There are many things that look very cool in slow motion. A hawk attacking a water balloon is definitely one of those things.
Earth Unplugged, a Web series for the BBC, captured the footage. In the minute-and-a-half clip on YouTube, a northern goshawk is seen flying toward a water balloon. Crew members affixed a piece of meat to the balloon in order to bait the hawk. The balloon bursts as soon as the hawk's talons touch it, and then the hawk flies away. Earth Unplugged shot the sequence with a high-speed camera at 4,000 frames per second. The clip plays in slow motion to show off the incredible detail of both the goshawk and the bursting balloon.
Other slowed-down clips on the series' channel include wet animals shaking, butterflies flying, and crocodiles attacking. The web series started uploading videos to YouTube in November 2012. Earth Unplugged's goal is to "reveal amazing animal facts, share the latest wildlife news and leave you breathless with our beautiful slow motion videos."
The video of the hawk attacking the water balloon was uploaded Wednesday and has more than 45,000 views. Another video from a year ago explains the process behind filming the hawk and shows behind-the-scenes footage. That clip has been viewed more than 122,000 times.
Viewers seem to be in awe of the video. YouTube user "Hiway" wrote, "The beauty and effort to get distance, timing, field of view, depth of view, and lighting so accurate is second only to that stunning hawk and it's graceful and fluid movement through the air."