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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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...
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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The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of...

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

With striking imagery from her book Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water, Our World, Deborah Cramer makes a powerful case for a...
A harp seal ( Phoca groenlandica ) pup rests on the ice at sunset in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada while its mother hunts. Adult harp seals have dappled gray fur, but the babies are born white and...
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...
People flock to the California Coast in the summer—some to cool down in hot weather, some in search of good waves, some to fish in the surf and some to photograph any of the 1,200 miles of inspiring...
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...
Underwater photographer, Brian Skerry, prepares for an icy dive off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan. With all the specialized gear and the large amount of travel necessary to take photos underwater,...
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...
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...
Calligrapher Myoung-Won Kwon's pen name is Mook Jae. He poses here with a work that has an ocean-themed message . Kwon moved to the United States from South Korea in 1986. While he's a master of his...
Wherever you live—and whatever your age or walk of life—there is something you can do to help the ocean, a way for you to Find Your Blue . For musician Sam Lardner, that has meant composing and...
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...
Artist Shih Chieh Huang spent a good part of 2007 exploring specimens of deep-ocean animals found in the collections of the National Museum of Natural History . He was a Smithsonian Artist Research...
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...
When coral reefs are damaged, they sometimes struggle to grow back because there aren't enough coral seedlings around, and the ones that are around are growing together too closely. Enter: the coral...
Brian Skerry is a world-renowned underwater photographer and journalist with decades of experience. He combines artistic vision and passion for the ocean with deep knowledge of photographic...
What is climate change, and how is it affecting coastal Carolina? That is the question that a group teens from Isaac Bear Early College High School set out to answer for their Third National Student...
The musical sea star is crafted with glass bottles that can be played with a mallet like a xylophone. Watch a video of Ward Spangler, lead percussionist from the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra playing...
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...
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