Oceanography

Oceanography is the study of the oceans as ecological systems. In this section, learn about topics like currents, deep-sea research or how rogue waves work.

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Tidal Bores Are Rare, Fast and Have Epic Waves

The super-cool phenomenon of tidal bores happens in only a few places on the globe, and it takes a very specific set of conditions to occur.

What Causes an Iceberg to Flip?

Around 90 percent of an iceberg is under the water, but changing weight distribution caused by melting can make it flip.

Where Have All the Seashells Gone?

All that seashell collecting you've been doing actually hurts the environment.

Red Tide Menaces Florida Coast

Harmful algal blooms wreak havoc in oceans around the world and occur nearly every summer along the coastline of Florida.

Who Was Alexander von Humboldt and What Is the Humboldt Current?

He might be the most important scientist you've never heard of, but the ocean current that bears his name helped shape the development of evolutionary theory.

Why Are Whales So Big?

Blue whales are the largest mammal ever known to exist on Earth. So what makes these creatures so huge?

Why Is the Ocean Different Colors in Different Places?

Ocean water is not actually blue, but appears in different shades for many reasons.

Which Ocean Is the World’s Smallest?

Water covers about 71 percent of Earth's surface, but do you know the difference between an ocean and a sea? And which ocean is the smallest?

What Is the World’s Shortest River?

Ever wondered what's the difference between a river, a stream, a brook and a tributary?

99 Percent of Great Barrier Reef Green Sea Turtles Are Hatching Female

A new study showed an alarming imbalance in the male-to-female ratio in green sea turtles hatching at the Great Barrier Reef. Scientists believe climate change is to blame.

We've Finally Recorded the Hum at the Bottom of the Sea

Although we've known it exists for decades, nobody knows exactly why there's a humming noise at the bottom of the ocean. But we're one step closer now that scientists have been able to record the sound underwater.

Just 10 River Systems Contribute Up to 95 Percent of Plastic in Oceans

Environmental researchers found that large river systems with lots of surrounding residents are the sources of plastic debris in the oceans.

There's a Second Huge Plastic Garbage Patch in the Pacific

Scientist and oceanographer Charles Moore confirmed the existence of a second huge plastic garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean.

What Happens Next to A-68, Antarctica's New Gigantic Iceberg?

Scientists are tracking the massive iceberg A-68, which recently calved from Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf, to see where it drifts and whether it breaks up.

How Do Scientists Track Sea Level?

Measuring sea level has changed almost as much as the tides during the 200 or so years scientists have been tracking it. Find out how it's tracked today.

The World's Largest Waterfall Is Deep Underwater

The Denmark Strait cataract dwarfs every other waterfall in the world, but you can't see it because it's deep under the Atlantic Ocean.

Scientists Warn Climate Change Is Suffocating the World's Oceans

Climate change may be melting glaciers, but it's also reducing the oxygen of the world's oceans. Without oxygen, many marine organisms may no longer be able to survive.

Probing the Undersea Dead Zone Known as the Hot Tub of Despair

Take a look inside the deadly brine pool in the Gulf of Mexico that's captivating the world's attention.

Mariana Trench Exploration Finds More Weird New Underwater Species

The NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer just wrapped up the third leg of its recent expedition into the deep Pacific waters, finding a number of cool new species.

New Mariana Trench Expedition Already Making Some Really Cool Finds

A mind-boggling number of Earth’s species have yet to be discovered. A NOAA research team aboard the Okeanos Explorer is hunting in the deepest hole in the ocean.

Divers Find Roman-era Sunken Treasure in Shipwreck Off Israel

With incredibly well-preserved metal figurines, lamps, coins and more, the sunken treasure find in Caesarea's harbor is being called the best of its kind in decades.

Underwater Icicles Are Salty, Weird-Looking and Deadly

Underwater icicles, also called brinicles or sea stalactites, form when super-cold brine meets normal seawater. The sub-zero phenomenon can kill some sea life.

SeaOrbiter: An Aquatic Version of the Space Station Seeks Funding

SeaOrbiter would allow scientists to live at sea, and could be the aquatic equivalent of the International Space Station – if it can get the $53 million needed to finish.

HowStuffWorks: 10 Weird Sea Creatures

The ocean’s depths are one of the most mysterious areas on the planet – and the inhabitants of this murky domain are stranger than anything you’ll find on land.

How Volcano Vent Tubeworms Work

Tubeworms aren't antisocial; they just prefer an environment that's a little different from the rest of us — one that happens to be as hot as an oven and riddled with bacteria.


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