The albatross inspires awe by its remarkable ease in the air and its huge wingspan, as well as the huge journeys these birds undertake across the oceans. Albatross looks at the place of these iconic birds in a wide variety of human cultures, from early responses by north Atlantic mariners to modern encounters.
The albatross has been celebrated through proverbs, folk stories and art, and for many, the bird’s cultural significance is still determined by Coleridge’s ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. Writers, artists and documentary makers have all focused on the albatross. Yet it's under threat in the modern world, and its prospects for the future may be bleak.