The Most Detailed Map of the Ocean Floor Ever Was Made From Space

The bottom of the ocean is dark, mysterious, and vast—nearly all of it unmapped. Today, however, scientists reveal the clearest map of the ocean floor ever. They didn't explore the ocean floor. They didn't even send instruments into the water. Instead, they used gravity measurements from two satellites orbiting in… » 10/02/14 4:50pm 10/02/14 4:50pm

This 3D Underwater Camera Rig Records Renewed Life on a Canadian Reef

Unless samples and specimens are brought up from the seafloor or researchers hop aboard a submersible, a significant portion of underwater exploration is done in 2D, but that could soon change thanks to the recent installation of a revolutionary new scientific camera rig. We'll never look at the ocean's depths the… » 9/26/14 12:20pm 9/26/14 12:20pm

This Dunkable Drone Will Suck Up Whale Snot for Science

Collecting biological samples from a whale is about as difficult as it sounds. The animals are easily stressed by the rumblings of large research vessels or manned helicopters and quick to run. Instead, a team of researchers has developed a novel quadcopter solution that collects a different sort of secretion than… » 9/15/14 11:40am 9/15/14 11:40am

The Plan to Turn Our Aging Oil Rigs Into Skyscraper-Sized Reefs

Off the coast of Southern California, there's an underwater city. A thicket of almost 30 enormous steel oil rigs, each as large as a skyscraper, bolted to the floor of the ocean. Most of them are elderly, aging giants—and soon, the state will need to make a decision about whether to rip them up or let them stand.… » 9/12/14 10:58am 9/12/14 10:58am

Thousands of Lego Pieces Have Been Washing Up On This Beach Since 1997

On the quaint coast of Cornwall, near the town of Perranporth, there's a beach that's constantly covered in Lego. Tiny flippers, little plastic dragons, a brick here and there—these pieces have been washing ashore since a shipping accident in 1997 sent 4.8 million pieces into the sea nearby. And one-by-one, out they… » 7/21/14 10:48am 7/21/14 10:48am

The World's Most Terrifying Pool Can Simulate Any Wave

Definitely not coming to water park near you is a FloWave, a state-of-the-art wave pool that whips water around, simulating waves as tall as 90-feet and currents at 20 feet per second. FloWave is a real ocean simulator, you see, and its job is to prepare our infrastructure for the violent battering of the seas. » 7/15/14 7:02pm 7/15/14 7:02pm

A Tantalizingly Brief Glimpse Inside Fabien Cousteau's Underwater Lab

Fabien Cousteau just concluded his 31-day underwater research mission, where six scientists studied coral reefs in a small chamber 63 feet underwater off the coast of Key Largo. The long-term underwater residence gave them a firsthand glimpse of some never-before-seen underwater phenomena, as Cousteau told PBS's Hari… » 7/06/14 10:00am 7/06/14 10:00am

There Are Vast Reserves of Ancient Freshwater Hidden Below the Ocean

When you're drilling deep under the seabed, the last thing you might expect is freshwater. Yet Danish scientists on a recent expedition in the Baltic Sea suddenly found freshwater gushing up from their drill. In fact, undersea freshwater reserves are hidden all over the world, and some claim this could quench our… » 7/03/14 5:20pm 7/03/14 5:20pm

All the Alien-Looking Species Discovered by the Deep Sea Vehicle Alvin

While the Chinese are busy scouting the best under-sea sites to pillage for precious metals, America's venerable oceanic exploration sub, the newly-renovated DSV Alvin, continues to uncover scores of deep sea life forms that science has never even seen. Here are just a few of the more exotic animals Alvin has come… » 7/03/14 4:40pm 7/03/14 4:40pm

Why Those Little Plastic Microbeads in Your Soap Are So Bad

This week, Illinois became the first state in the country to ban exfoliating plastic beads. Good for Illinois. Plastic microbeads have been running off by the billions into the Great Lakes and the oceans, causing huge amounts of environmental damage. Yet most consumers didn't even realize they existed. » 6/15/14 10:46am 6/15/14 10:46am

The Planet's Biggest Water Supply Might Be Hidden 400 Miles Below the US

When most of us imagine what the mantle of the Earth is like, we see burning hot rock and magma (and maybe satan hanging out for good measure or something). But scientists have discovered evidence that all that rock may be hiding huge amounts of water—three times the volume of all our oceans combined. » 6/12/14 3:50pm 6/12/14 3:50pm

A Town's Famous Bioluminescent Bay Is Going Dark and No One Knows Why

For those who've seen it—and photographs don't do it justice—the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay is one of the world's most spectacular natural sights. Tiny plankton known as dinoflagellates light up the water like a glow stick at night. But since January, the glow has faded, throwing the entire Puerto Rican town into a… » 6/06/14 6:41pm 6/06/14 6:41pm

NASA: Ganymede is a water and ice Club Sandwich that may harbor life

NASA scientists says that the largest moon in the solar system may harbor life in its inner oceans. Previously, scientists thought Ganymede only had one ocean between two ice layers, but data reveals that its structure is "ice and oceans stacked up in several layers like a club sandwich." » 5/01/14 8:16pm 5/01/14 8:16pm

There's Garbage in the Deepest, Most Remote Parts of the Ocean

Our planet's oceans are huge and mysterious, and there are still stretches of the ocean floor that remain unexplored. But that doesn't mean they're pristine and untouched: a new study found even the deepest, most remote areas of the oceans contain man-made litter. As a species, we're just a bunch of slobs. » 5/01/14 11:01am 5/01/14 11:01am

Deepsea Minerals Are Coming Soon To A Cell Phone Near You

Rocks mined from the seafloor have been confirmed as a viable source for rare earth metals, and thus a tiny piece of the ocean might soon find its way into a cell phone or computer chipboard near you. The finding, published in the April 2014 issue of Applied Geochemistry, all but guarantees a new round of focus on… » 4/18/14 12:00pm 4/18/14 12:00pm

Look At These Beautiful Little Corals Grown Like Popsicles In A Lab

Coral sex is a wonder to behold. On a summer night, always around a full moon, corals somehow all know to release billions of sperm and eggs into the sea, turning the water into a pink miasma of sex. This spawning relies on precise environmental cues, which could get scrambled in climate change. That's why researchers… » 4/17/14 6:20pm 4/17/14 6:20pm