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Picture this: clear, warm water bathing spectacular coral reefs , clouds of fish, circling sharks, and 17 scientists intent on studying the pristine tropical marine ecosystems of the Southern Line Islands . What could...
Some of the most otherworldly animals—like those straight from a science...
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The Mars rover Curiosity is sending images back home : glimpses of another...
About DROP DROP is a multidisciplinary Smithsonian project exploring the...

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The first time biologist Mandy Joye dove to the deep sea in the Johnson-Sea-Link submersible (pictured here), she had never seen the bubbles of a methane seep. But after that fateful day in 1994, she was entranced. Instead of...
“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make...
Inside the control van for the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason , Dr...

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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...
Microbes are some of the most important organisms in the sea. These miniscule organisms provide an important link in the food web between the dissolved nutrients in the ocean and larger organisms...
When he was 10 years old, Stephen Cairns lived in Cuba where he kept a collection of butterflies and sea shells. When his family moved to Louisiana, he could bring only one of the collections with...
A student from the University of Cape Town in South Africa uses a field guide to help identify organisms during a shoreline survey at Cape Columbine.
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"...
Marine biologists discover a whalefish -- an incredibly rare deep-sea fish -- swimming in the ocean in this video. Because it is so dark where they live, females have well-developed sensory pores,...
The Titanic's sinking around 100 years ago created a new underwater habitat for organisms: the wreck itself. One of these is a species of bacteria -- named Halomonas titanicae after the great ship...
In a decade long project, which ended in October 2010, scientists with the Census of Marine Life traveled the world cataloging the ocean’s life forms. From Australia to China to the Gulf of Mexico...
Arctic Ice diver Shawn Harper “stands” on the ice ceiling above him.
Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian's Sant Chair for Marine Science, puts up an Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structure (ARMS) during a dive in the Red Sea. These small underwater “condos” have been placed...
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...
Charles Darwin: Almost 150 years after Dampier visited the Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin brought Dampier’s books with him on his famous voyage to South America on The Beagle —the journey that led...
The Mars rover Curiosity is sending images back home : glimpses of another world during a voyage of discovery. While Curiosity is clicking pictures millions of miles away, I am privileged to be...
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...
We drove down a long dirt road on the northern side of Curaçao looking for a remote place to snorkel and sample. After a 30-minute bumpy ride, our team stepped out of the car into a breeze and the...
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...
These cancer cells have been treated with discodermolide, a chemical obtained from a sponge that grows on deep-sea coral reefs. It prevents the cells from dividing and spreading. Learn more about...
Scientist Martha Nizinski holds a squat lobster ( Eumunida picta ) collected at the Lophelia reefs off Cape Lookout, North Carolina. Squat lobsters are extremely abundant there and are usually found...
"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...
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