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Every year the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science hosts an underwater photography contest for amateur photographers. From playful marine mammals to hard-to-see invertebrates, these photos capture beautiful underwater scenes...
These watercolor sketches of Trapezia crabs were drawn by Frederick Bayer, a...
Lying in water only a foot deep, I watched the shark meander lazily through the...
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Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have...

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At night this lemon shark ( Negaprion brevirostris ) lurks at the surface, but often during the day they will lie on the ocean bottom. This behavior had been thought to save them energy, but in reality it takes energy for the...
The distinctive form of a winghead shark ( Eusphyra blochii ) is revealed by...
“Upon returning from the reef after a night dive, I swam toward a bright...

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"We too are sea creatures," entreats ocean explorer Sylvia Earle in this beautiful short film, which calls for protecting...

The Ocean Blog

Arctic Ice diver Shawn Harper “stands” on the ice ceiling above him.
How do you make science sing? Just ask a couple of female scientists to sing about their research interests and their passion is quickly conveyed in a quirky little tune. Informative, inspiring, and...
This month, our friends at National Geographic are featuring Smithsonian's own bio-scavenger, Chris Meyer and his work in one of our favorite places: Moorea , French Polynesia. In a beautiful meld of...
“Once in a while, manta rays appear in great numbers in a small bay in the Baa Atoll. The concentration of plankton must be very high in this particular bay, because up to 200 manta rays have been...
Crocheted corals from the Smithsonian Community Reef group on Flickr. The community reef project is a satellite reef of the Institute For Figuring’s Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef exhibition, was on...
A still from Where the Whales Sing , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
“As I set up for a sunset shot—one last, solitary surfer exited the water and I quickly fired a few frames trying to capture the serenity of the moment.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Karen Doody...
The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef , created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring , weaves together strands of art, science, mathematics, and conservation. This beautiful...
Gyotaku is a traditional form of Japanese art that began as a way for fisherman to keep a record of the fish they caught. The fisherman would apply sumi ink to one side of a freshly caught fish, then...
The receding tide left a multitude of starfish in tide pools clinging to exposed rocks along the shore. The rich hues matched the colors of the setting sun against the textures of the rocky beach...
This short video takes you two hundred miles off the coast of Oregon and some 6,600 feet below the water's surface to observe the Dumbo octopus ( Grimpoteuthis bathynectes ). Little is known about...
Artist Shih Chieh Huang assembling one of his installations. Huang was a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow in 2007 and spent his time studying bioluminescent marine animals . That research has...
An X-ray image of grooved razorfish ( Centriscus scutatus ). Razorfish are encased in thin, transparent bony plates attached to their spines, which you can see in the X-ray. Also known as shrimpfish...
What does a bioluminescent creature that lives more than 2 miles below the surface of the ocean and a glow stick have in common? More than you think. Bioluminescence is the process by which living...
The larger fish in this picture are called sweetlips ( Plectorhinchus ) because of their big, fleshy lips. There are over thirty species of sweetlips, which tend to live on coral reefs in small...
In a decade long project, which ended in October 2010, scientists with the Census of Marine Life traveled the world cataloging the ocean’s life forms. From Australia to China to the Gulf of Mexico...
The shortfin mako shark ( Isurus oxyrinchus) is found offshore in tropical and warm temperate waters of all oceans, but has been known to travel to cooler waters at times. It is very strong and the...
“As an underwater nature photographer, I struggled for a new way to bring back visions of fish and fauna. Soon I discovered that taking water out of the picture, rendering it invisible while it is...
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