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The Ocean Blog

In the wet lab aboard the R/V Seward Johnson , Dr. Martha Nizinski examines a sample of the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa , collected 600-m (1,969-ft) deep off the coast of the southeastern United...
Alvin, a human occupied vehicle (HOV), returns to the ship after a deep ocean dive to a seamount .
In 2009 Dr. Vecchione served as Chief Scientist on a six-week expedition to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge for the Census of Marine Life. He is shown here aboard the expedition ship, NOAA’s Henry B. Bigelow.
To explore the deep ocean, scientists rely on numerous pieces of high-tech equipment . This photo gallery showcases some of the remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), submersibles, and other devices that...
A dive tender monitors the line connected to ice divers studying creatures living on the underside of the Arctic Sea ice .
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.
The research submersible Alvin uses bright lights to illuminate the dark seafloor. Built in 1964, it has made more than 4,400 dives. It can carry two scientists and a pilot as deep as 4,500 meters (...
Off the coast of North Carolina, Dr. Martha Nizinski and Johnson Sea Link pilot Phil Santos descend through the water column toward the target site. During this dive, Nizinski will observe and record...
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...
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...
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...
You’re out to sea on a 355 foot platform, and suddenly one end begins to slowly tip underwater. Should there be a call for evacuation? Are you sinking? Not if you’re on FLIP – the FLoating Instrument...
Come along as scientist Dr. Brendan Roark narrates a submersible dive to collect and study deep-sea corals. Roark studies deep-sea corals to understand the history of the ocean and past ocean...
John Hildebrand discusses his research at the Scripps Whale Acoustic Lab on the FLIP platform. Learn more about how scientists are using bioacoustics to study and protect whales .
Curaçao, an island in the southern Caribbean is the site of the Smithsonian's Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) . Researchers are using a submarine to study and collect specimens from the hard-to-...
Climb aboard the scientific ocean drilling vessel Chikyu for a tour of this state-of-the-art research ship.
Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer James Cameron on March 25, 2012, became the first human to complete a solo submarine dive to Challenger Deep , an undersea valley in the Mariana Trench of...
The Mars rover Curiosity is sending images back home : glimpses of another world during a voyage of discovery. While Curiosity is clicking pictures millions of miles away, I am privileged to be...
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