
    Eiron 18 days ago +1

    the parents to Donald Trump

    GLOOMN 18 days ago

    All of these gorgeous animals have a conscious mind like the rest of us.

  • Richard Clark
    Richard Clark 19 days ago

    There is "A" god, but not the one you think 2000 years ago.

  • sarif jah
    sarif jah 20 days ago

    I meet orangutans before, looks like so old .. more big than orangutans in this video I think...

  • Paul D
    Paul D 20 days ago

    Thirty seconds in and already I know there's an atheist agenda. Thumbs down.

    • Froe
      Froe 17 days ago

      Lol what. Should they have started it off like “7 million years ago God made humans” lol?

  • Fellen
    Fellen 21 day ago

    Wait... have I been saying orangutan wrong my entire life or is this a tomato/tomato situation???

    I say oh-rang-ah-tang
    they say oh-wronga-ah-tahn

  • Michael Mitros
    Michael Mitros 21 day ago

    Why are they pronouncing it Ew ron goo tawns They sound like pretentious douches

  • Annae Williams
    Annae Williams 22 days ago

    why cannot we do better we have so much and yet we still need to destroy and own at our own demise as well as the world we in habit. Beautiful short and glad we are documenting but i just hope we do something more to protect and preserve the real world than this.

  • subhumanmemes
    subhumanmemes 22 days ago

    When did Steve Buscemi become a scientist?

  • Christian Easthill
    Christian Easthill 22 days ago

    At 9:17. That Orangutan literally felled a tree to show how much a badass it was...

  • cheese chisel
    cheese chisel 23 days ago

    very good +sub

  • Johanna Silvia
    Johanna Silvia 23 days ago

    Apparently a lot of the companies that caused the deforestation in Borneo and Sumatra is Churchill's.

  • Jacare Stein
    Jacare Stein 24 days ago

    i am from sarawak and i wish to conserve the jungle for orang utan with u guy....

  • jokaero Jim
    jokaero Jim 24 days ago

    These are my ancestors from 40000 years ago! 🐒🐒🐒

  • Laks .Luminol
    Laks .Luminol 25 days ago +2


  • WuzNab
    WuzNab 26 days ago +1

    *Mom why are the oranges looking at me*

  • Abigail Tambayong
    Abigail Tambayong 27 days ago

    I feel bad for these people because the time difference in Indonesia which is where I live is very different.

  • Arbi Firman
    Arbi Firman 27 days ago +1

    My super grandfather asked the orangutan's super grandfather to come join evolution to be a human,and they refuse my super grandfather, so this is why the orangutan still exist,this is their fault they didn't agree with Darwin

  • maya laratsemi
    maya laratsemi 27 days ago

    i live in Indonesia, visited orangutan in Kalimantan island... they're ..mm..u should see by yourself to know them by heart

  • KRYS S.Philly
    KRYS S.Philly 28 days ago

    I realize I been saying there name wrong my whole life

  • Sultan Hamdi
    Sultan Hamdi 28 days ago

    We need to keep this creature because it would be the last. Indonesia is an amazing country, obviously, a number of "orang utan" have their place for good-living but some people destroy it in the name of *****

  • Pandelis Andreadis
    Pandelis Andreadis 29 days ago

    What is the music that starts at 6:20 ?

  • Thanossoedibjo
    Thanossoedibjo Month ago

    Miris liatnya, orang luar aja peduli ama satwa asli indonesia,eh orang indonya malah bakar habis hutannya. Bangsat kau korporat!!!

    *JAGUAR SOUTHPAW* Month ago

    *wuidih tatapan matanya.. aku gak kuat*

  • Ben Dover
    Ben Dover Month ago +12

    9:08 Exactly what I look like trying to pick up girls at the bar.

  • TOO be Curious
    TOO be Curious Month ago

    What a beautiful creature and Forrest!

  • Rochelle Heitkemper
    Rochelle Heitkemper Month ago +1

    I hope more people will become more aware of how important wildlife is.

  • digitalandy
    digitalandy Month ago


  • shane smith
    shane smith Month ago

    So if 7 million yrs ago humans didnt stand upright, you mean to tell us that we evolved cause if we did ...what do we evolve every 8 millionyrs or so????.. cause i dont see apes evolving into humans in todays time.... so please elaborate!!!!

  • trump 2020
    trump 2020 Month ago +1

    This is what aliens do when they see humans

  • Marcel ten Hoope
    Marcel ten Hoope Month ago

    Like it!.

  • Destiny Adivá
    Destiny Adivá Month ago +1

    Save the Rainforest and these Amazing Animals and Go Vegan ! (:

  • Snakes Lizards
    Snakes Lizards Month ago +2

    Why would they bother showing those extensive shots of monoculture plantations without pointing out how instrumental they are in deforestation/destruction of the natural habit of the orangutan? It seems weird to just have them there without context or commentary

  • Alberg
    Alberg Month ago

    Boycott Palm Oil

  • King Taharqa
    King Taharqa Month ago +14

    So ya'll 'gonna just act like ya'll didn't see that Orangutan pull down a giant tree at 9:15?

    • MusicalSavior23
      MusicalSavior23 15 days ago

      +The Barona Native the height and leverage make a huge difference

    • The Barona Native
      The Barona Native 20 days ago

      O. K. E. It's still a tree that was pulled down by hand.

    • O. K. E.
      O. K. E. 26 days ago

      The tree was rotten and dead

  • Fryad Rafeeq Saleem

    Well done! You have done a great job.

  • Chudi Chika
    Chudi Chika Month ago

    am i the only one who thinks oragutans are a little ugly.

  • SoCal Drifter
    SoCal Drifter Month ago +1

    To lose these majestic primates because of our own stupidity would be a crime all of us would have to pay for generations to come.

  • Shuu Dâu
    Shuu Dâu Month ago

    Thank you so much for making this film

  • motty k
    motty k Month ago

    How do you know there were no humans or that humans come from apes ....that's ludicrous

  • Dyed Bliss
    Dyed Bliss Month ago +2

    When Americans say orangutan it sounds like ORANGATANG.. I can't stand the mispronunciation! Greatly appreciated here 🙏🏾 Incredible vid!

  • Erizon Macani
    Erizon Macani Month ago

    There is no proof what so ever other than fake bones and “expert opinions” that evolution has taken place. If we have evolved from apes why haven’t apes evolved. There are no transitional species from apes that prove adaptations have taken place. Don’t take someone word for it and research yourself before believing in something.

  • Tmk777
    Tmk777 Month ago

    She's saying "austropithecines."

    MICHAEL DUKES Month ago

    Great animals.

  • la cha
    la cha Month ago

    Heartbreaking. These animals are so special. Just some among the endless parade of victims of our own terribly destructive species. There seems to be no end to the destruction in sight.

  • Jake Reinbold
    Jake Reinbold Month ago

    At 9:19 John cena

  • Dank_Smirk
    Dank_Smirk Month ago +4

    "I wanna be like you ooo ooo. I wanna look like you, talk like you, too ooo ooo…"

  • Yoshi
    Yoshi Month ago

    Get it? RARE

  • sahar sabz
    sahar sabz 2 months ago


  • Joel yew
    Joel yew 2 months ago

    Two words..... Save them

  • Dont FollowME
    Dont FollowME 2 months ago

    Why isn't Trump in this video?

  • Nikita Incanta
    Nikita Incanta 2 months ago

    Wonderful video

  • Adam Maulana
    Adam Maulana 2 months ago

    so orangutan is just like tarzan....

  • D_R70
    D_R70 2 months ago

    I wonder if the other great apes make fun of them for being ginger

  • kuppamato
    kuppamato 2 months ago

    that tim laman guy looks like steve buscemi

  • Josh Barrios
    Josh Barrios 2 months ago


  • Joey Sanderford
    Joey Sanderford 2 months ago

    I am shocked you people actually believe we came from apes!!

    • Joey Sanderford
      Joey Sanderford 2 months ago

      Hamish R more real than you are.

    • Hamish R
      Hamish R 2 months ago +1

      God is not real

    • Hamish R
      Hamish R 2 months ago

      Joey Sanderford Christians.....

  • Joey Sanderford
    Joey Sanderford 2 months ago

    “2 apes passing”!? You got that right you fool!

  • Faksakes
    Faksakes 2 months ago


  • Whisky
    Whisky 2 months ago

    Indonesia, one of the worst countries on earth

  • C Lucas
    C Lucas 2 months ago

    People are now down on the ground walking on two legs where all the mosquitos are! I would be happy way up in a tree!

  • Artfulgirl
    Artfulgirl 2 months ago

    And a great THANK YOU FOR THIS DOKU❤️❤️❤️🌺🌺🌺❤️❤️❤️

  • Artfulgirl
    Artfulgirl 2 months ago

    I LOVE ❤️AND ALWAYS ❤️LOVED ❤️ORANGUTANS! ❤️It felt like breaking my heart seeing this Doku and thinking at the same time what people do only for money. It may not, cannot, must not go on with this destruction of our planet!!!!! WE have to change what we buy and consume, WE HAVE TO READ THE LABLES IF THE PRODUCTS WE BUY AND PUT THE ONES BACK INTO THE SHELVES THAT HAVE OILS AND OTHER THING IN IT THAT DESTROY OUR ENVIRONMENT AND THE NATURAL WORLD OF OUR WORLDS ANIMALS AND PLANTS AND TREES. Now!!!!!!!! From this day on. Stop using Paper towels instead using rags from cut up old T-Shirts or so and wash and reuse. We who live now and coming generations of your children's children children old so on need this planet! Stop using poisons for soil and waters, start gardening and plant fruit and vegetables on You properties I stead of using Herbizides and Pestizides for a green Carpet in front and around your house. Use Butterfly and Bee plants high and flat and medium high plants make our world more colorful and healthier. By that you make your life and our planets life a much better one.

  • Peter Do
    Peter Do 2 months ago

    good luck, harambe. good things are coming for you!

  • Bobbi Floss
    Bobbi Floss 2 months ago +4

    Uh wron a tongs ?

  • Arlo2299
    Arlo2299 2 months ago

    why are their bellies so dam fat 10:17

    SHADILZZZ SL 3 months ago

    Its really like human

  • Naruto Uzumaki
    Naruto Uzumaki 3 months ago

    My father saw one using fire in jungle,they are evolving.

  • Lily Woolley
    Lily Woolley 3 months ago

    If you dislike this I will bbq your first born

  • mynellemail Nell
    mynellemail Nell 3 months ago +1

    Is that Donald Trump?

  • dwi kurnianto
    dwi kurnianto 3 months ago

    so why are we going to mars again ?
    haha calm down *i love mars too btw.

  • These are just words
    These are just words 3 months ago

    Literally just donate now. It can be a cup of coffee but it really does make a difference.

  • Baron Kazhmir
    Baron Kazhmir 3 months ago

    looks like jurassic park movie lol

  • Achozzi
    Achozzi 3 months ago

    1:15 Dr. House's brother, Dr. Jungle

  • vonbrigð i
    vonbrigð i 3 months ago

    I wonder what they could achieve if they did not live solitary

  • Jaime HD
    Jaime HD 3 months ago

    Hay animalitos en comunidades porfavor hagan que no entren a mas

  • Hassan \-.-/
    Hassan \-.-/ 3 months ago

    For a long long way back from me

  • Nama Orang
    Nama Orang 3 months ago

    Orangutan is much better than orang ngutang..

  • Vindra Kavaya
    Vindra Kavaya 3 months ago

    palm oil isnt even healthy

  • Richard Alkire
    Richard Alkire 3 months ago

    Lol i don't get it. They're fascinated by the fact that orangutans have a culture and pass traditions through the generations. Good grief the only reason they're drawing attention to it, as if it were unheard of is because they still believe in evolution. Lol wow it's 2018 and there's zero evidence of evolution. No fossil records. Zero, zilch. Still relying on an OLD theory. The so called culture you're thrilled at in these orangutan society happens in almost every single animal group. Lions and elephants for example. They do the same thing. They have a culture and they pass it down through generations. Then they're questioning why all the other ape groups haven't evolved. My head hurts. Really think about it. Why didn't they evolve? Because they weren't designed to. We didn't come from apes. There's ZERO scientific evidence to prove it. Zero fossil records. None!! Roosters didn't come from the trex and we didn't come from apes. Start over you hit a dead end a loooong time ago.

  • hotaru - chan
    hotaru - chan 3 months ago

    why do people pronounce oranghutan like ureng uteng