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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DIVE DEEPER

Deep Ocean Explorers

The submersible Alvin carries scientists to the deep ocean, where they encounter amazing creatures and views of deep ocean...
A submersible explores the deep reefs off of Curacao in the Caribbean.

Keeping Exploration Alive With Manned Submersibles

Video of Why are manned submersibles important? Smithsonian research zoologist Carole Baldwin answers the question "why are manned submersibles important?" The Ocean Portal was lucky enough to join the Deep Reef Observation Project team...

Three Ways You Can Use Genomics to Study Oil Spill Impacts

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative researchers collect samples from a Pensacola Beach with oil layers in the sand. They use genomics to track how the communities of microbes change as they digest different components...
A shrimp boat fishes in the Gulf of Mexico

Live Stream Event: Dispatches From the Gulf

April 20th marks the sixth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill , the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
A map of the Mid Ocean Ridge

Making a Mark on the Ocean Floor

Until very recently oceanography was a field dominated by men. A seafaring career, oceanography was still influenced by the superstitions of ship life; a woman on board was considered to bring bad luck. It...
Cleaning up abandoned fishing nets

Upcycled Ocean Plastic

The Possibilities Are Endless For Reuse of Plastic Ocean Trash Here, workers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) remove discarded fishing nets from Midway Atoll in the Pacific. Though Norton Point doesn’t...
Two killer whales.

How Drones in the Sky Unlock Secrets of the Sea

A remote-controlled hexacopter captured this image of two northern resident killer whales photographed from 100 feet. Scientists use the unmanned drone as a cost-effective, non-intrusive method for monitoring the health of whales. Credit: NOAA,...

What is Marine Archaeology?

What exactly is marine archaeology? It is the study of past human cultures with an emphasis on how humans interacted with the world's oceans, lakes and river systems. It tends to be best known...

Searching for Crustaceans in the Deep Sea

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...

The Trouvadore: A Story of Deliverance

Join marine archeologists as they trace the history of the Trouvadore , a slave ship bound for Cuba that wrecked in the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1841, and the ship’s passengers unusual path...
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From Larvae to Adults – Finding Impacts of an Oil Spill on Mahi Mahi

A school of mahi mahi (or dolphinfish). Credit: © Tony Ludovico By Emily Frost For a month during the summer of 2016, Lela Schlenker spent several hours in the dead of night watching mahi...

The Weird, Wonderful World of Bioluminescence

“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...
A variety of plankton images from the Gulf Stream

STREAMCODE – Planktonic Diversity of the Gulf Stream

A powerful ocean current, the Gulf Stream, transports warm seawater, nutrients and organisms from the Gulf of Mexico northward along the U.S. East Coast and across the North Atlantic up towards Europe. The movement...
Aquatic Locomotion of a Sea Lion

How Do Sea Lions Swim?

Sea lions generate thrust, or forward propulsion, by bringing their fore-flippers together in big sweeping motions called “claps.” When a sea lion “claps,” it stretches its flippers out to the sides and sweeps them...
Two nurse sharks hover over a baited cage

Shark Snapshot - Saving sharks with an underwater photoshoot

Tawny nurse sharks are common visitors to FinPrint's baited remote underwater videos (BRUVs). Here, two swim in the Ashmore Reef off the West Coast of Australia. Credit: Global FinPrint Sharks make headlines, but we...
A brittle star clings to the branches of a deep sea coral

A Brittle Star May Be a Coral’s Best Friend

A brittle star wraps its arms around the branches of a deep sea octocoral. The coral's polyps are all open and extended, a sign that the coral is unbothered by the sea star. Credit:...
Slocum Glider

Teams of Robots Can Help Us Build 3D Maps of the Ocean

One of ten robots that examined an area of 800 cubic kilometers in northern Monterey Bay, over the course of 24 days, in 2006. Credit: Dr. Naomi Ehrich Leonard By Kalila Morsink One of...

Shipwrecked!

NOAA Ocean Today explores shipwrecks! Ocean Exploration is all about new discoveries, and shipwrecks are one of the most fascinating expeditions of all. The unsinkable Titanic, the civil war ironclad USS Monitor, and literally...

Creep into the Deep

Down below where the sunlight cannot penetrate, the ocean is a dark, cold and alien landscape. Can life really exist in such an extreme environment? NOAA Ocean Today Every Full Moon takes a look...

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