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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...
Gyotaku is a traditional form of Japanese art that began over 100 years ago as...
Boats Connect Us to the Ocean More than any other objects, boats symbolize...
CREDIT: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Basque Whalers Background Having...

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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 holds a lot of history. Warships from World War II have been found on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean through the...

The Ocean Blog

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...
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.
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...
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...
This year marks 100 years since the National Museum of Natural History opened its doors, but the Smithsonian’s work in marine science dates back more than 160 years. In fact, our marine collection —...
The Raven Spirit canoe is now prominently displayed in the Smithsonian Institution’s Sant Ocean Hall—a reminder of how native peoples of the North Pacific honored and depended on the bounty of the...
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...
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 over,...
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...
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...
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...
Two divers, one in an atmospheric dive suit (left) and the other in standard dive gear (right), prepare to explore the Lusitania shipwreck in 1935. Over the decades, diving gear has evolved and...
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...
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...
CREDIT: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Basque Whalers Background Having already learned to hunt large whales in the Bay of Biscay in the 13th through 15th centuries, Basques began arriving in the...
The ocean was the world's highway, and ships brimming with precious cargoes plied the waters. These merchant ships were tempting targets for pirates, who prowled the seas' major trade routes in...
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...
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...
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