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Our Blue Planet

Face to face with a wolf eel

Explore Canada’s green seas as you’ve never seen them before - in 3D VR!

360 VR Canada

Grab your scuba gear for a 360 VR guided tour of this amazing hidden world. Journey to the depths of Canada’s green seas with your guide diver and conservationist Tiare Boyes. So take a deep breath and prepare to experience the unexpected colours and creatures of Canada’s coastline.

Steller sea lion: The dogs of the sea world

© BBC Studios
© BBC Studios

If you keep a keen eye out, you’ll get to see a young male steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus). Graceful, large and deadly if you’re a giant Pacific octopus, these sea lions can grow to over 3m in length, making them the largest of the sea lions in the entire world…so amazing to be able to explore his world with him.

Wolf eel: His bark is worse than his bite, maybe

© Tiare Boyes
© Tiare Boyes

He won’t win any beauty contests, but this wolf eel (Anarrhichthys ocellatus), deep down, is a big softie. Though giant and slightly scary-looking, you’ll see that he’s really just about food and family. Wolf eels are thought to mate for life and they can live together in the same den for up to seven years. A fun fact about wolf eels, they’re not true eels due to their paired gill slits and pectoral fins. He looks fearsome, but has a reputation among divers as being quite curious. Don’t get too close though, a bite from him would still do some damage.

Giant Pacific octopus: A true kraken

© BBC Studios
© BBC Studios

As you swim through the alien landscape, you’ll come across an alien-looking animal, the giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini). It is largest octopus in the known world, possibly even an inspiration for the mythical kraken. They are as intelligent as your average house cat, and it’s no surprise as it has one central brain and eight smaller brains in each of its arms. Perfectly adapted to life on these cold-water reefs, their ability to camouflage by changing colour and texture allow them to hide from sea lions that want to gobble them up.

Kelp forest: A magical underwater world

© Tiare Boyes
© Tiare Boyes

Forests don’t just exist on land. As you explore the green world of these Canadian waters, an ethereal forest of kelp reveals itself. Like any forest, there are a variety of plant species and here you’ll get to see:

  • Bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) an annual seaweed. This means it grows from a spore to maturity within a one year. In winter, the kelp grows fast, sometimes even up to 25cm in one day.
  • Sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima) can grow up to 3m high and is also known as Devil’s Apron.
  • Split kelp (Saccharina groenlandica) is a perennial seaweed, meaning it grows over a number of years. Similar to sugar kelp, this seaweed can grow up to two metres long.

Kelp forests provide shelter for juvenile fish, habitat for sea creatures, food and protection from predators, but they also support us. These lesser known ecosystems protect our coastlines from storms and from rising sea levels. They also absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which has amazing potential in becoming a real player in the fight against climate change.

By Caitlin Grover
Featured image by Tiare Boyes

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