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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I still haven’t gotten beyond the ‘gee whiz’ factor of studying communities of animals in deep-sea coral habitats. Climbing over undersea mountains and along the steep cliffs of submarine canyons using subs and ROVs...
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...
As children, many people have dreamed of plunging beneath the ocean surface to...

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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...

DIVE DEEPER

Deep below the ocean’s surface is a mysterious world that takes up 95% of Earth’s living space. It could hide 20 Washington...
NOAA’s New Millennium Observatory (NeMO) was set up to study geologic, chemical, and biologic interactions along the mid-ocean ridge system. Learn more about NeMO and watch a video about underwater...
Dr. Peter Auster gets ready for a dive to study the ecology of fish predators at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Georgia.
Alvin, a human occupied vehicle (HOV), returns to the ship after a deep ocean dive to a seamount .
Two events made me passionate about deep-sea corals . One was my first submarine dive in a deep-sea coral bed off the Hawaiian island of Oahu. There was an incredibly lush community of corals and...
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...
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...
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...
Fargo, the dog pictured here, is not just having a relaxing day at sea. He is helping researchers at the New England Aquarium in Boston detect scat (or poop) from North Atlantic right whales . The...
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”...
You never know where following your passions can take you. I came to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) two years ago as a research intern after graduating with a Bachelor’s...
On Moorea, an island in French Polynesia, researchers are striving to complete a biocode—a DNA catalog of every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers.
Researchers can study ocean acidification in the lab by rearing organisms in seawater with variable pH and measuring if they grow, eat, breathe, reproduce, or develop differently. It's common, for...
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...
What is it like to be eyeball to eyeball with a fish the size of a Volkswagen? In this episode of the Podcast of Life , learn how a tuna fisherman and a biologist are teaming up to tag bluefin tuna...
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.
The ocean holds a lot of history. Warships from World War II have been found on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean through the use of sonar technology and are being explored before they give in to the...
A dive tender monitors the line connected to ice divers studying creatures living on the underside of the Arctic Sea ice .
2012 marked the 70th anniversary of a series of World War II battles in the Pacific Ocean and on its islands, which are collectively known as the “Pacific theatre.” While the battles are long over,...
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