marine photos

Talk about otterly adorable! 

Second place in the “Sanctuary Life” category of our Get Into Your Sanctuary photo contest goes to Eric Palmer with this photograph of a mother sea otter grooming her pup. Eric spotted these two in @montereybayaquarium’s Great Tidepool at Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. 

(Photo: Eric Palmer)

With Every Breath You Take, Thank the Ocean

When was the last time you thought about your breathing? Take a breath right now and think about it. You breathe because you need oxygen, a gas which makes up 21 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere. All that oxygen has to come from somewhere. You might already know that it comes from photosynthetic organisms like plants. But did you know that most of the oxygen you breathe comes from organisms in the ocean?

That’s right—more than half of the oxygen you breathe comes from marine photosynthesizers, like phytoplankton and seaweed. Both use carbon dioxide, water and energy from the sun to make food for themselves, releasing oxygen in the process. 

Want to know who to thank? Up top, we have a picture of the giant kelp, a brown algae that grows along coasts in cooler regions around the world. The swirling blue image is of the ocean and was taken from a satellite in space. The light blue areas are where there are high concentrations of chlorophyll, the molecule used by phytoplankton to convert sunlight into energy. Lastly, this zoomed in image of a red algae shows its filamentous hairs, which are only a single cell width across, at 250x zoom. Pretty cool!


Blacktip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)

Photos taken by Connor Butler - Tioman Island, Malaysia. 


Monterey Day 1 (May 4, 2017)

About 30 Humpback Whales congregated in 50 feet of water, lunge feeding on lots and lots of baitfish!

The bait was so thick, the ocean floor was barely visible on sonar. Multiple whales would come shooting out of the water all over the place. Just seeing one group of whales lunge feed is spectacular in and of itself, but seeing it happen all over the place for a long period of time was incredible! Harbor porpoises and lots of sea birds were in the mix too.

Viewed aboard the Blackfin at Monterey Bay Whale Watch. 

Take a deep breath and plunge into this anemone garden! 

Michelle Manson’s colorful photograph claims the second place spot in the “Sanctuary Views” category of our Get Into Your Sanctuary photo contest. She photographed this lush area of the kelp forest in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Congrats to Michelle! 

(Photo: Michelle Manson)


Marines with Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion (2nd LAAD) conducting a live fire training exercise at Camp Lejeune, N.C., on June 6, 2017. Marines with MARSOC worked with 2nd LAAD to conduct live fire exercises to maintain proficiency and accuracy with various weapon systems. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Cody J. Ohira)