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The Ocean Blog

Auster gets ready to study fish predators at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Georgia.
The Baltic’s waters are so frigid that the sandy seabed was often frozen during Oceana's 2011 expedition. The divers’ underwater cameras had to be put on automatic settings to take photos, as their...
Christian McDonald, the Scientific Diving Safety Officer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, tows a surface float at Millennium Atoll in the South Pacific.
Picture this: clear, warm water bathing spectacular coral reefs , clouds of fish, circling sharks, and 17 scientists intent on studying the pristine tropical marine ecosystems of the Southern Line...
Dr. Peter Auster gets ready for a dive to study the ecology of fish predators at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Georgia.
A scuba diver explores elkhorn corals ( Acropora palmata ) growing on a tropical reef. Coral reefs provide recreation and inspiration for millions of people every year. Elkhorn coral is listed as...
For those of you who have had the opportunity to visit a coral reef , you know that it’s an experience you are unlikely to forget. Coral reefs are among the world’s most magnificent ecosystems. Their...
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...
Jacques Cousteau once said, “When you dive, you begin to feel like an angel." It’s true. When a diver dons a tank and slips into the water, the noisy clatter of the world disappears and the sensation...
Manta rays are related to sharks, but have quite a different reputation among humans. They are often called the gentle giants of the sea because of their curious nature and graceful movements. This...
Dr. Valerie Paul is studying chemical defenses that may protect coral reefs from many species of herbivores that live on coral reefs. In this picture she is examining tropical seaweeds on...
"Cold-Water Diving: Going to Extremes for Research" is a video produced by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) that shows the focus needed to do scientific work in cold water. The gear is...
The Smithsonian Institution's Dive Officer documents a "swirling monster" of plastic trash that she encountered while diving in Belize.
Plastic trash floats in the waters off the Smithsonian's Carrie Bow Cay field station , in Belize. This image is a still taken from a video recorded by Laurie Penland, a Smithsonian dive officer .
Dr. Claude Payri, a researcher working on the Moorea Biocode Project , collects samples on the reef slope of Moorea, French Polynesia. More about the Island of Moorea can be found in our Scientists...
Underwater photographer, Brian Skerry, prepares for an icy dive off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan. With all the specialized gear and the large amount of travel necessary to take photos underwater,...
Ice divers use a quadrat to study the density of creatures living on the underside of Arctic ice floes. A quadrat is a standardized square used to take sample measurements that allow researchers to...
When we think "Africa," we think of the "Big Five"—lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo and rhinos—that crisscross the African Savannah. Few would imagine that there could be more natural beauty on...
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