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 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 outnumber the...
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Picture this: clear, warm water bathing spectacular coral reefs , clouds of...
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...

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

The submersible Alvin carries scientists to the deep ocean, where they encounter amazing creatures and views of deep ocean...
Hidden beneath Arctic ice is a world few have ever seen. Take the icy plunge with a team of ice-loving scientists.
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.
Some of the most otherworldly animals—like those straight from a science fiction story—can be seen in the open ocean at night. By drifting in the blackwater in a scuba suit just under the surface,...
As 10 years of intensive research draw to a close, the Census of Marine Life has released the most comprehensive inventory of life in the ocean to date. This landmark collection of scientific papers...
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...
Hyperiid amphipods are small crustaceans related to sand fleas and distantly related to shrimp. They range in size from very tiny to more than 7 inches long, and are found at all depths of the ocean...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Underwater photographer, Brian Skerry, prepares for an icy dive off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan. With all the specialized gear and the large amount of travel necessary to take photos underwater,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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