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Climb aboard the scientific ocean drilling vessel Chikyu for a tour of this state-of-the-art research ship.
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...

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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...

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Scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) collect sediments drilled from Earth’s crust. This marine...

The Ocean Blog

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,...
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...
Microscopic, single-celled organisms called foraminifera have a fossil record that extends from today to more than 500 million years ago. Although each foram is just a single cell, they build complex...
Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy bottom at a depth of 12,000 feet. It’s absolutely dark. What will you see when the exterior lights are turned on? Will...
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...
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) keeps track of earthquake locations and magnitudes, accessible on the USGS website . Modern recording equipment has been in use since about 1900. While this...
The New England Seamount Chain is the longest in the North Atlantic Ocean. It includes more than 30 major volcanic peaks. Seamounts provide a solid surface for corals and other marine animals to...
You are not alone if you don’t know what forams (short for foraminifera) are, so let’s start with the basics. Simply put, forams are single-celled organisms related to the familiar amoeba that...
Discover some amazing corals in this footage that shows and identifies a range of deep-sea coral species from the Juan de Fuca Canyon
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...
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...
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...
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...
Using maps and graphics, Smithsonian geologist Dr. Liz Cottrell provides an overview of the major earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011—one of the largest ever recorded globally...
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...
On August 23, 2011 a 5.8 earthquake emanated from the little-known Central Virginia Seismic Zone. The epicenter was near Mineral, VA, but the tremor shook homes, schools, and office buildings in...
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...
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