The Deep is a public aquarium in Hull, a neighborhood of East Yorkshire in England. The aquarium, in a state of the art building overlooking the Humber estuary, is home to over 5,000 animals.
Permanent exhibits at The Deep include Endless Ocean. The exhibit holds over 650,000 gallons of sea water to house some of the ocean’s most impressive sea life. Highlights of the Endless Ocean exhibit include a pair of loggerhead sea turtles, who were rescued and rehabilitated after being caught in a fisherman’s line in Belgium. Other animals in this display include white tip reef sharks, nurse sharks and zebra sharks, alongside southern stingrays and honeycomb whiptail rays. The Endless Ocean exhibit is connected to an underwater viewing tunnel. The tunnel, 30-feet below the surface of the exhibit, is reached by way of an underwater elevator, or a scenic stairway of 81 steps.
The Amazon Flooded Forest is a freshwater exhibit that features the vulnerable habitat of South America’s Amazon rainforests. The exhibit features three different types of catfish, and the black pacu, a vegetarian relative of the piranha. The Deep Blue One exhibit, also a freshwater exhibit, focuses on rivers of the world that are threatened by pollution, and houses the red-bellied piranha, Amazonian frogs, the Axolotl salamander of the Rio Grande, and an Amazon tree boa.
A Cool Seas exhibit focuses on two different cold-water situations, deep ocean dwelling sea life and that which lives in the cool waters off the northern coast of England. Highlights of the two tanks include jellyfish and the Atlantic sea nettle, the emperor nautilus, longspine snipefish, wolf eel and wrasse. Also in a chilly space is the Kingdom of Ice exhibit, which is home to The Deep’s Gentoo penguins. The penguins were rescued from two different zoos, and in recent years have successfully bred. Lizzie and Attenborough are two baby penguins who were born at the zoo in 2014.
The Awakening Seas exhibit explores the history of life in the ocean through fossils, shark teeth, geology and biology lessons, and recreations of extinct species. Living highlights of the exhibit include the seahorse, blue starfish, and hermit crab.
The Slime exhibit features Simon the Snail and follows his journey in and out of the water to teach about slime and animals whose lives depend on it. Highlights include clownfish and sea anemones, poison dart frogs and spotted garden eels. The Bugs exhibit features nine different invertebrate species, from the colorful tiger centipede, to the flower beetle, leafy katydid and green bottle blue tarantula.
History: The Deep opened in 2002. The architecturally avant garde building was designed by Sir Terry Farrell. In its first year of operations, the aquarium surpassed all expectations and invited in over 850,000 visitors, making it among the most visited attractions in England. The high rate of attendance allowed for the funding of an expansion in 2005.
Conservation is The Deep’s top priority. The aquarium funds research projects all over the world, in addition to conducting its own research and breeding programs on site.
The Deep operates without government funding and is dependent on ticket and retail sales to support operations and its ongoing efforts in education and conservation. It has won several awards including 2008’s Gold Award for Sustainable Tourism in Yorkshire, 2011’s Gold Award for Access for All Tourism in England, and 2017’s Visit England award for inclusive tourism.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Lagoon of Light features the colorful tropical fish that reside in shallow waters above coral reefs and in mangrove forests. The exhibit is connected to Dylan’s Discover Corner and the Magic Pool, where visitors may touch crabs, starfish, shark egg cases, shells and coral.
Dive Shows take place daily in the Endless Oceans and Amazon Flooded Forest exhibits. Divers clean the tanks and feed the animals on alternate days. Penguin feeding occurs twice daily and includes a talk on the penguins, their habitat and the threats they face in the wild.
Educational programming includes the Little Nippers program, a once weekly discovery and play session for toddlers, and Tranquil Tuesday, a once monthly event when the lights are dimmed and the aquarium is quiet, an ideal time for those with sensory disorders to attend the exhibits.
Past and Future Exhibits: Temporary exhibits have included “Venoms vs Poisons,” which featured the toxic animals of The Deep. A rotating art exhibit occupies The Deep’s third floor, and has included the underwater photography of artist Nuno Vasco Rodriguez, among other world-renowned photographers.
Tower St, Hull HU1 4DP, UK, Phone: +44-14-82-38-10-00