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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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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. The fish, a blenny named...
The Charles W. Morgan sailing en route to Newport on June 15, 2104. Built in...
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...
Scientists talk about the experience of exploring the ocean in this excerpt from the Deep Ocean Explorers video. More about deep ocean exploration can be found in our Deep Ocean Exploration featured...
"Cold-Water Diving: Going to Extremes for Research" is a video produced by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) that shows the focus needed to do scientific work in cold water. The gear is...
Smithsonian researchers are using this five-person submersible to study the biodiversity of the deep reefs of Curaçao in the southern Caribbean. Read about their adventures in the Summer in a Sub...
Recent Antarctic expeditions, underwater volcano monitoring, studies of little-known transparent creatures, and other recent scientific research is being conducted by Ocean Portal Collaborators.
If you are a bird watcher you have probably heard of the Christmas Bird Count. The first one occurred on Christmas Day in 1900 at a variety of locations throughout North America, and it has since...
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...
"Shallow Water Diving: The Benefits of Being There" produced by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) , spotlights researchers using scuba in shallow water. These scientists, working on coral...
On her maiden voyage the Royal Mail Ship Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic just before midnight on April 14th, 1912. Dr. Robert Ballard first discovered the ship's wreckage in 1985...
A student from the University of Cape Town in South Africa uses a field guide to help identify organisms during a shoreline survey at Cape Columbine.
You’re out to sea on a 355 foot platform, and suddenly one end begins to slowly tip underwater. Should there be a call for evacuation? Are you sinking? Not if you’re on FLIP – the FLoating Instrument...
Deploying ARMS (Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures) is tricky in the deep sea, where SCUBA divers can't place and secure them to the floor with their hands and a hammer. Researchers with DROP (...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Ships are well-known for their tiny rooms and tight quarters. But have you heard of a sea vessel that has toilets and sinks sticking out of the walls, and staircases and doors on the ceiling? This...
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...
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...
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