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Ocean Life


Island in the Stream

Island in the Stream

Jarvis Island is a tiny dot in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean right on the equator. This uninhabited…

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Panel to Discuss Deep-Sea Mining at AAAS Meeting

Panel to Discuss Deep-Sea Mining at AAAS Meeting

Home to an immense diversity of marine life, the deep ocean also contains valuable minerals with metals such as nickel, copper, cobalt, manganese, zinc, and gold, and rare-earth elements used in electronic technology like smart phones and medical imaging machines. As demand for these resources increases and supplies on land decrease, commercial mining operators are looking to the deep ocean as the next frontier for mining.

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A Big Decline of River Herring

A Big Decline of River Herring

River herring used to run up coastal streams in great numbers in springtime, returning from the ocean to spawn in fresh water. But their populations have plummeted. WHOI biologist Joel Llopiz is investigating critical gaps in understanding river herring’s larval stage just after they hatch.

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Corals Reveal Past Climate

Corals Reveal Past Climate

WHOI paleoclimatologist Konrad Hughen studies the history of Earth’s changing climate—using corals. The tiny living coral animals, known as polyps,…

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Eavesdropping on Shrimp’s Snap Chat

Eavesdropping on Shrimp's Snap Chat

At Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, marine ecologist Ashlee Lillis is studying a tiny animal that makes one of the ocean’s loudest natural sounds. It’s called a snapping shrimp. The noise it makes dominates the underwater soundscape in many coastal regions and may have an outsized effect on other marine life.

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Friend and Foe

Friend and Foe

Superoxide, a natural toxin produced by all oxygen-breathing organisms, has long been vilified when it comes to coral health.  When…

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Merry Christmas Tree Worm

Merry Christmas Tree Worm

Christmas tree worms, named for their resemblance to decorated holiday trees, are tiny, segmented worms that grow slowly and live…

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What Happened to Deepwater Horizon Oil?

What Happened to Deepwater Horizon Oil?

Officials pumped a huge amount of chemicals into the deep ocean during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in an effort to disperse the oil. A study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers evidence that the dispersant may helped microbes break down the oil.

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Explaining Coral Bleaching

Explaining Coral Bleaching

While conducting field work in Hawaii, WHOI scientists Colleen Hansel (center) and Amy Apprill (third from left) participated in a…

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