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The Ocean Blog

Marine biologist Mette Kaufman measures the temperature of a recently-drilled ice core . Variations in temperature at different points of the ice core provide information about the living conditions...
Atolla tenella , a midwater scyphomedusa , as seen under a microscope. View the “Under Arctic Ice” photo essay to learn more.
Ice divers Katrin Iken (left) and Elizabeth Siddon are about to descend through a hole in the Arctic ice and into the frigid world below.
At a recent staff meeting a Smithsonian colleague mentioned that one of his pastimes this summer has been keeping tabs on the Arctic sea ice. The question that's on many Arctic-watchers' minds is...
“In late November, land-locked polar bears gather along the Hudson Bay to await the formation of Arctic ice so they can return to their seal-hunting grounds for the winter.” -- Nature's Best...
Special ships called ‘icebreakers’ are needed to access some areas of the ice-covered Arctic Ocean .
Dryodora glandiformis is a ctenophore found in Arctic and Northern European waters, bearing a pair of long and lovely tentacles.
At the Poles, Life Thrives Located beside the Shores and Shallows gallery (which highlights different kinds of coastal ecosystems around the world), the Poles area will take you to the ends of the...
This species of amphipod , Eusirus holmii , was found both at the surface of Arctic waters and as deep as 2000 meters (6562 feet). Researchers have found that while the amphipod inhabits the sea ice...
New technology is making it possible for scientists to go where they’ve never gone before, the depths of the icy Arctic Ocean . By collecting organisms and mapping the seafloor, researchers can...
The Arctic is one of the most remote and uncharted areas of the world. With all the amazing discoveries hidden in the ice and water, Arctic exploration is truly a new scientific frontier.
Using an ROV (Remotely-Operated Vehicle) equipped with a high-definition video camera, scientists can observe the life that flourishes beneath the Arctic ice . On this expedition, they discovered...
Polar bears have evolved to survive in the Arctic with large, oar-like front paws for better swimming, as well as insulating blubber, and two layers of fur for the frigid temperatures. They rely on...
In many species of copepods , males are rare and short-lived. This male of Scaphocalanus acrocephalus is readily distinguished from the female by features of his antennae and tail. View the “Under...
Several species of amphipod like this one, Gammarus wilkitzkii , live permanently within Arctic sea ice . These animals are endemic, meaning they only live here. They acclimate to a wide range of...
Arctic Ice diver Shawn Harper “stands” on the ice ceiling above him.
In the icy waters of the Arctic , a deep-water larvacean (aka “sea tadpole” because it looks like a tadpole) drifts through the water in its 'house.' This house is made of protein and creates almost...
CREDIT: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Basque Whalers Background Having already learned to hunt large whales in the Bay of Biscay in the 13th through 15th centuries, Basques began arriving in the...
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