The Ocean

  • A World Apart: Southern Line Islands

    A World Apart: Southern Line Islands

    The waters around the southern Line Islands, located 1,500 to 2,100 miles south of Hawaii, are among the last truly wild places in an overexploited ocean.

     

     

  • Mystery-Circle Fish Explained

    Mystery-Circle Fish Explained

    Get the story behind the pufferfish, the ocean architect that creates elaborate nests on the seafloor.

  • Franz Joseph Land: The Meaning of North

    Franz Joseph Land: The Meaning of North

    In Russia's Franz Josef Land the melting ice is bringing changes.

  • One-of-a-Kind Sea Creatures

    One-of-a-Kind Sea Creatures

    The sea is home to millions of species. Some are unique enough to truly stand out from the crowd.

  • Desventuradas Islands

    Desventuradas Islands

    Dr. Enric Sala and his team explored the remote Desventuradas Islands hundreds of miles off the coast of Chile.

  • From Islands to Ice

    From Islands to Ice

    National Geographic photographer David Doubilet and his wife, Jennifer Hayes, explore the underwater paradise of the East Indies and the icy world of the Arctic.

  • Gabon Expedition

    Gabon Expedition

    Enric Sala, Mike Fay, and their team surveyed the little known underwater life in Gabon, hoping to shed light on an underwater paradise.

  • Dangerous Sea Creatures

    Dangerous Sea Creatures

    The ocean is full of beautiful creatures—but some of them can be hazardous to your health.

  • Pitcairn Expedition

    Pitcairn Expedition

    Get updates about Enric Sala, Mike Fay, and their team as they determine the health of the marine environment around the Pitcairn Islands.

  • Biggest Reserve on Land or Sea

    Biggest Reserve on Land or Sea

    Obama plans to make Pacific Remote Islands Monument eight times larger.

  • Salas y Gómez Expedition

    Salas y Gómez Expedition

    National Geographic and Oceana, in collaboration with the Chilean Navy, traveled to the remote Salas y Gómez Island, some 200 miles (about 323 kilometers) east of Easter Island, Chile.

  • Explorer Hits Deep-Sea Coral Jackpot

    Explorer Hits Deep-Sea Coral Jackpot

    Follow along as Rhian Waller explores the surprisingly diverse corals that dwell deep in the fjords of South America.

  • Protecting Pristine Seas

    Protecting Pristine Seas

    National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala leads a project that aims to identify and protect the world's most unspoiled marine environments.

  • Corals

    Corals

    Coral reefs are some of Earth’s richest and most diverse ecosystems. Tiny animals build these largest biological structures on the planet—some of which can be seen from space.

  • Animal Encounters at Sea

    Animal Encounters at Sea

    The Pristine Seas: Mozambique expedition team reports on its best dive yet. Discover what it's like to swim with bull sharks, manta rays, and more.

  • U.S. Marine Protected Areas

    U.S. Marine Protected Areas

    The United States' nearly 1,800 marine protected areas contain some of the country's most spectacular reefs, archaeological sites, and diving sites.

  • Strange-Looking Sea Creatures

    Strange-Looking Sea Creatures

    Among the ocean’s countless species, some stand out for their looks—but not always in a good way. Meet some of the sea’s most unusual-looking animals.

  • Jellyfish

    Jellyfish

    Jellyfish aren’t fish but invertebrates, animals that lack backbones and even brains. Yet 30,000-odd species do far more than survive—they thrive in ocean waters the world over.

  • Masters of Undersea Camouflage

    Masters of Undersea Camouflage

    Sometimes survival in the deep depends on simply not being seen. Meet the ocean’s masters of camouflage.

  • Translucent Marine Animals

    Translucent Marine Animals

    Sometimes it’s better to remain unseen. These nearly invisible marine animals use their natural translucence to good effect.

  • Squid

    Squid

    These masters of transformation can change their looks in seconds—to stalk prey, escape enemies, attract mates, stand up to rivals, and more.

  • Marine Microbes

    Marine Microbes

    Microbes make up a staggering 90 percent of the ocean’s total biomass, but many of them remain a mystery to science.

  • Sea Stars

    Sea Stars

    These spiny-skinned echinoderms are found worldwide in a colorful menagerie of shapes and sizes.

  • Sea Anemones

    Sea Anemones

    Many of these colorful ocean “flowers” are actually venomous predators. But anemones also live in symbiotic harmony with several other species.

  • Deep-Sea Creatures

    Deep-Sea Creatures

    Adaptation is the name of the game when you live thousands of feet below the water's surface. See how these deep-sea denizens make the most of their deep, dark home.

  • Nudibranchs

    Nudibranchs

    These wildly colorful mollusks have a message for potential predators: "You'd best look elsewhere for a meal."

  • Colorful Sea Creatures

    Colorful Sea Creatures

    The world’s largest creatures reside in the ocean, and its depths are home to unusual species whose surprising proportions are unknown on land.

  • Colossal Sea Creatures

    Colossal Sea Creatures

    The world’s largest creatures reside in the ocean, and its depths are home to unusual species whose surprising proportions are unknown on land.

  • Rays

    Rays

    See the stingers, shockers, and other amazing abilities of the flattened fish that have gracefully cruised Earth’s seas for 150 million years.

  • Coral Reefs

    Coral Reefs

    Discover one of the most beautiful—and threatened—habitats on Earth.

  • Ocean Wildlife

    Ocean Wildlife

    Take a dip to discover some of the incredible wildlife that make their home in the ocean, from sea turtles and bearded seals to poisonous jellyfish and starfish.

  • Oceans

    Oceans

    Dive into one of the most magnificent habitats on Earth.

  • Toxic and Stinging Sea Creatures

    Toxic and Stinging Sea Creatures

    The seas are home to some of the planet’s most toxic creatures. Go ahead and take a good look—but don’t touch.

  • Seabirds

    Seabirds

    As at home on the water as they are on land, these birds can list swimming, diving, and fishing on their impressive avian resumes.

  • Marine Worms

    Marine Worms

    A marine worm may resemble a feather duster, a leaf, or even a plate of pasta—and these creatures' amazing abilities are as varied as their appearances.

  • Sea Urchins

    Sea Urchins

    Visually arresting, hazardous to swimmers, and—to some cultures—delicious, sea urchins are also revealing new information to the scientists who study them.

  • Electroreceptive Fish

    Electroreceptive Fish

    The electric ray, and other fish, have the biological ability to perceive natural electrical stimuli.

  • Commercial Fishing Banned in Huge Swath of Pacific

    Commercial Fishing Banned in Huge Swath of Pacific

    Kiribati announces "very significant" step at U.S. Our Ocean conference.

  • Sea Creature Survival Skills

    Sea Creature Survival Skills

    See photos of sea creatures that have unusual defense mechanisms.

  • Marine Species Under Threat

    Marine Species Under Threat

    See photos of marine species under threat, including polar bears and bluefin tuna.

  • "Bodies" Make Up Fake Coral Reef

    Hundreds of life-size human sculptures were installed as part of a new underwater sculpture garden off Cancún, Mexico.

  • Tracking the Lives of Nonstop Swimmers

    Tracking the Lives of Nonstop Swimmers

    How do you study an animal that never stops swimming? Find out how the Pristine Seas team is using technology to go along for the ride.

  • Africa's Submerged Savannas

    Africa's Submerged Savannas

    See the strange life-forms of a sea grass field explored during the Pristine Seas: Mozambique expedition.

  • A Ray of Hope

    A Ray of Hope

    The Pristine Seas: Mozambique expedition spots a giant ray, nurse shark, and more. See why big fish mean a healthy reef.

  • First Sights From Mozambique

    First Sights From Mozambique

    Divers capture strange species and stunning colors in the first photos from our latest Pristine Seas expedition.

  • Pristine Seas: New Caledonia Expedition Begins

    Pristine Seas: New Caledonia Expedition Begins

    The expedition team will travel to the Chesterfield and the Entrecasteaux Reefs on the North, as well as to Petri and Astrolabe in the East.

  • Southern Line Islands

    Southern Line Islands

    This expedition was the first comprehensive study of its kind—to establish a baseline model for healthy coral reefs and devise a blueprint for the conservation of already degraded reefs.

  • Tropical Fish Cause Trouble

    Tropical Fish Cause Trouble

    Climate change drives sea creatures toward the Poles and into conflict with established communities.

  • The Most Remarkable Eyes in the Ocean

    The Most Remarkable Eyes in the Ocean

    These three sea creatures have developed unique eye capabilities to help see underwater.

  • Photos: New Antarctic Creatures Found

    Photos: New Antarctic Creatures Found

    A bristle-cage worm, a sea lily, and an orange octopus are among species hauled up from Antarctica's Amundsen Sea.

  • "Sea Snot" Feeds Deep-Sea Life

    A mix of dead animals and their feces that float down to the seafloor help keep deep-sea organisms alive, a new study says.

  • 5 Surprising Facts About Oarfish

    5 Surprising Facts About Oarfish

    Two of the deep-sea creatures were found in less than a week in California.

  • Hard-to-See Sea Creatures Revealed

    Hard-to-See Sea Creatures Revealed

    From alien-looking baby starfish to snowflake-like crabs, some of the ocean's smallest life-forms have been revealed.

  •  Photos:

    Photos: "Stunning" Sea Creatures

    A hitchhiking anemone, a perching sea robin, and a many-armed sea star were recently spotted off the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

  • New Anemone Lives Upside Down in Sea Ice

    New Anemone Lives Upside Down in Sea Ice

    A newly discovered species is the first known sea anemone to live burrowed into the bottom of sea ice.

  • Record-Breaking Underwater Mission

    Record-Breaking Underwater Mission

    Timed for 50 years after a historic Jacques Cousteau effort, Mission 31 advances ocean science and exploration.

     

  • Ancient Shipwrecks Still at Large

    Ancient Shipwrecks Still at Large

    These wrecks carried everything from Bronze Age explorers to a lost Egyptian sarcophagus.

     

  • Underwater Exploration's 17 Greatest Moments

    Underwater Exploration's 17 Greatest Moments

    The diving suit was invented while George Washington was President! Dive into this underwater timeline.

  • Journey Into Inner Space: Conquering the Abyss

    Journey Into Inner Space: Conquering the Abyss

    Michael Lombardi is no stranger to the deep. He has had a long trajectory of underwater exploration supporting science projects.

  • Feast for Minke Whales

    Feast for Minke Whales

    Minke whales feast under Antarctic sea ice with frequent gulps of krill-laden water, study finds.

  • Translucent Marine Animals

    Translucent Marine Animals

    Get an "inside" look at sea creatures that survive by blending in.

  • Why Are Jellyfish Swarming?

    Why Are Jellyfish Swarming?

    Swarms of jellyfish that have appeared recently in the Pacific Northwest and the United Kingdom are not unusual, but may signal an ocean out of balance, experts say.

  • World Map of Ocean Trash

    World Map of Ocean Trash

    Spanish expedition maps trash in all five ocean collection zones for the first time and makes a discovery.

  • Dealing With Ocean Trash

    Dealing With Ocean Trash

    Scientists studying ocean garbage discuss how the world might deal with it.

  • Seabirds Threatened by Salmon

    Seabirds Threatened by Salmon

    Fueled by rising sea temperatures, pink salmon have become too abundant for the good of other marine life and need to be scaled back, a seabird study argues.

     

  • Shipwrecks Removed From Coral Reefs

    Shipwrecks Removed From Coral Reefs

    Three shipwrecks were removed from coral reefs in the Pacific. How long will it take the reefs to recover—and what obstacles might get in the way of a return to health?

  • What Stalled Global Warming?

    What Stalled Global Warming?

    The last decade was the warmest on record—but it could have been worse. New research finds the "missing heat" in the deep Atlantic.

  • A Blast at Whales

    A Blast at Whales

    Companies have been cleared to seek seismic noise permits in the Atlantic, but ocean researchers fear for whales.

  • Devil Rays Dive a Mile Deep

    Devil Rays Dive a Mile Deep

    The Chilean devil ray is one heck of a swimmer—the fish make surprisingly fast and deep dives into the Atlantic Ocean, a new study says.

  • First Great White Shark Tracked Crossing Atlantic

    First Great White Shark Tracked Crossing Atlantic

    A white shark nicknamed Lydia is the first of her species to be tracked across the Atlantic Ocean.

     

  • Atlantic Seismic Oil Exploration Looms

    Atlantic Seismic Oil Exploration Looms

    U.S. environmental review paves the way for first air-gun surveys in 26 years off the East Coast.

     

  • Brian Skerry: Swimming With Giants

    Brian Skerry: Swimming With Giants

    Brian Skerry shares his experience swimming with Atlantic bluefin tuna, and the power of being underwater with these "thoroughbreds of the sea."

  • Dusky Shark

    Dusky Shark

    The dusky shark swims in tropical and temperate oceans worldwide.

  • 20 Coral Species Listed as Threatened

    20 Coral Species Listed as Threatened

    This newest listing under the Endangered Species Act brings the total number of coral species protected under the act to 22.

  • Dredging Makes Corals Sick

    Dredging Makes Corals Sick

    Digging up the seafloor—which creates plumes of sediment—is bad news for coral reefs.

  • To Save Coral Reefs, Start With Parrotfish

    To Save Coral Reefs, Start With Parrotfish

    Caribbean-wide analysis shows that the number one thing we can do to ensure the health of coral reefs is to protect parrotfish.

  • Our Connection to Corals

    Our Connection to Corals

    A newly found coral protein's shape is so similar to ours, it can trigger programmed death in human cells.

  • Fish Uses Sign Language

    Fish Uses Sign Language

    The coral grouper communicates with other ocean predators to find prey—a surprising ability for a fish, a new study says.

     

     

  • The Genetics of Deep Coral Reefs

    The Genetics of Deep Coral Reefs

    David Gruber searches for the far-red fluorescent protein, which may only exist at the deepest depth photosynthesis can occur.

  • Divers Clean Reefs to Save Marine Life

    Divers Clean Reefs to Save Marine Life

    A team of conservation divers visits reefs to extract fishing line and anchor rope that pose threats to turtles, dolphins, and other marine life.

  • More Whales, Healthier Ocean?

    More Whales, Healthier Ocean?

    A new study reveals how scientists and fisheries managers have underestimated the importance of whales in ocean ecosystems.

  • High-Tech Tuna Researcher

    High-Tech Tuna Researcher

    Using cutting-edge research tools, Stanford professor Barbara Block is unraveling the mysteries and revealing the marvels of bluefin tuna.

  • Sharks Light Up in Neon Colors

    Sharks Light Up in Neon Colors

    Researchers studying biofluorescent ocean life discovered a shark that reflects certain light, along with a stingray, eel, and other fish.

  • The World's Biggest Fish

    The World's Biggest Fish

    A fresh look at evidence shows that a prehistoric fish probably wasn't as giant as previously thought, but still holds the record.

  • Ocean Reserves for Antarctica?

    Ocean Reserves for Antarctica?

    Antarctic marine reserves could nearly double the amount of the world's ocean under protection.

  • The Antarctic's New Way to Melt

    The Antarctic's New Way to Melt

    Ice shelves lose more mass through melting where the ice meets the sea than by shedding icebergs, a new study says.

  • Most Garbage in Ocean Is Plastic

    Most Garbage in Ocean Is Plastic

    Before Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing, sea trash was not a global headliner.

Located all over the world, National Geographic explorers and grantees are working to investigate, map, and conserve unique and valuable marine animals and resources. Using the Live Expedition Tracker, learn about current and upcoming projects led by scientists and researchers who are using cutting-edge technology to explore the oceans.

Related Features

  • Photo: Submarine comes upon shipwreck

    Nautilus Live

    Descend into the unknown. Follow Dr. Robert Ballard and his team as they explore the ocean on the E/V Nautilus.

  • Photo: Fluorescent image of Lobophyllia hataii from the Great Barrier Reef.

    Exploring the Genetics of Deep Coral Reefs

    David Gruber searches for the far-red fluorescent protein, which may only exist at the deepest depth photosynthesis can occur.

  • Photo: Fish schooled into a vortex

    Pristine Seas Expeditions

    Pristine Seas is an exploration, research, and conservation project that aims to find, survey, and help protect the last healthy, undisturbed places in the ocean.

We are committed to protecting the last wild places in the ocean.

Learn More »

Your Ocean

  • Photo: Clown anemonefish

    For Kids

    Learn about the ocean with activities, photos, and games.

  • Photo: A school of fish and a shark swim in a coral reef.

    Ocean Education

    Bring engaging and important ocean learning to your classroom.

Support the Ocean

Explore the Ocean

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    Ocean Life

    Order ocean books, DVDs, maps, and more from the National Geographic online store.

  • Photo: Leopard seals on a glacier

    Ocean Special Issue

    Explore the world's oceans, from their prehistoric beginnings to modern-day efforts to preserve their natural wonder.

  • Photo: Ocean Atlas from National Geographic

    Ocean: An Illustrated Atlas

    Immerse yourself in the wonders of the deep through colorful maps, photos, and satellite images.

Engage, Conserve, Restore

  • Photo: Sunset at waterfalls

    Freshwater Initiative

    The National Geographic Society’s freshwater initiative is a multi-year global effort to inspire and empower individuals and communities to conserve freshwater and preserve the extraordinary diversity of life that rivers, lakes, and wetlands sustain.