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Ari Daniel Shapiro is joined for this episode of The Podcast of Life by science contributor Josh Kurz, who tells the story of dinoflagellates through "music from the bottom of the food chain." There...
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Lying in water only a foot deep, I watched the shark meander lazily through the...
The incredible variety of marine life—in numbers, body form, behavior, and more...
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Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have...

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A male great hammerhead shark swims in the Bahamas at sunset. Scientists debate the purpose behind these sharks' hammer-shaped heads. A commonly accepted theory is that the shape allows the shark to scan a wider area of the ocean...
The veined octopus ( Amphioctopus marginatus ), also known as the coconut...
A sea monster attacks a ship in an illustration for 20,000 Leagues Under the...

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As an underwater photographer, time in the field is the most valuable thing I can be given. With time, I can usually...
“A four-foot-long barracuda is visible flashing past me, with the sky and the lights of my boat seen above.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Yeang H. Ch’ng. See more beautiful ocean photos in our...
“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...
A fish made from pieces of plastic found on the beach swims above a bleached reef made of Styrofoam. While Angela Pozzi focuses her artwork on outreach about the harms of ocean plastic, she wants to...
Detail of the Smithsonian Community Reef, a local, community-created "satellite" to the Institute For Figuring's Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef exhibit.
The long toothy rostrum or “saw” gives sawfish their common name. They use the saw to dig in the sand for crustaceans or to attack prey by vigorously slashing from side to side. This smalltooth...
A still from Where the Whales Sing , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
The largest of all seal species, the southern elephant seal ( Mirounga leonina ) is found in chilly Antarctic and Subantarctic waters. The male seals dive as deep as 1,430 meters (over 4,600 feet)...
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...
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...
Ari Daniel Shapiro is joined for this episode of The Podcast of Life by science contributor Josh Kurz, who tells the story of dinoflagellates through "music from the bottom of the food chain." There...
Three bar jacks and a female tiger shark, nearly 4-meters long, swim off the coast of the Bahamas in this image captured by National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. For nearly 30 years,...
Enric Sala has spent much of his career looking for the ocean's "time machines" -- areas rich in biodiversity and largely unaffected by humans. In this recorded webcast , Sala, a National Geographic...
“As I set up for a sunset shot—one last, solitary surfer exited the water and I quickly fired a few frames trying to capture the serenity of the moment.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Karen Doody...
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 close-up of Lidia the Seal—like the view you'd get if you approach the sculpture in real life—shows the gory details of the everyday objects that wash up on the beach. Have you thrown out any...
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...
Whether trash or treasures, natural objects or man-made castaways, things that wash up on the shoreline can be fascinating. A keen eye while strolling the beach can uncover hidden beauties like this...
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