Oceans

A diver swims over a bleached section of the Great Barrier Reef near Heron Island.

The Planet Has Lost Half of Its Coral Reefs Since 1950

A new study finds dramatic declines in coral reef cover, biodiversity and fish abundance

Courtney Gallaher’s Women in Science students at Northern Illinois University created quilt blocks representing astrophysicist Margaret J. Geller, biologist Rachel Carson, and mathematician Ada Lovelace.

Inside the Growing Movement to Share Science Through Quilting

The classic medium allows researchers, students and artists to tell stories about science, technology, engineering and math

Environmental scientist Alexandra Ordoñez Alvarez from the University of Queensland collects data in Far Northern Great Barrier Reef on Ashmore Bank.

Scientists Complete the First Map of the World's Coral Reefs

Nearly 100,000 square miles of the organism have been charted in high detail to create a tool for conservationists to help save them

Hammerhead sharks have are considered critically endangered.

More Than a Third of Shark Species Are Now Threatened With Extinction

Overfishing, habitat loss and climate change are behind the 'desperate' decline

A Brief, Fascinating History of Ambergris

The odd, enduring appeal of a scarce commodity few people use and no one really needs

The Nautilus, a research vessel operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust, and the ROV Hercules (in the water) on the hunt for a cancer-busting marine bacteria.

A Marine Bacteria Species Shows Promise for Curing an Aggressive Brain Cancer

A new glioblastoma drug is derived from a microbe found in the ocean at depths of up to 6,500 feet

Female octopuses were far more likely than males to 'throw' objects at others.

Female Octopuses Throw Things at Male Harassers

Scientists observed common Sydney octopuses launching shells and silt at particularly annoying individuals

A study of two dozen common cuttlefish reveals they can recall specific details regardless of age.

Unlike Humans, Cuttlefish Have Sharp Memories Even in Old Age

The cephalopods remember when, where and what they ate until days before death

Olive sea snakes are among the largest marine snake species and sometimes make contact with divers.

Venomous Sea Snakes That Charge Divers May Just Be Looking for Love

A new study suggests apparent attacks are actually fleeting cases of mistaken identity

The museum's sculptures promote coral growth and will eventually serve as homes for sea creatures.

Art Meets Science

You Can Now Explore an Underwater Sculpture Museum in the Mediterranean

Artist Jason deCaires Taylor placed 93 statues of people and plants in a submerged "forest" off the coast of Cyprus

Both beer and wine are thought to predate distilled spirits.

Ask Smithsonian

'Which Came First: Beer or Wine?' and More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts

Oceanix is gearing up to build a prototype of a 5-acre city for 300 residents in a yet-to-be determined location.

Innovation for Good

In the Face of Rising Seas, Are Floating Cities a Real Possibility?

A scale model of Oceanix City, a concept capable of supporting more than 10,000 residents, will be featured in the Smithsonian's upcoming 'Futures' exhibit

There are many reasons to be worried about the state of the world’s oceans. But some scientists say it’s important to point to successes, in order to motivate people to take further, evidence-based action.

Seven Reasons to Be Optimistic About the World's Oceans

The health of the ocean is under threat, but these good-news stories deserve attention too

Smooth pearls in the shape of orbs and ovals are usually created by bivalves, like mussels, in pearl farms. As with all gems, the less blemishes they have, the more valuable they are.

Smithsonian Voices

The True Story Behind How Pearls Are Made

Mollusks create these shiny gems, but that biological process could change as Earth’s waters warm

From the surface, the havoc caused on a coral reef by a layer of low-oxygen water was barely evident.

Smithsonian Voices

Watch What Happens When a Coral Reef Can't Get Enough Oxygen

In September 2017, divers observed a massive "dead zone" rising to envelop Caribbean coral reefs in Bocas del Toro, Panama

A perfect storm of high demand clashing with supply chain issues, worker shortage and delivery problems is forcing restaurant owners to raise seafood prices on their menus.

Seafood Prices Soar Amid Supply Chain Issues and Worker Shortage

As demand for fish rises, restaurants are slammed with employment losses, port congestion, lack of product, rising costs and shipment snags

The 2,200-square-foot venue is located about ten miles inland from Ocean City, in the town of Berlin, Maryland.

New Maryland Museum Dives Into the Mythology of Mermaids

Blending history, pop culture and folklore, the attraction features a Feejee mermaid, original artworks and more

An adult male transient or Bigg's killer whale.

Stranded Killer Whale Survives With the Help of Humans

The whale was spotted stuck among the rocks of an island in Southeast Alaska, but after about six hours on dry land the whale was able to swim off

While Spongebob and Patrick are friends in the animated world, the relationship between sea stars and sponges is not as friendly in real life. Sea stars are carnivores and are known to prey on sea sponges, crabs, oysters, clams, and coral.

See SpongeBob SquarePants' and Patrick Star's Real-Life Twins

The aquatic pals were discovered one mile deep in the Atlantic Ocean during a NOAA expedition

A 3D image of the spiral-shaped intestine of a Pacific spiny dogfish shark. In life, food would move through this intestine left to right.

Innovation for Good

Sharks' Intestines Spiral Like a Valve Invented by Nikola Tesla

Tesla's ingenious valve promoted a one-way flow of fluid without the need for moving parts, but, it turns out, evolution got there first