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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 equivalent...
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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...
Imagine you’re an alien seeing Planet Earth for the first time. What do you see...

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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

You may have seen the sparkle of fireflies on a summer’s night. The fireflies produce light through a chemical reaction in...
Dr. Amy Baco-Taylor dives to deep-sea environments to study corals and the invertebrates that live in them. Learn how she became interested in deep-sea corals , and explore more in the multimedia...
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...
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...
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 animal would be...
A still from Mysteries of the Deep , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
Two years after being covered in an oil substance, from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, deep-sea corals were colonized by hydroids and their branches began to break off.
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-...
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...
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...
GEOMAR scientist Armin Form works at his lab during a long-term experiment on the effects of lower pH, higher temperatures and "food stress" on the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa . In a previous...
Last week, Smithsonian research zoologists Dr. Jerry Harasewych and Dr. Martha Nizinski were in Curaçao looking for deep-sea marine gastropods and decapod crustaceans , respectively. I learned they...
Riftia tubeworm ( Riftia pachyptila ) colonies grow where hot, mineral-laden water flows out of the seafloor in undersea hot springs—such as the Guymas Basin of the Gulf of California at 2,000 meters...
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 ."
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...
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 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...
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-...
Did you know that 80 percent of the volcanic eruptions on Earth take place underwater? These underwater eruptions occur regularly, forming new landmasses and providing a living environment for deep-...
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