To prepare for an exhibition next year we recently conducted a frontend survey about the topic “deep ocean”. This research was conducted using Survey Monkey, an online survey tool, and after two weeks 792 people had responded.

Respondents were primarily aged between 35-49 (39%); over 50 years (33%); under 34 years (28%), and 97% lived in Australia.

Below are the questions we asked. If you want to read some of the verbatim responses visit our Visitors Voice Blog here.

The words they associated with the deep ocean?

mysterious 82%
fascinating 77%
dark 69%
cold 52%
unfamiliar 47%
adventurous 44%
quiet 41%
dangerous 33%
weird 26%
wet 23%
scary 20%
creepy 13%
desolate 9%
muddy 3%

What topics did they want to see covered (they could choose three)?

What lives down there 73%
How things live down there 56%
How scientists explore the deep ocean 43%
The different types of habitats 37%
How humans impact on the deep ocean 36%
Volcanoes and earthquakes 31%
Shipwrecks 17 %
Mining and drilling in the deep ocean 7%

What was their level of agreement with the following statements?

It would be good to experience travelling to the deep oceans in an exhibition - 93% Strongly agree/agree
Odd, little known facts about the deep ocean interest me - 91% Strongly agree/agree
I find deep oceans more frightening than interesting - 71% Strongly disagree/disagree
I am interested in the secret life of the deep ocean - 93% Strongly agree/agree
The atmosphere of the exhibition should be spooky, dark and a bit creepy - 49% Strongly agree/agree 24% Neutral
It is important to include human social/cultural aspects of natural history in this exhibition (e.g. myths of the sea) - 66% Strongly agree/agree 24% Neutral
The atmosphere of the exhibition should reflect the beauty of the ocean - 88% Strongly agree/agree
Dark, scary exhibitions are not good for children - 42% Strongly disagree/disagree 31% Neutral
I am interested in how we explore deep oceans - 85% Strongly agree/agree

And here’s the question where we checked what they know (or didn’t know) about the deep ocean.

  • The deep ocean is full of shipwrecks
  • There’s lots of nothing down there
  • Deep ocean creatures are huge
  • Some sunlight reaches the deep ocean
  • You will find coral in the deep ocean
  • Scientists now know about everything down there
  • It all looks the same down there
  • Temperatures vary in the deep ocean
  • What we do up here damages the deep ocean environment
  • It is quiet in the deep ocean
  • All deep ocean creatures live on the seabed
  • The deep ocean is affected by climate change