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If you were choreographing a dance about the ocean, how would you do it? Would you dart around like a lobster in a hurry? Dive like a dolphin? Float like a jellyfish? Choreographer Fran...
Editor's Note: See more information and details about the organisms displayed...
The “Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef,” a unique exhibition and thought-provoking...

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Giant squid have the largest eye in the animal kingdom. At up to 10 inches in diameter, people often describe it as the size of a dinner plate -- or, in other words, as big as a human head. Here, National Museum of Natural...
A behind the scenes look at the NMNH ocean-related collections and their...

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A behind the scenes look at the NMNH ocean-related collections and their importance to research and discovery.

The Ocean Blog

What makes a top predator? Razor-sharp teeth? Speed? Strength? Size? Who is the most fearsome hunter? It depends on where and when you look.
The Smithsonian's Department of Invertebrate Zoology has a collection of over 57,000 specimens from over 5,700 sites in the Gulf of Mexico, which are now catalogued on Google Earth . Below is a tiny...
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...
There are about 4 million specimens in the fish collection housed at the National Museum of Natural History . It is the largest of its kind in the world. Learn how these collections helped to solve...
Marine parasites may be small in size, but they can be present in very high numbers and put together can weigh even more than all the top predators in an estuary or bay ecosystem! They play an...
Christine, the Ocean Portal Community Manager wants to hear from you. Please leave a comment, send us an email, or use the feedback module to let her know what you think of the site.
Models of a giant squid and an octopus hang over display cases in the "Lower Invertebrates" exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution Building ("the Castle") in 1901. The Smithsonian has been conducting...
November is American Indian Heritage Month . Mark the occasion by learning about the Raven Spirit Canoe , a craft that was carved in Alaska by master carver Douglas Chilton of the Tlinget Nation. The...
A model marker applies paint to the life-size, meticulously detailed model of the North Atlantic right whale Phoenix which today is on exhibit in the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall in the National...
With 1,400 named species of ribbon worms inhabiting every ecosystem on earth, seeking one out should be an easy proposition. But I quickly learned that it can be quite daunting when you’re looking...
Artist Shih Chieh Huang creates work using plastic bags, household objects, computer cooling fans, LED lights, and other assorted materials. His 2011 solo exhibition, " The Bright Beneath: The...
The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef brings together mathematics, marine science, craft, and community activism in an effort to raise awareness about the threat to coral reefs worldwide. This discussion...
Within the Department of Invertebrate Zoology, scientists conduct original research on all 30 major invertebrate animal groups (phyla) of the world (except insects), and are stewards for the 35...
The remotely operated vehicle ROPOS recovers a volcano monitor from NOAA’s New Millennium Observatory on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, off the coast of the Northwest United States. The station was set up...
Boats Connect Us to the Ocean More than any other objects, boats symbolize human connection to the ocean. As you look through the center of the Ocean Hall, past the model right whale , you can see a...
Building the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall --like any major exhibition--was a major undertaking. Over the course of five years, it required hundreds of people with a vast array of skills and...
With striking imagery from her book Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water, Our World, Deborah Cramer makes a powerful case for a basic truth about the ocean: we need the sea, and now the sea needs us.
Two young visitors to the Sant Ocean Hall learn about the coral reef tank with one of our friendly volunteer docents. Both the Ocean Portal and the Museum's free public programs are made possible in...
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