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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...
Scientists describe the amazing bioluminescent creatures they encounter as they...
Imagine you’re an alien seeing Planet Earth for the first time. What do you see...
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Sample the surprising diversity of deep-sea corals. See some of the ways they...

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The deep-sea dragonfish ( Stomiidae ), also called the barbeled dragonfish, uses it's fang-like teeth to grab prey in its deep-sea environment . Like other deep-sea organisms, dragonfish have bioluminescent photophores and other...
In the icy waters of the Arctic , a deep-water larvacean (aka “sea tadpole”...
Riftia tubeworm ( Riftia pachyptila ) colonies grow where hot, mineral-laden...

DIVE DEEPER

Deep below the ocean’s surface is a mysterious world that takes up 95% of Earth’s living space. It could hide 20 Washington...
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...
This bubblegum coral ( Paragorgia arborea ) has a fanlike shape. It is growing 1,310 m (4,298 ft) deep on the Davidson Seamount southwest of Monterey, California. Learn more about deep-sea corals in...
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...
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-...
On the deep seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico, ecosystems made up of fish, corals, sea stars, anemones and other invertebrates flourish. Since the sun’s rays don’t reach the deep sea, coral communities...
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...
A still from Mysteries of the Deep , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
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...
In the icy waters of the Arctic , a deep-water larvacean (aka “sea tadpole” because it looks like a tadpole) drifts through the water in its 'house.' This house is made of protein and creates almost...
Snow on land can make some people grumpy, but the magical-looking flakes and a beautiful layer on the trees can turn even disenchanted adults into gleeful children again. But what is the ocean...
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...
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...
Now that the Census of Marine Life is over, we’re checking in with some of the researchers to hear about their favorite expedition, what they learned, and how the Census and its findings continue to...
Deep-sea corals scientist Dr. J. Murray Roberts photographed these living polyps from the Mingulay Reef Complex off Scotland in aquaria in 2010. Learn more about Roberts' work mapping deep-sea corals...
The branches of a primnoid coral in the genus Calyptrophora provide a habitat for galathaoid crabs. Learn more about the deep-sea coral reefs in our Deep-sea Corals article .
Positioned in front of a natural oil seep, this video camera is capturing images of the black oil bubbling up from beneath the sea floor. A light mounted to the frame helps see what is happening in...
Dr. Shirley Pomponi talks about thirty years of experience diving and searching for chemicals in deep-sea sponges that may prove vital to humans. Read more about her work , or see other lectures from...
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