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Giant squid live up to their name: the largest giant squid ever recorded by scientists was almost 43 feet (13 meters) long, and may have weighed nearly a ton. You’d think such a huge...
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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Deep sea animals have to live in a very cold, dark, and high-pressure...

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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 a shell around the larvacean...
Riftia tubeworm ( Riftia pachyptila ) colonies grow where hot, mineral-laden...
In Antarctica's Southern Ocean swims a beautiful polychaete (bristly worm)...

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...
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...
This lizardfish ( Bathysaurus ferox ) rests on the ocean bottom with its head slightly elevated—waiting to snatch prey with its large mouth and sharp teeth. It lives at depths of 600-3,500 meters (1,...
In the wet lab aboard the R/V Seward Johnson , Dr. Martha Nizinski examines a sample of the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa , collected 600-m (1,969-ft) deep off the coast of the southeastern United...
Marine scientists photographed and measured this gorgonian coral (Chrysogorgia sp.) and deep-sea shrimp (Bathypalaemonella sp.) just as they were collected—together. Find out how ocean scientists...
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.
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...
Come along as scientist Dr. Brendan Roark narrates a submersible dive to collect and study deep-sea corals. Roark studies deep-sea corals to understand the history of the ocean and past ocean...
Deep sea animals have to live in a very cold, dark, and high-pressure environment where they can't see a thing! To survive there, they've evolved some very strange adapations. Some make their own...
Unlike the shallow tropical coral reef pictured on the top, the deep-sea Oculina reef at bottom does not require sunlight. Learn more in the article " Coral Gardens of the Deep Sea ."
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...
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...
This octopod is sometimes called a “Dumbo” octopod because its fins resemble the ears of Disney’s Dumbo the elephant. The video was recorded in 2003 on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge by the Russian manned...
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 ,...
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,...
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...
Recently, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History researcher Chris Mah and collaborators with the British Antarctic Survey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute used molecular tools...
Deep below the ocean’s surface is a mysterious world that takes up 95% of Earth’s living space. It could hide 20 Washington Monuments stacked on top of each other . But the deep sea remains largely...
The yellow bioluminescent ring on this female octopus ( Bolitaena pygmaea ) may attract mates. Bioluminescence is an important adaptation that helps many deep sea animals survive in their dark world...
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