Beaches

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

LATEST POSTS

Marine World Heritage Photo Gallery

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 Phillippines, United States, and Yemen. Together,...
A surfer waits for the perfect wave.

Surfer at Bogue Banks, North Carolina, USA

“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...

Science in a Time of Crisis: Oil Spill Pioneers

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...

Trash on the Beach and in the Ocean

While conducting field work in Curaçao in 2011, Smithsonian researchers encountered trash along remote beaches and deep in the water column. This video gives a brief glimpse of some of the marine debris they...

The Sant Ocean Hall: Life in the Sand Exhibit

Soft sand, gentle waves, colorful beach glass, seaweed, and scattered shells. It may be a relaxing place to sit with family and friends, sinking your feet into the warm sand. Does this come to...

The Great Hermit Crab Migration

A Caribbean hermit crab (Coenobita clypeatus) crawls on the forest floor. Credit: Flickr user Island Conservation Over the last few days, a video of hermit crabs stampeding across the rocky shores of St. John...

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...

The Design of a Beautiful Weapon

Video of Claws Out: Fiddler Crabs Do Battle 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,...

Claws Out: Fiddler Crabs Do Battle

Male fiddler crabs each have a single super-sized claw that they use as a weapon to threaten and fight other males and as beautiful adornment to attract females. Here, see a video of two...
A juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle emerges from the nest

Taking the Temperature of the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

Kemp's ridley sea turtles ( Lepidochelys kempii ) often emerge from their nests during the day, which is a rare (and dangerous) thing for sea turtle hatchlings! Credit: Terry Ross ( Flickr ) The...

Spirals in Time: A Walk at the Seashore

When I set out to write a book about mollusks (called Spirals in Time ), I wasn't quite prepared for just how many animals I would get to know. There are somewhere between 100,000...

Seaside Lichens

Horizontal bands of color represent different species of lichen that have adapted to the conditions at different heights above sea level. Credit: Stephen Sharnoff Very few plant species can survive close to the ocean,...
A wave curls near the shore.

The Importance of a Wave

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...