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The Ocean Blog

The island of Moorea is a natural laboratory for scientists on a quest to catalog every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers. Head out into the field and watch as researchers use cutting-...
The Papahānaumokuākea site in the United States was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2010. The site is a vast isolated cluster of small low-lying islands and atolls with its surrounding ocean...
In the Pacific Ocean, four ocean currents merge to form the North Pacific gyre, also known as the North Pacific Subtropical High, which spans the western US to Japan, and Hawaii to California. This...
The toothy goby or common ghost goby ( Pleurosicya mossambica ) lives among soft corals and sponges in the Indo-Pacific ocean. The relationship it has with its host is commensal , which means the...
“In 2010, I became the first photographic artist to ever photograph lava from inside the surf. I waited five years for the conditions to be perfect for this type of shot. First, the lava had to cross...
Simon Coppard, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and an Encyclopedia of Life Rubenstein Fellow specializing in echinoids often uncovers new...
This month, our friends at National Geographic are featuring Smithsonian's own bio-scavenger, Chris Meyer and his work in one of our favorite places: Moorea , French Polynesia. In a beautiful meld of...
In the 1940s the short-tailed albatross population plummeted from tens of millions to such a small number that they were believed to be extinct. Their decline was due to hunting for their feathers...
The Palauan primitive cave eel ( Protanguilla palau ) has an evolutionary history that dates back some 200 million years . Because of this and the fact that it has retained some primitive features,...
This offshore cage is stocked with 70,000 Pacific threadfin ( Polydactylus sexfilis ), or moi. Aquaculture can provide a sustainable way to satisfy the demand for this Hawaiian delicacy, once...
Reef sharks rarely get any love. These sharks, comprising several species, loiter around coral reefs, snacking on small fish, squids and crustaceans. And while their size is nothing to smirk at—5-10...
Large numbers of grey reef sharks ( Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos ) were observed at Jarvis Island, an uninhabited Pacific island, during the 2010 Pacific RAMP expedition of the NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai ...
Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have a wingspan of more than 6 feet, soaring vast distances without flapping their wings. They can go years without even...
Papahānaumokuākea, a chain of islands northwest of the main Hawaiian archipelago, is home to vibrant coral reefs with scores of fish species. It was designated a Marine World Heritage Site in August...
A fisherman in Papua New Guinea shows his catch for a ceremonial feast. Communities there are successfully managing their local reefs by observing temporary fishing closures that end in time to...
Scientists on the tiny island of Moorea, in the Pacific, are gathering one of every life form large enough to pick up with tweezers. They're on a quest to build a detailed catalog of the entire...
Coral reefs are bustling cities of marine life, until rising ocean temperatures turn them into ghost towns. Can reefs spring back from devastating bleaching events? In this episode of the Podcast of...
This Marine National Monument protects a chain of atolls and reefs 1,931-kilometers (1,200-miles) long. The Hawaiian name for this chain is “Papahanaumokuakea,” which joins the Hawaiian words for...
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