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The Ocean Blog

“For the past few years I have visited the island of Dominica to enjoy its beauty both above and below the surface. This photo was taken during a lucky encounter with a member of the ‘group of 7’ pod...
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...
Brian Skerry, an award winning photographer for National Geographic, explores the underwater world searching for the perfect photo. But getting that photo is never easy. Read more from Brian about...
Editor's Note: These images and more can be seen at Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., as a part of the larger exhibit " Portraits of Planet Ocean: The Photography...
“Moments after its eyes emerged from the water for a ‘spy hop,’ this whale slowly descended in my direction and came as close as six feet before it dove away.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Steffen...
The shortfin mako shark ( Isurus oxyrinchus) is found offshore in tropical and warm temperate waters of all oceans, but has been known to travel to cooler waters at times. It is very strong and the...
Unlike the hammerhead, the oceanic white-tip shark ( Carcharhinus longimanus ) is aggressive towards humans. It has been noted as a danger toward those stranded at sea, and is very powerful during...
Perhaps the most distinctive marine animal of all—the Great Hammerhead has a unique hammer-shaped head that gives it large visual range. Like other sharks, the hammerhead has many teeth. More so than...
This photo of Kingman’s Reef in the Line Islands shows what a healthy coral reef should look like. The water is crystal clear. A variety of richly colored corals carpet the seabed. And a native...
The Goliath grouper, ( Epinephelus itajara ), is found in shallow tropical waters and reefs. They can reach sizes of 3 meters, and will eat crustaceans, other fish, octopi, and even sharks. The title...
"Wild manatees in Belize are not used to humans. Living miles offshore in mangroves, they remain shy and elusive. After weeks searching and waiting for an opportunity to photograph them, I was...
A tiny yellow goby, Lubricogobius exiguus , living inside an abandoned can on the seafloor; Suruga Bay, Japan
Much like our friend the seahorse , the males of this fish raise the young. As you can see in the photograph above, the male has his clutch of eggs in his mouth. This species ( Opistognathus...
Laurie Penland is a professional photographer and the Diving Officer for the Smithsonian Institution .
“Every four years, sockeyes come inland from the Pacific to spawn. The year 2010 was the largest run in 100 years, reaching more than 30 million fish. On this day, I waited for the right sunlight,...
Chrysaora melanaster , one of the largest jellyfish commonly found in the Arctic, swims underneath the Arctic ice . Its tentacles can stretch to more than 3 meters long and pack a mean sting for...
Much like the Macro 1st place photograph, this animal also resides inside anemones. The porcelain crab ( Neopetrolisthes maculatus ) is a very small crab, with a colorful shell. It lives in anemones...
To a photographer, all that matters is the image, the picture that results when the shutter is released. This is what people will see and what will remain of that moment in time, captured forever...
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