The se­cret mis­sion of the Octonauts

A hit car­toon about a team of un­der­wa­ter ecow­ar­riors has been teach­ing pre-school­ers about the won­ders of the deep. If you haven’t en­coun­tered them be­fore – meet the Octonauts!

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - The Octonauts - By Paul McGuin­ness

A round 6 o’clock in the evening a shout of “Bath time!” even­tu­ally brings my four-year-old son run­ning. While he’s get­ting washed we play a num­ber of games, most of which in­volve me get­ting drenched. The most pop­u­lar is when we fill the bath with Octonauts toys, and var­i­ous mod­els of sea crea­tures, and have an aquatic ad­ven­ture with them. Dried and dressed, he snug­gles up on the sofa with me and his mum to watch an episode of his favourite TV show.

Octonauts, a smash-hit on the BBC’s preschool chan­nel, CBeebies, con­sumes our house­hold. We’ve got roughly 130 episodes recorded now and there isn’t a duf­fer among them. It’s not only my boy’s favourite show; his mum and I love it, too. If we’d had Octonauts when I was young I’d be a marine bi­ol­o­gist by now, which is what my son wants to be when he grows up.

For the unini­ti­ated, the Octonauts are a crew of seven an­i­mals and one ‘veg­i­mal’ (part veg­etable, part an­i­mal, and the only fic­ti­tious species in the show), who ded­i­cate them­selves to ex­plor­ing and pro­tect­ing the world’s oceans, rivers and lakes, and the crea­tures liv­ing in them. Led by the fear­less Cap­tain Bar­na­cles (a stout-hearted po­lar bear), the Octonauts sail their ‘Oc­to­pod’ craft to ev­ery aquatic en­vi­ron­ment on Earth. Each episode fo­cuses on a dif­fer­ent sea crea­ture, whose par­tic­u­lar adap­ta­tions

The Octonauts fol­low an unusual song and find a hump­back whale who is lonely be­cause he doesn’t sound like other whales. These aquatic ad­ven­tur­ers have been on our screens since 2010.

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