January 28 2021 – Cecily Morgan

WHAT IS WATERBEAR? | criticallyendangered
WHAT IS WATERBEAR? | criticallyendangered

Being able to contribute to conservation from the comfort of your own living room may sound a little too good to be true. However, this is now entirely possible thanks to WaterBear. Read on to find out why “armchair activism” just got a whole new meaning…

Dubbed the “Netflix for nature documentaries”, WaterBear is a free streaming platform that’s home to countless documentaries focusing on conservation, the climate crisis, and other pressing environmental issues.

However, the service isn’t just about watching, it’s about doing. From donating directly to relevant charities to sharing a cause on social media, its built-in interactivity hub makes it easy for viewers to take action every time they watch a documentary.

It was only launched in December 2020 but has already amassed a mighty list of supporters and fans, with charity partners including WWF, the Jane Goodall Institute, and Greenpeace and viewers including Prince Harry, Maisie Williams, and Lily Cole. 

This growing fan base also includes Critically Endangered Socks. We applaud the way it spotlights endangered species - including the ones that we’re protecting - and lets viewers know what they can do to help. We think it’s an excellent place to learn about the animals that our socks are saving and have compiled a handy list of documentaries to help you do this.

Now all you need to do is log onto WaterBear, kick back (preferably in some comfy sustainable socks), and enjoy… 

Gyamo - Queen of the Mountains 

This award-winning film focuses on a snow leopard called Gyamo and her cubs who were captured on a camera trap in the winter before seemingly vanishing when a large male snow leopard appeared on the scene. The following summer, a father and son filmmaker duo traverse the inhospitable mountains of Leh in India in the hopes of getting another sighting of Gyamo and her babies. Will they spot these elusive snow leopards again? You’ll have to watch to find out…

White Rhino 

Due to the tragic poaching of their horns, white rhinos are some of the most critically endangered animals in the world. They were even thought to be extinct for a while until a small population was discovered in South Africa in 1895. This documentary tells the story of how these animals came to be so endangered, and explains the ways in which we can save them from extinction.

Orangutans: Guardians of the Forest 

This documentary focuses on the importance of orangutans in Borneo, and their plight. It highlights their role as the preservers of the forest, opening canopies with their nests and allowing the trees below to get enough sunlight, but also shows the devastating impact that palm oil plantations are having on their home. However, it’s not all bad news because it explains how we can protect these beautiful animals from further harm. Borneo orangutans inspired the creation of Critically Endangered Socks and will always have a special place in our hearts, so we think this is a must-see for everyone. 

Cold Stunned

Each winter, endangered sea turtles wash ashore in Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts, “cold stunned” by the plummeting temperatures. This bite-sized documentary follows experts at the National Aquarium who rescue them, rehabilitate them, and release them back into the wild. An inspiring story of resilient turtles and the heroes who are so dedicated to protecting them, we recommend getting some tissues ready before watching (but don’t worry, they’re for happy tears).

Looking for Sultan

Made by the same father-son filmmaking duo behind Gyamo: Queen of the Mountains, this documentary follows them in a quest to find Sultan, a male tiger that has mysteriously disappeared from Ranthambore National Park in India. During their mission, they learn all about the challenges that the wildlife in the area faces and the importance of tiger conservation, making them all the more determined to find Sultan before it’s too late.

Ellen Windemuth, the CEO of WaterBear, has said, “we are excited about WaterBear’s ability to encourage people to not just watch, but actually interact with the causes they care about” and we agree. We hope that WaterBear won’t just help raise awareness of the difficulties that endangered species face but - more vitally - inspire people to take action in protecting them.