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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 1946 and 1958, the...
Boats Connect Us to the Ocean More than any other objects, boats symbolize...
One hundred years after it sank on April 15, the RMS Titanic still rests on the...
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2012 marked the 70th anniversary of a series of World War II battles in the...

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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...
This portrait of William Dampier hangs in London’s National Gallery in recognition of his contribution to natural history. Learn more about Dampier, the pirate naturalist .
Rowboats were sunk in Yellowstone Lake at Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park in the early 20th century. The rowboats were used to ferry visitors and guests of Lake Hotel, and are now a part of the...
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...
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...
On March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the ocean around Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to see what kind of damage they would do to ships. The largest explosion was...
This 1874 photo of a squid draped over a bathtub was the first ever taken of a giant squid. It belonged to the Reverend Moses Harvey of Newfoundland. More about the giant squid can be found in the...
With the sun in its beak, a raven figurehead points the way for the Raven Spirit canoe, now on display at the Smithsonian Institution. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit...
When a new canoe is put in the water, elders bless it with lighted sage, song, and traditional dances. Some canoes also receive a name. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit...
Tlingit paddlers carefully lift the Raven Spirit canoe into Washington’s Potomac River for its ceremonial launch. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit featured story.
Dampier was not able to collect specimens of fishes and other ocean life. But he had his shipboard artist carefully record the species that Dampier found new and unusual.
The waters of New Guinea teemed with exotic fishes and crabs, which were faithfully depicted by William Dampier’s artist. When Dampier’s book A Voyage to New Holland was published in 1703,...
People once thought giant squid (right) were Sea Monks, or mermen (left)—mythical creatures that were part fish-like and part human male. Learn more giant squid facts and legend in the Giant Squid...
Decorated ceremonial regalia—like this eagle claw holding a salmon, and the sculpin headdress—symbolize the importance of ocean fish to Native communities. More about raven spirit can be found in our...
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,...
Illustration of The Little Mermaid, mid-19th century, unknown artist.
Recorded Feb. 15, 2011, this video from the Third Student Summit on the Ocean and Coasts includes a tribal song written and sung by Suquamish Tribal member Bearon Old Coyote; a welcome to the...
This slideshow features illustrations of some of the plants and animals that William Dampier, a naturalist and pirate, observed in Australia (then known as New Holland) and New Guinea. Learn more...
A stormy sea lashes the village of Shismaref, Alaska, where the coastline has eroded 30–90 m (100–300 ft) in the past 30 years.
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