For years, humans have been fascinated with creatures in the deep sea. Cartographers of old created detailed maps of our world with illustrations of sea monsters inhabiting the open ocean. However, these “monstrous” drawings were based mostly on personal accounts from sailors that only caught a glimpse of the creatures.

Today, we know that most of these “sea monsters” are actually animals that have adapted to living in a unique environment with very little light and immense water pressure on their bodies. Viewing these amazing animals in the deep sea has only been accessible to a handful of humans, like deep-sea biologist Dr. Edith Widder, until now.

Many creatures have unique adaptations to live in the deep sea. Photo Credit: Ocean Networks Canada.

Many creatures have unique adaptations to live in the deep sea. Photo Credit: Ocean Networks Canada.

Ocean Networks Canada operates ocean observatories off the West Coast of Canada that collect data on the physical, chemical, biological and geological aspects of the ocean over long periods of time using nodes. Nodes provide power and an Internet connection to the scientific instruments that gather information about the ocean. Nodes are like “power bars” in the ocean and they are built right here in Vancouver by OceanWorks International.

Next week, Ocean Networks Canada will be placing a replica of one of the nodes in the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre’s Strait of Georgia exhibit. Data from nodes in the actual Strait of Georgia, will then be live streamed to a new screen installation in the Aquarium displaying real time data on water properties and monitoring for animals.

“We are thrilled to be showcasing Ocean Networks Canada’s world-leading technology and demonstrating its live-streaming data in Canada’s best ocean showcase – the Vancouver Aquarium,” says Dr. Kate Moran, President and CEO of Ocean Networks Canada.

Ocean Research.

This map shows the location of the current nodes in the Strait of Georgia being monitored.

On April 29, 2015, the public is invited to hear Dr. Kate Moran speak firsthand about deep sea creatures found off the West Coast of B.C. in her presentation titled, Monsters of the Deep, at the Aquarium. Following the presentation, participants will join Dr. Moran at the Strait of Georgia exhibit to view the replica node and get a first glimpse at the live streaming data.

Tickets for this public program are on sale now with doors opening at 6 p.m. There are no age restrictions and refreshments will be available for purchase. Unable to join us in person? You can watch live on online.

You can learn more about the creatures of the deep in the Vancouver Aquarium’s newest feature the Canadian premiere of Sea Monsters Revealed: The Exhibition, on now.

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