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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...
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This summer, many of you have likely enjoyed feasting on crabs, be they blue,...
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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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This aptly named fish ( Anoplogaster cornuta ) has long, menacing fangs, but the adult fish is small, reaching only about 6 inches (17 cm) in length. It's teeth are the largest in the ocean in proportion to body size, and are so...
"The ocean is essential to all," reads a sign written in Korean by...
Giant squid have the largest eye in the animal kingdom. At up to 10 inches...

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A behind the scenes look at the NMNH ocean-related collections and their importance to research and discovery.
This year marks 100 years since the National Museum of Natural History opened its doors, but the Smithsonian’s work in marine science dates back more than 160 years. In fact, our marine collection —...
Three dancers demonstrate the food web in the production Ocean , which blends dance with scientist interviews, facts, and ocean photography. The choreographer, Fran Spector Atkins, hopes dance will...
Follow an artist from inspiration to installation in this short video. It features the work in the exhibit, " The Bright Beneath: The Luminous Art of Shih Chieh Huang ," at the Smithsonian's National...
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...
Whales swim, but their ancestors walked. Whales are mammals (like us) whose ancestors lived on land. Life probably began in the ocean and then evolved to colonize the land. Yet the whale’s ancestors...
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...
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...
There are different types of beaches and multiple factors that influence the formation of sand. Many beaches may look alike, but they are actually very different from each other. Wave patterns,...
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...
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...
Local crafters who contributed to the Smithsonian Community Reef proved that there is no limit to the colorful reef forms that can be created using hyperbolic crochet techniques. Their wildly...
It was a typical summer day in the Sant Ocean Hall at the National Museum of Natural History. Visitors were examining the giant squid and marveling at the life-size replica of Phoenix, the right...
An early scale model of North Atlantic right whale Phoenix that was used to develop a life size model for the Smithsonian shows the location of scars on her mouth from entanglements with fishing gear...
Dr. Carole Baldwin never expected to find seven new species of fish among the Starskia blennies she was studying at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. "My research team was using...
Using genetic analysis combined with traditional study of morphology, Smithsonian scientist Dr. Carole Baldwin and her team discovered that what were thought to be three species of the fish are...
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...
Smithsonian zoologist Dr. Steve Cairns named and described this deep-sea coral species, Stephanocyathus paliferus, which is now preserved in the collections of the National Museum of Natural History...
The elongated body, characteristic long and narrow snout, and small teeth make the slender snipe eel ( Nemichthys scolopaceus ) easily identifiable in this X-ray image. Snipe eels live at great...
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