Beaches

With calming surf or pounding waves, beaches act as the buffer between the ocean and land, where specially adapted coastal communities thrive.

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Part 1 of a 6-part series describing WHOI's efforts to understand the scope and impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "Oil Spill Pioneers" describes WHOI's four decades of...
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The Kemp’s ridley is a “riddler” among sea turtles . Although the species was...
Coral sand is aptly named: it's sand made up of tiny bits of coral and other...
Male fiddler crabs each have a single super-sized claw that they use as a...

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Anemone porcelain crabs may look delicate but they have their own sort of armor: a hard exoskeleton. They live under rocks, sponges, groups of feather stars, and even in giant anemones where they can hide inside the tentacles...
Necora puber , also known as the velvet swimming crab, may not be as soft as...
Large waves are a draw for surfers, scientists and spectators alike to...

DIVE DEEPER

Welcome to Moorea, a tiny, isolated island in the middle of the vast Pacific. Moorea is 132 square kilometers (51 square...
Adaptation is the key word if you are looking to survive in a tide pool, a space that some scientists describe as the most competitive real estate in the ocean. Tide pools are exposed to the water's...
The sun sets over Sanur in Bali, Indonesia during low tide. Follow along with updates through blogs and photos from the team of students and researchers who are doing field research through the...
Bonaire, a small Caribbean island just north of Venezuela, is routinely ranked as a top diving destination in the world. But there's something getting in the way of beautiful dives: plastic trash...
Necora puber , also known as the velvet swimming crab, may not be as soft as the name implies. The crab's red eyes and aggressive nature have resulted in a second nickname, devil's crab . As if it...
The blue-lined octopus may be small, growing to at most 15 cm, but it can be deadly: its venom can cause breathing failure in humans as well as other animals. Turtles can accidentally consume the...
Coral sand is aptly named: it's sand made up of tiny bits of coral and other ocean animals such as foraminifera , molluscs, and crustaceans. This image, taken at 100x zoom, took 18th place in the...
Part 1 of a 6-part series describing WHOI's efforts to understand the scope and impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "Oil Spill Pioneers" describes WHOI's four decades of...
Very few plant species can survive close to the ocean, where pounding surf fills the air with tiny salt crystals. Too much salt is not good for us, and it is not good for most plants. When you think...
There are different types of beaches and multiple factors that influence the formation of sand. Many beaches may look alike, but they are actually very different from each other. Wave patterns,...
Large waves are a draw for surfers, scientists and spectators alike to locations around the world. Changes to the coast and ocean floor as well as sediment flow can change the nature of a wave as it...
This summer, many of you have likely enjoyed feasting on crabs, be they blue, stone, or Dungeness, and a special treat will have been the big, easy morsels of claw meat. The size of this muscle is...
Marine World Heritage is a prestigious list of 43 marine ecosystems and biodiversity treasures from across the globe, including countries such as Australia, Iceland, Russia, South Africa, the...
Anemone porcelain crabs may look delicate but they have their own sort of armor: a hard exoskeleton. They live under rocks, sponges, groups of feather stars, and even in giant anemones where they can...
Sandy beaches are home to a Diversity of Life In the Shores and Shallows Gallery of the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall , a beach display features magnified grains of sand and the tiny beach critters...
“As I set up for a sunset shot—one last, solitary surfer exited the water and I quickly fired a few frames trying to capture the serenity of the moment.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Karen Doody...
The sun sets over the Smithsonian’s Marine Field Station at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize.
Over the last few days, a video of hermit crabs stampeding across the rocky shores of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands has taken the internet by storm. Where are the hermit crabs going, and why?...
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