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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 Branch Oceanographic Institute, however,...
Snow on land can make some people grumpy, but the magical-looking flakes and a...
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Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy...
Scientists describe the amazing bioluminescent creatures they encounter as they...

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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 to convert sunlight to energy...
Giant squid have the largest eye in the animal kingdom. At up to 10 inches...
This deep sea creature, the whalefish ( Cetomimidae ), has a whale-like body...

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Deep below the ocean’s surface is a mysterious world that takes up 95% of Earth’s living space. It could hide 20 Washington...

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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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
After ocean scientists sort deep-sea corals according to their different types, they carefully measure and photograph the specimens. Find out how ocean scientists study deep-sea corals in our Deep-...
Found in Arctic waters, this rare deep-water species of larvacean , Oikopleura gorskyi , eats by filtering particles from the seawater it drifts through. Larvaceans build 'houses' around themselves...
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...
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...
Bioluminescence is one of the more captivating adaptations that have evolved in marine animals. It's the ability of organisms to create and emit light. Dive underwater and you may witness lightshows...
A bright orange sea star ( Novodinia antillensis ) clings to a large white soft coral ( Paragorgia sp.). This photo was taken on the Manning Seamount at a depth of 1,350 meters (4,429 feet) by the...
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 ‘...
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-...
Giant squid have the largest eye in the animal kingdom. At up to 10 inches in diameter, people often describe it as the size of a dinner plate -- or, in other words, as big as a human head. Here,...
Found 1,751 m (5,745 ft) below the surface of Hawaii’s waters in 2007, this orange bamboo coral is 1.2–1.5 m (4–5 ft) tall. It is thought to represent a new genus. Learn about more deep-sea...
The ghoulish “blob sculpin” ( Psychrolutes phrictus ) , a deepwater fish found off the Pacific coast of the U.S. from the Bering Sea to Southern California, can grow to about 70 cm (more than two...
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...
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