Smithsonian Institution

The Ocean is important to all life, including yours. Join us. Welcome to the Ocean Portal – a unique, interactive online experience that inspires awareness, understanding, and stewardship of the world’s Ocean, developed by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and more than 20 collaborating organizations. You are among the first wave of visitors to the Portal, an experience which we hope will empower you to shape and share your personal Ocean experiences, knowledge, and perspectives. The input you provide through feedback modules and comment boxes will help us to shape future Ocean Portal content and functionality. Like the Ocean, which is made of millions of marine species, your comments, questions, and clicks will help to bring the Portal closer to the vastness and variety of the Ocean itself.

X-Rays of Fish Reveal Diversity

Scientists in the Division of Fishes at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History use X-ray imaging to study the complex bone structure and diversity of fish. This image gallery showcases X-ray images of sharks,...

Dwarf Lantern Shark

The smallest shark, a dwarf lantern shark ( Etmopterus perryi ) is smaller than a human hand. It's rarely seen and little is known about it, having only been observed a few times off the northern tip of South America at...

Aerial photo of Farallones

In California, the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary provides protection to Great White Sharks and other species. More about the great white shark can be found in our Great White Shark featured story .

Smithsonian Shark Teeth collection

An array of teeth from the sand tiger shark Carcharias taurus . The Smithsonian has the largest collection of shark teeth in the world, with more than 90,000 fossil shark teeth. More about sharks and great whites can be...

Wave Size and Depth

Students investigate the relationship between the size of the wave and depth to which the effects of its energy can be observed.

Boston Globe Ocean Page

A wonderful summary of facts about our Ocean Planet from the Boston Globe and Deborah Cramer, author of Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water, Our World , the companion book to the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History Sant Ocean...

The Trouvadore: A Story of Deliverance

Join marine archeologists as they trace the history of the Trouvadore , a slave ship bound for Cuba that wrecked in the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1841, and the ship’s passengers unusual path to freedom.

Terms of Use for Media on the Ocean Portal

The images, videos, and audio files contained within the Ocean Portal are owned by many individuals and organization who have generously loaned us their media for use on the Ocean Portal. We at the Smithsonian Institution—...

A Colorful Foram: Globigerinoides ruber

This foraminifera was collected as it floated about 3 meters below the surface off the coast of Puerto Rico. The central dark area is the shell surrounded by spines. The tiny yellow dots are symbiotic algae, which live in...

Smithsonian Paleobiologist Brian Huber

Brian Huber studies fossil organisms known as “ forams ” to learn about climate change in this video snippet from the Smithsonian Marine Collections video . More about world climate change can be found in our Climate Change...

State of Emergency in the Gulf

The explosion of Deepwater Horizon, an oil-drilling platform roughly 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana, is quickly growing into an environmental disaster that will leave its mark on coastal communities, fisheries, wildlife, and ecosystems along the Gulf Coast for decades to come.