Artist Henry Rollins of the legendary 1980s punk band Black Flag talked to EarthSky about his new television program for National Geographic Wild called Animal Underworld. Rollins explores why some people choose to come face to face with some of the world’s most dangerous animals, such as cobras and alligators. He told EarthSky:
Humans have a natural curiosity as to what goes on in the animal world. Hence our fascination with pets, the zoos, and trying to get across to them, like, this elephant is my friend. Or, I’m going to touch the bear because the bear understands me. So these incredible misconceptions are very interesting to me.
Mankind tries to tame its environment, which to me is always fairly insane. That’s because in any natural climate you find yourself in, you’ll see that you’re the one that’s sticking out. You’re the one that who doesn’t fit in, in that the animals are very well-suited to their environment. It’s you who’s putting up your mosquito net.
Rollins has traveled across Vietnam, India, and the southern U.S. to film how humans live with – and exploit – animals. He said:
I do a lot of traveling. And quite often I find myself in environments where I’m dealing with some interesting animals very up close and personal. And that to me is always interesting, because I’m not afraid of these animals. I’m not some tough guy or anything, I’m really not afraid. I’m more curious than anything. And so my curiosity gets me into some very interesting situations.
Listen to the 90-second EarthSky interview with Henry Rollins, at the top of the page.