Ancient Stromatolite Reefs
Photograph by O. Louis Mazzatenta
Microbe-rich stromatolite reefs, like this one in Shark Bay, Australia, were among the first sources of oxygen on Earth. They flourished throughout the planet's shallow waters 3.5 billion years ago, but are extremely rare today.
Tierra del Fuego, Cape Horn, Chile
Photograph by Gordon Wiltsie
Surf froths around Cape Horn in Chile's Tierra del Fuego. This archipelago, which means "land of fire" in Spanish, is the meeting point of the world's two largest oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific.
Underwater Cayman Islands
Photograph by William R. Curtsinger
Light refracts through the calm, clear waters of the Cayman Islands. These islands are actually the peaks of the Cayman Trough, the Caribbean Sea's deepest trench.
Photograph by Maria Stenzel
Roiled seas and big waves characterize the frigid waters around Antarctica. Most of the surface of Antarctica is harsh and barren, but the waters that surround it bustle with specially adapted plants and animals.
Island Coastline, Republic of Palau
Photograph by Paul Chesley
A cloak of mist drapes a large wave as it breaks near shore on one of the islands of the Republic of Palau.
Australian Seashore, Kalbarri
Photograph by Bill Ellzey
Waves at high tide crash on shore near Kalbarri National Park in Western Australia. Ocean tides are created by the gravitational effects of the moon and sun on the Earth. When the moon is full or new, attraction is high, and the oceans bulge outward, creating spring tides.
Moonrise Over an Iceberg
Photograph by Maria Stenzel
A massive iceberg juts from the stark expanse of an ice sheet as an orange moon looks on in the Bellingshausen Sea near Antarctica. This sea, part of the Southern Ocean, borders the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula, near South America, and is home to elephant seals and Adélie penguins.
We are committed to protecting the last wild places in the ocean.
From the Channel
Support the Ocean
Help protect the last healthy, undisturbed places in the ocean so we can learn how to help healthy reefs thrive, help unhealthy reefs recover, and better preserve the ocean.
Explore the Ocean
Order ocean books, DVDs, maps, and more from the National Geographic online store.
Explore the world's oceans, from their prehistoric beginnings to modern-day efforts to preserve their natural wonder.
Immerse yourself in the wonders of the deep through colorful maps, photos, and satellite images.
Engage, Conserve, Restore
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.