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The Ocean Blog

Charles Potter (left) and Dr. James Mead of the Smithsonian perform a post-mortem examination on a goose-beaked whale specimen sent to them by colleagues at Portland State University.
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.
To learn more about the creatures living on the Arctic seafloor, scientists use a variety of tools including this box corer.
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...
Students in Monterey Bay share a microscope to get a closer look at plankton samples from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill .
This is the world’s first unmanned, underwater robot—or “glider”—to cross an ocean basin, the pioneering Scarlet Knight . The robotic glider, also known as RU27, can dive to depths of 200 meters (660...
NOAA’s New Millennium Observatory (NeMO) was set up to study geologic, chemical, and biologic interactions along the mid-ocean ridge system. Learn more about NeMO and watch a video about underwater...
EPA divers from Atlanta place this instrument in Charleston Harbor in order to monitor currents and better predict sand movement for a harbor deepening project.
Fargo, the dog pictured here, is not just having a relaxing day at sea. He is helping researchers at the New England Aquarium in Boston detect scat (or poop) from North Atlantic right whales . The...
Dr. Karen L. McKee collects a peat core in a mangrove forest in Belize. It will help her reconstruct how mangroves have changed over the past 8,000 years. Dr. McKee’s research has shown that when...
For more than two centuries, Boston Harbor has been a dumping ground. In 1773, colonists famously dumped shiploads of tea to protest taxes. But in recent decades, the harbor has received less tea and...
The Chikyu allows scientists to gather and study data about seafloor sediments as soon as they are collected. After a powerful 9.0 earthquake triggered a devestating tsunami in Japan in March 2011 ,...
A scientific diver collects data on an underwater slate. Over the past several decades, scuba diving has become a serious, rigorous research tool that has an enormous impact on our understanding of...
A reconstruction of a new fossil beluga relative, Bohaskaia monodontoides , described by Smithsonian scientists, is in the foreground. Its living relatives, the beluga and narwhal, are illustrated...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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