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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The Mars rover Curiosity is sending images back home : glimpses of another world during a voyage of discovery. While Curiosity is clicking pictures millions of miles away, I am privileged to be taking...
About DROP DROP is a multidisciplinary Smithsonian project exploring the...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Ever since fourth grade I’ve wanted to explore the creatures and landscapes of...
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Hidden beneath Arctic ice is a world few have ever seen. Take the icy plunge...

LATEST CATCH

“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...
Inside the control van for the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason , Dr...
By diving in the Curasub, Smithsonian researchers with the Deep Reef...

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...
It takes special equipment and many warm layers of clothing to dive safely beneath Arctic sea ice . Ice divers look for holes in a melt pond in order to enter the frigid waters.
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...
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.
Watch as Dr. Dallas Alston and a team of researchers study the effects of aquaculture at a fish farm near Puerto Rico. With careful planning and good daily practices, aquaculture can be part of a...
Scientists use remotely operated vehicles , ROVs, equipped with collection devices and cameras to aid in deep-sea ocean exploration in the Arctic and in other regions of the world. It is unoccupied...
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...
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...
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-...
Alvin, a human occupied vehicle (HOV), returns to the ship after a deep ocean dive to a seamount .
Students in Monterey Bay share a microscope to get a closer look at plankton samples from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill .
The Mars rover Curiosity is sending images back home : glimpses of another world during a voyage of discovery. While Curiosity is clicking pictures millions of miles away, I am privileged to be...
Oceanographer and executive director of Oceana Europe , Xavier Pastor, led the Baltic Sea expedition. The crew covered more than 7,000 nautical miles and completed more than 130 dives to collect...
The Baltic’s waters are so frigid that the sandy seabed was often frozen during Oceana's 2011 expedition. The divers’ underwater cameras had to be put on automatic settings to take photos, as their...
Geo-archaeologist Jean-Daniel Stanley studies ancient settlements submerged near Egypt’s Nile Delta. Analyzing how natural and human-induced processes caused their sinking may help us protect...
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...
The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place where “the deer and the antelope roam.” On land, we take it for granted that the plant-eating deer and antelope far...
Hear how research unfolds at sea in a tiny Zodiac surrounded by creatures that measure longer than a city bus. Playing female whale calls into the water, researcher Susan Parks suddenly finds herself...
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