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The Ocean Blog

Dampier is credited with helping to rescue Alexander Selkirk, the privateer who inspired the Robinson Crusoe story.
A privateer was a seaman with a license from his country's government to attack enemy ships. The government usually got a share of the profits. Read more about the privateer, pirate and naturalist...
Join marine archeologists as they trace the history of the Trouvadore , a slave ship bound for Cuba that wrecked in the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1841, and the ship’s passengers unusual path to...
Smithsonian surveys along the lower north shore of Hare Harbor in Quebec, Canada have revealed evidence of a long history of Native American occupation, beginning with the Maritime Archaic Indian...
Bikini Atoll, formed over millions of years around an island in the Pacific Ocean about halfway between Papua New Guinea and Hawaii, has been subjected to horrific human-caused disturbances. Between...
A giant tortoise subspecies ( Geochelone nigra vicina ) lives on Isabela Island in the Galapagos. Cerro Azul, estimated to be about 350,000 years old, is one of six volcanoes on the island.
In 1697, aboard his ship Adventure Galley, Kidd captured his largest prize ever—a richly loaded Moorish ship, The Quedah Merchant. Kidd assumed the ship was a legitimate prize. But when its French...
This inscription was inscribed on a plaque in Dampier's honor.
Captain Kidd had a license from Lord Bellomont, the governor of New England and New York, and King William III of England to hunt down pirates and capture French ships. Read about more pirates in the...
Excavations between 2002 through 2011 at Hare Harbor have shown that this site was a whaling and fishing station occupied by Basque and Inuit assistants ca. 1680-1730. Archaeologists have uncovered a...
People once thought giant squid (right) were Sea Monks, or mermen (left)—mythical creatures that were part fish-like and part human male. Learn more giant squid facts and legend in the Giant Squid...
Blackbeard may have been the most notorious pirate of all. Fierce and ferocious-looking, he stood 6’4” tall and had wild eyes and an explosive temper. To add to the effect, he tucked slow-burning...
Eventually, however, Bartholomew Roberts’ luck came to end. He was killed off the coast of Africa. Following his wishes, his crew threw his body into the sea—finery and all. Then, in the largest...
Pirates capture the imagination of dreamers of all ages. Learn more about a very unusual pirate, William Dampier , in our featured story.
The ocean holds a lot of history. Warships from World War II have been found on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean through the use of sonar technology and are being explored before they give in to the...
For over a decade scientists have been investigating an early European whaling site at Hare Harbor in Quebec, Canada . Located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, just south of the 16th century Basque...
Captain Henry Morgan (1635-1688). On behalf of Jamaica, the ruthless privateer Henry Morgan attacked Spanish cities and ships, killing and torturing prisoners. Morgan became very wealthy and was...
When most people think of iconic American landscapes, we think of places on land. Yellowstone, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Grand Canyon—these national parks are household names. But many Americans...
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