Today's Catch

Sep 24, 2013

New England Aquarium, Photographer Philip Hamilton

Whalers hunted right whales for their blubber, which could be turned into oil to burn in lamps or make soap, and their baleen. Baleen is the series of fringed plates hanging in their mouths that they use to strain the seawater for food. Baleen was used in a number of consumer products, such as corsets. Here, a researcher examines the baleen from a whale that washed up on the beach. More about the...Read more
Sep 23, 2013

John Turnbull, Flickr

Is that fruit swimming in the ocean? Well it may look like fruit, but it's actually a pineapplefish ( Cleidopus gloriamaris ). Like the hard outer part of a pineapple, this fish also has an outer shell made of pineapple-like yellow scales. But that is where the similarity to the fruit disappears. The pineapplefish has glowing organs that can be used to find prey at night, the color of which may...Read more
Sep 20, 2013

©Clyde F.E. Roper

These newly hatched arrow squid larvae ( Doryteuthis plei ) are each tinier than the head a pin. Free from their yolk sac, they will drift with the current out to sea as zooplankton. Many animals eat zooplankton, so few will survive to adulthood and to reproduce themselves.Read more
Sep 19, 2013
Some of the most otherworldly animals—like those straight from a science fiction story—can be seen in the open ocean at night. By drifting in the blackwater in a scuba suit just under the surface, some 60 to 70 feet below, divers can film some of these bizarre animals. In this video, see a pyrosome , a free-floating colonial tunicate, comb jellies (aka ctenophores) with their sticky tentacles,...Read more
Sep 18, 2013

© Brian Skerry,

A blue cod and sea pens , a unique type of cnidarian , speckle the seafloor in New Zealand's Fiordland region.You can see more beautiful underwater photos from Brian Skerry in his image gallery .Read more
Sep 17, 2013
Watch the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall come to life in this two minute time lapse video. The Sant Ocean Hall is the National Museum of Natural History's largest exhibit, providing visitors with a unique and breathtaking introduction to the majesty of the ocean. The hall's combination of 674 marine specimens and models, high-definition video, and the newest technology allows visitors to explore...Read more
Sep 16, 2013

Travis S., Flickr

The lion’s mane jellyfish ( Cyanea capillata ) is the largest among the jelly species, with the largest known specimen stretching across 120 feet (36.5 meters) from its top to the bottom of its tentacles. These tentacles contain large amounts of neurotoxins that can cause a range of effects when humans come in contact, from a rash to affecting respiratory function. Humans don't often come in...Read more
Sep 13, 2013

Joe Shlabotnik , Flickr

An estimated 1.8 billion people will suffer from water scarcity by 2025. Looking for sources of water is becoming important and with oceans containing around 97% of Earth’s water, it would be nice if we could make use of its bounty. The ocean is incredibly salty because the natural erosion of rocks washes salts into the ocean, where they dissolve into the seawater. Humans are very sensitive to...Read more
Sep 12, 2013
If you think only men can helm research vessels to get their hands dirty and study ocean currents, you're wrong. This short film follows the mostly-female scientists of the R/V Knorr research ship on an expedition to the Agulhas Current in the Indian Ocean. The Agulhas Current is the Indian Ocean's version of the Gulf Stream: originating in the tropics, both currents sprint along the coast...Read more
Sep 11, 2013

Kmusser, Wikimedia Commons

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 wider than it is deep. The Mariana Trench is deeper than Mount Everest is tall and anything living there has to survive the cold water and extremely high pressure. Some animals, including the deep-sea...Read more