This is the first ever high-definition, super-slow-motion video footage of sprinting cheetahs, which — I think we can all agree — are basically the reason high-frame-rate video cameras were invented. So stop it. Stop what you're doing and watch this. Because this is more important.
Says cinematographer Greg Wilson:
Combining the resources of National Geographic and the Cincinnati Zoo, and drawing on the skills of a Hollywood action movie crew, we documented these amazing cats in a way that's never been done before.
Using a Phantom camera filming at 1200 frames per second while zooming beside a sprinting cheetah, the team captured every nuance of the cat's movement as it reached top speeds of 60+ miles per hour.
The extraordinary footage that follows is a compilation of multiple runs by five cheetahs during three days of filming.
If you're already familiar with Phantom Flex cameras, you're probably not even reading this; chances are you already clicked play on the video up top and are well on your way to having your face melted by the sublime beauty of one of the most biomechanically impressive animals to ever walk the Earth. For the uninitiated: trust us, this is something you want to see (followed immediately by this other Flex cam footage). Full screen, HD, headphones, and just seven minutes of your time. Enjoy.
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Visit National Geographic's Cause an Uproar Campaign for more information on cheetah and big cat conservation. For an excellent visual introduction to the biomechanics of cheetahs, see this masterful collection of GIFs by designer Jacob O'Neal.