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Picture this: clear, warm water bathing spectacular coral reefs , clouds of fish, circling sharks, and 17 scientists intent on studying the pristine tropical marine ecosystems of the Southern Line Islands . What could...
Some of the most otherworldly animals—like those straight from a science...
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The Mars rover Curiosity is sending images back home : glimpses of another...
About DROP DROP is a multidisciplinary Smithsonian project exploring the...

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The first time biologist Mandy Joye dove to the deep sea in the Johnson-Sea-Link submersible (pictured here), she had never seen the bubbles of a methane seep. But after that fateful day in 1994, she was entranced. Instead of...
“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make...
Inside the control van for the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason , Dr...

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Deep below the ocean’s surface is a mysterious world that takes up 95% of Earth’s living space. It could hide 20 Washington...
These cancer cells have been treated with discodermolide, a chemical obtained from a sponge that grows on deep-sea coral reefs. It prevents the cells from dividing and spreading. Learn more about...
The robotic underwater glider Scarlet Knight crossed the Atlantic over the course of several months in 2009.
Smithsonian squid expert Dr. Clyde Roper collaborated with National Geographic to attach this Crittercam to the head of a sperm whale, hoping to get footage of the whale’s favorite prey—giant squid...
Ice divers use a quadrat to study the density of creatures living on the underside of Arctic ice floes. A quadrat is a standardized square used to take sample measurements that allow researchers to...
Students in Monterey Bay share a microscope to get a closer look at plankton samples from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill .
Dr. Robert Ballard poses with an unmanned submersible, like the one he used when locating and exploring the wreck of the RMS Titanic. A veteran explorer, former U.S. Navy Commander, and professor of...
Watch a Discovery video on Smithsonian squid expert Clyde Roper’s search for giant squid in Kaikoura Canyon off the coast of New Zealand. More about giant squid can be found in our Giant Squid...
At the Ocean Portal, we love the back-to-school season. There’s excitement in the air—new classes, new teachers, new friends, and new subjects to explore. We like to think of a new school year as a...
In the spring of 2011, a research crew from Oceana spent two months in the brackish Baltic Sea . The Baltic faces challenges from pollution, algae blooms, over fishing, and invasive species. Oceana...
Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Mexico…it is all a single, enormous, interconnected ocean that covers much of our planet. But that doesn't mean that it has the same...
Have you ever seen a creature so unusual? This fish (22 cm long) is called a sea toad and studying them requires luck and the opportunity to descend into the deep waters where they live. Last week Dr...
Microbes are some of the most important organisms in the sea. These miniscule organisms provide an important link in the food web between the dissolved nutrients in the ocean and larger organisms...
Ice divers Katrin Iken (left) and Elizabeth Siddon are about to descend through a hole in the Arctic ice and into the frigid world below.
Are these three fish related? All three—a whalefish, bignose, and tapetail—became the prime suspects in an international scientific mystery. Each species seemed to be missing either a member of the...
Scientists in the Division of Fishes at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History use X-ray imaging to study the complex bone structure and diversity of fish. This image gallery showcases...
Scientists aboard the MV Hanse Explorer have to fit a lot of scientific equipment in a small space! Read about it here .
Two divers, one in an atmospheric dive suit (left) and the other in standard dive gear (right), prepare to explore the Lusitania shipwreck in 1935. Over the decades, diving gear has evolved and...
Inside the control van for the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason , Dr. Brendan Roark and colleagues watch the ROV collecting deep-sea coral specimens. No scientists dive down with their ROV, so...
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