23 of Sir David Attenborough's most wise and inspirational quotes

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Sir David Attenborough turns 92 today, and over a career spanning seven decades he has become arguably the nation's most beloved broadcaster.

Still as popular as ever thanks to his absorbing narration on popular wildlife documentaries like Blue Planet II, he continues to be a sage voice of reason on topics ranging from politics to human behaviour to the conservation of the natural world.

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To celebrate his 92nd birthday, here are some of his wisest and most inspirational quotes:

"The natural world is the greatest source of excitement. The greatest source of visual beauty. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living."

"The most single revelatory three minutes for me was the first time I put on scuba gear and dived on a coral reef. It's just the unbelievable fact that you can move in three dimensions."

"An understanding of the natural world is a source of not only great curiosity, but great fulfilment."

"I've been bitten by a python. It wasn't a very big one..."

“About 70 or 80 men jumped onto the track, brandishing knives and spears. To say I was alarmed is putting it mildly. I walked towards this screaming horde of men, I stuck out my hand, and I heard myself say 'good afternoon.'"

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"Birds were flying from continent to continent long before we were. They reached the coldest place on Earth, Antarctica, long before we did. They can survive in the hottest of deserts. Some can remain on the wing for years at a time. They can girdle the globe. Now, we have taken over the earth and the sea and the sky, but with skill and care and knowledge, we can ensure that there is still a place on Earth for birds in all their beauty and variety – if we want to - and surely, we should."

(Photo: BBC)

"Real success can only come if there is a change in our societies and in our economics and in our politics."

"There are four million different kinds of animals and plants in the world. That's four million solutions to the problem of staying alive."

"There is no question climate change is happening. The only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it."

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"The only way to save a rhinoceros is to save the environment in which it lives. Because there's a mutual dependency between it and millions of other species."

"The whole of life is coming to terms with yourself and the natural world. Why are you here? How do you fit in? What's it all about?"

"It's extraordinary how self-obsessed human beings are. There is so much more out there than what connects to us."

"I don't believe in sunbathing. It's bad for you."

"I don't think we are going to become extinct. We are very clever and very resourceful."

"I am intoxicated by animals."

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[On studying animals when they don't know you're observing them]: "You get glimpses of a non-human world - and that is a transporting thing."

"I have never had a car. I could say this is because of environmental conscience. But the fact is I hate driving."

David Attenborough's thirst for discovery remains undiminished (Photo: BBC)

"It's a terrible thing to appear on television - because people think you actually know what you're talking about!"

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"Are we happy that our grandchildren may never seen an elephant except in a picture book?"

"I'm luckier than my grandfather, who didn't move more than five miles from the village where he was born."

[On babies]: "If we see a little thing like that, big eyes, tiny nose, we go 'aaaah'. We are programmed to."

"In moments of great grief, that's where you look and immerse yourself. You realise you are not immortal, you are not a god, you are part of the natural world and you come to accept that."

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"I wish the world was twice as big - and half of it was still unexplored."

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[Main image: BBC]