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Whale baleen, the stiff bristly mouthparts that sieve small prey from the water, was strong yet flexible, and was used to provide structure in many human products, including umbrellas, corsets, and whips. Right whales...
2012 marked the 70th anniversary of a series of World War II battles in the...
November is American Indian Heritage Month . Mark the occasion by learning...
Gyotaku is a traditional form of Japanese art that began over 100 years ago as...

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In the 19th century, "whalebone" was an important fashion tool—however, it wasn't made out of bone, but whale baleen . Dried baleen was flexible yet strong, and used to create structure in clothing, such as tight corsets, used by...
To people living in warm climates, all ice looks the same. But if you live...
Whalers hunted right whales for their blubber, which could be turned into...

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The ocean was the world's highway, and ships brimming with precious cargoes plied the waters. These merchant ships were...

The Ocean Blog

The arrows show the direction of ocean currents recorded by William Dampier while crossing “La Grande Mer du Sud”—the Pacific Ocean. The map appeared in Dampier’s second book, Voyages and...
Published in 1882 by Yale Professor A.E. Verrill, this is the first scientific illustration of a giant squid. More about the giant squid can be found in the Giant Squid section .
This map shows the route of pirate and naturalist William Dampier’s first voyage around the world. The journey lasted more than 12 years. Learn more about William Dampier , his voyage, and his...
Close-up of a 17th century painting shows how whales were brought ashore for processing and their blubber rendered into marketable oil. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale...
The ocean holds a lot of history. Warships from World War II have been found on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean through the use of sonar technology and are being explored before they give in to the...
Pirate Stede Bonnett flew this flag. Watch a slideshow about legendary pirates of the Golden Age .
At a ceremony on the edge of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., Douglas Chilton and other members of the Native community officially name the canoe Raven Spirit and launch the craft. More about...
This illustration shows whalers of the early 1800s with their highly profitable catch.
This 1890 painting of Charles Darwin is on display at the Turin Museum of Human Anatomy. Darwin brought William Dampier’s books with him on the voyage to South America that led to Darwin’s...
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...
In the 19th century, "whalebone" was an important fashion tool—however, it wasn't made out of bone, but whale baleen . Dried baleen was flexible yet strong, and used to create structure in clothing,...
The Arctic Studies Center's excavation site map of Hare Harbor maps some of the community's excavated structures that archeologists have unearthed. An Inuit house, blacksmith shop, and cookhouse are...
After leaving Australia, Dampier and his men reached the western coast of New Guinea on New Year’s Day 1700. There Dampier observed birds that he had never seen before, like the “stately land-fowl”...
Happy (early) Independence Day! For many of us in the United States, the 4th of July is a time to celebrate and reflect on our national heritage. In many ways, the U.S. grew up on the water and...
Morgan’s most daring exploit was the capture and destruction of Panama City after a grueling march through the Central American jungle with 2,000 buccaneers. To survive, some of the buccaneers ate...
Gyotaku is a traditional form of Japanese art that began as a way for fisherman to keep a record of the fish they caught. The fisherman would apply sumi ink to one side of a freshly caught fish, then...
Captain Henry Morgan (1635-1688). On behalf of Jamaica, the ruthless privateer Henry Morgan attacked Spanish cities and ships, killing and torturing prisoners. Morgan became very wealthy and was...
Like many pirates, Stede Bonnett was eventually caught and executed. He was hung along with 30 of his crew in Charleston, South Carolina. See more pictures of pirates of the golden age .
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