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The incredible variety of marine life—in numbers, body form, behavior, and more—is at the heart of Citizens of the Sea , an irresistible plunge into the surprising world beneath the waves. Author Nancy Knowlton...
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Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have...
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May is here and that means National Poetry Month is officially over. As...
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The winners of the 2010 Nature's Best Photography Ocean Views Contest are a...

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“I slowly approached this bird resting on the back of a turtle just under the surface of the water. I got the shot just before the tern flew away.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Nuno Sá. See more beautiful ocean photos in our...
An X-ray image of grooved razorfish ( Centriscus scutatus ). Razorfish are...
When coral reefs are damaged, they sometimes struggle to grow back because...

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"We too are sea creatures," entreats ocean explorer Sylvia Earle in this beautiful short film, which calls for protecting...
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...
“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...
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'...
Gray reef sharks ( Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos ) are known for being active at night. They are considered Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List due to fishing and the loss of their coral reef habitat...
Artist Shih Chieh Huang assembling one of his installations. Huang was a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow in 2007 and spent his time studying bioluminescent marine animals . That research has...
If you were choreographing a dance about the ocean, how would you do it? Would you dart around like a lobster in a hurry? Dive like a dolphin? Float like a jellyfish? Choreographer Fran Spector...
Two California market squids ( Loligo opalescens ) mate in the waters off of California's Channel Islands. While spawning, the male's arms blush red as he embraces the female, a warning to other...
Memorial Day is nearly upon us. We thought it'd be a good time to think about our summer beach reads. And yes, we're taking the phrase literally. (A quick aside: As a Minnesota-native I'd argue that...
The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef brings together mathematics, marine science, craft, and community activism in an effort to raise awareness about the threat to coral reefs worldwide. This discussion...
A still from The Last Boat Out , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
“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 volunteer puts together the bleached coral reef by stacking pieces of Styrofoam onto wire.
Editor's Note: These images and more can be seen at Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., as a part of the larger exhibit " Portraits of Planet Ocean: The Photography...
With striking imagery from her book Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water, Our World, Deborah Cramer makes a powerful case for a basic truth about the ocean: we need the sea, and now the sea needs us.
Illustration of The Little Mermaid, mid-19th century, unknown artist.
The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef , created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring , weaves together strands of art, science, mathematics, and conservation. This beautiful...
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...
A cameraman navigates a smack of sea nettles ( Chrysaora fuscescens ) in Monterey Bay. A group of jellies is known as a "smack."
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