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CREDIT: Chris Kenaley The Mystery Develops Flash forward to 1956, when scientists described another new kind of fish. It was named the tapetail because of its long, streamer-like tail. It also had a large...
Giant squid live up to their name: the largest giant squid ever recorded by...
Did you know that 80 percent of the volcanic eruptions on Earth take place...
Now that the Census of Marine Life is over, we’re checking in with some of the...

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In this video Smithsonian research zoologist Dr. Martha Nizinski takes viewers with her as she searches for crustaceans in the deep sea . She's particularly interested in finding squat lobsters , which despite their name, are...
Watch as a team of wave chasers heads to Somoa where they search for an...
The deep-sea dragonfish ( Stomiidae ), also called the barbeled dragonfish,...

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It may be the last place you’d expect to find corals—up to 6,000 m (20,000 ft) below the ocean’s surface, where the water is...

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The Census of Marine Life - a ten-year effort by scientists from around the world to answer the age-old question, “What lives in the sea?” It was an international effort to asses the diversity,...
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...
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...
Imagine eating an entire fish bigger than you—bones and all! At only 25 cm long, the black swallower often eats fish much larger than itself with the help of an expanding stomach. Sometimes the meal...
Dive through the zones of the ocean to the deep ocean bottom, where many strange species live, and there are many yet to be discovered. Explore them in the Deep Ocean Exploration section.
This fish belongs to a group of anglerfishes known as lophiiformes . This species, along with other anglerfishes, has a modified dorsal-fin spine, usually on the tip of the snout, which serves as a...
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...
Take a tour of the Alvin, a three-person submersible that allows scientists to explore the depths of the ocean. This is an excerpt from the full Deep Ocean Explorers video. More about deep ocean...
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-...
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...
When a whale dies, the story has just begun. The massive carcass sinks to the seafloor, where it provides food for a deep sea ecosystem on the otherwise mostly barren seafloor. There are several...
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...
These corals from the Smithsonian collections are Stephanocyathus (A.) spiniger , a solitary, deep-water stony coral species. Around 74% of all deep-water corals are solitary, living as individual...
Dr. Stephen Cairns is a research zoologist and chair of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. His research focuses on the diversity,...
Take a look at strange deep-sea creatures rarely seen before. Scientists and students from 16 nations photographed these creatures on an expedition to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Take the dive and...
It is a well-known fact that for animals living in the deep sea, food can be scarce. The food that is around usually rains down from above as dead animals and organic particles from plankton living...
Deep-sea coral beds are true biodiversity hotspots. It’s urgent that we study these extreme environments because we know so little about them, because they are important communities for so many deep-...
Dr. Carole Baldwin , a research zoologist and fish expert with the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, gives viewers an inside-look at the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP). She and...
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