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I still haven’t gotten beyond the ‘gee whiz’ factor of studying communities of animals in deep-sea coral habitats. Climbing over undersea mountains and along the steep cliffs of submarine canyons using subs and ROVs...
As children, many people have dreamed of plunging beneath the ocean surface to...
Take a tour of the Alvin, a three-person submersible that allows scientists to...
“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make...

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Fargo, the dog pictured here, is not just having a relaxing day at sea. He is helping researchers at the New England Aquarium in Boston detect scat (or poop) from North Atlantic right whales . The dogs find about four times more...
In this video Smithsonian research zoologist Dr. Martha Nizinski takes...
How many animals swim in the sea? It's not easy to count them all. To get a...

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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

Off the coast of North Carolina, Dr. Martha Nizinski and Johnson Sea Link pilot Phil Santos descend through the water column toward the target site. During this dive, Nizinski will observe and record...
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...
Doing scientific research on a ship isn't always easy. On top of having to live and sleep on a boat on the water, you have to fit all your scientific equipment onboard—and make sure it continues...
Using an ROV (Remotely-Operated Vehicle) equipped with a high-definition video camera, scientists can observe the life that flourishes beneath the Arctic ice . On this expedition, they discovered...
"Shallow Water Diving: The Benefits of Being There" produced by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) , spotlights researchers using scuba in shallow water. These scientists, working on coral...
Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy bottom at a depth of 12,000 feet. It’s absolutely dark. What will you see when the exterior lights are turned on? Will...
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...
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 Baltic’s waters are so frigid that the sandy seabed was often frozen during Oceana's 2011 expedition. The divers’ underwater cameras had to be put on automatic settings to take photos, as their...
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...
The Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory’s Pisces V submersible is lowered for a dive to study deep-sea corals. Learn more about research into deep-sea corals in the multimedia feature " Coral Gardens...
Scientists aboard the MV Hanse Explorer have to fit a lot of scientific equipment in a small space! Read about it here .
It’s not everyday that I get to collect and gather data right alongside our Museum’s researchers. So, imagine my recent delight when the opportunity was presented to me to travel half way around the...
Ocean scientists safely travel to deep-sea coral ecosystems up to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) below the ocean’s surface inside the Johnson-Sea-Link, a submersible owned and operated by the Harbor Branch...
A scientific diver collects data on an underwater slate. Over the past several decades, scuba diving has become a serious, rigorous research tool that has an enormous impact on our understanding of...
Ice divers use a quadrat to study the density of creatures living on the underside of Arctic ice floes. A quadrat is a standardized square used to take sample measurements that allow researchers to...
You’re out to sea on a 355 foot platform, and suddenly one end begins to slowly tip underwater. Should there be a call for evacuation? Are you sinking? Not if you’re on FLIP – the FLoating Instrument...
Two events made me passionate about deep-sea corals . One was my first submarine dive in a deep-sea coral bed off the Hawaiian island of Oahu. There was an incredibly lush community of corals and...
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