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Meet seven of the most fearsome pirates from the Golden Age of Piracy. Like pirates? Read more about William Dampier , a most fearsome pirate -- and naturalist.
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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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Worldwide, fisheries touch our lives in countless ways. If well maintained,...

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The Charles W. Morgan sailing en route to Newport on June 15, 2104. Built in 1841, the Charles W. Morgan sailed on 37 voyages to remote corners of the globe during her 80-year whaling career. The Morgan departed in spring 2014 on...
Join marine archeologists as they trace the history of the Trouvadore , a...
Fish swim around the wreck of the HMT Bedfordshire , an Arctic fishing...

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The ocean was the world's highway, and ships brimming with precious cargoes plied the waters. These merchant ships were...
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...
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.
To people living in warm climates, all ice looks the same. But if you live day-in and day-out on sea ice, like the Inupiaq people of Alaska, you would find that there are many kinds of ice, all...
As Chilton prepared the cedar for carving, he noticed a raven with an injured wing watching. Later, as he carved the canoe in Juneau, he again noticed a raven with an injured wing looking on. He...
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.
This ivory sculpture from Point Barrow, Alaska, represents Kikámigo, a guardian spirit, holding a whale in each hand.
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...
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...
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...
This illustration shows whalers of the early 1800s with their highly profitable catch.
As soon as Dampier set foot in Australia, he began making observations and collecting specimens of plants, which he carefully pressed between the pages of books to be studied by the “ingenious” and “...
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. Watch a slide...
A 2011 excavation led by the Arctic Studies Center uncovered this fragment of decorated European stoneware called a bellarmine jug. Uncovering this fragment, that was likely manufactured in the 15th...
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...
A local woman sells live shellfish from her boat in Halong Bay, Vietnam.
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...
About 2,500 years ago cold climate brought the first Inuit peoples into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, off the coast of Eastern Canada. Early Eskimo groups, known as Groswater Dorset, occupied many sites...
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...
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