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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...
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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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 dogs find about four times more...
In this video Smithsonian research zoologist Dr. Martha Nizinski takes...
How many animals swim in the sea? It's not easy to count them all. To get a...

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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...

The Ocean Blog

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...
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...
This radio device is used to track North Atlantic right whales. Suction cups hold the device to a whale's back, where it records data such as depth, water, temperature, and underwater sounds. These...
Melissa Frey, Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) Rubenstein Fellow, examines a Pacific oyster ( Crassostrea gigas ) on a chilly day in Sidney, British Columbia. In addition to holding an EOL Fellowship ,...
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...
Dr. Clyde Roper, squid expert, explains how he developed a passionate interest in the giant squid ( Architeuthis dux) in this excerpt of "Eyeball to Eyeball," an episode of Errol Morris' First Person...
"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...
It’s not everyday that I get to collect and gather data right alongside our Museum’s researchers. So, imagine my recent delight when the opportunity was presented to me to travel half way around the...
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...
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...
Part 3 of a 6-part series describing Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's efforts to understand the scope and impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "Sampling the Source"...
Diving can be a wild ride that evokes more than a little trepidation, especially in the Pacific Ocean's famously big, cold waves. Waves that are otherwise fun for my weekend surfing can turn a...
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...
The ocean was the world's highway, and ships brimming with precious cargoes plied the waters. These merchant ships were tempting targets for pirates, who prowled the seas' major trade routes in...
Nick Pyenson, curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, holds an arm bone from a "toothed" mysticete from Vancouver Island. This is the second specimen...
Scripps Institution of Oceanography's FLoating Instrument Platform, or FLIP, conducts sea trials off San Diego in May 2009.
The submersible Alvin carries scientists to the deep ocean, where they encounter amazing creatures and views of deep ocean life. Explore more in the Deep Ocean Exploration section .
As children, many people have dreamed of plunging beneath the ocean surface to explore the unknown world below. Dr. Robert Ballard is living his childhood dream. He is among a small number of people...
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