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Articles on Oceans

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Some places, like Nazaré Canyon in Portugal, produce freakishly huge waves. AP Photo/Armando Franca

What makes the world’s biggest surfable waves?

Some beaches in the world tend to consistently produce huge waves. Places like Nazaré Canyon in Portugal and Mavericks in California are famous for their waves because of the shape of the seafloor.
A female killer whale leaps from the water in Puget Sound near Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Pacific killer whales are dying — new research shows why

Scientists had been uncertain about why killer whales are dying in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. A new study takes an in-depth look and provides the tools to help prevent additional deaths in the future.
Eelgrasses covered with small snails, which keep the leaves clean by feeding on algae that live on them. Jonathan Lefcheck

Restoring seagrasses can bring coastal bays back to life

Healthy seagrasses form underwater meadows teeming with fish and shellfish. A successful large-scale restoration project in Virginia could become a model for reseeding damaged seagrass beds worldwide.
Manganese nodules on the Atlantic Ocean floor off the southeastern United States, discovered in 2019 during the Deep Sea Ventures pilot test. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

A rush is on to mine the deep seabed, with effects on ocean life that aren’t well understood

Companies are eager to mine the deep ocean for valuable mineral deposits. But scientists are concerned about impacts on sea life, including creatures that haven't even been discovered yet.
An estimated 640,000 tonnes of lost and abandoned fishing gear enters the oceans annually. (Piqsels)

How to get abandoned, lost and discarded ‘ghost’ fishing gear out of the ocean

An enormous amount of fishing gear is cut loose in the ocean each year. The losses cut into fishers' profits and kill marine wildlife. A new project aims to get ghost gear out of the ocean.
Tharp with an undersea map at her desk. Rolled sonar profiles of the ocean floor are on the shelf behind her. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the estate of Marie Tharp

Marie Tharp pioneered mapping the bottom of the ocean 6 decades ago – scientists are still learning about Earth’s last frontier

Born on July 30, 1920, geologist and cartographer Tharp changed scientific thinking about what lay at the bottom of the ocean – not a featureless flat, but rugged and varied terrain.

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