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Climb aboard the scientific ocean drilling vessel Chikyu for a tour of this state-of-the-art research ship.
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Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy...
Thousands of seamounts—most of them undersea volcanoes—tower above the muddy...
Smithsonian curator of fossil marine mammals Nick Pyenson and a team of...

LATEST CATCH

The ocean, which we often break into five large ocean basins, covers 71 percent of the Earth's surface and holds over 1.3 billion cubic km of water. This massive space also holds over 99 percent of the area that can be inhabited...
These star-shaped grains of sand, collected from southern Japan, look like...
If you want to explore the depths of the ocean, you may want to go to the...

DIVE DEEPER

Scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) collect sediments drilled from Earth’s crust. This marine...
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...
Zombie worms don’t crave brains: instead they seek bones. The 1 to 3 inch (2 to 7 centimeter) Osedax worms were first discovered living in the bones of a rotting gray whale on the deep sea floor,...
Smithsonian curator of fossil marine mammals Nick Pyenson and a team of collaborators are heading into Chile's Atacama Desert , shown here. They'll study a rich bonebed of fossil marine vertebrates...
A diversity of deep-sea corals—including primnoid coral ( Narella sp.), black coral ( Trissopathes pseudtristicha ), and feather stars ( Florometra serratissima )—flourish 2,669 m (8,757 ft) deep on...
These deep-sea sediment cores were drilled from beneath the seafloor, and hold information about millions of years of ocean and atmospheric chemistry. As dirt, dead organisms, and other particles...
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...
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...
There can be catastrophic results when a large amount of oil is spilled into the ocean—as when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. But did you know that...
If you want to explore the depths of the ocean, you may want to go to the deepest part: the Mariana Trench. This trench has a maximum depth of 11 kilometers (around 7 miles) and is almost five times...
Climb aboard the scientific ocean drilling vessel Chikyu for a tour of this state-of-the-art research ship.
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. This photo gallery shows...
Geologist Charles Paull (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) investigates geologic features similar to pingos (Earth covered ice mounds found in the Arctic) on the Arctic Ocean floor where...
Geophysicist Jian Lin of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and chief U.S. scientist aboard the Chinese oceanographic ship DaYang Yihao studied the earthquake site that triggered 2004’s Indian...
Scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) collect sediments drilled from Earth’s crust. This marine research program supported by 24 countries is increasing our understanding of...
An archaeologist arranges a deep-sea core from off the coast of Britain. These cores are long cylinders of the earth's crust, drilled up from beneath the seafloor. When the cores shown here are...
The Chikyu allows scientists to gather and study data about seafloor sediments as soon as they are collected. After a powerful 9.0 earthquake triggered a devestating tsunami in Japan in March 2011 ,...
On August 23, 2011 a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck the East Coast of the United States. The earthquake map shown here, generated by the U.S. Geological Survey and regional seismic network operators...
An underwater archaeological stratigraphy reveals the different levels of soil in Hare Harbor, Quebec. The stratigraphy – a process archeologists use to help date materials by identifying soil layers...
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