Pacific Ocean

Moai statues at the Rano Raraku site on Easter Island

Genetic Study Maps When and How Polynesians Settled the Pacific Islands

Mysterious stone figures on far-flung islands may have been erected by descendants of seafaring explorers from the same archipelago

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

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

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

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

An opah or moonfish that washed up on Sunset Beach in northern Oregon on July 14.

Brightly Colored, 100-Pound Moonfish Washes Up on Oregon Beach

Scientists say this open-ocean species, also known as an opah, typically inhabits warmer waters than those of the Pacific Northwest

A healthy crop of mussels lines the coast, exposed during low tide. Mussels will split open when they overheat, such as in June's heat wave.

Pacific Northwest and Canada's Crushing Heat Wave Cooks Millions of Sea Creatures

The estimated death toll could be more than a billion

This image from Seabed 2030 shows how much of the seafloor has been mapped, with black areas representing places without data yet.

Innovation for Good

Can Scientists Map the Entire Seafloor by 2030?

Two non-profit organizations are betting that with the help of research institutions, private vessels and new technologies, they can do just that

Recent research has shown that most scientific papers on coral biodiversity are led by people in high-income countries with few coral reefs.

The Pandemic Showed What Can Be Done Without Parachute Science

With international scientists barred from traveling, local scientists in the Pacific islands are taking the chance to lead.

The Southern Ocean is defined by a swift undertow called the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) that flows from West to East around Antarctica.

National Geographic Officially Recognizes the Southern Ocean as World's Fifth Ocean

The organization's cartographers will now label a total of five oceans on their maps and atlases

Remnants of a supernova called Cassiopeia A, located in our galaxy about 11,000 light-years from Earth. Scientists have long thought that supernovae were responsible for the creation of the heaviest elements, but new research suggests other types of stellar events may also be in play.

New Research

Scientists Find Plutonium Made in Outer Space on Ocean Floor

Research suggests the rare, heavy element may have been created by the collision of two neutron stars

Based on the size of the football fish and the protruding appendage on the top of its head, State Park officials said that the fish is female. Female football fish are the only ones that have the long bio-luminescent appendage used to lure and entice other fish towards their mouth.

A Jet-Black, Bioluminescent 'Football Fish' Washed Up on a California Beach

The sea creature typically lives in depths of 3,000 feet and rarely shows on shore in one piece

Traditionally, when taxonomists examine a potentially new species of octopus, they dissect them, an approach that is highly invasive and nearly destroys the specimen.

New Species of Dumbo Octopus Identified Using 3-D Imaging Techniques

Techniques such as MRI and CT scans may allow researchers to identify and study rare sea specimens without the need for dissection

If you hike to the Minam River Lodge, thinking about the amazing food, including smokehouse bacon and foraged morels, may keep you going.

What a Vintage Guidebook Taught Me About Oregon's Past and Present

Our writer takes a quirky trip through Oregon, from a wilderness lodge to a Gilded Age saloon to a town hidden underground

Satellite images comparing bull kelp canopy cover (gold shading) 2008 and 2019 off the coast of Mendocino and Sonoma Counties in Northern California.

New Research

Satellite Imagery Shows Northern California Kelp Forests Have Collapsed

Researchers say they're not sure these iconic coastal ecosystems will be able to make a comeback anytime soon

The health of corals on the Great Barrier Reef is routinely being threatened by hot water temperatures. The Australian government is investigating a range of techniques to try to protect the corals and stave off warming.

Could Flushing Cold Water Over the Great Barrier Reef Save Corals?

Lack of action on climate change is forcing scientists to devise ever more elaborate ways to stave off damage

An oceanic whitetip shark swimming in the open ocean. This species was common in the 1970s but its population has since declined by 98 percent, according to a new study.

New Research

Oceanic Sharks and Rays Have Declined 70% Since 1970

Fishing fleets have indiscriminately slaughtered sharks for decades and a new study catalogues the environmental damage done

Three adult gray whales photographed via drone in 2017, 2018 and 2019 in Laguna San Ignacio off the coast of Mexico. The three shots show increasingly skinny whales, a bad sign for an animal that needs to make a 10,000-mile return trip to reach its feeding grounds.

New Research

Nearly 400 Gray Whales Have Died Off the West Coast Since 2019

Scientists say the die-off, which is entering its third year, is likely due to a scarcity of food in the animals’ cold water feeding grounds

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

A small hike in the water temperature triggers corals to dispel the algae, causing them to bleach and turn a ghostly shade of white.

Some Corals Can Survive Through Relentless Heat Waves, Surprising Scientists

The organisms can recover during a heat wave instead of afterwards, and scientists call it a 'game changer' for conservation of the species

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