Explore over 4 billion years of ocean history from giant fossils to Megalodon shark teeth. As you journey down the ramp you will follow the history of the oceans’ until the present day, discovering how life came to be on Earth. Walking a timeline, you will meet some of the magnificent animals that lived during this period and take in the textures of the fossil wall, exploring the creatures of ocean’s past. 

The first ocean was highly acidic and nothing could live there. Gradually it cooled and became more hospitable to an array of incredible species.

About 3,500 million years ago, life began in some watery place on earth – perhaps a tide pool, hot spring or deep sea vent. Chemicals became concentrated and reactions were sparked off by lightening. Ultraviolet radiation or volcanic heat created complex carbon-based chemicals that eventually became the first simple life forms.

About 600 million years ago, the first creatures with many cells evolved. They were soft-bodied like jellyfish, but soon more sophisticated animals evolved with hard parts for movement, attack and defence. By 500 million years ago, the first fishes swam in the ocean.

A few hundred million years later, giant sea reptiles dominated the seas. By 65 million years ago, all of these were extinct, leaving turtles amongst the few survivors. The furry four-legged creatures then began to exploit new opportunities within the ocean. Hyena-like creatures evolved into early whales, becoming fully aquatic, losing their fur and hind limbs and giving birth in the ocean.

Finally humans arrived to populate the planet and their lives soon became intricately linked with the ocean.

Back to The Deep Tour

Meet the Stars

Here you can see some of the stars of Awakening Seas, so make sure to look out for them on your way round.

Kuda seahorse

These masters of camouflage are hard to spot! They use their prehensile tail like a hand, grasping onto rocks or sea grass. Feeding at lightning speed, they pluck tiny shrimp from the water.

Halloween hermit crab

This brightly coloured hermit crab can grow to 5cm in length and live for 10 years. Hermit crabs use old shells as a home. In fact quite often they don’t even wait for the previous owner to leave!

Copperband butterflyfish

A thin disc-like body and elongated snout give this fish the perfect tools for squeezing amongst the crevices of coral reefs and pluck unsuspecting crustaceans from the rocks.

Green brittle star

Brittle stars don't move using tube feet like sea stars and urchins do - they move by wriggling their arms, slithering across the sand in search of food.

Blood shrimp

These ‘cleaner shrimp’ remove dead tissue and parasites from fish that present themselves for cleaning. An excellent scavenger, they move along the reefs and sand beds looking for food.

Plan your visit

Opening Times

  • The Deep is open daily from 10am to 6pm (last entry is at 5pm).
  • Car parking is available at a cost of £3 for six hours. It can become full during school holidays – alternative car parks can be found here.

Ticket Prices

Type of ticket Online On the day
Adult £13.50 £15.00
Child (3 - 15) £10.57 £11.75
Under 3s/Essential carers FREE FREE
Student*/Senior (60+) £12.60 £14.00

* Students must provide a valid NUS card or proof of age is required for school/sixth form students

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Getting Here

Please use Tower Street or HU9 1TU when using a Sat Nav – this will take you to nearest main road to The Deep.

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