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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...
The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place where “the deer and the antelope roam.” On land, we take it for granted that the plant-eating deer and antelope far...
Dr. Clyde Roper, Smithsonian zoologist and squid expert, tries to measure up to a giant squid specimen (Architeuthis) from New Zealand. The squid wins. More about the giant squid can be found in our...
Diving to survey, sample, and manage marine life takes a great deal of skill and knowledge. This diver is sampling the seafloor, also known as the benthic zone. This kind of sampling is important for...
Did you know that over 17,000 species thrive in the deep sea where no light penetrates the ocean waves? Or that an old restaurant menu can teach us about the history of fish populations? Or that...
Discovering new species is an exciting quest, right? Well, some parts are—but after you find a cool-looking organism that you think is a new species, there's a lot more to be done. You have to...
Imagine you’re an alien seeing Planet Earth for the first time. What do you see from your spacecraft? A blue planet with over 70% of its surface covered by ocean. From space it’s obvious how...
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...
An estimated 1.8 billion people will suffer from water scarcity by 2025. Looking for sources of water is becoming important and with oceans containing around 97% of Earth’s water, it would be nice if...
Scientists describe the amazing bioluminescent creatures they encounter as they descend into the deep--siphonophores, ctenophores, and viperfish--in this Smithsonian/History Channel "Deep Ocean...
Dr. Candy Feller is framed by the roots of a mangrove tree on Panama’s Pacific coast. Mangrove trees grow particularly large in this area. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured...
The remotely operated vehicle ROPOS recovers a volcano monitor from NOAA’s New Millennium Observatory on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, off the coast of the Northwest United States. The station was set up...
Diving can be a wild ride that evokes more than a little trepidation, especially in the Pacific Ocean's famously big, cold waves. Waves that are otherwise fun for my weekend surfing can turn a...
With 1,400 named species of ribbon worms inhabiting every ecosystem on earth, seeking one out should be an easy proposition. But I quickly learned that it can be quite daunting when you’re looking...
The mauve stinger’s ( Pelagia noctiluca ) name in German means “night light,” referring to the jelly’s reddish coloring and its bioluminescence, the display of light by a living creature. Unlike a...
Marine ecologist Dr. Jeremy Jackson and a team of researchers conducted an in-depth study of the effects of a 1986 oil spill on the coast of Panama. In this video , Dr. Jackson discusses the study,...
NOAA Teacher at Sea Ruth Meadows sorts specimens aboard the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow as part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge Ecosystem (MAR-ECO) project.
Using a drill, a team removes a chunk from the thick Arctic ice. Small samples are taken from where the ice meets liquid seawater. The ice is then melted for analysis.
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