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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...
Lying in water only a foot deep, I watched the shark meander lazily through the...
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Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have...
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The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of...

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The distinctive form of a winghead shark ( Eusphyra blochii ) is revealed by an X-ray image. The Winghead Shark, one of about ten species of hammerhead sharks, has its eyes set at the tips of its wide, T-shaped head, giving it...
“Upon returning from the reef after a night dive, I swam toward a bright...
The largest of all seal species, the southern elephant seal ( Mirounga...

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From Nature's Best Photography Explore the winning photos from the 2012 Nature's Best Photography Ocean Views contest! You...

The Ocean Blog

“I visited the beach at sunrise after high tide and found this skimmer feeding, providing me with this reflected shot.” -- Nature's Best photographer, James A. Galletto. See more beautiful ocean...
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...
“As we motored around Paulet Island in a Zodiac boat, these two curious penguins waddled across an iceberg to get a closer look at us.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Phillip Colla . See more...
A rainbow of tropical fish hovers over a coral head near the Pearl and Hermes Atoll, part of the Papahānaumokuākea World Heritage Site .
From discovering new marine life to exploring the wreck of the Titanic , ROV’s and other technology are helping us get a closer look at the more than two thirds of our planet that are underwater...
“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...
Red Pigfish ( Bodianus unimaculatus ) and Blue Mao-Mao ( Scorpis violacea ) school at the edge of a cavern in New Zealand's Poor Knights Islands. Read photographer Brian Skerry's story behind this...
“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...
After collecting, cleaning and sorting the plastic, the community came back together to construct the whale ribcage.
Harp seals are protected in the United States by the Marine Mammal Protection Act . Although they are not considered endangered, as sea ice melting earlier and earlier each year, available harp seal...
A yellow moray eel, Gymnothorax prasinus , inside of a sea sponge in the waters off of Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand. Photographer Brian Skerry takes an artistic eye to his underwater photography...
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)...
What does a bioluminescent creature that lives more than 2 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...
Fiction or non-fiction, short or epic...what are your favorite books about the ocean ?
Every year the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science hosts an underwater photography contest for amateur photographers. From playful marine mammals to hard-to-see...
Gyotaku is a traditional form of Japanese art that began as a way for fisherman to keep a record of the fish they caught. The fisherman would apply sumi ink to one side of a freshly caught fish, then...
A tiny yellow goby, Lubricogobius exiguus , living inside an abandoned can on the seafloor; Suruga Bay, Japan
Local crafters who contributed to the Smithsonian Community Reef proved that there is no limit to the colorful reef forms that can be created using hyperbolic crochet techniques. Their wildly...
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