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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...
Travel to a world of perpetual night--the deep ocean hydrothermal vents near...
Zombie worms don’t crave brains: instead they seek bones. The 1 to 3 inch (2 to...
Artist Shih Chieh Huang spent a good part of 2007 exploring specimens of deep-...

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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 break and produce strong...
The deep-sea dragonfish ( Stomiidae ), also called the barbeled dragonfish,...
This tiny, shrimplike creature is no more than 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) long...

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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...

The Ocean Blog

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. 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...
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...
Nine years ago I was invited by a colleague to join a research team investigating deep-sea coral habitats . I was asked to examine the invertebrates associated with these ecosystems. After my first...
In Antarctica's Southern Ocean swims a beautiful polychaete (bristly worm) called Tomopteris carpenteri , which is adorned with alternating red and transparent bands. The largest species in its genus...
Several species of deep-sea corals form a garden 165 m (540 ft) below the ocean’s surface off the coast of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. Explore more in the multimedia feature " Coral Gardens of the...
Riftia tubeworm ( Riftia pachyptila ) colonies grow where hot, mineral-laden water flows out of the seafloor in undersea hot springs—such as the Guymas Basin of the Gulf of California at 2,000 meters...
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...
This beautiful jewel squid ( Histioteuthis bonnellii ) can be found swimming above the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, at depths of 500-2,000 meters (1,640-6,562 feet). The “jewels” covering the body are...
In the wet lab aboard the R/V Seward Johnson , Dr. Martha Nizinski examines a sample of the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa , collected 600-m (1,969-ft) deep off the coast of the southeastern United...
Take a look at strange deep-sea creatures rarely seen before. Scientists and students from 16 nations photographed these creatures on an expedition to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Take the dive and...
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...
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...
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...
Travel to a world of perpetual night--the deep ocean hydrothermal vents near the Galapagos Rift where life thrives around superheated water spewing from deep inside the Earth. Discovered only in 1977...
These corals from the Smithsonian collections are Stephanocyathus (A.) spiniger , a solitary, deep-water stony coral species. Around 74% of all deep-water corals are solitary, living as individual...
Marine biologists discover a whalefish -- an incredibly rare deep-sea fish -- swimming in the ocean in this video. Because it is so dark where they live, females have well-developed sensory pores,...
The yellow bioluminescent ring on this female octopus ( Bolitaena pygmaea ) may attract mates. Bioluminescence is an important adaptation that helps many deep sea animals survive in their dark world...
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