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Dive in and find answers to your deepest ocean questions. Why is the ocean blue? What causes ocean waves? How do I become and oceanographer? Get the facts and increase your ocean knowledge.
One of the most striking things about coral is its bright coloring. But many are a dull green or brown. So, what gives some corals their bright hues?
It’s easy to think of the world’s forests as the planet’s “lungs.” Trees pump out oxygen—the same stuff we breathe in. But does all our breathable air come from just land?
One idea is that it reflects the sky. But if we sink below the surface, the blue color remains. Here, the water isn’t reflecting the sky. So why is the ocean blue?
A trip to the ocean means sun, wind, and waves. Surfers ride them. Children play in them. Swimmers dive beneath them. But what causes waves?
As anyone who has tried diving to the bottom of a deep pool knows, all that water gets heavy—fast. Extreme pressure is one reason why the ocean floor is still largely unexplored.
We often hear about the weather. We also hear about climate. The two terms are related. But they are not the same thing. What’s the difference?
Beaches can be white, black, green, red and even pink. What creates those different colors? Why is some sand soft and fine, but other types feel rough? Where does beach sand come from, anyway?
Like all scientists, oceanographers are curious. Students who are curious about all things ocean might make great oceanographers. So how do you become one?
One of the most striking features of our beaches is seashells. Their whorls, curves, and shiny iridescent insides are the remains of animals. But where do they come from?
Deep in the ocean there’s very little sunlight. But if you could swim down there, it would look a bit like the night sky. Why is this?
Corals have a symbiotic relationship with algae. The algae gives corals their color and provides them with food. In return, corals provide the algae with a place to live.
The base of a coral reef is coral, but what is coral? If you look at a piece of coral that washed up on shore, it’s solid and tough with rough edges and little pits.
Under the right conditions, some of those storms can grow into large tropical storms. Or even monstrous hurricanes.
Sea levels have risen and fallen throughout geologic history due to a myriad of natural processes, most notably the forming and melting of glaciers.
The water flowing into the ocean comes from freshwater streams and rivers. These bodies of water do contain salt. It dissolves from rocks on land. That’s because rain is slightly acidic.
If you stare at just one spot on a coral reef, your eyes could be seeing more than 1,000 animals per square foot. That’s because the thing that makes up most of these marine ecosystems are tiny living animals called coral polyps, which exist on the surface of reef formations.
In places where it gets cold and snowy in winter, many meters of snow can fall. In some the following winter, adding a new layer to what was already there. Over hundreds to thousands of years, this process creates big sheets of ice called glaciers.
When sunlight shines on a field of snow, it reflects a bright-even blinding-white. But if you get a good look at the leading edge of a glacier, you’ll find that the ice inside is a brilliant blue.
People around the world are worried about rising sea levels. Much of this increase comes from melting polar ice and ocean waters that expand as they warm. But along many coastlines, sea level rises much more than we might expect simply from changes in the ocean.
When female emperor penguins—and later, males—return to the ocean to feed, they need a spot that gives them easy access to both the water and the ice. And, they also need places that are teeming with fish and other types of prey. Learn how polynyas provide a place where penguins can feast and build their energy reserves after breeding.