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Have you ever seen a creature so unusual? This fish (22 cm long) is called a sea toad and studying them requires luck and the opportunity to descend into the deep waters where they...
Travel to a world of perpetual night--the deep ocean hydrothermal vents near...
Zombie worms don’t crave brains: instead they seek bones. The 1 to 3 inch (2 to...
Artist Shih Chieh Huang spent a good part of 2007 exploring specimens of deep-...

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Watch as a team of wave chasers heads to Somoa where they search for an undersea river five kilometers beneath the ocean's surface. There they measured skyscraper-sized internal gravity waves, which break and produce strong...
The deep-sea dragonfish ( Stomiidae ), also called the barbeled dragonfish,...
This tiny, shrimplike creature is no more than 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) long...

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You may have seen the sparkle of fireflies on a summer’s night. The fireflies produce light through a chemical reaction in...

The Ocean Blog

See a few of the many species of deep-sea corals that have been discovered by scientists just since 2004. Learn about more deep-sea discoveries in our Deep-sea Corals article.
This lanternfish ( Diaphus sp .), found in the Red Sea, has light-producing photophores along its ventral surface (belly), and a nasal light organ that acts like a headlight. Hear scientists tell...
You may have seen the sparkle of fireflies on a summer’s night. The fireflies produce light through a chemical reaction in their glowing abdomens, a process known as bioluminescence. But did you know...
These deep-sea photographs show a variety of broad-collared enteropneusts or acorn worms . These wormlike animals make spiral tracks on the sea floor. All the species shown here are new to science,...
Ocean scientists discovered this 1.5-m (5-ft) tall yellow bamboo coral in 2007 off the coast of Hawaii in 1,459 m (4,787 ft) of water. It is thought to represent a new genus. Learn about more deep-...
The long barbel on the chin of this dragonfish ( Stomias boa ) has a glowing tip that may attract prey. With its large mouth and sharp, curved teeth, the fish makes quick work of any prey that...
Nine years ago I was invited by a colleague to join a research team investigating deep-sea coral habitats . I was asked to examine the invertebrates associated with these ecosystems. After my first...
Riftia tubeworm ( Riftia pachyptila ) colonies grow where hot, mineral-laden water flows out of the seafloor in undersea hot springs—such as the Guymas Basin of the Gulf of California at 2,000 meters...
Dr. Robert Ballard poses with an unmanned submersible, like the one he used when locating and exploring the wreck of the RMS Titanic. A veteran explorer, former U.S. Navy Commander, and professor of...
The Mars rover Curiosity is sending images back home : glimpses of another world during a voyage of discovery. While Curiosity is clicking pictures millions of miles away, I am privileged to be...
This beautiful jewel squid ( Histioteuthis bonnellii ) can be found swimming above the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, at depths of 500-2,000 meters (1,640-6,562 feet). The “jewels” covering the body are...
Imagine you’re an alien seeing Planet Earth for the first time. What do you see from your spacecraft? A blue planet with over 70% of its surface covered by ocean. From space it’s obvious how...
Giant squid have the largest eye in the animal kingdom. At up to 10 inches in diameter, people often describe it as the size of a dinner plate -- or, in other words, as big as a human head. Here,...
In this brief video clip from NOAA, catch a glimpse of the startling beauty and diversity of life found among deep-sea corals near the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Explore more in the multimedia...
Unlike the shallow tropical coral reef pictured on the top, the deep-sea Oculina reef at bottom does not require sunlight. Learn more in the article " Coral Gardens of the Deep Sea ."
Bioluminescence is one of the more captivating adaptations that have evolved in marine animals. It's the ability of organisms to create and emit light. Dive underwater and you may witness lightshows...
Artist Shih Chieh Huang spent a good part of 2007 exploring specimens of deep-ocean animals found in the collections of the National Museum of Natural History . He was a Smithsonian Artist Research...
Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer James Cameron on March 25, 2012, became the first human to complete a solo submarine dive to Challenger Deep , an undersea valley in the Mariana Trench of...
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