Human Connections

When thinking of "human connections" with the ocean, most people would think about pollution or overfishing. But humans are also explorers and scientists, artists and writers. Explore how the ocean has influenced human culture and how you can get involved.

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David Barouh displays fresh fish for sale at Seattle’s Pike Place Market

DIVE DEEPER

Sustainable Seafood

As a consumer, you can choose what kinds of seafood to buy. Some species are in good supply and make excellent choices...
X-ray image of a winghead shark

X-Rays of Fish Reveal Diversity

Scientists in the Division of Fishes at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History use X-ray imaging to study the complex bone structure and diversity of fish. This image gallery showcases X-ray images of...

The Titanic Wrecksite

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. Nearly...

Welcome to the Moorea Biocode Project

Scientists journey to the isolated island of Moorea on a quest to catalog every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers—from mountaintop to seafloor. Get up close and personal with researchers in...

Find Your Blue at the Smithsonian Ocean Portal

Calling all ocean lovers: What’s Your Blue? Have you found it? More than ever, the fate of the ocean is in our hands. To be good stewards and leave a thriving ocean for future...
dinoflagellates

Dinoflagellates: One Species at a Time

Ari Daniel Shapiro is joined for this episode of The Podcast of Life by science contributor Josh Kurz, who tells the story of dinoflagellates through "music from the bottom of the food chain." There...

From Sea to Shining Sea

Credit: Terence T.S. Tam from Flickr CC Happy (early) Independence Day! For many of us in the United States, the 4th of July is a time to celebrate and reflect on our national heritage...
Cover of the Book Citizens of the Sea

Citizens of the Sea

Order a copy of the book, Citizens of the Sea . Credit: National Geographic The incredible variety of marine life—in numbers, body form, behavior, and more—is at the heart of Citizens of the Sea...

"Blue Planet" Music Video

“Blue Planet” is a song on the Oceans Are Talking CD, produced by musician Sam Lardner. Listen to more inspirational songs for kids and adults, including “What Can I Do?” “Humanatee,” and “Pteropods” at...
Musician Sam Lardner and friends created the 14-song CD Oceans Are Talking to inspire kids and adults to help save the ocean and the creatures living in it.

Five Questions for Musician Sam Lardner

Musician Sam Lardner and friends created the 14-song CD Oceans Are Talking to inspire kids and adults to help save the ocean and the creatures living in it. Credit: Dan Mead Wherever you live—and...
Dampier explored this area of Western Australia and named it Shark Bay because of the "abundance" of sharks in the waters. It is now a World Heritage site.

Around the World Again...and Again

After the success of his first voyage, Dampier was made captain of his own ship and invited to lead the first scientific expedition to Australia (then known as New Holland). He was fascinated by...
During what is known as the Golden Age of Piracy, pirates reaped great rewards—and, if they were caught, faced terrible punishments. Here are some of the most legendary pirates of that time.

Pirates of the Golden Age

Meet seven of the most fearsome pirates from the Golden Age of Piracy. Like pirates? Read more about William Dampier , a most fearsome pirate -- and naturalist.
As soon as Dampier set foot in Australia, he began making observations and collecting specimens of plants, which he carefully pressed between the pages of books to be studied by the “ingenious” and “curious” upon his return to England. As Dampier conducted his investigations, his artist made detailed sketches like these.

Discoveries in Australia and New Guinea

This slideshow features illustrations of some of the plants and animals that William Dampier, a naturalist and pirate, observed in Australia (then known as New Holland) and New Guinea. Learn more about Dampier in...

Census of Marine Life Video Release

As 10 years of intensive research draw to a close, the Census of Marine Life has released the most comprehensive inventory of life in the ocean to date. This landmark collection of scientific papers...

Creature Feature from the Census of Marine Life

In a decade long project, which ended in October 2010, scientists with the Census of Marine Life traveled the world cataloging the ocean’s life forms. From Australia to China to the Gulf of Mexico...

Clyde Roper: Squid Hunter - Eyeball to Eyeball

Dr. Clyde Roper, squid expert, explains how he developed a passionate interest in the giant squid ( Architeuthis dux) in this excerpt of "Eyeball to Eyeball," an episode of Errol Morris' First Person television...

Clyde Roper: Squid Hunter - Architeuthis

Dr. Clyde Roper recounts the tale of his encounter with a giant squid specimen ( Architeuthis dux) that was found washed up on a Massachusetts beach in this excerpt from "Eyeball to Eyeball," an...
Students Work on Channel Island Map Project

Back to School, Ocean Portal Style

Students participate in a map project for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Credit: Claire Fackler, NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries At the Ocean Portal, we love the back-to-school season. There’s excitement in the air—new...
The "Lower Invertebrates" exhibit in Smithsonian Institution Building in 1901 included models of a giant squid and an octopus.

Still Blue After a Century of Ocean Science and Exploration

The "Lower Invertebrates" exhibit in Smithsonian Institution Building in 1901 included models of a giant squid and an octopus. Credit: Smithsonian Archives This year marks 100 years since the National Museum of Natural History...

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