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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May is here and that means National Poetry Month is officially over. As promised, we're going to highlight a few of the submissions we've received from our call for your ocean poems . Sailors,...
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The winners of the 2010 Nature's Best Photography Ocean Views Contest are a...
This four-foot long fish sculpture was created by art students at A.W. Cox...
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Brian Skerry, an award winning photographer for National Geographic, explores...

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These star-shaped grains of sand, collected from southern Japan, look like miniature works of art -- but they were not sculpted by an artist. They are the shells of microscopic organisms called foraminifera , which build...
"The ocean is essential to all," reads a sign written in Korean by...
These watercolor sketches of Trapezia crabs were drawn by Frederick Bayer, a...

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The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef , created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring , weaves...
The Gyre is an abstract piece symbolizing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a large ocean vortex that collects trash from around the Pacific Ocean. A lot of the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage...
An X-ray image of grooved razorfish ( Centriscus scutatus ). Razorfish are encased in thin, transparent bony plates attached to their spines, which you can see in the X-ray. Also known as shrimpfish...
A still from Where the Whales Sing , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
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...
Large pieces of plastic are sorted by color into large troughs. After coming in from the beach, the plastic is hosed down, soaked in biodegradable soap, and dried in the sun before it's sorted by...
The robust oval, spine covered body of a long-spined porcupine fish ( Diodon holocanthus ) is revealed in this X-ray image. To ward off predators, a porcupinefish inflates its body by pumping water...
“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...
The veined octopus ( Amphioctopus marginatus ), also known as the coconut octopus, has a skill beyond other cephalopods: it hides under animal and coconut shells, dragging them along the seafloor for...
“Tomales Bay is a narrow, protected waterway along the San Andreas fault. In years past, it was known for its thriving fishing industry. This boat is a relic from better times for local fishermen,...
May is here and that means National Poetry Month is officially over. As promised, we're going to highlight a few of the submissions we've received from our call for your ocean poems . Sailors, divers...
While swimming off of the big island of Hawaii in Kealakekua Bay, I saw what first appeared to me as a coral head. As I approached I saw movement within the shape. To my surprise it was an enormous...
Exciting news for the Ocean Portal blog! We’re happy as clams to be making our inaugural appearance in the Carnival of the Blue , a rotating monthly compilation of the "best of" ocean blogging. This...
A cameraman navigates a smack of sea nettles ( Chrysaora fuscescens ) in Monterey Bay. A group of jellies is known as a "smack."
These beautiful pink and yellow shimmering fish ( Parapriacanthus ransonneti ) live in large groups among corals and in caves where they feed on zooplankton at night. “Golden sweepers form schools in...
"We too are sea creatures," entreats ocean explorer Sylvia Earle in this beautiful short film, which calls for protecting the ocean and, in particular, for ending destructive fishing practices. It's...
A still from, Voyage of the Plastiki , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
It may be called Earth Day, but April 22nd is a perfect day to remind ourselves that we actually live on a planet dominated by water. In fact, with 71% of the earth’s surface covered by water, we...
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