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Meet seven of the most fearsome pirates from the Golden Age of Piracy. Like pirates? Read more about William Dampier , a most fearsome pirate -- and naturalist.
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Sea ice is typically viewed as the domain of physical and natural scientists,...
By Caty Fairclough In centuries past, the ocean was thought to be full of...
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Worldwide, fisheries touch our lives in countless ways. If well maintained,...

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The Charles W. Morgan sailing en route to Newport on June 15, 2104. Built in 1841, the Charles W. Morgan sailed on 37 voyages to remote corners of the globe during her 80-year whaling career. The Morgan departed in spring 2014 on...
Join marine archeologists as they trace the history of the Trouvadore , a...
Fish swim around the wreck of the HMT Bedfordshire , an Arctic fishing...

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The ocean was the world's highway, and ships brimming with precious cargoes plied the waters. These merchant ships were...
Yes, there were women pirates! And Bonny (left) and Read were among the most famous. Dressed in men’s clothes, they fought side-by-side with other pirates—many of whom believed the two women were men...
A giant squid attacks a boat - something that has not been known to happen in real life. For centuries, rare glimpses of this huge sea creature led to fantastic explanations for what people's...
For many years, shark fin soup has been a popular delicacy at weddings and formal occasions in China. Recently, it has become clear that shark-fin removal is cruel to sharks and severely damages...
Master carver Douglas Chilton rides at the prow of his creation—the Raven Spirit canoe—at its ceremonial launch in Washington, D.C. The canoe is now on display in the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall...
An underwater archaeological stratigraphy reveals the different levels of soil in Hare Harbor, Quebec. The stratigraphy – a process archeologists use to help date materials by identifying soil layers...
Captain Henry Morgan (1635-1688). On behalf of Jamaica, the ruthless privateer Henry Morgan attacked Spanish cities and ships, killing and torturing prisoners. Morgan became very wealthy and was...
CREDIT: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Basque Whalers Background Having already learned to hunt large whales in the Bay of Biscay in the 13th through 15th centuries, Basques began arriving in the...
Senegalese fishermen unload their catch. Traditional fishing has been a critical part of Senegal’s economy, contributing to the nation’s food security and providing jobs in many communities.
Tlingit paddlers carefully lift the Raven Spirit canoe into Washington’s Potomac River for its ceremonial launch. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit featured story.
With an abundance of salmon, early hunting and foraging societies were transformed into settled villages with expanding social networks and elaborate festivities. The festivities often included...
Douglas Chilton uses traditional carving tools to shape the Raven Spirit canoe. Chilton—a master carver and member of the Tlingit Nation—transformed the log into a 26-foot-long, traditional...
The Raven Spirit canoe is now prominently displayed in the Smithsonian Institution’s Sant Ocean Hall—a reminder of how native peoples of the North Pacific honored and depended on the bounty of the...
Bikini Atoll, formed over millions of years around an island in the Pacific Ocean about halfway between Papua New Guinea and Hawaii, has been subjected to horrific human-caused disturbances. Between...
Classic examples of Northwest Coast art, these rattles from British Columbia illustrate the sophisticated way of life salmon helped provide. They were used during shamanistic performances to cure...
2012 marked the 70th anniversary of a series of World War II battles in the Pacific Ocean and on its islands, which are collectively known as the “Pacific theatre.” While the battles are long over,...
During whale hunts, this carved whale box stored harpoon blades like the three shown beside it. "Living" inside the box was meant to give the blades spiritual powers to carry a harpoon back to the...
Eventually, however, Bartholomew Roberts’ luck came to end. He was killed off the coast of Africa. Following his wishes, his crew threw his body into the sea—finery and all. Then, in the largest...
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