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The Ocean Blog

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...
Over the last few days, a video of hermit crabs stampeding across the rocky shores of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands has taken the internet by storm. Where are the hermit crabs going, and why?...
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...
It may be called Earth Day, but April 22nd is a perfect day to remind ourselves that we actually live on a planet dominated by water. In fact, with 71% of the earth’s surface covered by water, we...
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...
As the days grow long, school bells fade into distant memories, and families start taking long weekends at the beach, the Ocean Portal Team is preparing for the weeks ahead. The way we see it, June...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Sometimes, a tragic event can become a powerful teaching opportunity. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has the potential to capture students’ attention and stimulate discussion...
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...
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...
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...
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