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The Ocean Blog

Since late April, the world has watched a devastating oil spill from a BP drilling rig spread throughout the Gulf of Mexico and become one of the worst environmental disasters in the history of the...
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (or the GBR as it is known to reef aficionados) stretches for more than 2,300 kilometers (over 1,429 miles) and can be seen from outer space. This largest barrier reef...
If you've found your way here, you've probably already seen the homepage of the Smithsonian Institution's brand new Ocean Portal (or OP, for short). We encourage you to spend some time exploring the...
Today Ray Bradbury died. It might seem strange that I'm writing about Bradbury here on the Ocean Portal, as he's best known for his short stories about space exploration and strange aliens. But he...
Reef sharks rarely get any love. These sharks, comprising several species, loiter around coral reefs, snacking on small fish, squids and crustaceans. And while their size is nothing to smirk at—5-10...
We’re only two months into 2010, and climate change is shaping up to be one of the year’s big buzz topics. Our friends at NOAA have released a prototype of their new Climate Portal . The site offers...
The year 2010 will likely be remembered as a tragic time for the ocean. Yet, despite the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, I have hope for our ocean’s future. Last week President Obama signed an...
Ships are well-known for their tiny rooms and tight quarters. But have you heard of a sea vessel that has toilets and sinks sticking out of the walls, and staircases and doors on the ceiling? This...
Sirenians , or seacows, are a group of marine mammals that include manatees and dugongs. In the modern ocean, only one species of seacow is found in each world region, however, the fossil record...
Last week, we began asking visitors to the Ocean Portal a simple question: “How do you feel about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?" We’ve received one Haiku and a slew of other interesting...
Last week, the United Nations’ World Heritage Convention went blue. Two of the largest and healthiest marine protected areas on our planet—the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati and...
Welcome to Citizens of the Sea , a new blog series where ocean life comes to life. Our book by the same name came out in September, but no sooner had it gone off to the printer than new ocean stories...
Editor's note: Thank you for your interest in this app. Unfortunately, it is no longer available. Amazing Ocean is a brand new, free mobile app developed by the U.S. Department of State that features...
This month, our friends at National Geographic are featuring Smithsonian's own bio-scavenger, Chris Meyer and his work in one of our favorite places: Moorea , French Polynesia. In a beautiful meld of...
I became interested in weather phenomena when I took physics in high school. At the time, I just wanted to understand how various things in nature worked. Unfortunately, most information about...
An 11-year-old in Texas is saddened by the oil spill and begins searching for something she can do to help. A 13-year-old in Washington, D.C., convinces her mom to make small changes in their daily...
Happy New Year! We’ve officially hit mid-January, but there is still plenty of time to make those resolutions. If you’ve been putting it off or haven’t come up with a worthy resolution yet, why not...
Starting this Sunday, August 1st, the fins will be circling on a television near you. Sunday kicks off The Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” an annual TV ritual that offers hours of programming about...
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