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Snow on land can make some people grumpy, but the magical-looking flakes and a beautiful layer on the trees can turn even disenchanted adults into gleeful children again. But what is the ocean equivalent...
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Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy...
Scientists describe the amazing bioluminescent creatures they encounter as they...
Imagine you’re an alien seeing Planet Earth for the first time. What do you see...

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Like its terrestrial namesake, the Venus fly-trap anemone ( Actinoscyphia sp.) sits quietly and waits for food to drift into its outstretched tentacles, which are lined with stinging harpoons called nematocysts. Of course, this...
Census of Marine Life researchers discovered this unusual transparent sea...
This jelly’s red color provides camouflage in the deep ocean. Red light...

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Deep below the ocean’s surface is a mysterious world that takes up 95% of Earth’s living space. It could hide 20 Washington...
Last week, Smithsonian research zoologists Dr. Jerry Harasewych and Dr. Martha Nizinski were in Curaçao looking for deep-sea marine gastropods and decapod crustaceans , respectively. I learned they...
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...
Census of Marine Life researchers discovered this unusual transparent sea cucumber ( Enypniastes sp.) in the Gulf of Mexico at 2,750 meters depth. It creeps forward on its tentacles pretty slowly, at...
Corals are not only found in shallow tropical waters, but in cold, dark, deep areas of the sea. Amazing coral forests are found at depths of 60-3,050 meters (200-10,00 feet). They support an...
Watch a Discovery video on Smithsonian squid expert Clyde Roper’s search for giant squid in Kaikoura Canyon off the coast of New Zealand. More about giant squid can be found in our Giant Squid...
Bioluminescence is one of the more captivating adaptations that have evolved in marine animals. It's the ability of organisms to create and emit light. Dive underwater and you may witness lightshows...
Take a tour of the Alvin, a three-person submersible that allows scientists to explore the depths of the ocean. This is an excerpt from the full Deep Ocean Explorers video. More about deep ocean...
It took a while for scientists to identify what made this spiral track. At first they had only glimpses of the track-maker from fuzzy photographs. Finally, after studying a specimen and clearer...
These deep-sea photographs show a variety of broad-collared enteropneusts or acorn worms . These wormlike animals make spiral tracks on the sea floor. All the species shown here are new to science,...
In this episode of the Podcast of Life , host Ari Daniel Shapiro dives deep to discover a white worm as tall as your refrigerator that breathes through bright red feathery "lips." This isn’t a...
Thousands of seamounts—most of them undersea volcanoes—tower above the muddy seafloor. They provide something hard to come by in the deep ocean : a solid surface to cling to. This photo gallery shows...
In this brief video clip from NOAA, catch a glimpse of the startling beauty and diversity of life found among deep-sea corals near the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Explore more in the multimedia...
Oceanographers divide the ocean into three broad zones. Together, they could hide 20 Washington Monuments stacked on top of each other. Each zone has a different mix of species adapted to its light...
A variety of corals colonize the rocky surface of Manning Seamount, part of the New England Seamount Chain located in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This photo was...
Deep-sea corals scientist Dr. J. Murray Roberts photographed these living polyps from the Mingulay Reef Complex off Scotland in aquaria in 2010. Learn more about Roberts' work mapping deep-sea corals...
This transparent cockatoo squid ( Leachia sp.), also known as a glass squid, lives in the depths of the ocean and has many adaptations to help it survive there. It retains ammonia solutions inside...
See a few of the many species of deep-sea corals that have been discovered by scientists just since 2004. Learn about more deep-sea discoveries in our Deep-sea Corals article.
Imagine eating an entire fish bigger than you—bones and all! At only 25 cm long, the black swallower often eats fish much larger than itself with the help of an expanding stomach. Sometimes the meal...
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