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The Ocean Blog

Part 4 of a 6-part series describing Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's efforts to understand the scope and impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "Searching for the...
Scientists talk about the experience of exploring the ocean in this excerpt from the Deep Ocean Explorers video. More about deep ocean exploration can be found in our Deep Ocean Exploration featured...
Trying to get a good angle for a photo while underwater can be tough when you are working among currents and other distractions, like animal visitors. In this photo, Brian Skerry sits atop a 20 foot...
Dr. Robert Ballard poses with an unmanned submersible, like the one he used when locating and exploring the wreck of the RMS Titanic. A veteran explorer, former U.S. Navy Commander, and professor of...
Deploying ARMS (Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures) is tricky in the deep sea, where SCUBA divers can't place and secure them to the floor with their hands and a hammer. Researchers with DROP (...
Climb aboard the scientific ocean drilling vessel Chikyu for a tour of this state-of-the-art research ship.
Have you ever seen a creature so unusual? This fish (22 cm long) is called a sea toad and studying them requires luck and the opportunity to descend into the deep waters where they live. Last week Dr...
A robotic arm on the Johnson-Sea-Link submersible retrieves Galatheid crabs for research. Growing in the background is a species of the deep-sea coral Lophelia. Explore more in the multimedia feature...
This autonomous operated vehicle, known as an ABE (autonomous benthic explorer), will map sites where seafloor earthquakes have occurred—enhancing our understanding of these catastrophic events.
Last week, Smithsonian research zoologists Dr. Jerry Harasewych and Dr. Martha Nizinski were in Curaçao looking for deep-sea marine gastropods and decapod crustaceans , respectively. I learned they...
Dr. Clyde Roper prepares to dive thousands of feet to a giant squid habitat off the coast of New Zealand in a one-person submersible. More about the giant squid can be found in our Giant Squid...
The ocean is home to a phenomenal diversity of marine organisms. They have evolved to inhabit warm waters near the equator and the icy waters of the Earth’s poles. Marine life takes advantage of the...
Ocean scientists safely travel to deep-sea coral ecosystems up to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) below the ocean’s surface inside the Johnson-Sea-Link, a submersible owned and operated by the Harbor Branch...
Special ships called ‘icebreakers’ are needed to access some areas of the ice-covered Arctic Ocean .
The Hanse Explorer crew used a remotely operated underwater vehicle, or ROV , capable of diving to depths greater than 300 feet (91 meters). The ROV helped the crew document life in the waters off...
Smithsonian researchers are using this five-person submersible to study the biodiversity of the deep reefs of Curaçao in the southern Caribbean. Read about their adventures in the Summer in a Sub...
A hybrid underwater vehicle combines the best features of an ROV (remotely operated vehicle), which is connected to a ship in order to transmit data and video feeds, and an AUV (autonomous underwater...
Alvin, a human occupied vehicle (HOV), returns to the ship after a deep ocean dive to a seamount .
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