Books, Film & The Arts

The ocean plays the part of muse for many artists. Books, films, and the arts often pull inspiration from the sea—you can explore them here!

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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 the perfect underwater photo...
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The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of...
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What does a bioluminescent creature that lives more than two miles below the...
If you look closely, you can read a message in the corals. We are not being...

LATEST CATCH

These watercolor sketches of Trapezia crabs were drawn by Frederick Bayer, a former Smithsonian coral biologist, in 1947. Trapezia crabs live on and within corals, feeding on their tissue and mucus, and protect them from...
“This shark was cruising low along the reef known as Alcyone. Her left eye...
A yellow moray eel, Gymnothorax prasinus , inside of a sea sponge in the...

DIVE DEEPER

Illustrator Drew Christie created this light-hearted short film about how humans could really learn something from whales...
Recorded on Feb. 15, 2011, award-winning ocean filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau addresses students and educators at the Third Student Summit on the Ocean and Coasts . Cousteau, president of the Ocean...
This four-foot long fish sculpture was created by art students at A.W. Cox Elementary School in Guilford, CT. The purpose of the Rakefish Project is to raise awareness of marine litter among...
What will a restaurant visit be like if our fish supply becomes even more depleted? This public service announcement is a dramatic example of what the "catch of the day" might be if fisheries...
Fiction or non-fiction, short or epic...what are your favorite books about the ocean ?
Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have a wingspan of more than 6 feet, soaring vast distances without flapping their wings. They can go years without even...
“This composition is a blend of nature and architecture. Shooting beneath the structure to get a unique perspective, I waited for days for a thick mist to lift and reveal the backlighting and color I...
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...
A menageries of seabirds (including cormorants and pelicans) and seal gather on a rocky outcrop. The photo is a still from The Changing Sea , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival,...
Tropical hatchetfish ( Argyropelecus lychnus ), like the one shown in this X-ray photograph, live in the dark depths of the ocean ; this specimen was collected at about 2,789 feet (850 meters) in the...
“In late November, land-locked polar bears gather along the Hudson Bay to await the formation of Arctic ice so they can return to their seal-hunting grounds for the winter.” -- Nature's Best...
What does a bioluminescent creature that lives more than two miles below the surface of the ocean and a glow stick have in common? More than you think. Bioluminescence is the process by which living...
Follow an artist from inspiration to installation in this short video. It features the work in the exhibit, " The Bright Beneath: The Luminous Art of Shih Chieh Huang ," at the Smithsonian's National...
“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...
An oceanic whitetip shark swims near a biologist in the Bahamas in this image captured by National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. For nearly 30 years, Skerry has been swimming with and...
For nearly 35 years, National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry has been immersing himself in the big blue to get the perfect underwater photograph. He admits that there will never will be a "...
“This image was captured during an evening dive in water where the largest migration on Earth occurs nightly," said Nature's Best Photographer Joshua Lambus. The migration he speaks of is the diel...
Henry the Giant Fish was Angela's first idea for the Washed Ashore project. "If I make a giant bright fish, everyone will get their picture taken in front of it," she says—and, in the process, they'...
Rachel Caauwe was one of a dozen artists who spent a recent Saturday sketching specimens from the Smithsonian's musky-scented marine mammal collection . Here she's shown drawing the remains of a...
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