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Science is Wonderful!

Brussels, 25 and 26 April 2024

Feel the water pressure!

Explore how marine creatures survive in the deep Atlantic ocean under pressure from 2000m of water and try it yourself with a simple experiment.

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Dive into the deep ocean

The deeper you go in the ocean, the more you feel the weight of the water above you: this effect is increasing water pressure.

Humans don’t have to go that deep to feel the effect of increasing pressure – in fact most people can feel it in their ears just by diving to the bottom of a swimming pool!

So imagine what it might be like to dive 2000 meters to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

In this do-it-yourself experiment, you will learn how marine creatures can live in the deep ocean thanks to their adaptations and how pressure acts on living bodies. 


Do-it-yourself video

How marine creatures can live in the deep ocean

The video is available with subtitles in all 24 European Union languages, simply use the language switcher on the video to find the one you want.

You can download any of the videos form the European Commission, Audiovisual service library page Science is wonderful! Tutorial Water Pressure.

Information for teachers

  • Activity duration: Between 30 minutes and 1 hour
  • Recommended group size: 1 to 15 students
  • Recommended location: Indoors
  • Preparation by teacher needed: Yes
  • Additional materials needed:
    • A bike pump with a pressure gauge
    • Safety googles
    • A bottle
    • A pump connection
    • Valve
    • 2 balloons of different colours
    • Water

Project behind this activity

Title: A Trans-AtLantic Assessment and deep-water ecosystem-based Spatial management plan for Europe (ATLAS)