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Sea ice is typically viewed as the domain of physical and natural scientists, the oceanographers, marine biologists, climate modelers, and navigators of the world. It is easy to forget another perspective—that of cultural anthropologists...
By Caty Fairclough In centuries past, the ocean was thought to be full of...
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Worldwide, fisheries touch our lives in countless ways. If well maintained,...
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This slideshow features illustrations of some of the plants and animals that...

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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...
Illustration of The Little Mermaid, mid-19th century, unknown artist.
Blackbeard may have been the most notorious pirate of all. Fierce and ferocious-looking, he stood 6’4” tall and had wild eyes and an explosive temper. To add to the effect, he tucked slow-burning...
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...
Captain Kidd had a license from Lord Bellomont, the governor of New England and New York, and King William III of England to hunt down pirates and capture French ships. Read about more pirates in the...
Senegalese fishermen unload their catch. Traditional fishing has been a critical part of Senegal’s economy, contributing to the nation’s food security and providing jobs in many communities.
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,...
Pirate Captain Keitt was famous for capturing the ship known as the Sun of the East . He took the precious Ruby of Kishmoor, hid it from his shipmates and never told a soul where it was buried.
Classic examples of Northwest Coast art, these rattles from British Columbia illustrate the sophisticated way of life salmon helped provide. They were used during shamanistic performances to cure...
Sometimes I think that our planet Earth, named for the Old English word for “dry land” (eorthe), should get a new name. Despite our knowledge that more than 70 percent of the planet’s surface is...
Pirates divide up the riches they plundered. Most pirates abided by their own codes of conduct, and life aboard pirate ships was more democratic than that on naval ships of the time.
A giant squid attacks a boat - something that has not been known to happen in real life. For centuries, rare glimpses of this huge sea creature led to fantastic explanations for what people's...
Smithsonian surveys along the lower north shore of Hare Harbor in Quebec, Canada have revealed evidence of a long history of Native American occupation, beginning with the Maritime Archaic Indian...
Douglas Chilton uses traditional carving tools to shape the Raven Spirit canoe. Chilton—a master carver and member of the Tlingit Nation—transformed the log into a 26-foot-long, traditional...
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...
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...
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...
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...
An underwater archaeological stratigraphy reveals the different levels of soil in Hare Harbor, Quebec. The stratigraphy – a process archeologists use to help date materials by identifying soil layers...
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