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Traveling aboard the Charles W. Morgan , a 173-year-old whaling ship on its 38th Voyage, I’m struck by its paradox: this vessel which spent years chasing and killing whales is now helping us to...
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Meet seven of the most fearsome pirates from the Golden Age of Piracy. Like...
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Sea ice is typically viewed as the domain of physical and natural scientists,...
By Caty Fairclough In centuries past, the ocean was thought to be full of...

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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 formulation of the theory of evolution...
On March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the...
For many years, shark fin soup has been a popular delicacy at weddings and...

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The ocean was the world's highway, and ships brimming with precious cargoes plied the waters. These merchant ships were...
Sometimes the “Watcher,” a raven with an irregular wing, monitored carver Douglas Chilton’s progress on the canoe from an overhead perch. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit...
Geo-archaeologist Jean-Daniel Stanley studies ancient settlements submerged near Egypt’s Nile Delta. Analyzing how natural and human-induced processes caused their sinking may help us protect...
Explore the different cultures of the territory between the Arctic and Pacific oceans. The area is home to over 150,000 Indigenous residents, whose diverse languages and cultures are both a link to...
[[nid:3622]] The Final Journey…and Long-Awaited Fortune Dampier’s third and last voyage around the globe, in 1708, was also a privateering expedition. On this trip he rescued Alexander Selkirk, a...
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...
Blackbeard’s flag showed a skeleton piercing a heart and toasting the devil. Watch a slideshow about legendary pirates of the Golden Age , and learn more about an unusual pirate: William Dampier ,...
This over 2,000-year-old shipwreck in Mazotas, Cyprus, was discovered in 2007. The ship was loaded with wine from Chios, one of the most expensive and sought-after Greek wines in antiquity. The...
Dampier rescued Alexander Selkirk from Juan Fernandez island around 1708. Selkirk's story inspired Daniel Defoe to write Robinson Crusoe . Read a story by one of Selkirk's descendants in Smithsonian...
This is the cover of the book William Dampier -- pirate and naturalist -- wrote about his first trip around the world, one of four that he eventually made and described in a series of bestselling...
Dampier explored this area of Western Australia and named it Shark Bay because of the "abundance" of sharks in the waters. It is now a World Heritage site. Learn more about Dampier's voyages around...
Crafted from the skins of salmon, these mittens are naturally waterproof. They kept hands dry while paddling or working with fish nets. Learn more about Northwest Pacific cultures and marine life in...
In the Caribbean, Ann Bonny and Mary Read served with Captain “Calico” Jack Rackham. In 1720 Rackham and his entire crew were captured and executed—except for Bonny and Read. They said to the judge...
Charles Darwin is so well known he almost needs no introduction. The 19th-century naturalist and geologist spent his life documenting and collecting information on the natural world . From birds to...
Fish spears and fish weirs—fish traps placed in rivers—are traditional ways of catching salmon on rivers. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit featured story.
Bikini Atoll, formed over millions of years around an island in the Pacific Ocean about halfway between Papua New Guinea and Hawaii, has been subjected to horrific human-caused disturbances. Between...
Fish swim around the wreck of the HMT Bedfordshire , an Arctic fishing trawler that was converted into an anti-submarine warship during World War II. Originally part of Great Britain's Royal Navy, it...
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 .
November is American Indian Heritage Month . Mark the occasion by learning about the Raven Spirit Canoe , a craft that was carved in Alaska by master carver Douglas Chilton of the Tlinget Nation. The...
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