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

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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About National Geographic:
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.
Follow Tim Laman:
A Rare Look at the Secret Life of Orangutans | Short Film Showcase
National Geographic


  1. National Geographic

    National Geographic2 years ago

    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?

  2. Crying Trump

    Crying Trump4 days ago

    @nineteenthly thank you

  3. ZERO

    ZERO12 days ago

    Kinda sus

  4. ZERO

    ZERO12 days ago

    This is kinda sus

  5. Pacó González

    Pacó González16 days ago


  6. Charles-Valentin Alkan

    Charles-Valentin Alkan17 days ago

    The memes

  7. V Sam

    V SamHour ago

    Beautiful documentary 👏🙏 Thank you for making this humbling piece❤️

  8. Dum Dum

    Dum Dum18 hours ago

    Why do we keep deforesting valuable resources like forests? I mean you can't grow forest and it's habitat and it's ecosystem in a day. Corporate greed is without fathom.

  9. Troy Cassidy

    Troy CassidyDay ago

    Build ark populations in Australia and PNG

  10. Joël Blanc

    Joël Blanc2 days ago


  11. Loyen Redhawk

    Loyen Redhawk2 days ago

    I love orangutans.

  12. Goerge zaf

    Goerge zaf6 days ago

    Whats the prof we come from orangutans or any monkeys??

  13. Broc Theil

    Broc Theil2 days ago

    We didn't come from an orangutan, orangutans are a species of ape. Humans are a species of ape.

  14. Ran Nintai-ryoku

    Ran Nintai-ryoku6 days ago

    Wait do ppl actually think we where apes 😂😂😂 no wonder ppl are racist

  15. Ran Nintai-ryoku

    Ran Nintai-ryoku2 days ago

    @Broc Theil we are created from mud and we are superior to animals we are a better creation from animals cus we have the free will of choice

  16. Broc Theil

    Broc Theil2 days ago

    @Ran Nintai-ryoku We share dna with every animal and yes we are animals. If we are not animals, than what are we? Were do you think we can from?

  17. Ran Nintai-ryoku

    Ran Nintai-ryoku2 days ago

    Broc Theil Sharing a DNA with an animal doesn’t mean we are animals lol , and you know it’s just a theory Darwin’s theory of evolution there’s no prof behind it probably Darwin was drunk when he wrote it 😂😂

  18. Broc Theil

    Broc Theil2 days ago

    Its a scientific fact that humans are apes.

  19. BlackorcaOZ

    BlackorcaOZ7 days ago

    Also, please boycott palm oil and any other products that destroy the natural habitats of wild animals and indigenous people.

  20. BlackorcaOZ

    BlackorcaOZ7 days ago

    It bothers me very much that educated people can't even pronounce orangutan correctly, according to the Britsh dictionary, American dictionary or even the natives. This is an educational documentary after all. Orangutan, pronounced o-rang (as a bell) oo-tan (as in sun tan). Not o-rahng-oo-tahn.. They just sound pretentious and are confusing young people.


    RANJEET KUMAR7 days ago

    They do need pillow just like me !!

  22. Buds Chrome

    Buds Chrome8 days ago

    Palm oil lol

  23. dauntlesskjcm

    dauntlesskjcm9 days ago

    Stop palm oil production in Indonesia period. It's the US fault tho. They wanted palm oil cheap because it doesn't grow in the US. Leading to more production because of cheap prices.

  24. Manny Manolo

    Manny Manolo12 days ago

    I guess Ive been pronouncing Orangutans wrong all my life.

  25. M B

    M B14 days ago

    I don’t see how people can go risk their lives into the wild to see these wild animals! I could never

  26. Samp

    Samp14 days ago

    Someone should make a meme where an icon pops up in the top "Wizard" LVL:999 HP: ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  27. Pacó González

    Pacó González16 days ago

    Orangutan: UuuuuWooowww

  28. I am Nigerian prince

    I am Nigerian prince17 days ago


  29. Paula terrell

    Paula terrell17 days ago

    I can't stop watching these videos of the orangutans.... if I had the money I would donate to the orangutans... between the orangutans an grollias and chimpanzees the orangutans are my favorite

  30. Paula terrell

    Paula terrell17 days ago

    I absolutely love the orangutans ... they are amazing beautiful.... I love to meet one they have beautiful big brown eyes.....

  31. Arad Fitrahillah

    Arad Fitrahillah18 days ago

    Fun fact: *maybe not fun The name orangutan comes from the word Orang Hutan in Indonesian which means Forestman/Forest human *But im called Forest guy

  32. Adi Pardita

    Adi Pardita18 days ago

    those mega palm oil platations eventually ended up in some billionaire's garage and closet. the farmers are living in near poverty and the orangutans are perishing..

  33. Skip Bo

    Skip Bo19 days ago

    too much talking. shut up for christ's sake.

  34. Lala

    Lala21 day ago

    I miss seeing the orangutan on Indonesia's 500 rupiah bill. We need to keep reminding ourselves that these guys exist and need to be protected.

  35. SpicyWater

    SpicyWater22 days ago

    Orangutans are my favorite mammal. We need safe spaces for them



    A day i a life of Jeremy Clarkson

  37. yhazzziii 16

    yhazzziii 1624 days ago

    I’m high and it’s 6 am and I can’t process the way monkeys exist. I could type more but I’m paying attention to the video.

  38. Flowerhorn Dude

    Flowerhorn Dude25 days ago

    the jungle are better before those foreign company (from singapore, malaysia, china, taiwan, australia) come to borneo and do slash all the tree for mining, wood, and palm oil.

  39. Robbie Flores

    Robbie Flores26 days ago

    * Oran-guh-Tan *

  40. madmoran1029

    madmoran102928 days ago

    In suburban America “culture” is mayonnaise

  41. Deon Bowser

    Deon Bowser28 days ago

    I freaking enjoyed every second of this and it was so educational for me and in 4 years I’m making it my promise to Borneo and study the life of an orangutan

  42. S.Shivani

    S.ShivaniMonth ago

    I’ve never heard the word orangutang pronounced like that.

  43. clxudy Blxssoms

    clxudy BlxssomsMonth ago

    There relaxing

  44. Yuliant Bjm

    Yuliant BjmMonth ago

    Yeahhh. This is Gunung Palung in my city. 😍😍😍🥰🥰

  45. Minhhai kim

    Minhhai kimMonth ago

    What does secret mean?

  46. Cbom123

    Cbom123Month ago

    That lady still thinks we came from monkeys lmao

  47. Coltkiller Gaming

    Coltkiller Gaming19 days ago

    @Eddie Rice than why’d u ask

  48. Eddie Rice

    Eddie Rice19 days ago

    @Coltkiller Gaming I already know that

  49. Coltkiller Gaming

    Coltkiller Gaming19 days ago

    @Eddie Rice we did come from something like monkeys but we and apes went two different paths

  50. Eddie Rice

    Eddie Rice20 days ago

    @Coltkiller Gaming what do you mean

  51. Coltkiller Gaming

    Coltkiller Gaming20 days ago

    @Eddie Rice we do what we stranded off

  52. E J

    E JMonth ago

    Give orangutans a few millions years and they are going to have the intelligence of humans considering they probably won’t be living in the forest for so long

  53. Raihan Iftekhar

    Raihan IftekharMonth ago

    @E J, yeah, that's sad.

  54. E J

    E JMonth ago

    @Raihan Iftekhar ain’t that the truth. I hope they don’t but I think the odds are stacked against them especially since they only have kids once every 8 years.

  55. Raihan Iftekhar

    Raihan IftekharMonth ago

    Assuming they would be lucky enough to not go extinct.

  56. Pat Collins

    Pat CollinsMonth ago

    A red haired, big, dumb ape. Never realized trump had extended family in borneo.

  57. vSwxy

    vSwxyMonth ago

    when i die i want to come back as an orangutan

  58. Andy H

    Andy HMonth ago

    Too much talking about the researchers, show more orangutans!

  59. Sandikala

    SandikalaMonth ago

    Then find another video

  60. Bluezz Bytes

    Bluezz BytesMonth ago

    This documentary showed very little of the Orangutans. Most of it is just people talking in front of a camera, not even among the animals.

  61. Sandikala

    SandikalaMonth ago

    Every filmmakers have different style.

  62. Andri Sitinjak

    Andri SitinjakMonth ago

    This is documentary very very god

  63. Aaron Rodriguez

    Aaron RodriguezMonth ago

    Why are they talking like humans aren't apart of the great apes?

  64. Marcus Ross

    Marcus RossMonth ago

    Less talking more monkee

  65. Sum Ting Wong

    Sum Ting WongMonth ago

    Very true

  66. Luke Juce

    Luke JuceMonth ago

    embrace monke

  67. M BARIQ

    M BARIQMonth ago

    I really want to see animals on the wild. I already see a lot of them in zoo, but i think there's a different feel when you saw them doing their things on places they should belong to. Maybe seeing them in some national park, not visiting them, just accidentally seeing them when walking around. I don't care if it's only one for a lifetime, that will be an unforgettable experience

  68. bendysbadytconntent

    bendysbadytconntentMonth ago

    This is some premium monke content

  69. Mlle V. auxiliaire sexuelle

    Mlle V. auxiliaire sexuelleMonth ago

    Amazing images... Well explained. I am a great apes sexuality and fertility expert so i already knew a lot but the way they explain and show different sounds they make.... Wow. I didnt had the chance to see one Alive. I worked with chimps Do. I am lucky. But orangutan are specials... Mysterious and impressives. Maybe one Day Ill make the trip. Bornéo... Here i come!

  70. TheOnionQueen

    TheOnionQueenMonth ago

    I’m afraid of orangutans, so I’m hoping this will help at least a little.

  71. Booker

    BookerMonth ago

    this is torture for people who love monkeys and good audio

  72. Choctawnic

    ChoctawnicMonth ago

    God bless and protect this place's forests and every soul in it. Amen.

  73. JuanRamonSilva

    JuanRamonSilvaMonth ago

    Some of those orangutan have facial features that look uncannily human.

  74. Mr Chimpanzee

    Mr ChimpanzeeMonth ago


  75. Ram Rammu

    Ram RammuMonth ago

    I love how he says orangutan, orang gu tawng

  76. mavros777

    mavros777Month ago

    Why for once can't we watch a nature documentary and just appreciate God's wonderful creation rather than hear unfounded theories being pushed at us about how it all happened?

  77. - Ąēliya_Gacha -

    - Ąēliya_Gacha -Month ago


  78. - Ąēliya_Gacha -

    - Ąēliya_Gacha -Month ago


  79. Cathartic Canuck

    Cathartic CanuckMonth ago

    "something.....like...." SHUT UP! you do NOT know this. Stop lying to us all. Evolution is a LIE!

  80. m. alonto

    m. alontoMonth ago

    the more we know about them the more fitting their name becomes. they really are the "people of the forest"... thank you for documentaries like this Nat Geo. this is why i buy nat geo merch, as support. just got my sling bag and i'm loving it!!! will buy my son a backpack once school is re-opened... more power from the Philippines!!!

  81. hu

    huMonth ago

    join monke

  82. Steve from Yellowstone

    Steve from YellowstoneMonth ago

    Keeping intelligent creatures like this in a zoo should be a international crime

  83. Lillian Mulupi

    Lillian MulupiMonth ago

    This video is a bit sceary

  84. Archived sewage

    Archived sewageMonth ago

    Orangutans are just orange and tanned.

  85. Jonathan Jenkins

    Jonathan JenkinsMonth ago

    Where are the researchers that believe in God? Someone started a lie a long time ago and it's still going on that humans came from apes wow, we can be so smart and so stupid @ the same time

  86. Ray Pratt

    Ray PrattMonth ago

    Evolve into human ay??its pretty stunning that even when proven wrong these scientists with that full of holes theory and was straight up brought on by the elitists that run this world still today,but these people have been indoctrinated for multiple generations by a scripted out educational system where we only learn what they want us to learn and thats it so to these people it must be right then??

  87. Eddie Rice

    Eddie Rice25 days ago

    well its dum to think "god" spawn in humans. Evolve is fact.

  88. Ali Abdollah Zadeh

    Ali Abdollah ZadehMonth ago

    Why are you filming a Scottish person?

  89. looptyloop

    looptyloopMonth ago

    what do u think would happen if a human made a t pee or lean to in front of orangutans

  90. BiggBoi

    BiggBoiMonth ago

    Would it be a bad thing to bring some orangatangs to florida and let their species live here in the wild. Florida has the climate they need, and a government to provide the protection they need, unlike some of these Asian countries. They're not gonna be invasive because they reproduce very slowly.

  91. Henri Henry

    Henri HenryMonth ago

    My favorite animal. Contrary to popular belief, the chimpanzee is not the closest animal to us humans. It is the orangutan.

  92. Henrique

    HenriqueMonth ago

    I didn't know Steve Buscemi was into this sort of thing

  93. Jeff Calvin

    Jeff CalvinMonth ago

    Cobra Erra

  94. Nathalie Mercier

    Nathalie MercierMonth ago

    Orang u tan is the real way to say it, erangatan is the western way of saying it

  95. John long

    John longMonth ago

    I always wondered why some people look like apes 🦧.

  96. A M

    A MMonth ago

    10:16 beast titan

  97. 1Americanatlarge

    1AmericanatlargeMonth ago


  98. Sarah Riedel

    Sarah Riedel2 months ago

    @8:35 he literally threw an entire tree branch at the photographer 😂

  99. Scizo Phrenic

    Scizo Phrenic2 months ago

    oh im sure humans will kill everything including themselves off. its what they have done and will always do.

  100. joe sharp

    joe sharp2 months ago

    ruined by ads

  101. Eddie Rice

    Eddie Rice25 days ago

    shame to hear that. try adblocker its makes watching youtube m ore fun

  102. dln

    dln2 months ago

    I just came here cause they added this emoji 🦧

  103. Hot Dwag

    Hot Dwag2 months ago

    Its 3 am and i have school tomorrow, but i need monke

  104. RatLight

    RatLight2 months ago

    Monki flip

  105. Who Me?

    Who Me?2 months ago

    Great apes are definitely close to humans, and way smarter then other animals.

  106. Jess Saoya

    Jess Saoya2 months ago

    Is anyone else getting triggered with them saying Orangutan weird

  107. Kanal 7

    Kanal 7Month ago

    In Indonesia we say: Oh rang uh thawn

  108. Politics with Frenchy

    Politics with Frenchy2 months ago

    If they are SO close to modern humans, WHY AREN'T THEY BURNING THE PLANET DOWN? pc culture has hit the great apes....

  109. Broc Theil

    Broc Theil2 days ago

    They're a lot closer to jungle tribes I'd say.

  110. Ryan Tirto Samudra

    Ryan Tirto Samudra2 months ago

    Borneo, Sumatera, Indonesia orangutan

  111. Escaia McMillan

    Escaia McMillan2 months ago

    For anyone who dosen't know the "Rhinoceros Hornbill Bird" is now on the endangered list which is so sad because this creature looks very intregaing and I became horrified to know it became this way because of plantations of oil palm trees. And theirs alot of food we didn't know that has palm oil in it For Example : Tastykake products have Palm oil in them so if you are a person who likes Tastykake like me that didn't know about this information then you and I are unconsciously hurting the RHINOCEROS HORNELL BIRD! Please be aware of what your eating and what's inside the food your eating! (That includes what types of soaps, shampoo, and condiments your using!) And make sure to spread the word if you want to! Also recently someone told me that the Orangutans are threatened by palm oil plantations and no one's talking about it, since all they care about is health food. Which saddens me greatly! >:'(

  112. Wake Up

    Wake Up2 months ago

    We did not evolve from apes. 100 % proof: If we did evolve from apes there would have overwhelming evidence! There would be millions if not billions of in between species either extinct or still alive and there are none, zilch, zero, notta, nil! A few skeletons that may resemble what they think may be a missing link doesn't count. There would be a lot and it would be easy to prove. The universe didn't come from nothing either we. These people are talking like it is a FACT it is far from a fat in fact it is big FAT LIE. Therefore everything thing these people say cannot be trusted. If they are lying soemthing that big they are lying about everything.

  113. Broc Theil

    Broc Theil2 days ago

    Humans ARE an ape.

  114. Muhammad Rizky Choiruman

    Muhammad Rizky Choiruman2 months ago

    make an umbrella when it rains

  115. Nathaniel Anderson

    Nathaniel Anderson2 months ago

    We can't let this species go extinct. We must save a population somewhere.

  116. Nathaniel Anderson

    Nathaniel Anderson2 months ago

    The shap of the males face with his large face pads, looks like it has evolved to let his voice carry over a large distance, in a more specific direction. He can probably use them to detect the direction and distance of a female or even other male who is calling back.

  117. Marc Thomas

    Marc Thomas2 months ago

    Give the orangutan's some hallucination drugs

  118. Marc Thomas

    Marc Thomas2 months ago

    The idea of us being "human" is just an idea and the idea that we are different from animals is just an idea.. the reality of things are that we are thinking apes and we are animals... Wake up..

  119. yamabushi170

    yamabushi1702 months ago

    many years ago I visited the ape enclosure at blackpool zoo. Among the orang utans was a big old female, calmly munching away on a snack. At some point it seemed she got a bit tired of us all gawping at her. She took an old sack next to her which was open at both ends and pulled it over herself, so it just looked like a big sack of potatoes. We were all watching and chuckling as every so often her big hand would pop out of the sack to grab more food. At some point a little baby got curious as to what was going on with the sack. It gambled over and peered inside the sack, only for the same massive ape hand to reach out, scoop the little infant up and pull it to join Mum in the privacy of the sack. Wonderful memory.

  120. Mr Wawan. Syaphutra Saputra López lÊap

    Mr Wawan. Syaphutra Saputra López lÊap2 months ago

    orangutans is indonesia no malaysia

  121. Laura S

    Laura S2 months ago

    How cool would it be to see a full grown orangutan in the wild? That would be a must see.

  122. Atley S

    Atley S2 months ago

    I saw one throw poo once

  123. KameraShy

    KameraShy2 months ago

    Palm oil clogs your arteries. I read ingredient labels and I DO NOT BUY any product that has palm oil. For my own health.

  124. stephanie rando

    stephanie rando2 months ago

    Humans approaching the orangutan @ 3:54. Orangutan is calling out "You got the password?"

  125. theshevirgo

    theshevirgo2 months ago

    I love Orangutans that they are in decline is heartbreaking. They are such beautiful animals. Very smart I can see a lot of human like ways more so than other great apes. We shouldn’t let our distant cousins go extinct

  126. Tatsi Tatsi

    Tatsi Tatsi2 months ago

    Их вид прямо скажу,не самый ласковый и нежный, но глаза- просто добрейшие ну и конечно же я не настолько наивна ,чтобы не понимать, что они конечно же пасть порву и моргалы выколют, если надо будет и это будет, то малое ,что они действительно могут сделать с тем ,кто пришел к ним не с самыми добрыми намерениями,но к сожалению им не всегда удаётся выиграть в неравной борьбе с браконьерами которых обычно человек 10 против одного например и которые использует холодное оружие по отношению к ним !🤗