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Zombie worms don’t crave brains: instead they seek bones. The 1 to 3 inch (2 to 7 centimeter) Osedax worms were first discovered living in the bones of a rotting gray whale on the...
Artist Shih Chieh Huang spent a good part of 2007 exploring specimens of deep-...
Most scuba divers scour coral reefs looking for colorful fish, natural beauty,...
Snow on land can make some people grumpy, but the magical-looking flakes and a...

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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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Deep below the ocean’s surface is a mysterious world that takes up 95% of Earth’s living space. It could hide 20 Washington...

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Discovered in 2004 and named in 2009, this Gersemia juliepackardae coral has been spotted and collected at several seamounts in the northeast Pacific Ocean at depths of 500-2,000 m (1,640-6,562 ft)...
Sunset? Time to glow! A biological clock triggers bioluminescence in the dinoflagellate Pyrocystis fusiformis . At dusk, cells produce the chemicals responsible for its light. Hear from marine...
This Japanese research ship Chikyu drills into the ocean floor to learn about Earth’s history and structure, and the mechanism of earthquakes in particular. Completed in 2005, it is the first...
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 live. Last week Dr...
This jelly’s red color provides camouflage in the deep ocean. Red light rarely reaches those depths, and most deep-sea animals have lost the ability to see red. The long, complex tentacles of this...
The robotic arm of a Pisces submersible collects a gold coral colony ( Gerardia sp.) during a research cruise in the Hawaiian Islands. Ocean scientists have radiocarbon-dated some Gerardia specimens...
This octopod is sometimes called a “Dumbo” octopod because its fins resemble the ears of Disney’s Dumbo the elephant. The video was recorded in 2003 on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge by the Russian manned...
Thousands of seamounts—most of them undersea volcanoes—tower above the muddy seafloor. They provide something hard to come by in the deep ocean: a solid surface to cling to. Corals, sponges, and...
What happens to deep-sea coral samples after they are collected? In this image gallery, see some of the ways ocean scientists sort, measure, photograph, and study them. Learn more in the multimedia...
This map shows where some of the most significant species of deep-sea corals are located. Learn more about the distribution and ecology of deep ocean corals in the article " Coral Gardens of the Deep...
This newly-discovered carnivorous sponge ( Chondrocladia lyra ) was found using robotic submersibles operated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute 10,000 feet below the surface in dark...
Watch a Discovery video on Smithsonian squid expert Clyde Roper’s search for giant squid in Kaikoura Canyon off the coast of New Zealand. More about giant squid can be found in our Giant Squid...
Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy bottom at a depth of 12,000 feet. It’s absolutely dark. What will you see when the exterior lights are turned on? Will...
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...
Like its terrestrial namesake, the Venus fly-trap anemone ( Actinoscyphia sp.) sits quietly and waits for food to drift into its outstretched tentacles, which are lined with stinging harpoons called...
Several species of deep-sea corals form a garden 165 m (540 ft) below the ocean’s surface off the coast of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. Explore more in the multimedia feature " Coral Gardens of the...
A bright orange sea star ( Novodinia antillensis ) clings to a large white soft coral ( Paragorgia sp.). This photo was taken on the Manning Seamount at a depth of 1,350 meters (4,429 feet) by the...
With a scientific name that means "the vampire squid from hell," you'd expect the vampire squid ( Vampyroteuthis infernalis ) to be a fearsome predator terrorizing the deep. Despite its demonic look...
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