A scuba diver encounters fish swimming around a reef in the Maldives.

The Top Eight Ocean Stories of 2022

The biggest saltwater moments of the year included major discoveries that inspired awe

A humpback whale and her calf swim underwater. A recent study in Nature found whales eat and poop way more than previously thought—and that feces plays an important role in fertilizing the ocean.

The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2021

From the discovery of a large bioluminescent shark to the use of an innovative drone to study hurricanes, these are the best marine stories of the year

The Schmidt Ocean Institute’s submersible SuBastian, which was responsible for several discoveries in 2020, is retrieved from the water.

The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2020

From the discovery of a giant coral reef pinnacle to a shocking estimate of plastics on the seafloor, these were the biggest marine moments of the year

Thousands of brooding octopuses were discovered in 2018 on the ocean floor off the coast of California.

Eighteen Things We've Learned About the Oceans in the Last Decade

In the past 10 years, the world's oceans have faced new challenges, revealed new wonders, and provided a roadmap for future conservation

Kelsi Rutledge, a UCLA PhD student in biology, and a museum specimen of a new species of ray called a guitarfish from the Gulf of California, Pseudobatos buthi, or "spadefish."

Scientist Lampoons Birth Announcements With Discovery of New 'Spadenose' Ray

The new species sees the light of day after more than 70 years tucked away in museum collections

Scientists Spot Beautiful Optical Illusion at Bottom of the Sea

More than 6,000 feet under the surface of the ocean, the extreme conditions can play tricks on your eyes

Up to 1,000 octopus moms care for their brood.

The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2018

From the most ancient animal known to a newly defined ocean zone, the world's watery places never cease to amaze

Baleen is the soft, hair-like structure on the upper mouth of whales, such as the humpback whale in this photo, which allows them to trap prey in their mouth.

Prehistoric Whale Jaw Bone Sheds Light on the Evolution of Baleen

Hidden in a museums’ collections for years, a fossil provides a link between past and present feeding mechanisms

A macro photo of coralites off Malapascua Island in the Philippines.

The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2017

From wind turbines to massive sunfish to octopus cities, the seas proved full of surprises this year

Leah Desrochers, a former employee of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, holds a stranded Kemp's ridley sea turtle.

Why Are Endangered Sea Turtles Showing Up Cold and Seemingly Lifeless on Northeastern Shores?

In the past three decades, scientists have confronted a worsening epidemic of stranded Kemp's ridley sea turtles

A remote-controlled hexacopter captured this image of two northern resident killer whales photographed from 100 feet. Scientists use the unmanned drone as a cost-effective, non-intrusive method for monitoring the health of whales.

How Drones in the Sky Unlock Secrets of the Sea

Researchers are using aerial technology to track coastal erosion, map coral reefs and even give whales a breathalyzer

Two skulls belonging to extinct marine mammal herbivores used in the new study, both from the Smithsonian's collections.

When Did Today’s Whales Get So Big?

More recently than you might think, say scientists who scoured the fossil record

Sharks and Humans: A Love-Hate Story

A short history of our relationship with the ocean’s most intimidating fish

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