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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 its terrestrial namesake, the Venus fly-trap anemone ( Actinoscyphia sp.) sits quietly and waits for food to drift into its outstretched tentacles, which are lined with stinging harpoons called nematocysts. Of course, this...
Census of Marine Life researchers discovered this unusual transparent sea...
This jelly’s red color provides camouflage in the deep ocean. Red light...

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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...
A sea lion in the Sea of Cortez observes Dr. Peter Auster as he observes reef fishes. Learn more about deep-sea coral reefs in our Deep-sea Corals article.
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-...
Under white light, this shortnose greeneye fish ( Chlorophthalmus agassizi ) looks unimpressive. But, in dim blue light—the type usually seen at depth—it shows its true fluorescent colors. NOAA...
I still haven’t gotten beyond the ‘gee whiz’ factor of studying communities of animals in deep-sea coral habitats. Climbing over undersea mountains and along the steep cliffs of submarine canyons...
You may have seen the sparkle of fireflies on a summer’s night. The fireflies produce light through a chemical reaction in their glowing abdomens, a process known as bioluminescence. But did you know...
Dive through the zones of the ocean to the deep ocean bottom, where many strange species live, and there are many yet to be discovered. Explore them in the Deep Ocean Exploration section.
This lanternfish ( Diaphus sp .), found in the Red Sea, has light-producing photophores along its ventral surface (belly), and a nasal light organ that acts like a headlight. Hear scientists tell...
What happens to deep-sea coral samples after they are collected? In this image gallery, see some of the ways ocean scientists sort, measure, photograph, and study them. Learn more in the multimedia...
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...
Tropical hatchetfish ( Argyropelecus lychnus ), like the one shown in this X-ray photograph, live in the dark depths of the ocean ; this specimen was collected at about 2,789 feet (850 meters) in the...
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...
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...
A still from Mysteries of the Deep , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
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,...
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...
Thousands of seamounts—most of them undersea volcanoes—tower above the muddy seafloor. They provide something hard to come by in the deep ocean: a solid surface to cling to. Corals, sponges, and...
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 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...
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