For the Saturday evening event, aquarium visitors will get a look at the octopus, jellyfish the glow under UV light and some sea creatures that only come out at night. Photo, Ricky Belanger

Campbell River aquarium gives look at the night life of sea creatures

Night Under the Sea Stars features some sea life that only comes out night

If you’ve ever wanted to see an octopus having a late-night snack or a fish that glows green, you’ll have your chance this Saturday evening.

The Discovery Aquarium is once again hosting its Night Under the Sea Stars from 6:30 to 8 p.m., an event they have held for several years.

“It’s like a regular day at the aquarium, except we turn all the lights off and block all the windows, so it’s completely dark,” says manager Ricky Belanger. “We give people flashlights and we do night tours.”

RELATED STORY: Student divers to collect sea critters for Campbell River’s Discovery Passage Aquarium

The aquarium staff will talk about how some animals behave differently at night, and there are also a couple of animals at night that like to hide during the day, so it’s a chance to get a rare glimpse.

“They mostly do the cool stuff when the lights are out,” Belanger said.

Visitors can also splash their hands around in the touch tanks, and on occasion this action will result in bio-luminescence.

“The water starts to glow in some areas,” he said. “There’s no guarantee that that happens. It’s completely out of our control, but it has happened once this season when I was in at night.”

Tours take place every 20 minutes. People will get an introductory talk and will be given flashlights to use while they wait outside the facility. Once inside, a couple of interpreters will take people on the tour, which will include some background on phenomena such as the diurnal migration or crepuscular behaviour of some creatures.

Some of the things you might see are a live feeding of the octopus, Ophelia. This is likely toward the end of the event, but Belanger says there will be demonstrations with the octopus on each tour. (Ophelia was the subject of the Discovery Aquarium’s naming contest in the spring. When the creature first arrived, staff thought it was a female, but it turned out to be male. The name just seemed to fit, and it stuck.)

RELATED STORY: Aquarium cleans up Campbell River ocean front

Other things visitors might see on Saturday evening is a type of jellyfish that glows green under ultraviolet light and a scaled crab that hides in a cave all day before coming out once it becomes dark, along with other nocturnal creatures like sailfin sculpins.

“They’re pretty cool as well,” Belanger said.

The aquarium is also open to having a few more volunteers to help out for the event. Regular admission will apply. The Discovery Passage Aquarium is at 621 Island Hwy.

For more information, see its Facebook page, call 250-914-5500 or e-mail info@discoverypassageaquarium.ca.

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