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The Ocean Blog

What is coral bleaching? These white corals in the Gulf of Mexico’s Flower Garden Bank National Marine Sanctuary are bleached due to an increase in water temperatures, which causes corals to lose the...
Dead man’s fingers ( Alcyonium digitatum ) are soft corals named for their appendage-like appearance when thrown ashore by storms. The finger-like clumps of coral polyps come in various shades of...
The robotic arm of the Jason, a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), collects several stalks of black coral from the seafloor. Read more about how underwater vehicles help ocean scientists study deep-sea...
Several species of deep-sea corals form a garden 165 m (540 ft) below the ocean’s surface off the coast of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. Explore more in the multimedia feature " Coral Gardens of the...
Portrait of a yellow-green blennie ( family Clinidae ) hiding in the groove of a green brain coral.
Peter Auster and colleagues direct a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) dive on the New England Seamounts. Three teams composed of three scientists and four ROV engineers take two 4-hour watches every...
Stare at a tide pool and you will often see a crust of pink coating the bottom. No, this is not bubblegum from some careless teenager’s shoe: it’s a stony kind of seaweed that, like other seaweeds,...
Searching for useful chemicals, marine scientists grow bacteria associated with deep-sea coral on nutrient agar to identify the bacteria and test their metabolic and biochemical capabilities. Some...
Ultraviolet light illuminates the growth rings in a cross-section of a 44-year-old deep-sea coral ( Primnoa resedaeformis ) collected off the coast of Newfoundland at about 1,300 feet (400 meters)...
Local yarn and craft shops were highly involved in creating the Smithsonian Community Reef —the local community’s accompaniment to the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef exhibit. The HCCR, created by...
A coral ( Montastraea faveolata ) has just spawned. Each of the hundreds of polyps living in the colony releases a small pink bundle of sperm and eggs. Read more about coral spawing and watch a...
On World Oceans Day - June 8th, 2012 - the Living Oceans Foundation hosted a live web-based conversation between Sylvia Earle at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and a team of...
Boring sponges get a bad rap. Their own name betrays them, announcing to the world that they are unexciting, ordinary and quite frankly, boring. However, if ever a misnomer existed, this is it. More...
Corals, sponges, and algae are the major components of most coral reef communities. To the untrained eye, they are sometimes difficult to tell apart. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found in...
Page 1 NOAA Multimedia Discovery Missions Coral reefs are vibrant ecosystems teeming with color and life. Most grow in the warm sunlit waters of tropical seas. Beautiful and accessible, shallow water...
Near the intense volcanic CO 2 vents bubbling from the cracks in the seafloor, the water is so acidic that it dissolves coral skeletons. Read more about how reef scientist Laetitia Plaisance uses...
Nine years ago I was invited by a colleague to join a research team investigating deep-sea coral habitats . I was asked to examine the invertebrates associated with these ecosystems. After my first...
The pink strands of this single deep-sea coral harbor a variety of marine life. Sea whips are gorgonian corals and have flexible skeletons. See more pictures of coral in our Deep-sea Corals article.
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