More Maritime history

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...
Buccaneers were pirates who raided Spanish ships and settlements in the Carribean.
This map shows the route of pirate and naturalist William Dampier’s first voyage around the world. The journey lasted more than 12 years. Learn more about William Dampier , his voyage, and his...
The next time you use any of the following words, think of William Dampier. They are just a few of the more than 1,000 words Dampier contributed to the English language: Avocado, Barbeque, Breadfruit...
Morgan’s most daring exploit was the capture and destruction of Panama City after a grueling march through the Central American jungle with 2,000 buccaneers. To survive, some of the buccaneers ate...
This painting of swarthy buccaneers in the midst of a fierce battle was painted by the prolific American marine painter Frederick J. Waugh, and won an award in 1910. The New York Times wrote: “The...
Meet seven of the most fearsome pirates from the Golden Age of Piracy. Like pirates? Read more about William Dampier , a most fearsome pirate -- and naturalist.
Dampier explored this area of Western Australia and named it Shark Bay because of the "abundance" of sharks in the waters. It is now a World Heritage site. Learn more about Dampier's voyages around...
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...
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.
Pirate Captain Keitt was famous for capturing the ship known as the Sun of the East . He took the precious Ruby of Kishmoor, hid it from his shipmates and never told a soul where it was buried.
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...
Boats Connect Us to the Ocean More than any other objects, boats symbolize human connection to the ocean. As you look through the center of the Ocean Hall, past the model right whale , you can see a...
Published in 1882 by Yale Professor A.E. Verrill, this is the first scientific illustration of a giant squid. More about the giant squid can be found in the Giant Squid section .
In November 1718 Blackbeard was finally chased down and killed in a fierce battle off Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina. He received five bullet wounds and 20 sword cuts before dying. Then his head was...
Home is where the hull is: Since the dawn of seafaring, humankind has had to deal with pesky creatures, such as barnacles, that “foul” ship hulls and boat propellers like this one. Find out more in...
For over a decade, Smithsonian Arctic Archaeologist, William Fitzhugh, has been investigating an early European whaling site at Hare Harbor in Québec, Canada . The site and the artifacts recovered...
In 1874, Reverend Moses Harvey of Newfoundland bought a dead giant squid caught by fishermen. More about the giant squid can be found in our Giant Squid featured story .
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