Tag: Oceans and Seas

Where the Titanic Rests, Decay Races On

In the 34 years since the R.M.S. Titanic was discovered on the seafloor south of Newfoundland, it has become the world’s most famous shipwreck — a rusting hulk assailed by hundreds of explorers and moviemakers, salvors and tourists, scientists and federal watchdogs. All agree that the once-grand ship is rapidly falling apart. Resting on the […]

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Pirates, Slavers and Poachers: Violence on the High Seas

THE OUTLAW OCEANJourneys Across the Last Untamed FrontierBy Ian Urbina If you’re like I am, you don’t think much about the oceans — what Ernest Shackleton called “the void spaces of the world.” When I’ve thought about them, it’s mostly in the context of how they affect the land: what rising sea levels mean for […]

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Chasing Waves on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

In the 1970s and 80s, the California surfer and writer Kevin Naughton and the photographer Craig Peterson traveled the globe “Endless Summer”-style searching for perfect waves. When they arrived in Ireland, with its friendly locals and powerful, mostly empty waves, amid a landscape of stone walls and ruins, Mr. Naughton recalled, “there was a sense […]

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How Sharks Glow to Each Other Deep in the Ocean

Let us dive into the sea, beyond the colorful world of the sun. About 1,000 to 2,000 feet down, we’ll arrive at a place where only blue beams in sunlight can penetrate. This is the home of the swell shark and chain catshark. Look at them with your human, land-ready eyes, and all you’ll see […]

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Catching Waves for Well-Being

Agatha Wallen’s son, Mason, has autism, and when he was 7, she heard about an initiative in San Diego aimed at children with special needs. It involved an unlikely tool: a surf board. She wasn’t sure how it would work for her son, who struggled with behavioral and sensory issues. “Even getting the wet suit […]

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When a Mega-Tsunami Drowned Mars, This Spot May Have Been Ground Zero

The area where the northern ocean was thought to exist also contains what are called thumbprint terrains, found on the landward side of those suspected ancient shorelines. These terrains may have been etched by the chaotic and violent flow of water in the aftermath of the mega-tsunamis. But which craters were tied to the impacts […]

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The Creepy Anglerfish Comes to Light. (Just Don’t Get Too Close.)

Few wonders of the sunless depths appear quite so ghoulish or improbable as anglerfish, creatures that dangle bioluminescent lures in front of needlelike teeth. They are fish that fish. Typically, the rod of flesh extending from the forehead glows at the tip. Anglerfish can wiggle the lure to better mimic living bait. Most species can […]

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Glimpsing Our Post-Consumption Future at the Cooper Hewitt

Plastics transformed the material world after World War II. Today, they pollute our oceans. A better future will be made with … algae. Or bacteria. That’s the dominant theme of a sweeping exhibition, “Nature: Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial.” On display here at the Smithsonian’s temple to the culture of design, on upper Fifth Avenue, are […]

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Cleansing Plastic From Oceans: Big Ask for a Country That Loves Wrap

OSAKA, Japan — Shoji Kousaka always thought of Japan as a place where people knew how to dispose of their trash. That was before he spent a morning on a fishing trawler in Osaka Bay last fall, shocked by the reams of soda bottles, plastic shopping bags, snack wrappers and drinking straws repeatedly trapped in […]

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Grandmother and Grandfather Among 4 Endangered Whales That Died This Month

Four North Atlantic right whales were found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada in the last three weeks, representing about one percent of the remaining population that is closely watched. One, named Punctuation, was a breeding female who had mothered eight calves and then gone on to have several grandchildren, making her […]

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What’s Killing Pacific Whales?

MONTEREY BAY, Calif — Tourists come here from around the world to watch whales. It’s common to see humpbacks leaping out of the water and fin whales slapping the waves with their flukes. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a gray whale poking its head out of the water to scope out the surroundings. And if […]

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Giant Squid, Phantom of the Deep, Reappears on Video

Edie Widder was eating lunch in the mess hall of the Research Vessel Point Sur on Tuesday when her colleague Nathan J. Robinson dashed in. He didn’t have to say anything — in fact, he wasn’t yet quite able to say anything. She ran from the table, made certain by his flailing arms and the […]

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To Map a Coral Reef, Peel Back the Seawater

Coral reefs comprise just 1 percent of the ocean floor yet they are home to 25 percent of the world’s marine fish, a growing source of protein for people. But reefs are imperiled by a range of threats including warming waters, acidifying seas, destructive fishing methods, and agricultural and other runoff. Moreover, scientists have only […]

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Recyclers Cringe as Southeast Asia Says It’s Sick of the West’s Trash

TELOK GONG, Malaysia — Black sedans with government plates raced through a town near Malaysia’s main seaport, flashing blue sirens as they approached rogue trash dumps. The raid, in the town of Telok Gong this week, was among the latest efforts by officials to shut down unlicensed dumps holding plastic scrap imported from the United […]

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Meet the Deep-Sea Dragonfish. Its Transparent Teeth Are Stronger Than a Piranha’s.

Unassuming dragonfish lurk in the twilight zone, more than 1,600 feet under the surface of the ocean. Dark, eel-like, and roughly three and a half inches long, these deep-sea creatures glow with bioluminescence and have evolved a complex sensory system that allows them to detect even the subtlest movements in the ocean’s shadowy realms, then […]

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Carnival Cruises to Pay $20 Million in Pollution and Cover-Up Case

In 2016, Princess Cruise Lines agreed to pay a $40 million penalty for illegally dumping oil-contaminated waste into the sea and acts by employees to try to cover it up. It was the largest criminal penalty ever imposed for intentional vessel pollution, and the Justice Department put the cruise line’s parent company, Carnival Corporation, on […]

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Ocean Protection Is an Urban Issue

In New York City, it’s often easy to think that ocean conservation is an issue for someplace else — tropical islands, coral reefs, the Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic. But New York City is an archipelago, a reality that can be obscured by the concrete jungle. The five boroughs — four of them on islands […]

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How Our Toothbrushes Are Littering Paradise

Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter. “Welcome to paradise,” beckons the Cocos Keeling Islands’ Visitor Center. The island chain is popular with vacationing Australians, and it’s easy to see why. Photos from the chain of 27 islands, of which only two are inhabited, feature oceans that […]

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