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About DROP DROP is a multidisciplinary Smithsonian project exploring the diversity of tropical deep reefs off the coast of Curaçao in the southern Caribbean. Deep reefs are natural extensions of shallow water reefs. But...
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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...
Studies along the Northwest Atlantic Ocean shelf break- the transition from...

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“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...

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The submersible Alvin carries scientists to the deep ocean, where they encounter amazing creatures and views of deep ocean...
Cooks Bay in Moorea is one of the places that researchers are scouring in their quest to collect one of every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers. In the background is Mt. Rotui—the...
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...
Researchers with the Smithsonian's Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) collected this sea toad, Chaunax pictus , off the coast of Honduras in 2011. The team is trying to collect sea toads from...
2012 marked the 70th anniversary of a series of World War II battles in the Pacific Ocean and on its islands, which are collectively known as the “Pacific theatre.” While the battles are long over,...
The world beneath the Arctic ice is magical, but cold. Divers have to tolerate temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit (about -2° Celsius.) To stay warm they wear thermal undergarments and use special...
The Charles W. Morgan sailing en route to Newport on June 15, 2104. Built in 1841, the Charles W. Morgan sailed on 37 voyages to remote corners of the globe during her 80-year whaling career. The...
I have been at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History since 1966, studying and reporting on all kinds of octopuses and squids . But I’ve always had a particular fascination with the...
Deploying ARMS (Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures) is tricky in the deep sea, where SCUBA divers can't place and secure them to the floor with their hands and a hammer. Researchers with DROP (...
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...
On her maiden voyage the Royal Mail Ship Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic just before midnight on April 14th, 1912. Dr. Robert Ballard first discovered the ship's wreckage in 1985...
Dr. Clyde Roper prepares to dive thousands of feet to a giant squid habitat off the coast of New Zealand in a one-person submersible. More about the giant squid can be found in our Giant Squid...
Dr. Robert Ballard poses with an unmanned submersible, like the one he used when locating and exploring the wreck of the RMS Titanic. A veteran explorer, former U.S. Navy Commander, and professor of...
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 ,...
"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...
"Inside the Open Ocean: Blue Water Diving" produced by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) , describes a specialized diving technique that lets biologists study the ocean's most fragile...
Inside the control van for the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason , Dr. Brendan Roark and colleagues watch the ROV collecting deep-sea coral specimens. No scientists dive down with their ROV, so...
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"...
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...
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