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Scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) collect sediments drilled from Earth’s crust. This marine research program supported by 24 countries is increasing our understanding of Earth’s history, structure, and changing environment. Learn...
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Welcome to Moorea, a tiny, isolated island in the middle of the vast Pacific...
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Ships are well-known for their tiny rooms and tight quarters. But have you...
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The ocean is so big that it can be easy to forget the microscopic beauty of the...

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“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make light,” says Edie Widder, biologist and deep sea explorer at ORCA. In this TED talk, she shows incredible film and photos she took of animals in the open...
Inside the control van for the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason , Dr...
The sea's largest fish has been a mystery until recent decades. Thanks to...

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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...
Woods Hole scientists operate an ROV to sample the oil spewing from the ruptured Macondo Well. After the April 20, 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico,...
This illustration shows how Scarlet Knight , the first unmanned, underwater robot or glider to cross an ocean basin, faced an entire fleet of fishing ships, equipped with nets, threatening the glider...
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...
The first underwater robotic vehicle—or “glider”—to cross an ocean is the centerpiece of a new exhibit at the Smithsonian. Rutgers University professor Scott Glenn explains that the technology is now...
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 boat full of SCOPE drifters waits to release small, biodegradable buoys that will travel throughout the Gulf of Mexico and send GPS coordinates to researchers. This is the second experiment by...
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...
NOAA is working with students across the globe to place floating buoys throughout the ocean through their Adopt a Drifter Program . The buoys will drift with the help of ocean currents and record the...
These cancer cells have been treated with discodermolide, a chemical obtained from a sponge that grows on deep-sea coral reefs. It prevents the cells from dividing and spreading. Learn more about...
Deploying ARMS (Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures) is tricky in the deep sea, where SCUBA divers can't place and secure them to the floor with their hands and a hammer. Researchers with DROP (...
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.
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...
Researcher Aimee Ellison tests samples for DNA barcoding at the Gump Field Station on Moorea.
Tsunamis, giant waves caused by underwater earthquakes, speed across the ocean at 400 miles per hour. Early warning systems, such as NOAA’s DART systems, are key to saving lives. Today, 47 DART...
Watch a Discovery video on Smithsonian squid expert Clyde Roper’s search for giant squid in Kaikoura Canyon off the coast of New Zealand. More about giant squid can be found in our Giant Squid...
Views of each sonar beam appear on the left side of this computer screen image while the path being mapped by the ship appears on the right. These 3-D color images enable ocean scientists to locate...
Part 2 of a 6-part series describing Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's (WHOI) efforts to understand the scope and impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "How Much Oil...
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...
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