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.

Meet the Suspects

More than a century ago, in 1895, two Smithsonian scientists described a new kind of deep sea creature living at least 1000 m (3,280 ft) below the ocean’s surface— a part of the ocean that we still know very little about ...

Blob Sculpin

The ghoulish “blob sculpin” ( Psychrolutes phrictus ) , a deepwater fish found off the Pacific coast of the U.S. from the Bering Sea to Southern California, can grow to about 70 cm (more than two feet) in length and eats...

Be a Scientist

Learn how scientists collect field data by being a scientist yourself! By studying a specific ecosystem, students learn how different scientists work together, what kinds of data scientists record, and experience the...

BioBlitz Organizational Guide

Learn all about BioBlitz and how to organize one for your school. Includes a checklist and schedule. For more information: http://www.cac.uconn.edu/mnhhome.html http://web2.uconn.edu/mnh/bioblitz/

High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago, Sweden & Finland

The High Coast in Sweden and the Kvarken Archipelago in Finland were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000. The High Coast and the 5,600 islands of the archipelago have been shaped by the combined processes of...

Sally Lightfood Crab, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galápagos Islands site in Ecuador was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978. Located in the equatorial Pacific Ocean nearly 1000 km from South America, the Galapagos Islands and the surrounding marine reserve are...

Cocos Island National Park, Costa Rica

The Cocos Island National Park site in Costa Rica was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997. Cocos Island's position as the first point of contact with the northern equatorial counter-current and the myriad...

Macquarie Island, Australia

The Macquarie Island site in Australia was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997. The island is the exposed crest of the undersea Macquarie oceanic ridge, raised to its present position where the Indo-Australian...

Ujung Kulon National Park, Indonesia

The Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1991. The park, located in the extreme western tip of Java on the Sunda shelf, includes the Ujung Kulon Peninsula and several offshore...

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