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The Ocean Blog

It was a typical summer day in the Sant Ocean Hall at the National Museum of Natural History. Visitors were examining the giant squid and marveling at the life-size replica of Phoenix, the right...
Classic examples of Northwest Coast art, these rattles from British Columbia illustrate the sophisticated way of life salmon helped provide. They were used during shamanistic performances to cure...
A white scar on Phoenix’s lip (at right) was caused by her entanglement with a fishing line. Learn more about the life of Phoenix, an actual North Atlantic right whale, in the Tale of a whale photo...
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...
Building the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall --like any major exhibition--was a major undertaking. Over the course of five years, it required hundreds of people with a vast array of skills and...
The larger of two giant squids on display in the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall , this female was caught in a fisherman's net off the coast of Spain in 2005. It was probably 2-3 years old and, when...
With striking imagery from her book Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water, Our World, Deborah Cramer makes a powerful case for a basic truth about the ocean: we need the sea, and now the sea needs us.
The Smithsonian has more whale skulls and skeletons than any other collection in the world. This photo provides a small glimpse of the amazing variety of skulls and skeletons available for study...
Sometimes the “Watcher,” a raven with an irregular wing, monitored carver Douglas Chilton’s progress on the canoe from an overhead perch. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit...
At the Poles, Life Thrives Located beside the Shores and Shallows gallery (which highlights different kinds of coastal ecosystems around the world), the Poles area will take you to the ends of the...
A crew works on creating a life-size, meticulously detailed model of the North Atlantic right whale Phoenix—the “ambassador” of the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall in the National Museum of Natural...
The Sant Ocean Hall is the National Museum of Natural History's largest exhibit, providing visitors with a unique and breathtaking introduction to the majesty of the ocean. The hall's combination of...
Kids wax poetic in the Sant Ocean Hall at the National Museum of Natural History. To celebrate National Poetry Month, visitors on April 9, 2011 were invited to pen a haiku to the ocean blue. Seven-...
A model marker applies paint to the life-size, meticulously detailed model of the North Atlantic right whale Phoenix which today is on exhibit in the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall in the National...
Members of the Tlingit Nation celebrate the September 2008 opening of the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit featured story.
November is American Indian Heritage Month . Mark the occasion by learning about the Raven Spirit Canoe , a craft that was carved in Alaska by master carver Douglas Chilton of the Tlinget Nation. The...
Tlingit paddlers carefully lift the Raven Spirit canoe into Washington’s Potomac River for its ceremonial launch. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit featured story.
Scaffolding and supports at the work site hold a life-size model of a North Atlantic right whale Phoenix—the “ambassador” of the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall in the National Museum of Natural...
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