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The Ocean Blog

Picture this: clear, warm water bathing spectacular coral reefs , clouds of fish, circling sharks, and 17 scientists intent on studying the pristine tropical marine ecosystems of the Southern Line...
The Arctic is one of the most remote and uncharted areas of the world. With all the amazing discoveries hidden in the ice and water, Arctic exploration is truly a new scientific frontier.
Scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) collect sediments drilled from Earth’s crust. This marine research program supported by 24 countries is increasing our understanding of...
A scientist, Chris Reddy from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, collects oil-laden "sand patties" on a Louisiana beach two years after the oil spill. Watch a video of Chris Reddy talking about...
Dr. Martha Nizinski holds a specimen of a fan sponge ( Phakellia sp. ) collected at a deep-sea coral study site off the coast of South Carolina. Deep-sea corals and sponges provide structure for a...
Smithsonian Zoologist Dr. Clyde Roper (rear) and museum specialist Mike Sweeney examine the mantle of a dead giant squid. Everything we know about giant squid comes from studying specimens found...
White abalones are slow-moving, algae-eating mollusks. Rapid overharvesting since the 1970s has resulted in white abalones becoming the first marine invertebrate listed as endangered on the...
On May 31, 2009, this one-of-a-kind hybrid robotic vehicle reached the deepest part of the ocean—the Marianas Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean, 10,902 meters (6.8 miles) below the surface...
Smithsonian research assistant Anne Chamberlain and Marc Frischer from Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Savannah, Georgia, stride through thick mud covered by algal mats in a mangrove pond at...
Deep-sea coral beds are true biodiversity hotspots. It’s urgent that we study these extreme environments because we know so little about them, because they are important communities for so many deep-...
Sponges are animals that eat tiny food particles as they pump water through their bodies. They are very common on Caribbean coral reefs, and come in all shapes, sizes and colors. There is great...
Watch as a team of wave chasers heads to Somoa where they search for an undersea river five kilometers beneath the ocean's surface. There they measured skyscraper-sized internal gravity waves, which...
Dr. Robert Ballard poses with an unmanned submersible, like the one he used when locating and exploring the wreck of the RMS Titanic. A veteran explorer, former U.S. Navy Commander, and professor of...
Follow a journey with satellite tags placed on bull sharks and tarpon. Both of these large predatory fish are found in coastal in-shore ecosystems and the two species have similar diets. If given the...
The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place where “the deer and the antelope roam.” On land, we take it for granted that the plant-eating deer and antelope far...
Imagine you’re an alien seeing Planet Earth for the first time. What do you see from your spacecraft? A blue planet with over 70% of its surface covered by ocean. From space it’s obvious how...
A number of questions have inspired marine ecologist Stuart Sandin to head to the coral reefs of the Line Islands . Sandin works at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of...
Hidden beneath Arctic ice is a world few have ever seen. Take the icy plunge with a team of ice-loving scientists.
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