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Video: Wondrous pygmy seahorses

KQED takes a Deep Look at pygmy seahorses, recently bred in captivity for the first time thanks to biologists at the California Academy of Sciences.

Wrecked "ghost ships" off San Francisco

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Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and independent shipwreck divers exploring the Golden Gate strait discovered two sunken ships from 1863 and 1910, with several hundreds more "forgotten ghost ships" likely still undiscovered in the area.

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X-ray of the Smithsonian's two-headed shark and other specimens

sharktwo The National Museum of Natural History's Sandra Raredon maintains the "fish library," a job that includes X-raying the specimens like this two-headed smooth-hound shark. Below, a small tooth sawfish and Atlantic angel shark.

"A Two-Headed Shark and Other X-Rayed Beauties at the Smithsonian"

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Stunning great white shark footage

Absolutely breathtaking great white shark footage captured by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution researchers using their SharkCam underwater drone near Mexico's Guadalupe Island.

REMUS SharkCam is a specially outfitted REMUS-100 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) equipped with video cameras and navigational and scientific instrumentation that enable it to locate, track, and film up close a tagged marine animal, such as a North Atlantic white shark (great white). The vehicle is pre-programmed to home in on a signal from a transponder beacon attached to the animal at depths up to 100 meters (330 feet) and in a variety of patterns and configurations.

Mother and daughter humpback whale, a photo from the Boing Boing Flickr Pool

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Mother and daughter humpback whale. A photo captured and shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by reader Christopher Michel.

Seeking: "Colossal cannibal great white shark"

Australian scientists are seeking a "mystery sea monster" that likely swallowed a 9-foot great white shark. Most likely, it was an even bigger great white shark, specifically a 2-ton "colossal cannibal great white shark."

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Jacques Cousteau's grandson Fabien plans month underwater

NewImageFabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques, is planning to spend 31 days underwater, beating his grandfather's record by one day while also celebrating Jacques Cousteau's research.

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Billionaire tech VC Vinod Khosla owns the very tides, sea, sands (or so he claims)

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Silicon Valley billionaire venture capitalist and Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla wants everyone to stay off Martins Beach, a lovely stretch of oceanfront south of Half Moon Bay. To that end, he is invoking The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War in 1848 and transformed California from being a chunk of Mexico to becoming part of the USA. Okay, Vinod. Whatever.

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Deep sea creatures improved with the addition of googly eyes

There's an entire goddamned tumblr of this stuff and it's magnificent. It even includes the actual species of be-googlied sea critter, and source attribution. And it's not even photoshopped! Man, the oceans are amazing. [HT: Theremina]

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Breathtaking time-lapse video of marine life

Photographer Daniel Stoupin created this magical time-lapse video of "slow" marine life. "Microworlds: Slow Life"

Dolphin-safe tuna is a danger to other animals

In an older post that I hadn't seen before, David Shiffman of the Southern Fried Science explains how the ostensible success of "dolphin-safe tuna" has actually led to tuna fishing methods that are a much bigger threat to ocean wildlife — from tuna, themselves, to endangered sea turtles and sharks.

Don't be scared of the vampire squid

The name Vampyroteuthis infernalis means "Vampire squid from hell". And vampire squid are freaky looking creatures — red with cloudy eyes that can appear blue or blood red, depending on how the light hits them. But appearances can be deceiving. Turns out, the squid from hell has eating habits more in line with those of Bunnicula. The squids' entire diet is made of "marine snow" — floaty little bits of algae, poop, and bacteria.

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Why we can't just filter the plastic out of the ocean

One does not simply sail into the Pacific Garbage Patch and clean it up like convicts on the interstate. For one thing, those pieces of plastic are much smaller than you're imagining. For another, when the plastic is that small, any attempt at filtering inevitably sucks up tiny sea life, as well.

The wonders of seahorse biology

Seahorses have prehensile tails, which they use to cling to seagrass like little underwater monkeys. That's just one of the tricks that help make up for the fact that seahorses are some of the slowest swimmers in the animal kingdom. Their eating strategy is based on stealth, not speed.

Image: Longsnout Seahorse (Hippocampus reidi), a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from nostri-imago's photostream

Scientists unearth ancient water in Virginia

Researchers taking a core sample of sediment beneath Cape Charles, Virginia, found something surprising sandwiched between the layers of mud and ooze. Locked inside a rocky layer 5000 feet down, they discovered water — water from the early Cretaceous period.

Seahack: participate in sea exploration!

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Five years ago this month, my pal, BB contributor, and IFTF colleague Ariel Waldman created Spacehack, a directory of projects through which anyone can participate in space exploration. It was a very influential endeavor, igniting many people's interest and excitement in space research and how we can all get involved even here on terra firm. Today, Ariel has launched Seahack, a similar site to spur participation in sea exploration! From DIY underwater robots to crowdsourced analysis of deep-sea videos to a project aimed at decoding the language of whales, Seahack is a great way to get your feet wet (sorry) in ocean science even if you're a landlubber like me. Congratulations, Ariel!

Seahack: A Directory of Ways to Participate In Sea Exploration

Autopsy of a sea monster

You've seen the oarfish — the 18-foot-long, serpent-like beastie that washed up on a California beach. Now, tag along with the scientists from the Southwest Fisheries Science Center as they dissect that monster ... a "once in a lifetime fish".

'Rising Seas,' long-form radio doc on climate change by Alex Chadwick and 'BURN: An Energy Journal'

My friend, former NPR colleague, and longtime journalism mentor Alex Chadwick has an incredible new radio documenting hitting the public radio airwaves this week. We're sharing it here on Boing Boing before it hits the radio-waves. I asked Alex to tell us a little about 'Rising Seas.' He explains:

The Rising Seas project grew out of an encounter at an MIT energy seminar almost a year ago. I met an Americanized Brit, Dr. Len Berry, from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. He's been speaking forcefully and clearly about the threat that rising seas present. At the end of his talk, I asked if Miami is a viable city. He smiled and answered, 'well, it is right now'.

And then I asked about the end of the century. He smiled again, but said nothing.

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The myth of the ugly blobfish

Here we have the common Internet blobfish, recently voted World's Ugliest Animal.

But wait! At Smithsonian, Colin Schultz has made a very good case for why the blobfish doesn't deserve its unattractive reputation. This isn't about beauty being subjective (although some might find the above picture more cute than ugly). Instead, it's about atmospheric pressure, and what happens to a fish removed from its natural, deep-sea, high-pressure habitat.

Here is what the blobfish really looks like, before somebody took him to the surface and snapped an embarrassing photo:

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Inside James Cameron's sleek sub

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National Geographic posted an exploded view of the Deepsea Challenger, the submersible designed by James Cameron and Ron Allum. This was the sub that Cameron piloted last year to the bottom of Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in Earth's oceans at nearly 36,000 feet. Also seen above is the "pilot's sphere," custom-tailored for Cameron's 6'2" height.

"Deepsea Challenger: Inside the sub"

How To: Regrow a coral reef

I'm totally fascinated by this photo that the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program posted to their Facebook page. It shows little branches of staghorn coral growing on a "tree" made of PVC pipes. Harvested from wild coral colonies when they're only 5 cm long, these samples will double in size every two months while attached to the tree. Once they've put on enough heft, they're transplanted to new homes on damaged coral reefs, where they grow into the surrounding environment and help to restore ecosystems that could otherwise be lost. I'd heard about coral restoration before, but had never seen pictures of the process. At the RJD website, you can see a series of photos that take you through it step-by-step. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it looks a lot like underwater gardening — similar to grafting fruit trees.

Cool, interactive site shows you how ocean currents carry flotsam around the globe

Drop a message-in-a-bottle into the Gulf of Mexico, somewhere near New Orleans, and, 10 years later, your missive has a high likelihood of ending up near Cuba — or northern France. The website Adrift uses data from a global system of floating buoys to show you how ocean currents carry things like plastic debris around the planet.

16 things Buzzfeed doesn't know about the ocean

One of the first things I learned during my tenure at mental_floss: Writing a listicle is no excuse for half-assing the research. Do that, and not only will you get facts horribly wrong, you'll also miss all the really interesting stuff. What's more awesome? Truthy things your readers have already heard, or real facts that are new? At Science Sushi, Christie Wilcox turns a recent Buzzfeed listicle on ocean science inside out and finds the cool facts that got passed over — from the real source of the mysterious deep ocean "Bloop" to the world's largest underwater waterfall.

Shark inside shark's mouth

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Researchers from the University of Delaware snapped this fantastic photo of a dogfish swallowed by a sand tiger shark. The scientists were in the Delaware Bay seeking tagged sharks to better understand their behavior.

"This unlucky smooth dogfish couldn't resist the menhaden used as bait and, unfortunately, fell victim to one of the top predators in the bay," according to a posting by the University's Ocean Exploration, Remote Sensing, Biogeography (ORB) Lab. "The dogfish was about 3 feet (1 meter) long and completely swallowed by the sand tiger shark."

How to: Turn a fish vegetarian

Researchers have figured out a way to feed meat-eating fish on an all-vegetarian diet — essentially, they've made the fish-food version of Tofurky. Why? Turns out, commercial fish farms catch lots and lots of small, wild fish every year, in order to feed the bigger fish that they raise and sell. This new feed (based on plant proteins) could save both money and wild ocean fisheries, leaving the small fish to grow and multiply.

What's inside the stomach of a mako shark?

Psst, hey kid. You wanna see some clips from the dissection of one of the largest mako sharks ever caught? Sure you do.

This NOAA video has amazing footage of the shark's stomach — so big it fills a tall Rubbermaid tub — and the even more amazing footage of scientists lifting an almost completely intact sea lion head out said shark's stomach.

What's the benefit? Studying the stuff in a shark's stomach helps us understand how different species are interrelated — which helps scientists figure out how to better manage the conservation of whole ecosystems. Essentially, write the good folks at Smithsonian.com, this is an example of scientists making valuable use out of a not-exactly-ideal situation. The shark was legally caught and killed by fishermen filming a scene for a reality TV show.

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Help ocean scientists build open-source research tools

CTD units are incredibly important to ocean research, measuring three basic factors of sea water — conductivity, temperature, and depth. Almost every major research vessel has one. But the units are part of what ensures that it's expensive to get started doing ocean science. Each one can cost between $5000-$25,000. Now, a group of ocean scientists are trying to finance the design of an open-source CTD that could be built by anyone for less than $200. You can help fund their efforts at Rockethub.

Even the most adorable parts of nature can mess you up

This Shark Week, the seals of the world would like to take a moment to remind you that appearance isn't everything. Scary-looking creatures might not actually be that much of a threat to you. Adorable ones are not necessarily as cuddly as they let on.

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Aquaman's costume would look different underwater than above

Water filters light. The more water that's above you, the more light is filtered out before it can reach your eyes. The deeper you go, the more this effect alters which colors you can see and how those colors appear, writes Andrew David Thaler at Southern Fried Science. Even at a depth of just 5 meters, reds and oranges become difficult to distinguish from one another.

The happiest little plankton in the world

Artist Hiné Mizushima makes these super adorable models of microscopic crustaceans called Daphnia out of felt. Scientists like to get the real-world versions of these creatures drunk, and use them to study how alcohol affects the nervous system. I suspect that Daphnia are cute drunks.

Via David Ng