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About DROP DROP is a multidisciplinary Smithsonian project exploring the diversity of tropical deep reefs off the coast of Curaçao in the southern Caribbean. Deep reefs are natural extensions of shallow water reefs. But...
A fleet of underwater floats called Argo is deployed at more than 3,000 spots...
Most scuba divers scour coral reefs looking for colorful fish, natural beauty,...
You’re out to sea on a 355 foot platform, and suddenly one end begins to slowly...

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AUV Sentry is an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that was used in the Gulf of Mexico directly after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Researchers rushed to get to the Gulf as quickly as possible to learn what was...
On March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the...
“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make...

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Take a tour of the Alvin, a three-person submersible that allows scientists to explore the depths of the ocean. This is an...
A Coral Reef Watch satellite monitors the temperature of the world’s oceans. When ocean waters get too hot, corals release the microscopic algae that provide them with color and, more importantly,...
Marine biologist Mette Kaufman measures the temperature of a recently-drilled ice core . Variations in temperature at different points of the ice core provide information about the living conditions...
Dive through the zones of the ocean to the deep ocean bottom, where many strange species live, and there are many yet to be discovered. Explore them in the Deep Ocean Exploration section.
Smithsonian researchers are using this five-person submersible to study the biodiversity of the deep reefs of Curaçao in the southern Caribbean. Read about their adventures in the Summer in a Sub...
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...
New technology is making it possible for scientists to go where they’ve never gone before, the depths of the icy Arctic Ocean . By collecting organisms and mapping the seafloor, researchers can...
Scripps Institution of Oceanography's FLoating Instrument Platform, or FLIP, conducts sea trials off San Diego in May 2009.
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...
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...
This is the world’s first unmanned, underwater robot—or “glider”—to cross an ocean basin, the pioneering Scarlet Knight . The robotic glider, also known as RU27, can dive to depths of 200 meters (660...
On her maiden voyage the Royal Mail Ship Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic just before midnight on April 14th, 1912. Dr. Robert Ballard first discovered the ship's wreckage in 1985...
Hidden beneath Arctic ice is a world few have ever seen. Take the icy plunge with a team of ice-loving scientists.
Dive into the Gulf of Mexico without getting wet! The Smithsonian has recently uploaded some of its marine collections from that region onto Google Earth's Ocean Layer . Now you can go where our...
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...
Graduate students Danielle Young from Temple University and Dannise Ruiz from Penn State preparing oil and dispersant solutions for exposure experiments with deep sea corals aboard the exploration...
By Emily Frost Throw a message in a bottle into the vast ocean and where does it go? The answer to this question is not just a romantic curiosity. Thinking about where a small floating item might end...
Chilean and Smithsonian paleontologists study several fossil whale skeletons at Cerro Ballena, next to the Pan-American Highway in Atacama Region, Chile, in 2011. The fossils were discovered when the...
Dr. Patrick Colin , of the Coral Reef Research Foundation in Palau, examines a sponge he collected off the island of Curaçao, in the Caribbean. Colin is conducting research for the National Cancer...
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