Ocean Exploration News

Ocean exploration is a dynamic and exciting field. New discoveries and explorations, advances in technology, and important findings in deep-ocean science happen every day. The items on this page capture big news in ocean exploration, not just at NOAA, but around the field. Check back regularly to stay on top of the ever-changing world of deep-ocean exploration or visit the archive for past stories.

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2018 2017

2018

  • Don’t Squish the Jellyfish. Capture It With a Folding Robotic Claw. 

    July 18, 2018  |  The New York Times

    A new invention could help marine scientists study sea creatures in their natural habitat more effectively without harming them in the process.

  • 'Horror' Lizardfish and Weird Unidentifiable Creatures Found Chilling off Carolina Coast 

    July 12, 2018  |  People

    Ever wonder what is hanging out below your feet in open water? Well, if you are swimming off the coast of the Carolinas a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Exploration and Research team has the answer, and you might not like it.

  • Possible Meteorite Fragments Found in Marine Sanctuary 

    July 12, 2018  |  Marine Technology News

    In the first ever intentional hunt for a meteorite at sea, researchers set out to investigate the largest recorded meteorite to strike the United States in 21 years. They recovered from the ocean what are believed to be pieces of the dense, interstellar rock.

  • NASA is Hunting for Meteorites Deep Under the Sea – You Can Come Along for the Ride 

    July 2, 2018  |  Newsweek

    On March 7, a minivan-sized meteor flashed through the skies at about nine miles per second before splitting up and splashing into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. NASA scientists are among those hunting for the fragments on the Ocean Exploration Trust's E/V Nautilus ship. NASA planetary scientist Marc Fries marked out a 0.4 square mile region of ocean some 330 feet deep to hunt for the meteorites.

  • 'Sonar Anomaly' Isn't a Shipwreck, and It's Definitely Not Aliens, NOAA Says 

    June 28, 2018  |  LiveScience

    The suspenseful wait is over: The unusual "sonar anomaly" detected by an aquatic robot off the coast of North Carolina isn't a shipwreck, and it isn't aliens, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Rather, it's "geologic in origin," NOAA Ocean Explorer reported in a tweet yesterday (June 27).

  • Scientists use hydrophone to listen in on methane seeps in ocean 

    June 26, 2018  |  EurkeAlert!

    A research team has successfully recorded the sound of methane bubbles from the seafloor off the Oregon coast using a hydrophone, opening the door to using acoustics to identify - and perhaps quantify - this important greenhouse gas in the ocean.

  • After filming giant squids, scientists ponder what else lurks deep within the oceans 

    June 19, 2018  |  Mashable

    For centuries, sailors spoke about a tentacled monster called "the Kraken" that lurked in the oceans. "There were tales of them pulling ships and men to their death, which may have been partially true, although sailors tell tales," Edith Widder, a marine biologist, said in an interview. The Kraken, however, might exist — in the form of the elusive giant squid.

  • Researchers document widespread methane seeps off Oregon coast 

    May 31, 2018  |  Phys.org

    For the past two years, scientists from Oregon State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have surveyed the Pacific Northwest near-shore region mapping sites where underwater bubble streams signify methane gas is being released from the seafloor.

  • This Contorted Mystery Squid May Be the 'Most Bizarre' Ever Seen 

    April 20, 2018  |  Live Science

    Unusual deep-sea creatures seen for the first time can sometimes stump even a seasoned expert in marine biology. And in a recent video of an ocean dive in the Gulf of Mexico, an expert's off-camera exclamation revealed his surprised response to the appearance of a squid that had contorted itself into such a peculiar shape that it barely resembled a squid at all.

  • 12 photos show how humans explored Earth's oceans from the 1600s to now 

    April 19, 2018  |  Business Insider

    The world's oceans cover 71% of the planet's surface, yet we've more thoroughly mapped the surface of Mars than we have the ocean floor. At the recent opening of an exhibit about exploring unseen parts of the ocean at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), Investor Ray Dalio put the ocean's immensity into perspective.

  • Mapping Our Planet, One Ocean at a Time 

    April 2, 2018  |  WeatherNation

    It could be said that Earth’s oceans are the final frontier in exploration. More than 80 percent of the world’s oceans remain unexplored and unmapped. Compare that to the moon and Mars, which have both been mapped completely, and we are woefully behind in discovering what lies beneath.

  • Deep-Sea Coral Ecosystems May Hold Cancer Cures, But They Face Threats 

    February 26, 2018  |  EcoWatch

    To Shirley Pomponi the sea sponges lining her office shelves are more than colorful specimens; they're potentially lifesaving creatures, some of which could hold the complex secrets to cures for cancers and other diseases.

  • Watch the adorable, first-ever video of a newborn dumbo octopus 

    February 20, 2018  |  Washington Post

    A baby dumbo octopus is just like its parent, but tiny — which makes it even more adorable. The creature was seen for the first time in footage taken in 2005 by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution ecologist Tim Shank. In the video and the accompanying research paper, published this week in the journal Current Biology, Shank and his colleagues report that within 10 minutes of hatching, the young octopus behaved like a fully grown adult.

  • First Video of Baby Dumbo Octopus Shows They’re Fully Formed From Birth 

    February 20, 2018  |  Smithsonian.com

    Scientists’ understanding of the Dumbo octopus is relatively limited, but a new study in Current Biology sheds some light on the deep sea dwellers, detailing the first observations of dumbo octopus hatchlings. The biggest takeaway? Newly hatched Dumbo octopuses are nearly identical to their adult counterparts, which means their trademark fins are present from the very beginning.

  • First Video of Baby Dumbo Octopus Shows They’re Fully Formed From Birth 

    February 20, 2018  |  Smithsonian.com

    Scientists’ understanding of the Dumbo octopus is relatively limited, but a new study in Current Biology sheds some light on the deep sea dwellers, detailing the first observations of dumbo octopus hatchlings. The biggest takeaway? Newly hatched Dumbo octopuses are nearly identical to their adult counterparts, which means their trademark fins are present from the very beginning.

  • Solving the Sky-High Costs of Ocean Exploration with A.I. 

    February 9, 2018  |  News Deeply

    Research ships are vital for advancing marine science but are costly to operate. Oscar Pizarro, a scientist at the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics and the Schmidt Ocean Institute, thinks automated expeditions are the future of ocean science.

  • Scientists caught the deepest fish in the ocean on camera over 5 miles below the surface — take a look 

    January 24, 2018  |  Business Insider

    A team of Japanese scientists set a record catching the deepest-dwelling fish on camera more than 26,000 feet below the surface. The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), filmed a snailfish in late August in the Marianas Trench — the deepest zone of the Pacific Ocean — at 26,830 feet below the surface.

  • Lanternfish reveal how ocean warming impacts the twilight zone 

    January 18, 2018  |  ENN

    A new study from the British Antarctic Survey shows how lanternfish, small bioluminescent fish, are likely to respond to the warming of the Southern Ocean.

  • Scientists spent a month exploring the Gulf of Mexico's deep sea habitats — and the images they brought back are astonishing 

    January 15, 2018  |  Business Insider

    There's a spectacular, uncharted alien world right off the Gulf Coast, and a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) expedition sought to uncover its secrets. This past December, a NOAA team, aboard the Okeanos Explorer, conducted the first of three month-long studies of the deepest parts of the Gulf of Mexico, with the dual aim of exploring the diversity of deep-water habitats and mapping the seafloor.

2017

  • Eight Awe-Inspiring Ocean Discoveries in 2017 

    December 26, 2017  |  Oceans Deeply

    In the past year, scientists exploring the world’s marine biodiversity and geology have found the deepest fish in the sea and drilled into a submerged ancient continent. Read more about some of the fruits of the year in ocean exploration.

  • Even at 36,000 Feet Deep, Ocean Creatures Have Plastic in Their Guts 

    November 16, 2017  |  LiveScience

    A new study finds that crustaceans dwelling at the bottom of the 36,000-foot-deep (10,970 meters) trench have microplastics in their guts. In fact, across six deep-ocean trenches in the Pacific, not one was free of plastic contamination, the researchers reported today (Nov. 15).

  • Prepping for Alien Oceans, NASA Goes Deep 

    September 21, 2017  |  Scientific American

    In late 2012 NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope spotted what appeared to be plumes of water vapor spewing from the frozen surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. Another observation last year provided more evidence this was not a fluke. It is likely that below that distant world’s ice is an ocean larger than all of Earth’s combined. This created a frenzy in the astrobiological community—brimming with all that water, could Europa also have the necessary ingredients for life?

  • Robotic Deep Sea Explorer Uncovers Treasure Trove of Freaky Marine Life 

    August 4, 2017  |  Gizmodo

    Last month, scientists aboard the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer visited a poorly-explored deep sea area about 940 miles west of Hawaii. From giant sea spiders and rare snailfish through to comb jellies and glass-like corals, these are some of the weirdest critters we’ve seen in a while.

  • Ocean Exploration and the Quest to Inspire the Public 

    June 21, 2017  |  The Huffington Post

    Both space and ocean exploration can boast world firsts, extreme risks, unknown challenges, and mind-boggling discoveries that captivate our imagination and advance our understanding of our world and, fundamentally, of ourselves. So why does space exploration and research capture our collective attention and imagination more than ocean exploration and research?

  • We Need NASA for Ocean Exploration 

    June 8, 2017  |  Inverse Science

    It’s World Oceans Day, and the oceans need our help more than ever. In 2016, Inverse made the case for giving ocean exploration the same attention we give space exploration.

  • Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Aims to Reveal the Deepest Secrets of the Sea 

    April 14, 2017  |  NBC News

    The ocean covers an astonishing two-thirds of our planet. Yet except for a few strange features — including the Romanche Fracture Zone, a valley along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that’s four times bigger than the Grand Canyon; a 4,000-meter cliff near the Bahamas; and a mid-Atlantic mountain chain that spans 40,000 miles and connects the Southern and Northern hemispheres – we know little about the specific features that lie in the deepest parts of the ocean.

  • The 'Curious' Robots Searching for the Ocean's Secrets 

    February 23, 2017  |  The Atlantic

    A new class of machines knows how to recognize and investigate unexpected things that pop up underwater.

  • Inside the U.S.'s Only Ocean Exploration Ship 

    February 17, 2017  |  Scientific American

    A new class of machines knows how to recognize and investigate unexpected things that pop up underwater.

Ocean Exploration News Archive