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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...
Picture this: clear, warm water bathing spectacular coral reefs , clouds of...
Some of the most otherworldly animals—like those straight from a science...
The Mars rover Curiosity is sending images back home : glimpses of another...

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In this video Smithsonian research zoologist Dr. Martha Nizinski takes viewers with her as she searches for crustaceans in the deep sea . She's particularly interested in finding squat lobsters , which despite their name, are...
How many animals swim in the sea? It's not easy to count them all. To get a...
Cooks Bay in Moorea is one of the places that researchers are scouring in...

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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

In 2009, Ruth Meadows, a science teacher from Opelika Middle School in Opelika, AL was part of a team of international scientists that may have found a new species! Led by Mike Vecchione of the NOAA’...
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...
The Chikyu allows scientists to gather and study data about seafloor sediments as soon as they are collected. After a powerful 9.0 earthquake triggered a devestating tsunami in Japan in March 2011 ,...
"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...
Arctic Ice diver Shawn Harper “stands” on the ice ceiling above him.
On Moorea, an island in French Polynesia, researchers are striving to complete a biocode—a DNA catalog of every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers.
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...
The research submersible Alvin uses bright lights to illuminate the dark seafloor. Built in 1964, it has made more than 4,400 dives. It can carry two scientists and a pilot as deep as 4,500 meters (...
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,...
What is it like to be eyeball to eyeball with a fish the size of a Volkswagen? In this episode of the Podcast of Life , learn how a tuna fisherman and a biologist are teaming up to tag bluefin tuna...
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...
The Johnson-Sea-Link submersible reaches the ocean’s surface with a specimen of Keratoisis bamboo coral inside its collection box. Find out how ocean scientists study deep-sea corals in our Deep-sea...
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...
At the Ocean Portal, we love the back-to-school season. There’s excitement in the air—new classes, new teachers, new friends, and new subjects to explore. We like to think of a new school year as a...
Now that the Census of Marine Life is over, we’re checking in with some of the researchers to hear about their favorite expedition, what they learned, and how the Census and its findings continue to...
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...
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.
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.
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