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2012 marked the 70th anniversary of a series of World War II battles in the Pacific Ocean and on its islands, which are collectively known as the “Pacific theatre.” While the battles are long...
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Traveling aboard the Charles W. Morgan , a 173-year-old whaling ship on its...
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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,...

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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 holds a lot of history. Warships from World War II have been found on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean through the...
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...
In 1697, aboard his ship Adventure Galley, Kidd captured his largest prize ever—a richly loaded Moorish ship, The Quedah Merchant. Kidd assumed the ship was a legitimate prize. But when its French...
As Dampier studied the plants he encountered in Australia, he wrote that they were “for the most part unlike any I had seen elsewhere.” In fact, nearly all the plants Dampier observed were entirely...
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...
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...
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...
Yankee Whalers: An 1856 Currier & Ives print shows whalers harpooning a right whale. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a Whale photo essay .
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...
Jacqueline (Johnson) Peta, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians and member of Sealaska Corporation’s board of directors, sprinkles goose down on a traditional blanket at a...
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...
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...
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...
[[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...
In 1699, accompanied by a shipboard artist, William Dampier conducted the first scientific investigation of the plants and animals of Australia (then known as New Holland). From there he and his crew...
This watercolor painting shows William Dampier venturing into the unknown aboard a pirate ship.
With headquarters in the Bahamas and North Carolina, Blackbeard and his band terrorized people along the North Atlantic coast and loaded his flagship-the Queen Anne's Revenge -with prizes. Eventually...
This illustration shows whalers of the early 1800s with their highly profitable catch.
Boats Connect Us to the Ocean More than any other objects, boats symbolize human connection to the ocean. As you look through the center of the Ocean Hall, past the model right whale , you can see a...
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