6. Down Low on the Micro



The Down Low on the Micro

Don’t forget about the little guys! We will focus our lens on the smallest creatures in the oceans, and learn about the mayhem that is happening in the microscopic world!


There are worlds all around us! The microscopic world is amazing and full of tiny plants and animals that we are unaware of. Despite their tiny size, these microscopic heroes are crucial to supporting food webs world wide, giving us a oxygen to breathe, and even giving us a chance to make new discoveries! However, like more and more things in nature, they are under threat from our actions. Let’s see what the problems are and how we can provide solutions!

What did we do today?

-Looked at lots of different things under a microscope

-Put on our scientist hats to discover and categorize microscopic observations

-Saw how microscopic animals support many different animals in the food web

-Looked for microplastics hidden in the sand

Things to ask your junior biologist

-Did you see any microplastics in the sand?

            - It depends on the sand, but there could be different bits of plastics!

-What was the coolest thing to see under the microscope?

                -Depends on your biologists! Microscopic life can look like a kaleidoscope of weird alien shapes and colours!

-Where are microplastics coming from?

                -everywhere! From litter to improper recycling, and laundry and cosmetics

The down low!

Before we could see the microscopic world, people were confused as to what was going on. They blamed disease

and food spoilage of miasmas and bad airs. Soon, a few clever people worked out how to angle glass to see the tiniest forms of life and our understanding grew! Now we can see all sorts of tiny animals through microscopes!

Plankton are typically known as tiny floating creatures that float around in the water. Or you might know them as the tiny creature that keeps on trying to steal the krabby patty recipe.  Plankton can be split into two groups, the phytoplankton (plants) and the zooplankton (animals)


Plankton are really weird though! Some look like aliens! Look at the following pictures of various and see if you can guess what they will grow into! Ask your junior biologist for help!

A baby sun fish or mola mola!
This is a baby crab!
A baby lobster!
Surprise! This is a piece of plastic!

That last one was tricky! It looked like it would fit in, but it’s actually a piece of plastic. These microplastics are found everywhere unfortunately. They come from all sorts of daily products, from the microbeads that used to be in our cosmetics, to the microfibers from our clothes. These plastics that are flooding our environment are increasing more and more.

Yet the problem is not over. There is no evil person doing this, it’s a result of all of us going about our daily lives. That means that by making small alterations to our daily lives, we can help the situation. Things like laundry bags or guppy friends are excellent tools to use with every load of laundry to mitigate how much plastics are being released. Organizing a beach cleanup, or just being mindful of how much waste we are producing goes a long way. When we all do something small to fix the situation, we all contribute to greater change!

A bag like this traps microfibres!


-Enjoy a hike in BC's natural landscape 

-Look into clothes and laundry habits that can minimize microplastic production 

Learning Objectives

-There are two types of plankton 

-Baby animals can look very different from how their adult forms 

-Microplastics pose a huge problem to habitats and animals 

-Small daily changes can add up to positive changes 

Continue to AquaCamps »