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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A deep-sea octopod wraps itself around a submersible’s robotic arm in the Gulf of Mexico.

DIVE DEEPER

The Deep Sea

Deep below the ocean’s surface is a mysterious world that takes up 95% of Earth’s living space. It could hide 20 Washington...
J. Murray Roberts studies and maps the cold-water corals known as Lophelia in the North Atlantic.

Exploring the Blue Planet with J. Murray Roberts

J. Murray Roberts studies and maps the cold-water corals known as Lophelia in the North Atlantic, where the bases of some coral mounds are 2.6 million years old. Credit: Sebastian Hennige Imagine you’re an...
Amy Baco-Taylor

Amy Baco-Taylor: Passionate about Deep-Sea Corals

Coral scientist Dr. Amy Baco-Taylor observed corals like these on her first submarine dive to a deep-sea coral bed off the coast of Hawaii. Credit: Photos by A. Baco, T. Kerby and M. Kremer,...

Coral Scientist Brendan Roark: On an Urgent Mission

Dr. Brendan Roark discusses different methods of sampling deep-sea corals with undergraduate students at Texas A&M University. Credit: James LaCombe Deep-sea coral beds are true biodiversity hotspots. It’s urgent that we study these extreme...

Martha Nizinski: Hooked on Deep-Sea Corals

Scientist Martha Nizinski examines a sample of the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa , collected 600-m (1,969-ft) deep off the coast of the southeastern United States. Credit: A. Howard Nine years ago I was invited...

Peter Auster: The Gee Whiz Factor

Auster gets ready to study fish predators at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Georgia. Credit: Courtesy Greg McFall, NOAA I still haven’t gotten beyond the ‘gee whiz’ factor of studying...
Plastic bottles and other marine debris cover a rocky beach in Curacao.

Ocean Trash: Marine Debris From Shore to Sea

While conducting field work in Curaçao in 2011, Smithsonian researchers encountered trash along remote beaches and deep in the water column. This video gives a brief glimpse of some of the marine debris they...
John Paxton, a scientist who studies marine life, looks into a microscope

Examine the Clues

Ichthyologist John R. Paxton of the Australian Museum identifies freshly caught lanternfishes. Paxton was on the team that solved the whalefish mystery. Credit: R. Cornejo In 2003, a team of Japanese scientists analyzed the...
A scientists examines a sponge specimen collected in the Caribbean.

Searching for Cancer Drugs in the Ocean

Dr. Patrick Colin , of the Coral Reef Research Foundation in Palau, examines a sponge he collected off the island of Curaçao, in the Caribbean. Colin is conducting research for the National Cancer Institute...

Submersible Collects Deep-Sea Corals

Come along as scientist Dr. Brendan Roark narrates a submersible dive to collect and study deep-sea corals. Roark studies deep-sea corals to understand the history of the ocean and past ocean climates. Learn more...

Deep-Sea Research 100 Years Ago on the US Fisheries Steamer Albatross

The US Fish Commission Steamer Albatross (1882-1921) sailed approximately one million miles, in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and collected millions of organisms. The Albatross had a special and vital link with Smithsonian science,...
Phoenix swimming with her calf.

Scientists Use Bioacoustics to Protect Marine Mammals

John Hildebrand discusses his research at the Scripps Whale Acoustic Lab on the FLIP platform. Marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, and seals have an amazing ability to hold their breaths—sometimes for up to...
A photo of Oceana's ice class research vessel, the Hanse Explorer, on the Baltic Sea.

Biodiversity in the Baltic Sea

In the spring of 2011, a research crew from Oceana spent two months in the brackish Baltic Sea . The Baltic faces challenges from pollution, algae blooms, over fishing, and invasive species. Oceana researchers...

Exploring Ocean Life with an Underwater Vehicle

Studies along the Northwest Atlantic Ocean shelf break- the transition from continental shelf to slope- by researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Rutgers University are revealing connections between physical processes in the ocean...
A variety of organisms make their home on this tropical coral reef in Indonesia.

Live from the Field: Bali, Indonesia

Exciting the next generation of scientists through research, education, and collaboration in the world's hotspot of biodiversity. A variety of organisms make their home on this tropical coral reef in Indonesia. Credit: © Chris...
A white crabeater seal resting on an iceberg.

Life in the Field

To a photographer, all that matters is the image, the picture that results when the shutter is released. This is what people will see and what will remain of that moment in time, captured...

Live from the Field: Bali, Indonesia

The sun sets over Sanur in Bali, Indonesia during low tide. Credit: Smithsonian Institution It’s not everyday that I get to collect and gather data right alongside our Museum’s researchers. So, imagine my recent...
The 2012 Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center dive class stand in a group together

Scuba Diving Course a Success for IBRC Students

The 2012 scientific diving class stands together at the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center's headquarters in Sanur, Bali. The class participated in an intensive one week scientific diving course, learning how to use scuba diving...

FLIP: The FLoating Instrument Platform

Scripps Institution of Oceanography's FLoating Instrument Platform, or FLIP, conducts sea trials off San Diego in May 2009. Credit: © 2009 Scripps Institution of Oceanography You’re out to sea on a 355 foot platform,...

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