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If there had been room to stand up, there would have been a standing ovation. As it was, the five of us on the submersible Curasub clapped and cheered when the first three deep-reef...
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Microbes are some of the most important organisms in the sea. These miniscule...
Scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) collect sediments...
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Welcome to Moorea, a tiny, isolated island in the middle of the vast Pacific...

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The first time biologist Mandy Joye dove to the deep sea in the Johnson-Sea-Link submersible (pictured here), she had never seen the bubbles of a methane seep. But after that fateful day in 1994, she was entranced. Instead of...
AUV Sentry is an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that was used in the...
On March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the...

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New technology is making it possible for scientists to go where they’ve never gone before, the depths of the icy Arctic...
Diving to survey, sample, and manage marine life takes a great deal of skill and knowledge. This diver is sampling the seafloor, also known as the benthic zone. This kind of sampling is important for...
Brian Skerry warily stares down his photography equipment on board the vessel Nai'a on an expedition to the Phoenix Islands. Read about the patience it takes as a traveling photographer and the work...
The robotic arm of the Jason, a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), collects several stalks of black coral from the seafloor. Read more about how underwater vehicles help ocean scientists study deep-sea...
Special ships called ‘icebreakers’ are needed to access some areas of the ice-covered Arctic Ocean .
Algae, like all organisms, normally grow in balance with their ecosystems, limited by the amount of nutrients in the water. But sometimes, certain species of algae reproduce so rapidly that they...
The sea's largest fish has been a mystery until recent decades. Thanks to electronic tags, researchers are uncovering some of the secrets of the whale shark ( Rhincodon typus Smith, 1828 ). One...
A hybrid underwater vehicle combines the best features of an ROV (remotely operated vehicle), which is connected to a ship in order to transmit data and video feeds, and an AUV (autonomous underwater...
Smithsonian squid expert Dr. Clyde Roper collaborated with National Geographic to attach this Crittercam to the head of a sperm whale, hoping to get footage of the whale’s favorite prey—giant squid...
A robotic arm on the Johnson-Sea-Link submersible retrieves Galatheid crabs for research. Growing in the background is a species of the deep-sea coral Lophelia. Explore more in the multimedia feature...
Curaçao, an island in the southern Caribbean is the site of the Smithsonian's Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) . Researchers are using a submarine to study and collect specimens from the hard-to-...
Success! A so-called "dumbo" octopod is chased and finally captured by a suction device on the ROV, skillfully operated by a pilot on the ship above.
In the late 1990's, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) invented the D-Tag —a radio device that can be attached by suction cups to a whale's back. Using a tiny underwater...
This video, produced by Waterlust, shows how the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE) uses drifters to collect important data about the ocean...
Expedition data went to the Arctic Ocean Diversity database of the Census of Marine Life to establish a baseline that will help to document change in the poorly known Arctic Ocean. Scientist Kevin...
Researchers collect underwater noises with autonomous recorders.
Ever since fourth grade I’ve wanted to explore the creatures and landscapes of the deep ocean in a submersible. It took awhile, but I finally got my chance this summer as part of the Deep Reef...
A large white coral (Corallium sp.) grows on the Balanus Seamount, part of the New England Seamount chain. Hanging on to the coral are stalkless crinoids and orange brittlestars (Opiacantha sp.) To...
On May 31, 2009, this one-of-a-kind hybrid robotic vehicle reached the deepest part of the ocean—the Marianas Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean, 10,902 meters (6.8 miles) below the surface...
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