Deep Ocean

FEATURES

Video
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, hydrothermal vents are...
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-...
Most scuba divers scour coral reefs looking for colorful fish, natural beauty,...

LATEST POSTS

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...

LEARN MORE

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

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...
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...
A variety of corals colonize the rocky surface of Manning Seamount, part of the New England Seamount Chain located in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This photo was...
Zombie worms ( Osedax roseus ) eat away at the bones of a dead whale that has fallen to the seafloor in Sagami Bay, Japan. These bizarre worms rely on whale bones for energy and are what scientists...
A huge colony of brittlestars (likely Ophiacantha rosea ) covers the peak of a seamount in the deep ocean. What’s the attraction? Food! Their arms reach out for tiny food particles carried by the...
Under white light, this shortnose greeneye fish ( Chlorophthalmus agassizi ) looks unimpressive. But, in dim blue light—the type usually seen at depth—it shows its true fluorescent colors. NOAA...
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...
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,...
An orange brisingid starfish sits on a large reef of Lophelia pertusa, cold-water corals in the Gulf of Mexico, at 450 m depth as a school of fish swims above. They have many arms—up to 20!—covered...
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...
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...
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)...
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...
Last week, Smithsonian research zoologists Dr. Jerry Harasewych and Dr. Martha Nizinski were in Curaçao looking for deep-sea marine gastropods and decapod crustaceans , respectively. I learned they...
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.
The yeti crab ( Kiwa hirsuta ), an unusual, hairy crab with no eyes, was discovered in 2005 on a hydrothermal vent near Easter Island. It represents not only a new species but also a new genus— Kiwa...
Dr. Edie Widder spoke at the National Museum of Natural History as a part of the Changing Tides Lecture Series and discussed her work on underwater light: light chemically produced by animals through...
The Encyclopedia of Life and Atlantic Public Media bring us a new installment of the podcast, One Species at a Time . Vacuumed up from its habitat a mile down in the ocean, the red paper lantern...
Subscribe to Deep Ocean