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Deep sea animals have to live in a very cold, dark, and high-pressure environment where they can't see a thing! To survive there, they've evolved some very strange adapations. Some make their own light,...
Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer James Cameron on March 25, 2012,...
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You never know where following your passions can take you. I came to the...
Nine years ago I was invited by a colleague to join a research team...

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An orange brisingid starfish sits on a large reef of Lophelia pertusa, cold-water corals in the Gulf of Mexico, at 450 m depth as a school of fish swims above. They have many arms—up to 20!—covered in spines, which themselves are...
When a whale dies, the story has just begun. The massive carcass sinks to...
The long barbel on the chin of this dragonfish ( Stomias boa ) has a glowing...

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You may have seen the sparkle of fireflies on a summer’s night. The fireflies produce light through a chemical reaction in...
With a scientific name that means "the vampire squid from hell," you'd expect the vampire squid ( Vampyroteuthis infernalis ) to be a fearsome predator terrorizing the deep. Despite its demonic look...
Dive through the zones of the ocean to the deep ocean bottom, where many strange species live, and there are many yet to be discovered. Explore them in the Deep Ocean Exploration section.
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...
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...
Ocean scientists discovered this 1.5-m (5-ft) tall yellow bamboo coral in 2007 off the coast of Hawaii in 1,459 m (4,787 ft) of water. It is thought to represent a new genus. Learn about more deep-...
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...
This tiny, shrimplike creature is no more than 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) long, but it’s as ferocious as a shark. Its giant eyes spot prey. Huge claws grab the prey, and a tiny mouth rips it to shreds...
This new species of lobster is blind—an adaptation to deep-sea life —and has very bizarre claws, or chelipeds. It was discovered about 300 meters (984 feet) deep in the Philippine Sea by a Census of...
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-...
A bright orange sea star ( Novodinia antillensis ) clings to a large white soft coral ( Paragorgia sp.). This photo was taken on the Manning Seamount at a depth of 1,350 meters (4,429 feet) by the...
The robotic arm of a Pisces submersible collects a gold coral colony ( Gerardia sp.) during a research cruise in the Hawaiian Islands. Ocean scientists have radiocarbon-dated some Gerardia specimens...
About DROP DROP is a multidisciplinary Smithsonian project exploring the diversity of tropical deep reefs off the coast of Curaçao in the southern Caribbean. Deep reefs are natural extensions of...
Dr. Shirley Pomponi talks about thirty years of experience diving and searching for chemicals in deep-sea sponges that may prove vital to humans. Read more about her work , or see other lectures from...
Have you ever seen a creature so unusual? This fish (22 cm long) is called a sea toad and studying them requires luck and the opportunity to descend into the deep waters where they live. Last week Dr...
An orange brisingid starfish sits on a large reef of Lophelia pertusa, cold-water corals in the Gulf of Mexico, at 450 m depth as a school of fish swims above. They have many arms—up to 20!—covered...
When a whale dies, the story has just begun. The massive carcass sinks to the seafloor, where it provides food for a deep sea ecosystem on the otherwise mostly barren seafloor. There are several...
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...
Black corals, like this one growing on the Manning Seamount off the New England coast, often resemble bushes or trees. Contrary to its name, the living tissue of black coral can be one of several...
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