Tel: 01482 381000
About The Deep
The Deep is a cutting-edge family attraction comprising a £53 million underwater aquarium at Sammy’s Point, Tower Street, Hull, Yorkshire.
Dubbed the 'the world's only submarium', The Deep opened at its site overlooking the Humber estuary and River Hull in March 2002, in a stunning building designed by Sir Terry Farrell for the UK National Lottery Millennium Commission. The family attraction featured on a Royal Mail stamp and has become an icon for Kingston-upon-Hull.
Indeed, a riverside walk round The Deep showcases a variety of local maritime life, including estuarine seals and occasional visitors, porpoises.
The Deep’s main 10 metre-deep tank houses thousands of marine creatures in 2.5 million litres of water and has welcomed over two million ticket holders through its doors, making the charitable institution the most successful Millennium project in the UK. The family attraction offers both an informative and captivating family day out, providing state of the art interactive displays on its conservation and marine research programmes, as well as "find your creature" panels about its residents, including no fewer than seven species of shark (numbering 40 individuals).
The family attraction additionally boasts numerous jewel tanks and audiovisual presentations about the five oceans and their inhabitants, and visitors to The Deep are transported from the earth’s origins to a Deep-Sea research laboratory, Deep Blue One, before coming upon the lagoon tank and its coral, shoals of colourful and luminescent tropical fish, sea horses, rays and many other sea creatures, totalling some 3500 fish alone. Each afternoon, a show dive is undertaken by a two-man team to the bottom of the tank to hand-feed the sharks and rays, providing a breath-taking, not to say breath-holding, spectacle on this thrilling family day out.
Beginning at the Pacific kelp tank, ticket holders are shown a film narrated by Patrick Stewart at The Deep’s Theatre, which explains the role of the family attraction and what it has to offer both for ecology and for a fabulous family day out. The Deep Evolving Sea exhibit focuses on how the oceans were shaped and why they are salty – 87 tons of salt is retained on site – and a giant fossil wall features marine dinosaur skeletons. Ticket holders can design a sea monster and watch its simulated battle for survival in a prehistoric world.
The Lagoon Of Light takes in contemporary maritime environments with a spotlight on a Tropical Lagoon and the Ice Deserts of Antarctica, featuring razor-finned surgeon fish, zooplankton, Fire Goby, Saddled Butterfly Fish, Leaf Fish, the comical Clown Fish, venomous Lion Fish and the startling Saw Fish. Just the ticket for anyone angling for a riveting family day out.
In the Super Senses zone, the focus is on the Bonnethead Shark’s search for buried lagoon worms and shellfish, using its electrical-signal sensors – not something you’ll see at any old family attraction!
Then there’s the Coral Tank, designed for The Deep’s coral breeding and conservation programme, along with touch pools continaing local species housed in the Kingston Communications Discovery Corner. There’s also a coral wall, ladders and a periscope to view Damsel Fish, the first blue-spotted rays born in captivity, and the spiny Long Horned Cow Fish, which blows jets of water at the sand to unearth shrimps.
The Deep’s Slime! Exhibit spotlights marine and land creatures that live on algae and other forms of aquatic goo, from toxic Blue Poison Arrow Frogs to Giant African Land Snails and hagfish that eat their prey from the inside out. What other family day out can boast that?
The Industrial Seas focuses on human usage of the seas, taking in aspects such as pollution and fishing, allows ticket holders to observe the Humber Estuary through a periscope, and there’s a Cod Lottery game featuring cannibal Cod that can live up to 15 years.
The Deep’s Twilight Zone takes ticket holders beyond the sun’s reach and into a pitch-black world of bizarre subterranean flora and fauna that thrive below 200 metres to a depth of a kilometre or more. Among these are Giant Japanese Spider Crabs, Giant Pacific Octopus, Wolf Eels, Flashlight Fish, Moon Jelly Fish and Ancient Nautilus.
The Deep’s Kingdom Of Ice features ice walls and sub-zero species such as the Arctic Jellyfish, which feeds on its jellyfish brethren, while krill kill plankton by the million and form the basis of the food chain for larger predators.
Even more icy is the Deep Blue One ocean research station mock-up of 2050 CE, entered via a compression tunnel and opening into a research lab and three-screen theatre – just the ticket for fans of The Abyss or Deep Blue Sea, but a lot safer! Indeed, in DB1, ticket holders can pilot a mini-submarine, build their own version of a deep-sea research lab, learn about the octopus’ jet propulsion system, and scan plans for future oceanic exploration, exploitation and conservation. The Deep really is a deeply informative and captivating family attraction and, on exiting Deep Blue One, ticket holders emerge in the deepest viewing tunnel in Europe, 10 metres under the sea and surrounded by circling sharks. From here, the world's only Underwater Lift – manufactured from acrylic - takes visitors to the surface and a host of other facilities.
Among these are the well-stocked Deepartment Store, two cafes and a restaurant with riverside or tank views, as well as an outdoor picnic area and an indoor facility. A children’s play area, Hullabaloo, features the theme of Humber Estuary wildlife, including water voles, curlews, reed beds, mud flats, sand banks and even a mermaid’s purse. Additionally, the family attraction caters for birthday parties with a meal, guided tour, games and a goody bag, while Sleepovers feature exclusive use of The Deep, a guided tour, workshops including craft and games sessions, Sleeping With The Sharks in front of the tanks – and sharks never sleep! – and breakfast the following day (for ticket holders, that is – not the sharks!).
The Deep has corporate meeting and conference facilities too, including banquets in the glass apex observatory or among the sharks in the Endless Oceans Gallery (details at the website). With extensive disabled facilities and access throughout, The Deep offers a first-rate family day out that everyone can enjoy, making it an outstanding family attraction.