In 1953, on the heels of a discovery of a second coelacanth specimen in the Comoros Islands off Madagascar’s coast, J.L.B. Smith, the man who described the species, wrote in the Times of London: “We have in the past assumed that we have mastery not only of the land but of the sea… We have not. Life goes on there just as it did from the beginning. Man’s influence is as yet but a passing shadow. This discovery means that we may find other fishlike creatures, supposedly extinct still living in the sea.”
Unlike the coelacanth, which was thought to have gone extinct, we have known for centuries that giant squid have existed in our oceans’ depths. But unable to observe them alive in their deep sea home, we have understood very little about how they live, where they live and how they behave. That is, until 2012, when Drs. Edith Widder, Steve O’Shea and Tsunemi Kobodera filmedthe elusive and mysterious giant in its natural deep-sea habitat for the first time — a landmark moment in ocean exploration and an example of how technology and ingenuity can overcome the monumental challenges we face in exploring the deep. But it is a drop in the vast ocean-sized bucket of amazing discoveries waiting to be found.
Continue reading "When We Explore the Deep Sea, We are Exploring for Our Own Survival"
Several attempts to rediscover the armadillo in nature had failed. I was the lucky one.
Continue reading "How I Rediscovered the World Cup Mascot in the Wild"
To retrieve ice cores, some climate scientists must go to the ends of the Earth.
Continue reading "A Harrowing Journey in Search of Climate Clues"
Mission 31 shows how bold acts of exploration can bring attention to the plight of our oceans.
Continue reading "Visiting the World’s Only Underwater Research Station"
A new study provides a much-needed mechanism to understand and manage Brazil’s waters.
Continue reading "Assessing the Health of Brazil’s Ocean"
A new partnership will revolutionize the way we monitor, report and understand the health of ecosystems.
Continue reading "‘Big Data’ Is an Investment in Nature — and Human Well-being"
Guest blogger Shawn Heinrichs shares tales — and stunning photos — from a recent manta ray expedition.
Continue reading "Manta Ray Research Boosts Smart Policies and Ecotourism in Indonesia"
Protecting ecosystems like Brazil’s Atlantic Forest will help us adapt to a changing climate.
Continue reading "Helping Nature Help People at a Brazilian Historical Landmark"
Invasive species are destroying local subsistence crops, leading people to migrate to urban areas.
Continue reading "Wildlife Survey Reveals Precarious State of New Caledonia’s Ecosystems"