conservation
The Lawless High Seas May Soon Gain Protections Under a Groundbreaking Ocean Treaty

THE SARGASSO SEA—Ana Paula, the Esperanza’s officer in charge of the crew and equipment, readies the great white crane to drop the manta trawl into the Sargasso Sea. The trawl’s yellow wings and nearly 10-foot long mesh net that give it the appearance of a manta ray, its namesake, stretch out alongside the Esperanza, a 425-tonne ship owned by Greenpeace that has spent the last five months traversing the open seas. The sky over this corner of the Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda is a little grey and the water’s a little rough, but the conditions are safe enough for the ship’s crew to let the trawl glide through the ocean this summer afternoon. Read More >>

science
Around-the-World Expedition Finds 200,000 Species of Viruses in the Oceans

After travelling around the world, sampling the ocean from pole to pole, scientists have uncovered nearly 200,000 populations of marine viruses. Read More >>

science
Penis-Shaped, Wood-Munching Clams Are More Diverse Than We Thought, Study Finds

Wood-boring clams don’t look like the ones you or I might find steamed with pasta. They’re smaller than a pea, and live exclusively in the deep ocean, tunnelling into sunken, waterlogged trees that were swept out to sea long ago to eat the wood. Now, scientists have determined that there are quite a few more groups of these bizarre molluscs than we thought. Read More >>

oceans
An ‘Unprecedented’ Epidemic Is Wiping Out the U.S. West Coast’s Starfish

In 2013, marine scientists witnessed a real-life, aquatic version of Contagion. Over the summer, divers in Monterrey, California were treated to a horror scene of sea stars – or starfish – with limbs torn asunder and bodies disintegrating. Soon, major aquariums up and down the U.S. West Coast reported their starfish went from paragons of health to dead in weeks. Beaches became littered with dead and dying starfish or their remnants. Read More >>

science
Inside the Quest to Discover Super-Corals at the Bottom of the Sea

In the inky depths of the Gulf of Mexico, pearly white corals crisscross the seafloor, their translucent tentacles swaying to the current like flower petals on a midnight breeze. Lophelia pertusa brings life to what is often considered a cold, dead wasteland – and now, scientists are now bringing it back to the surface in the hopes that it help can restore dying coral reefs worldwide. Read More >>

science
Observations from Mariana Trench Show Inner Earth Is Sucking Up Far More Water Than Previously Thought

The Earth around the Mariana Trench, which contains the deepest point on the planet, could be slurping up at least 4.3 times more water than previously estimated, according to new research. Read More >>

climate change
Watch 40 Years of Icebergs Breaking off Antarctica

Iceberg mania briefly overtook the internet last month when NASA captured a rectangular freakberg. But icebergs are with us all the time, and there’s a new animation to help you celebrate them in all shapes and sizes. Read More >>

science
Human Carbon Emissions Are Dissolving the Ocean Floor

It seems humanity isn’t just content to screw up the surface of the planet. We’re going to do the deep ocean, too. Read More >>

science
Scientists Have Just Named 17 New Sea Slug Species, and They’re All Fabulous

Nudibranchs, colloquially known as sea slugs, are some of the more eye-popping critters to grace the world’s oceans. Now scientists are welcoming 17 newly-named species to the carnival-coloured lineage. Read More >>

science
‘Ghostly’ Dumbo Octopus Makes Hypnotising Appearance in New Deep-Sea Footage

A so-described “ghostly” cephalopod put its deep-sea acrobatics on full display this week after it was captured by researchers in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in what the team says is a previously unexplored area. The creature is part of a genus known Grimpoteuthis and is sometimes referred to as a dumbo octopus on account of its fins that look similar to those of Disney’s iconic elephant. Read More >>

science
That Adorable Baby Octopus Is Actually a Pea-Sized Killer

An image of a pea-sized cephalopod captured by a team of scientists in Hawaii has been making the rounds this week as the result of how cute this tiny squish appears at first glance. But make no mistake, even a baby octopus can be a cold-hearted killer – and there’s photographic evidence to prove it. Read More >>

science
Mesmerising Deep-Sea “Headless Chicken Monster” Filmed in the Southern Ocean

A mesmerising deep-sea dancer by the name of Enypniastes eximia is enjoying a moment in the limelight after being filmed in the Southern Ocean off East Antarctica for what officials describe as the first time in that region. The footage of the sea cucumber, which is colloquially referred to as the “headless chicken monster,” comes courtesy of new underwater camera technology being used by researchers to aid in marine conservation efforts. Read More >>

science
Newly Discovered Volcanic ‘Lost World’ Is a Haven for Marine Life

Australian scientists have discovered a previously unknown chain of volcanic seamounts near Tasmania. The area appears to be brimming with marine life, including a surprising number of whales who may be using the undersea volcanoes as a navigational tool. Read More >>

enviroment
The First Marine Wilderness Map Shows There’s Not Much of It Left

For the first time, scientists have mapped how much oceanic wilderness remains. Only 13.2 per cent of the oceans are unspoiled, a shocking finding that shows the extent to which humans have reshaped the planet above and below the waves. Read More >>