Exploration

Humans have always been explorers, and the sea is certainly a place that allows for new and fascinating discoveries, even today.

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Now that the Census of Marine Life is over, we’re checking in with some of the researchers to hear about their favorite expedition, what they learned, and how the Census and its findings continue...
During the decade of the Census of Marine Life, more than 6,000 potential new...
I still haven’t gotten beyond the ‘gee whiz’ factor of studying communities of...
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Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy...

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“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make light,” says Edie Widder, biologist and deep sea explorer at ORCA. In this TED talk, she shows incredible film and photos she took of animals in the open...
By diving in the Curasub, Smithsonian researchers with the Deep Reef...
Fargo, the dog pictured here, is not just having a relaxing day at sea. He...

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The submersible Alvin carries scientists to the deep ocean, where they encounter amazing creatures and views of deep ocean...
Cooks Bay in Moorea is one of the places that researchers are scouring in their quest to collect one of every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers. In the background is Mt. Rotui—the...
The robotic underwater glider Scarlet Knight crossed the Atlantic over the course of several months in 2009.
Take a tour of the Alvin, a three-person submersible that allows scientists to explore the depths of the ocean. This is an excerpt from the full Deep Ocean Explorers video. More about deep ocean...
Off the coast of North Carolina, Dr. Martha Nizinski and Johnson Sea Link pilot Phil Santos descend through the water column toward the target site. During this dive, Nizinski will observe and record...
How many animals swim in the sea? It's not easy to count them all. To get a feel for the ocean's diversity, scientists, such as those involved in the Census of Marine Life , sail out on research...
Imagine you’re an alien seeing Planet Earth for the first time. What do you see from your spacecraft? A blue planet with over 70% of its surface covered by ocean. From space it’s obvious how...
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...
Researchers in Moorea use a variety of tools to collect organisms. Some are simple, everyday items like buckets and brushes, and some are…a little stranger. Here, two researchers use a “yabbie pump”...
Arctic Ice diver Shawn Harper “stands” on the ice ceiling above him.
Now that the Census of Marine Life is over, we’re checking in with some of its researchers to hear about their favorite expeditions, what they learned, and how the Census and its findings continue to...
Scientists journey to the isolated island of Moorea on a quest to catalog every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers—from mountaintop to seafloor. Get up close and personal with researchers...
Studies along the Northwest Atlantic Ocean shelf break- the transition from continental shelf to slope- by researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Rutgers University are revealing...
By diving in the Curasub, Smithsonian researchers with the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) have discovered a new species of tiny fish in the biodiversity-rich waters of the southern Caribbean...
Jacques Cousteau once said, “When you dive, you begin to feel like an angel." It’s true. When a diver dons a tank and slips into the water, the noisy clatter of the world disappears and the sensation...
Scientists aboard the MV Hanse Explorer have to fit a lot of scientific equipment in a small space! Read about it here .
Curaçao, an island in the southern Caribbean is the site of the Smithsonian's Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) . Researchers are using a submarine to study and collect specimens from the hard-to-...
On a beach in Piña, Panama the tide is rolling out. Faint outlines of skeletal remains rise above the sand. Smithsonian scientists Nicholas Pyenson and Aaron O'Dea along with a team of students...
The US Fish Commission Steamer Albatross (1882-1921) sailed approximately one million miles, in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and collected millions of organisms. The Albatross had a special and...
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