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The Ocean Blog

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...
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...
Invasive species are often in the news these days, with human-transported organisms popping up in unexpected places. But in this era of climate change, there is a whole new kind of invasive species,...
Reef biologists over a certain age are haunted by memories of what glorious places Caribbean reefs once were. In our youth we studied them for all sorts of reasons but scarcely thought about reef...
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...
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...
Alaska’s pristine coastline is ripe for an influx of invasive marine species such as the European green crab and the rough periwinkle (an Atlantic sea snail), warns a new study by a team of...
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...
Lately we’ve been fielding questions from Smithsonian visitors wondering how they can help with the oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico. If there is any good news coming out of this situation, it...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Once upon a time, the ocean was considered the last place where we could still find an undisturbed environment. This was before the plague of man-made plastic trash flooded the seas. During my...
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...
Extinction is a real possibility for three species of tunas. That’s one of the messages from a new study released today online in the journal Science . Researchers assessed the range and populations...
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...
Scientists at the Smithsonian and partnering organizations have discovered a remarkably primitive eel in a fringing reef off the coast of the Republic of Palau . This fish exhibits many primitive...
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