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.

Banggai Cardinal

These little fish are known as ‘mouth brooders’. The males hold the eggs in their mouths to keep them safe until they hatch. The youngsters are then released to shelter amongst the spines of sea urchins.

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!

Speckled Shrimpfish

Shrimpfish live in small groups near or among long-spined sea urchins and branching corals. With an unusual swimming position of vertical with their head down, they move through the water blending in with the background.

Paddle Weed Sea Grass

Seagrass is the only true flowering plant in the ocean. Tiny oval pollen grains are released in chains by the flowers and form rafts like floating feathers. Paddle weed is tolerant of very salty seawater.

Blue Starfish

Blue starfish get their colouring from a pigment called linckiacyanin. Their shade of blue can vary depending on the combination of pigments in the star. They take 2 years to reach adult size and live up to 10 years.

Plan your visit

Opening Times

  • Open daily from 10am until 6pm
  • Last admission is at 5pm, although we recommended you to arrive no later than 4pm
  • We are closed on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
  • The Deep’s peak times are between 11am – 2pm, should you prefer a quieter environment please visit outside these times.
  • Car parking is available costing £3 for six hours. It can become full during school holidays. Alternative car parks can be found here.

The Deep Tower Street, Hull, HU1 4DP

01482 381000 Any questions?

SAT NAV (HU9 1TU) this will take you to Tower Street, Hull, the nearest main road to The Deep.

Ticket Prices

Type of ticket Online On the day
Adult £12.15 £13.50
Child (aged 3 to 15) £10.35 £11.50
Children under 3 FREE FREE
Student* £11.25 £12.50
Senior (60+) £11.25 £12.50
Family of 4 (max 2 adults) £40.50 £45.00
Family of 5 (max 2 adults) £49.05 £54.50
Essential carer FREE FREE

* in full time education, valid NUS, University card or proof of age is required for school and Sixth form students.

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Safety Update

The Deep takes the safety and security of its staff and visitors seriously and continue to work with Counter Terrorism Police Officers to review security regimes on a regular basis. Whilst the details of such plans cannot be shared we have in place measures to respond to changes in the threat levels for international terrorism. In light of recent events the security within the building and external spaces has been reviewed.

As per Government guidelines more information on how to play your part can be found on line.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/stay-safe-film https://www.mi5.gov.uk/what-you-can-do

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