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The Ocean Blog

The winners of the 2010 Nature's Best Photography Ocean Views Contest are a stunning sample of marine wildlife and ocean vistas from around the globe. The 2011 contest is open to photographers of all...
"Harlequin shrimp normally live in pairs and their main diet is starfish... It takes a good eye and patience to find this beautiful shrimp, which looks like candy.” -- Nature's Best photographer,...
A cameraman navigates a smack of sea nettles ( Chrysaora fuscescens ) in Monterey Bay. A group of jellies is known as a "smack."
“ This moray eel was resting among some hard coral and was mesmerized by my dive lights, making it a very cooperative subject. The moray eel rhythmically opens and closes its mouth to move water...
“Manta rays sometimes approach divers; an up-close encounter with such a huge, peaceful animal is unforgettable!” -- Nature's Best photographer, Deborah Smrekar. See more beautiful ocean photos in...
“As an underwater nature photographer, I struggled for a new way to bring back visions of fish and fauna. Soon I discovered that taking water out of the picture, rendering it invisible while it is...
“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...
Lionfish, or Pterois , are a deadly type of fish that live around reefs, although they are native to the Indo-Pacific region. These fish have been known to be invasive, and with no natural predators...
From Nature's Best Photography Explore the winning photos from the 2012 Nature's Best Photography Ocean Views contest! You can also see the winners from 2011 and 2010 .
Named for the radiant blue color on its back and sides, the blue shark ( Prionace glauca ) traverses the world’s temperate and tropical seas. Known for traveling great distances and being a swift...
This short video takes you two hundred miles off the coast of Oregon and some 6,600 feet below the water's surface to observe the Dumbo octopus ( Grimpoteuthis bathynectes ). Little is known about...
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...
As an underwater photographer, time in the field is the most valuable thing I can be given. With time, I can usually overcome challenges and the problems that occur . Time also allows me to learn...
A Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris , swims down a narrow channel into a freshwater spring late in the day.
I have been to this location many times, but no other photo has come out like this one composed with the sun behind a turtle’s head.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Pedro Carrillo. See more beautiful...
Laurie Penland is a professional photographer and the Diving Officer for the Smithsonian Institution .
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...
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...
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