Media Gallery: Stories

A deep-sea octopod wraps itself around a submersible’s robotic arm in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Deep Sea

Deep below the ocean’s surface is a mysterious world that takes up 95% of Earth’s living space. It could hide 20 Washington Monuments stacked on top of each other . But the deep sea remains largely...
David Barouh displays fresh fish for sale at Seattle’s Pike Place Market

Sustainable Seafood

As a consumer, you can choose what kinds of seafood to buy. Some species are in good supply and make excellent choices. Others have declined dramatically due to overfishing or environmental factors...
Oil Drilling Platform in the Gulf of Mexico

Gulf Oil Spill

The Gulf oil spill is recognized as the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Within days of the April 20, 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11...
Carrie Bow Cay field station sits in the blue and turquoise waters of Belize.

Tracking volcanic rock to the shores of Belize

Mangrove Mystery – Where Did All the Pumice Come From? For years, scientists have found pumice, a porous volcanic rock, scattered on the beaches and mangroves of Belize, despite the lack of volcanoes...
Corals, sponges, and algae are the major components of most coral reef communities as shown in this picture.

Corals and Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems. They teem with life, with perhaps one quarter of all ocean species depending on reefs for food and shelter. This is a remarkable statistic...
On Moorea, an island in French Polynesia, researchers are striving to complete a biocode—a DNA catalog of every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers.

Scientists Catalog Life on the Island of Moorea

Welcome to Moorea, a tiny, isolated island in the middle of the vast Pacific. Moorea is 132 square kilometers (51 square miles) of tropical ecosystems – from jungle and wetlands to beaches and coral...

Shark Teeth Tell Great White Shark Evolution Story

This fossil jaw of Carcharodon hubbelli , a possible great white shark ancestor, contains 222 teeth, some in rows up to six teeth deep. Credit: Jeff Gage/Florida Museum of Natural History For the...
A manatee swims in Crystal River, Florida.

Brian Skerry Voting Results

The top five pictures—chosen by you—were displayed in the exhibit, "Portraits of Planet Ocean," at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in summer 2013. Skerry is a regular contributor...
A squat lobster and blackbelly rosefish find shelter on a Lophelia pertusa coral reef off the southeastern United States.

Deep-sea Corals

It may be the last place you’d expect to find corals—up to 6,000 m (20,000 ft) below the ocean’s surface, where the water is icy cold and the light dim or absent. Yet believe it or not, lush coral...
A pair of sea butterflies float in the Arctic ocean.

Searching for the Ocean Acidification Signal

Over that past century, the pH of the ocean has decreased from 8.2 to 8.1. This doesn’t seem like a lot, but it represents a faster rate than at any time in the last 300 million years. The big...
This recently discovered hairy crab species (Kiwa hirsuta) has no eyes.

The Census of Marine Life

Did you know that over 17,000 species thrive in the deep sea where no light penetrates the ocean waves? Or that an old restaurant menu can teach us about the history of fish populations? Or that...

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