Skip to content
For WHOI personnel and vendors: COVID-19 Guidelines

Ocean Life


Scientists pull living microbes, possibly 100 million years old, from beneath the sea

Science Magazine

Microbes buried beneath the sea floor for more than 100 million years are still alive, a new study reveals. When brought back to the lab and fed, they started to multiply. The microbes are oxygen-loving species that somehow exist on what little of the gas diffuses from the ocean surface deep into the seabed. The new work demonstrates “microbial life is very persistent, and often finds a way to survive,” says Virginia Edgcomb, a microbial ecologist at WHOI who was not involved in the work.

Jellyfish larger than blue whales?

Jellyfish

Recent accounts in the media have described the appearance of lion’s mane jellyfish in waters and beaches in the Northeast as a surprising, sometimes troubling, event, with record sizes and numbers reported from Maine to the Massachusetts south coast. But is this event noteworthy? Or, as some have implied, is it a sign of failing ocean health? Three WHOI marine biologists weighed in to put events into perspective.

Read More

Bottlenose dolphins continue to compensate for humans in spite of pandemic

Though vessel noise may be quieting down on the high seas, one coastal area in Florida is seeing an upswing in boat traffic according to local authorities, putting more pressure on the world’s longest-studied wild bottlenose dolphin community. A recent WHOI study suggests this is only the beginning of a larger trend.

Read More

Scientists are trying to save coral reefs. Here’s what’s working.

National Geographic

Without a mix of long-term cuts in emissions and short-term innovation, there’s a not-so-far-off future where coral reefs as we know them simply cease to exist, says Anne Cohen, a coral expert at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

Corals in Crisis – virtual event recording

Worldwide, corals are struggling to survive, decimated by pollution, destructive fishing practices, and climate change. Six years ago, a deadly coral disease outbreak started in Florida and has now made its way to the coral reefs in U.S. Virgin Islands, killing corals at an unprecedented rate. Can scientists help stop this underwater epidemic and contain its spread?

Read More

A win for lobstermen and right whales

A study from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found a win for New England’s historic lobster fishery and for endangered right whales. Researchers Hannah Myers and Michael Moore show that even with less gear and a shorter season, fishers in Canada, Maine and Massachusetts caught about the same number of lobsters with much less effort. A change in regulations could protect whales and make the lobster fishery more profitable in the long term.

Read More