Deep Ocean

Difficult to reach, the deep ocean is still very much a mystery and is often explored using remotely operated vehicles or submarines. The deep sea is vast and dark, but many organisms call this area home. 


A deep-sea octopod wraps itself around a submersible’s robotic arm in the Gulf of Mexico.


The Deep Sea

Deep below the ocean’s surface is a mysterious world that takes up 95% of Earth’s living space. It could hide 20 Washington...
Photograph of the underside of a gelatinous octopus with a bright yellow bioluminescent ring around her mouth.

Ocean Today Every Full Moon

Our friends at NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Ocean Today have a great new video series, "Every Full Moon," that we wanted to share with you.

Searching for Crustaceans in the Deep Sea

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 , which despite their...

Video of Cirrate Octopod aka Dumbo Octopus

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 submersible...

Life After Whale (On Whale Falls)

When a whale dies, the story has just begun. The massive carcass sinks to the seafloor, where it provides food for a deep sea ecosystem on the otherwise mostly barren seafloor. There are several...
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A Brittle Star May Be a Coral’s Best Friend

A brittle star wraps its arms around the branches of a deep sea octocoral. The coral's polyps are all open and extended, a sign that the coral is unbothered by the sea star. Credit:...

Discover Deep-sea Corals in Maine

Scientists with NOAA Fisheries discovered deep-sea coral gardens in relatively shallow waters of the Gulf of Maine in 2014. As their name suggests, deep-sea corals live in cold oceanic waters. Unlike shallow-water corals, however,...

Creep into the Deep

Down below where the sunlight cannot penetrate, the ocean is a dark, cold and alien landscape. Can life really exist in such an extreme environment? NOAA Ocean Today Every Full Moon takes a look...

Deep-sea octocorals: An ecosystem of their own

Octocorals dominated the seafloor on Chris Mah's Okeanos mission to Johnston Atoll in the remote Pacific Ocean. Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2017 Laulima O Ka Moana The deep-sea is a...

Jellies Prey on Octocoral

Tiny jellyfish ( Aegina citrea ) settle on the feeding polyps present on the branch tips of some octocorals, where they devour the tissue.

Sea Stars Feed on Octocorals

Spiny goniasterid sea stars methodically feed on the soft tissues of octocorals as they slowly climb up the body. Many of these predatory sea stars are known to remain on the corals for a...

A Battle With Octocoral for Food

Although not strictly speaking a predator, a sea-anemone-like animal called a zoanthid overtakes the surface of some Paragorgia octocoral colonies, crowding over the original coral animal and competing with the coral’s polyps for food.

Hydrothermal Vent Creatures

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...