The Bay of Fundy is a rift valley that sits between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Shaped like a funnel, one hundred and sixty billion tonnes of seawater flow in and out the twice a day — that’s more than the combined flow of all of the Earth’s freshwater rivers! The tides reach an average height of 3.5 metres, but in some places, the height of the tide can reach an amazing 16 metres.
The aquatic environment attracts an abundant variety of marine life including whales, seals, dolphins and fish who swim in to feed on the krill and algae that are plentiful in the bay.
It was The Wild Canadian Year producer Jeff Morales’ first trip to the East Coast.
“I was impressed by the scale and the power of the tides. It’s a truly amazing natural event," Morales said. "I hope that the time-lapses and drone footage we captured there will give viewers that same ‘Wow!’ moment I had when I was there!”
The tides are so powerful that the water has eroded the soft sandstone along the shoreline filtering through vertical cracks and separating large blocks of rock — many with vegetation still intact — from the adjoining cliffs creating rock formations like the world famous Flowerpot Rocks.
The tides have also exposed one of the world’s richest fossil deposits of the Earth’s first reptiles which lived here 300 million years ago.
As the water recedes, massive tidal flats are exposed. Every fall is breeding season for millions (or billions) of tiny, aquatic invertebrates called mud shrimp. The rich habitat is the perfect stop for over a million hungry semipalmated sandpipers travelling from the Arctic to their wintering grounds in South America, who feast on the shrimp. One sandpiper can eat as many as 7,000 shrimp in one tide cycle!
It is the single most important stopover for migrating shorebirds along the entire Eastern Seaboard of North America.
Click play on the video above to watch.