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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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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 tagged animal, dubbed "Rio Lady,"...
The spiral-tufted bryozoan ( Bugula neritina ) is being studied for a...
Researchers launch one-meter-tall plastic drifters into the Gulf of Mexico...

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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...
Many species are being recruited to gather data in hidden corners of the ocean. From sea lions to sharks, these animals can collect information about how climate change is affecting ocean temperature...
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...
Ice divers Katrin Iken (left) and Elizabeth Siddon are about to descend through a hole in the Arctic ice and into the frigid world below.
The remotely operated vehicle ROPOS recovers a volcano monitor from NOAA’s New Millennium Observatory on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, off the coast of the Northwest United States. The station was set up...
Scientists met the robotic glider Scarlet Knight about halfway along its journey of scientific exploration from the United States to Spain, discovering that barnacles were growing on the glider’s...
A small horseshoe crab ( Limulus polyphemus ) rests on seaweed in Stage Harbor, Massachusetts. Atlantic horseshoe crabs can be found along the coast of North America from the Yucatán Peninsula to...
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...
The robotic underwater glider Scarlet Knight crossed the Atlantic over the course of several months in 2009.
A cable connects a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to a ship at the surface, where it is operated by a pilot onboard the ship. The cable can extend for miles into the deep sea.
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...
Researchers collect underwater noises with autonomous recorders.
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...
Searching for useful chemicals, marine scientists grow bacteria associated with deep-sea coral on nutrient agar to identify the bacteria and test their metabolic and biochemical capabilities. Some...
When oil gushed out of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in spring and summer 2010, it was all anyone could talk about. Several years on, it’s much further from our minds—but that...
How do we know where ocean animals swim day and night? Scientists are getting snapshots into the daily lives of whales , sharks , and even fish by tagging the animals to track their movements. You’ve...
You never know where following your passions can take you. I came to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) two years ago as a research intern after graduating with a Bachelor’s...
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