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A harbor seal swims in Morro Bay, California, March 28, 2007.

A virus from the measles family is spreading because of melting ice. It kills seals and otters by the thousands.

Phocine distemper virus has killed thousands of Atlantic seals. New ocean water passageways likely allowed the virus to spread to the Pacific.
The Float Lab in the San Francisco Bay.

A floating plastic island in the San Francisco Bay may offer a new way to protect coasts from floods. It could even house people inside.

As marine animals attach to the island, the structure could also help calm the ocean's current, which could protect the coast from flooding.
Staff biologist Emily Williams cleans an aquarium full of Pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindricus) a few days before the animals would successfully spawn in an aquarium for the first time at a Florida Aquarium facility in Apollo Beach, Florida, August 14, 2019.

Scientists reproduced Atlantic coral in a laboratory for the first time. Aquarium-grown coral could save America’s ‘Great Barrier Reef....

Techniques perfected on Pacific coral could help repopulate Atlantic coral reefs, too. Here's what the successful efforts look like.
Hundreds of millions of nurdles were knocked off a vessel during a typhoon in Hong Kong in 2012.

Tiny pellets called ‘nurdles’ are leeching into the ocean. A new Shell plant could produce 80 trillion of them a year.

Nurdles from a new Shell plant outside Pittsburgh can be used to make virgin-plastic items like phone cases or food packaging.
A coral reef outside Tahiti, French Polynesia.

‘The saddest dive of my life’: A diver’s before-and-after photos reveal the death of a coral reef

As our planet and its oceans warm, coral reefs worldwide are experiencing bleaching — when the corals expel their food source and turn ghostly white.
Garbage carried by the Pacific Ocean — mostly plastic — piles up on the coast of Jakarta, Indonesia, June 21, 2019.

Scientists have created magnetic coils thinner than a human hair that could break down plastic in the ocean

There are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean. A new type of experimental nanotech could help break down microplastics.
The biologist Lizzie Daly near a giant barrel jellyfish in the English Channel.

A human-sized jellyfish with frilly tentacles has been caught on camera — the largest researchers had ever encountered

Divers swimming in the English Channel near Cornwall came face-to-face with a barrel jellyfish about their own size.
A male Cirrhilabrus wakanda fish, which was discovered in Zanzibar.

A newly discovered species of African fish with gleaming purple scales has been named after Wakanda, the fictional home of Marvel’s Black Panthe...

Divers in Tanzania found a new species of colorful tropical fish. They named it after Wakanda and vibranium, the metal in the Black Panther's suit.
A giant squid was caught on camera in the Gulf of Mexico.

An elusive giant squid that inspired the ‘kraken’ sea monster legend has been spotted in US waters for the first time

Giant squids are elusive animals that inhabit the deep ocean worldwide. Scientists are rarely able to capture them on camera. Now they have.
People look at a 16-year-old critically endangered Hawksbill turtle after releasing it into the sea at the Sea Turtle Conservation Center of the Royal Thai Navy, in Sattahip, Chonburi province, east of Bangkok August 10, 2010.

These 15 ocean species have already gone extinct. A dozen others will probably disappear in our lifetime.

Over the past 500 years, 15 ocean species have gone extinct. About 70 other species are currently vulnerable and could disappear in our lifetime.