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Scientists describe the amazing bioluminescent creatures they encounter as they descend into the deep--siphonophores, ctenophores, and viperfish--in this Smithsonian/History Channel "Deep Ocean Explorers" video excerpt. If you like this video, watch the full 14-minute...
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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It is a well-known fact that for animals living in the deep sea, food can be...

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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 ‘marine snow’ year round? The flakes...
Like its terrestrial namesake, the Venus fly-trap anemone ( Actinoscyphia sp...
Census of Marine Life researchers discovered this unusual transparent sea...

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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...
Scientists describe the amazing bioluminescent creatures they encounter as they descend into the deep--siphonophores, ctenophores, and viperfish--in this Smithsonian/History Channel "Deep Ocean...
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...
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...
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. Robert Ballard poses with an unmanned submersible, like the one he used when locating and exploring the wreck of the RMS Titanic. A veteran explorer, former U.S. Navy Commander, and professor of...
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...
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 deep sea creature, the whalefish ( Cetomimidae ), has a whale-like body, a gaping mouth, no fins or scales and a deep lateral line, which detects vibrations in the water. The first specimens...
A deep sea crab ( Rochinia crassa ) poses with sea fan ( Callogorgia spp. ) and coral ( Lophelia pertusa ) on large carbonate boulder.
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...
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)...
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...
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...
Rockfish, anemones, and other invertebrates inhabit this deep-sea coral reef in Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of California. Deep-sea corals provide habitat and benefits to a...
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...
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...
This aptly named fish ( Anoplogaster cornuta ) has long, menacing fangs, but the adult fish is small, reaching only about 6 inches (17 cm) in length. It's teeth are the largest in the ocean 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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