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Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy bottom at a depth of 12,000 feet. It’s absolutely dark. What will you see when the exterior lights are turned...
As children, many people have dreamed of plunging beneath the ocean surface to...
Take a tour of the Alvin, a three-person submersible that allows scientists to...
“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make...

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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...
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-...
In a decade long project, which ended in October 2010, scientists with the Census of Marine Life traveled the world cataloging the ocean’s life forms. From Australia to China to the Gulf of Mexico...
Scientist Martha Nizinski holds a squat lobster ( Eumunida picta ) collected at the Lophelia reefs off Cape Lookout, North Carolina. Squat lobsters are extremely abundant there and are usually found...
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...
If you think only men can helm research vessels to get their hands dirty and study ocean currents, you're wrong. This short film follows the mostly-female scientists of the R/V Knorr research ship on...
Scientists on the tiny island of Moorea, in the Pacific, are gathering one of every life form large enough to pick up with tweezers. They're on a quest to build a detailed catalog of the entire...
John Hildebrand discusses his research at the Scripps Whale Acoustic Lab on the FLIP platform. Learn more about how scientists are using bioacoustics to study and protect whales .
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...
Arctic scientists study a range of marine animals – from large species like polar bears to the microscopic, like phytoplankton. The amount of phytoplankton at different depths can tell us about the...
In 2009, Ruth Meadows, a science teacher from Opelika Middle School in Opelika, AL was part of a team of international scientists that may have found a new species! Led by Mike Vecchione of the NOAA’...
Ocean Sampling Day 2014 will be the largest ocean sampling effort ever orchestrated on a single day. Over 170 sites globally will participate, with every participating site represented on the map...
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...
Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer James Cameron on March 25, 2012, became the first human to complete a solo submarine dive to Challenger Deep , an undersea valley in the Mariana Trench of...
A deep-sea octopus wraps itself around a submersible’s robotic arm 2,300 meters (7,546 feet) down in the Gulf of Mexico. "Most octopuses will let you get close, maybe even touch them, but normally...
In the spring of 2011, Oceana launched a research expedition in the Baltic Sea. The two-month journey took place aboard the Hanse Explorer, a 48-meter ice class vessel built for long exploration...
Students in Monterey Bay share a microscope to get a closer look at plankton samples from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill .
Jeff Chanton's students collect plankton in large nets called plankton tows during the May 2012 R/V Weatherbird II Cruise in the Gulf of Mexico.
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