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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 rich whaling grounds...
Join marine archeologists as they trace the history of the Trouvadore , a slave...
Bikini Atoll, formed over millions of years around an island in the Pacific...
Boats Connect Us to the Ocean More than any other objects, boats symbolize...

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For many years, shark fin soup has been a popular delicacy at weddings and formal occasions in China. Recently, it has become clear that shark-fin removal is cruel to sharks and severely damages shark populations. Claudia Li, a...
The Charles W. Morgan sailing en route to Newport on June 15, 2104. Built in...
Join marine archeologists as they trace the history of the Trouvadore , a...

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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...
This illustration shows whalers of the early 1800s with their highly profitable catch.
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...
Yes, there were women pirates! And Bonny (left) and Read were among the most famous. Dressed in men’s clothes, they fought side-by-side with other pirates—many of whom believed the two women were men...
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...
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 .
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...
In 1874, Reverend Moses Harvey of Newfoundland bought a dead giant squid caught by fishermen. More about the giant squid can be found in our Giant Squid featured story .
For over a decade, Smithsonian Arctic Archaeologists have been investigating an early European whaling site at Hare Harbor in Quebec, Canada . The site and the artifacts that have been recovered has...
By Caty Fairclough In centuries past, the ocean was thought to be full of krakens, sea serpents, sea monsters and other fantastic creatures. They helped to bring the mysterious ocean into the more...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Eventually, however, Bartholomew Roberts’ luck came to end. He was killed off the coast of Africa. Following his wishes, his crew threw his body into the sea—finery and all. Then, in the largest...
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...
For many years, shark fin soup has been a popular delicacy at weddings and formal occasions in China. Recently, it has become clear that shark-fin removal is cruel to sharks and severely damages...
In November 1718 Blackbeard was finally chased down and killed in a fierce battle off Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina. He received five bullet wounds and 20 sword cuts before dying. Then his head was...
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