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You never know where following your passions can take you. I came to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) two years ago as a research intern after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree...
Nine years ago I was invited by a colleague to join a research team...
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Bioluminescence is one of the more captivating adaptations that have evolved in...
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Have you ever seen a creature so unusual? This fish (22 cm long) is called a...

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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 nematocysts. Of course, this...
Census of Marine Life researchers discovered this unusual transparent sea...
This jelly’s red color provides camouflage in the deep ocean. Red light...

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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...
The goblin shark ( Mitsukurina owstoni ) is one of the creepier fish out there! It has a long, prominent snout covered with special sensing organs (ampullae of Lorenzini) that help it to sense...
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...
In Antarctica's Southern Ocean swims a beautiful polychaete (bristly worm) called Tomopteris carpenteri , which is adorned with alternating red and transparent bands. The largest species in its genus...
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 deep sea floor,...
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...
Black corals, like this one growing on the Manning Seamount off the New England coast, often resemble bushes or trees. Contrary to its name, the living tissue of black coral can be one of several...
Most scuba divers scour coral reefs looking for colorful fish, natural beauty, and maybe even the perfect underwater photo . Shirley Pomponi , a biologist at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor...
This transparent cockatoo squid ( Leachia sp.), also known as a glass squid, lives in the depths of the ocean and has many adaptations to help it survive there. It retains ammonia solutions inside...
As we dive deeper into winter in the northern hemisphere, the possibility of snow becomes an increasingly frequent topic of conversation. But did you know that the ocean gets a regular dose of ‘...
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...
Travel to a world of perpetual night--the deep ocean hydrothermal vents near the Galapagos Rift where life thrives around superheated water spewing from deep inside the Earth. Discovered only in 1977...
Like a cake, the ocean has different layers—each with its own characteristics. (No icing, though.) The surface layer receives the most sunlight, allowing photosynthetic organisms like phytoplankton...
Blackdevil fish ( Melanocetus johnsonii ) are quintessential monsters from the deep . The female lurks in the dark, drawing in prey with her glowing lure, while the male attaches to her like a blood-...
The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) SeaBed, shown here as it is about to be deployed, has been used to survey deep-sea fishes and coral habitats. Learn more about how underwater vehicles study...
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...
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...
A sea star , Hymenaster pellucidus , brought up from a benthic ROV dive. View the “Under Arctic Ice” photo essay to learn more.
This new species of lobster is blind—an adaptation to deep-sea life —and has very bizarre claws, or chelipeds. It was discovered about 300 meters (984 feet) deep in the Philippine Sea by a Census of...
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