Ocean Exploration News Archive

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  • 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.


  • New generation of underwater drones makes waves for citizen scientists 

    November 2, 2016  |  CBS News

    Underwater drones are opening up a whole new frontier of exploration. The lightweight vehicles can zip along coral reefs, explore marine life and even go inside shipwrecks.

  • Exploring vast 'submerged America,' marine scientists discover 500 bubbling methane vents 

    October 19, 2016  |  AAAS EurekaAlert!

    Five hundred vents newly discovered off the US West Coast, each bubbling methane from Earth's belly, top a long list of revelations about "submerged America" being celebrated by leading marine explorers meeting in New York.

  • There's an Enormous Natural Gas Seep Along the West Coast 

    October 19, 2016  |  Gizmodo

    From British Columbia to Northern California, planet Earth’s got a case of the toots. A recent deep ocean mapping survey has learned that a geologically-active strip of seafloor called the Cascadia Subduction Zone is bubbling methane like mad. It could be one of the most active methane seeps on the planet.

  • Images from the deep unveil weird and wild sea critters 

    October 19, 2016  |  Daily Mail

    Some of the pictures taken by remote cameras of never-before-seen areas, especially off the eastern Pacific, show what looks like an imaginary world. There's a delicate jellyfish, an eel with a strange head and a purple disco ball-like critter. And just in time for Halloween, there's a rare purple Vampire Squid, nicknamed for its red eyes and deep color. The images are being shown as part of the National Ocean Exploration Forum this week in New York.

  • A Quest to Map the Seafloor by 2030 

    September 29, 2016  |  Newsweek

    The unknown hit the USS San Francisco like a torpedo. On January 8, 2005, the nuclear submarine was barreling along at 38 miles per hour, 525 feet beneath the surface. Such vessels often travel in virtual blindness, forgoing radar and its telltale pings; the crew relied on seafloor charts to navigate. But the maps were incomplete.

  • Scientists get a look at sunken World War II aircraft carrier after 65 years 

    August 24, 2016  |  CNN

    At its peak in World War II, the USS Independence sank a Japanese battleship during the fight for the Philippines. But after the war, the fearsome US aircraft carrier was heavily damaged during atomic tests at Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific. By 1951, it was scuttled about 30 miles from San Francisco. No one had laid eyes on the warship for 65 years – until this week.

  • Incredible images offer first glimpse of sunken WWII-era aircraft carrier 

    August 23, 2016  |  Fox News

    Scientists have released incredible pictures of sunken light aircraft carrier USS Independence that were taken by underwater robots exploring the wreck.

  • Scientists Dive to WWII-Era USS Independence: How to Watch Live 

    August 22, 2016  |  Live Science

    Join researchers on a dive to the wreckage of the USS Independence, a World War II-era aircraft carrier that was deliberately sunk off San Francisco in 1951.

  • Navy Ship Mysteriously Lost in 1921 Found via Science, Sleuthing 

    March 25, 2016  |  Eos

    Scientists painstakingly compared a shipwreck spotted in 2009 to a 1904 schematic of a long-lost tugboat. A naval gun on the wreck proved to be the "smoking gun" identifying the vanished ship.

  • The USS Conestoga: A tangible reminder of who we are as a nation

    March 16, 2016  |  NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries

    As the West Coast Regional Maritime Heritage Coordinator for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), Schwemmer was the co-principal investigator with James Delgado, ONMS Maritime Heritage Coordinator, on the discovery of the USS Conestoga announced earlier this week. This U.S. Navy fleet tug sailed from San Francisco Bay on March 25, 1921 and vanished with 56 men on board.

  • Earth's rarest minerals catalogued 

    February 13, 2016  |  BBC

    Scientists have categorised the Earth's rarest minerals. None of 2,500 species described is known from more than five locations, and for a few of them the total global supply could fit in a thimble.

  • New Deep-Sea Vents and Volcanic Activity Discovered in the Mariana Back-Arc 

    January 29, 2016  |  Schmidt Ocean Institue

    A diverse team of scientists are returning from a 28-day expedition onboard R/V Falkor that has more than doubled the number of known hydrothermal vent sites in the Mariana Back-arc region.

  • Novel Vents Built from Talc Found Far from Mid-Ocean Rift 

    January 5, 2016  |  Eos

    Researchers discovered the first new variety of hydrothermal vents in a decade—a finding that may give clues to how oceanic crust cools.


  • The Ocean Business: The Rise and Rhetoric of the Blue Economy 

    November 2, 2015  |  The Economist

    Deep-sea mining is both totem and taboo for the new ocean economy. It reflects the promise of what is loosely termed the “blue economy” as well as its dangers and pitfalls.

  • Perspectives on Ocean Exploration 

    September 29, 2015  |  Aquarium of the Pacific

    Video documentary by the Aquarium of the Pacific stresses the importance of understanding Earth's ocean through interviews with leading researchers and historical lessons.

  • Do Humans Have a Future in Deep Sea Exploration? 

    September 14, 2015  |  The New York Times

    Entering the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory hangar is akin to stepping onto the set of a Spielberg film. The dull metal shell, perched on the Makai pier along the Windward Coast of Oahu, is nondescript, but the inside bristles with Zodiac boats and a dizzying assortment of hoists and tools, and the walls are festooned with 30 years of snapshots.

  • Centuries-old shipwreck discovered off North Carolina coast 

    July 17, 2015  |  Science Daily

    Researchers have discovered a centuries-old shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina. Artifacts around the wreck, including bricks, bottles and navigation gear, appear to date it to the late 18th or early 19th century. Scientists were on an expedition using sonar scanning technology and the submersible vessel Alvin when they spotted the wreckage.

  • Radioactive Wreck of WWII Aircraft Carrier Discovered Near San Francisco Bay 

    July 10, 2015  |  Western Digs

    After more than 60 years – and some of the most intense action that a military vessel has ever seen – a World War II-era aircraft carrier has recently been re-discovered off the coast of San Francisco, still larded with its final cargo: hundreds of barrels of radioactive waste.

  • Protection voted for deep-sea corals off Atlantic coast 

    June 10, 2015  |  Baltimore Sun

    Cold-water corals growing in deep water off Maryland and the rest of the mid-Atlantic coast would be protected from most harmful fishing activity under a sweeping plan approved Wednesday.

  • U.S. fisheries council protects mid-Atlantic deep ocean coral 

    June 10, 2015  |  Reuters

    More than 35,000 square miles (90,650 sq km) of ocean habitat along the U.S. Atlantic coast gained protection on Wednesday from trawl and dredge fishing that could harm deep-sea ocean corals, according to an environmental group supporting the restrictions.

  • Mountains in Atlantic Mapped by Celtic Explorer's Multi-National Team 

    June 10, 2015  |  Afloat Magazine

    A multi-national team of ocean exploration experts from Europe, USA and Canada led by Thomas Furey, Marine Institute, has revealed previously uncharted features on the Atlantic seabed including mountains and ridges taller than Carrauntoohil, Ireland's highest mountain.

  • Team led by Marine Institute mapping Atlantic sea bed 

    June 9, 2015  |  RTE News

    A multi-national team of ocean exploration experts aim to use the marine research resources of Europe, Canada and the US to better understand the North Atlantic Ocean and promote sustainable management of its resources, particularly in the face of climate change.

  • Making organic molecules in hydrothermal vents in the absence of life 

    June 8, 2015  |  Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    In 2009, scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution embarked on a NASA-funded mission to the Mid-Cayman Rise in the Caribbean, in search of a type of deep-sea hot-spring or hydrothermal vent that they believed held clues to the search for life on other planets.

  • Deep Sea Discoveries 

    June 5, 2015  |  Wake Up with Al

    Andera Quattrini shares some of the newest deep-sea discoveries with Al Roker and Stephanie Abrams.

  • See the strange creatures NOAA found at the bottom of the sea 

    May 15, 2015  |  PBS News Hour

    Each year, the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer maps an area of the seafloor the size of West Virginia. When compared to the total Atlantic Ocean, which spans 41 million square miles, West Virginia’s not so large. But the discoveries the team is making are vast: Small creatures in hydrothermal vents. Asphalt volcanoes. Ancient landslides. New species of squid.

  • Microsoft co-founder says he's discovered long-lost Japanese battleship 

    March 5, 2015  |  CNN

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he has found the wreck of a long-lost World War II Japanese battleship near the Philippines.

  • ‘Huge’ WWII Japanese battleship Musashi has been found, billionaire Paul Allen says 

    March 4, 2015  |  Washington Post

    The construction of a vessel that would come to represent the might of Japan’s navy was so secretive, according to historical accounts, that workers hid it underneath a camouflage of rope. There was good reason to try to keep construction secret. It would become a fearsome creature of war: Said to be at that time “the largest battleship in naval history,” it extended nearly 900 feet in length, weighed 73,000 tons and was equipped with a massive arsenal of guns.

  • Fisheries council looks at deep-sea restrictions 

    February 10, 2015  |  Philadelphia Inquirer

    Off the Jersey Shore, where the continental shelf plummets into the deep sea, scientists have been exploring vast canyons, discovering far below the surface a trove of deep-sea corals as colorful and exciting as their warm-water cousins.

  • Atlantic Corals: Colorful and Vulnerable 

    February 9, 2015  |  The New York Times

    A council that sets regulations for fishing off the mid-Atlantic coast will meet on Wednesday to consider protections for little known and fragile ecosystems of deep sea corals in and around 15 ocean sites.

  • Norfolk Canyon yields deep-sea coral surprises 

    February 1, 2015  |  Daily Press

    About 80 miles off the Virginia coast, the Continental Shelf drops off from a depth of 600 feet to sink thousands of feet more toward the black bottom of the deep ocean.

  • A Moment of Truth Arrives for U.S. Ocean Science 

    January 30, 2015  |  Science Magazine

    For years, U.S. marine scientists have fretted about the future of their field, watching as federal funding stagnated and the cost of seafloor observatories and other infrastructure steadily eroded the money available for research. But there's been little agreement on how to respond.

  • Sea Change: 2015-2025 Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences: Report Available 

    January 30, 2015  |  National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council

    With input from the ocean sciences community, the National Research Council report Sea Change: 2015-2025 Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences identifies eight strategic research priorities for the next decade that will continue to advance scientific understanding of the ocean.


  • Who Eats Whom under the Arctic Sea Ice 

    December 17, 2014  |  Scientific American

    The Nereid Under Ice vehicle, built and operated by a consortium led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, completed four dives during its first Arctic mission in July.

  • Methane Is Discovered Seeping From Seafloor Off East Coast, Scientists Say 

    August 24, 2014  |  The New York Times

    Scientists have discovered methane gas bubbling from the seafloor in an unexpected place: off the East Coast of the United States where the continental shelf meets the deeper Atlantic Ocean.

  • Coral Damage Goes Deeper in Gulf of Mexico's Oil Spill Zone 

    July 29, 2014  |  NBC News

    A sweeping survey of coral communities surrounding the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico shows that the catastrophe had a wider effect than scientists thought four years ago.

  • Expedition uncovering Nazi U-boat in Gulf shows WWII played out close to home 

    July 18, 2014  |  Fox News

    A team spearheaded by the deep-sea explorer who found the Titanic has been searching a little-known ship graveyard located in the Gulf of Mexico that includes the only known Nazi U-boat to have sunk in the Gulf of Mexico during WWII and a few of its targets.

  • Fifty Years of Deep Ocean Exploration With the DSV Alvin 

    June 3, 2014  |  Eos

    This week the Deep Submergence Vehicle Alvin, the world’s first deep- diving submarine and the only one dedicated to scientific research in the United States, celebrates its 50th anniversary.

  • The Weird, Wild World of Citizen Science Is Already Here 

    May 22, 2014  |  Wired Magazine

    Up and down the west coast of North America, countless numbers of starfish are dying. The affliction, known as Sea Star Wasting Syndrome, is already being called the biggest die-off of sea stars in recorded history, and we’re still in the dark as to what’s causing it or what it means. It remains an unsolved scientific mystery. The situation is also shaping up as a case study of an unsung scientific opportunity: the rise of citizen science and exploration.

  • John Steinbeck's 1966 Plea To Create A NASA For The Oceans 

    May 21, 2014  |  Popular Science

    In the September 1966 issue of Popular Science, author John Steinbeck made the case for giving deep-sea exploration the same attention as the space race.

  • Robotic Deep-sea Vehicle Lost on Dive to 6-Mile Depth 

    May 10, 2014  |  Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    On Saturday, May 10, 2014, at 2 p.m. local time (10 p.m. Friday EDT), the hybrid remotely operated vehicle Nereus was confirmed lost at 9,990 meters (6.2 miles) depth in the Kermadec Trench northeast of New Zealand.

  • Peter Rona, Renowned Explorer of the Deep Ocean, Dies at 79 

    February 24, 2014  |  Rutgers

    Peter Rona, renowned for his deep-sea exploration, died on Feb. 19 of complications of multiple myeloma. He was 79 years old.

  • Starting from St. Pete, Explorer's Nautilus Will Map Pacific 

    February 8, 2014  |  The St. Petersburg Tribune

    St. Petersburg will be home to the state-of-the art vessel for the next three months while the ship goes through a $1.5 million overhaul of its complex data and communications systems. If all goes to plan, the ship and its 47-man crew will depart the city for the Pacific Ocean in April or May to begin sea-floor mapping of submerged United States territories.


  • Finding Japan's Aircraft-Carrier Sub 

    December 2, 2013  |  The New York Times

    What the crew of the submersible Pisces V found on the sea floor off Hawaii in August was a huge Japanese submarine that the United States sent to the bottom of the ocean in 1946, lest it become a Cold War trophy for the Soviet Union.

  • Japanese Super Submarine From World War II Finally Discovered 

    December 2, 2013  |  The Huffington Post

    Researchers at the University of Hawaii and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have discovered a missing World War II-era Japanese mega-submarine under more than 2,300 feet of water off the southwest coast of Oahu.

  • Giant World War II Aircraft-carrying Submarine Discovered Off Oahu Coast 

    December 2, 2013  |  The University of Hawaii

    A World War II-era Imperial Japanese Navy mega-submarine, the I-400, lost since 1946 when it was intentionally scuttled by U.S. forces after its capture, has been discovered in more than 2,300 feet of water off the southwest coast of O‘ahu. The discovery resolves a decades-old Cold War mystery of just where the lost submarine lay, and recalls a different era as one war ended and a new, undeclared conflict emerged.

  • Makers: the New Explorers of the Universe 

    November 2, 2013  |  Make Magazine

    “[In] the last century, discovery was basically finding things. And in this century, discovery is basically making things.” So explained Stewart Brand at the TED conference this past February. He was referring to the National Geographic Society’s rationale for hosting the first-ever meeting on de-extinction — a gathering of scientists and engineers who are using biotechnology to bring back extinct species.

  • NOAA partners with children’s show to spread ocean awareness 

    October 28, 2013  |  Salon

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking to improve its image – by associating itself with cute cartoon characters. The federal agency announced that it's partnering with the producer of "Octonauts," an animated preschool series that airs weekday mornings on Disney Channel.

  • Octonauts Series Adds Federal Partner in Ocean Awareness 

    October 28, 2013  |  The New York Times

    Octonauts, the animated preschool series about a crew of eight undersea adventurers whose motto is 'explore, rescue and protect,' is getting a seal of approval of sorts from a unit of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

  • Scientists Release First Plan for National Ocean Exploration Program 

    September 25, 2013  |  U.S. News and World Report

    More than three-quarters of what lies beneath the surface of the ocean is unknown, even to trained scientists and researchers. Taking steps toward discovering what resources and information the seas hold, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Aquarium of the Pacific released on Wednesday a report that details plans to create the nation's first ocean exploration program by the year 2020.

  • NOAA and Aquarium of the Pacific to Release 1st U.S. National Ocean Exploration Program Report 

    September 25, 2013  |  Wall Street Journal: Market Watch

    NOAA and the Aquarium of the Pacific have released their co-authored report today detailing plans for the nation's first ocean exploration program.

  • Accelerating Ocean Exploration 

    August 30, 2013  |  Science Magazine

    Last month, a distinguished group of ocean researchers and explorers convened in Long Beach, California, at the Aquarium of the Pacific to assess progress and future prospects in ocean exploration.

  • Live Out Your Jacques Cousteau Fantasy with the NOAA's Livestream 

    August 12, 2013  |  The Atlantic Wire

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is running a livestream, complete with delightful commentary, of their exploration of the deep sea. As the NOAA puts it, they want to "allow the world public to ‘join’ the team in making real-time discoveries from hundreds to thousands of meters below the ocean surface."

  • NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer gives viewers a deep sea TV experience 

    August 11, 2013  |  Fox 4 News

    Who needs Honey-Boo-Boo or the next housewives reality TV show when you’ve got an ocean full of real drama?

  • 12 Reasons Pyrosomes Are My New Favorite Terrifying Sea Creatures 

    August 8, 2013  |  The Atlantic

    Pyrosomes are actually colonies composed of hundreds and sometimes thousands of individuals known (reason 1.5 to love pyrosomes) as zooids. The individuals work in unison to propel the colony through the water.

  • What Should We Do With the Blue? 

    July 21, 2013  |  National Geographic

    44 years ago today, human beings set foot on the moon. It was the result of nearly a decade of intense research, development, and experimentation, and as John F. Kennedy had forseen, it was not easy– it was hard. But it was done.

  • Primeval Underwater Forest Discovered in Gulf of Mexico 

    July 10, 2013  |  LiveScience

    Scuba divers have discovered a primeval underwater forest off the coast of Alabama. The Bald Cypress forest was buried under ocean sediments, protected in an oxygen-free environment for more than 50,000 years.

  • Rockets Top Submarines: Space Exploration Dollars Dwarf Ocean Spending 

    June 20, 2013  |  Center for American Progress

    “Star Trek” would have us believe that space is the final frontier, but with apologies to the armies of Trekkies, their oracle might be a tad off base. Though we know little about outer space, we still have plenty of frontiers to explore here on our home planet. And they’re losing the race of discovery.

  • Ocean Science and Exploration Are Capitol Hill Focus for Explorer and Filmmaker James Cameron and WHOI President and Director Susan Avery 

    June 11, 2013  |  PR Newswire

    Explorer and director James Cameron will be on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, June 11, with Dr. Susan Avery, president and director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for a series of public events and a Senate hearing.

  • James Cameron: 'Deep sea exploration could help predict tsunamis' 

    June 6, 2013  |  CNN Tech

    More than 15 years after director James Cameron made his Oscar-winning film, it was his turn to scour the deep sea in a high-tech pod. But unlike his "Titanic" fictional character Lockett, Cameron wasn't in search of a sunken diamond – instead he was gathering scientific data which could revolutionize our understanding of both deep sea creatures and earthquakes.

  • Aquarium Of The Pacific’s New Exhibit Gives Visitors A Look At Life At The Depths Of The Ocean 

    May 28, 2013  |  Everything Long Beach

    Starting this summer, visitors to the Aquarium of the Pacific will be transported into the dark depths of the ocean, where they will encounter unusual animals that live beyond the reach of light.