100 Excellent Websites for Exploring the Ocean Online

By Megan Jones

The ocean is a beautiful and wondrous place, and we’re fortunate enough to be able to study it not just in person, but also online. Through various interactive sites, photo and video galleries, learning tools, and more, you can get a good look at the wild blue yonder without ever leaving your seat. Read on to find 100 great websites that will help you do just that.

Exploration & Expeditions

Get to go along with various explorations and expeditions through these websites.

  1. NOAA Ocean Explorer Explorations: Here you’ll be able to follow the explorations of the NOAA.
  2. Google Earth: Google Earth will take you beneath the surface to see the Mariana Trench, explore with National Geographic and BBC, and more.
  3. Living Fossils of the Deep: Go on an exploration of the Bahamian Seafloor through this expedition.
  4. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Online Expeditions: You can join the explorers of WHOI on these online expeditions.
  5. Life on the Edge: Exploring Deep Ocean Habitats: The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will show you multimedia from a variety of explorations.
  6. The Voyage of the Odyssey: This interactive site from PBS allows you to experience the life of scientists and crew onboard the whale research vessel Odyssey.
  7. Cousteau Society Expeditions: On the Cousteau Society website, you can follow their expeditions.
  8. Dive and Discover: Be a part of expeditions to the sea floor on Dive and Discover.
  9. Search for the Giant Squid: Follow the Smithsonian Institute on their search for the giant squid.
  10. UN Atlas of the Oceans: Through this information system, you can learn about uses, issues, geography, and more.


Oceanography students and enthusiasts will enjoy these photographs of the sea, its creatures, and more through these photo galleries.

  1. NOAA Ocean Explorer Photo Gallery: See The NOAA’s explorations in photos here.
  2. Ocean–Above and Below: Check out this collection to see seascapes, marine life, and more.
  3. Ocean Living Photo Gallery: See ocean creatures and more through this photo gallery from the Smithsonian National Zoo.
  4. Image of the Day: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution offers a new ocean image every day.
  5. Wolcott Henry: Wolcott Henry’s website has portraits of marine life, conservation photography, and more.
  6. Ocean Oddities and Regular Residents: See the ocean’s road less traveled through these images.
  7. MUMM North Sea: This gallery offers a look at the North Sea.
  8. Wild Ocean Photo: Wild Ocean Photo offers a look at tiny creatures and blue water.
  9. Under the Ocean: This collection is exclusive to photographs under the surface of the ocean.
  10. National Biological Information Infrastructure Digital Image Library: Find nature, including oceans, in this digital image library.
  11. Deep Sea Images: Deep Sea Images offers photo stock of natural history images.
  12. Sea & Ocean: This group is full of the ocean, ports, beaches, and more.
  13. ARKive: On ARKive, you’ll find a unique collection of images of life on Earth.
  14. Christina Craft Photography: Christina Craft’s gallery is full of photographs from Vancouver Island ferry trips, as well as whale watching trips in British Columbia.
  15. Shuttle Views the Earth: Oceans from Space: See how the oceans look from space through this gallery.
  16. Ocean Conservation Photography: In this group, you’ll see photographs that tell a story about ocean conservation.
  17. Marine Photobank: The Marine Photobank aims to advance ocean conservation through imagery.
  18. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Image Galleries: WHOI offers a variety of images from their ocean work.
  19. Planet Ocean Photography: This photography site is full of galleries containing sharks, sea birds, fish, and more.
  20. Atlantic Ocean: Check out this group to see photographs of the Atlantic Ocean.
  21. National Marine Sanctuaries Media Library: This library is an online vault for high quality images and video clips from national marine sanctuaries.
  22. Ocean Photo: Reinhard Dirscherl’s website offers beautiful images of the ocean in a wide variety of categories.
  23. National Geographic Underwater Photo Galleries: National Geographic has a variety of underwater photo galleries. Currently featured are translucent creatures and underwater wrecks.
  24. MarineBio Photo Gallery: See photographs from MarineBio contributing photographers in this gallery.
  25. Pacific Ocean: Explore the Pacific Ocean through this collection.
  26. BetterPhoto Ocean Gallery: These ocean photographs are simply sublime.
  27. I Love the Ocean: Check out this group to see lots of photos of the world’s oceans.
  28. Living Ocean Gallery: In this gallery, you’ll see vertebrates, invertebrates, and the seafloor.


Learn more about the ocean through these video galleries.

  1. NOAA Ocean Explorer Video Gallery: Check out this gallery to see video from NOAA explorations.
  2. Cousteau on YouTube: See videos from the Cousteau Society here on YouTube.
  3. Oceana Video: Explore the ocean and learn what Oceana is doing to protect the world’s oceans in these videos.
  4. Ocean Footage: Check out this resource to see stock footage video clips from the ocean.
  5. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Video: You’ll see video and animation about ocean life, technology, and WHOI science here.
  6. The Ocean Channel: You can watch documentaries, video, and more on The Ocean Channel.
  7. Ocean Planet: Underwater Flyby: Enjoy an animated tour of the Pacific Ocean from NASA.
  8. USGS Multimedia Gallery Water Collection: This collection features photo and video of water from the US Geological Survey.
  9. NOAA YouTube Video Playlist: Here you’ll find a collection of videos posted on the NOAA Ocean Explorer YouTube channel.
  10. MarineBio Video Library: Check out this video library for expedition galleries and more.
  11. WHOI Web Cams: Watch various WHOI stations in real time with these web cams.
  12. Savage Seas: In Savage Seas from PBS, you’ll experience animations in the wave machine, deep sea simulator, and more.


These audio collections will allow you to hear the sounds of the ocean.

  1. Sound in the Sea: In the NOAA’s Sound in the Sea, you’ll hear audio recordings captured beneath the ocean surface.
  2. Audio Slideshows: Through these audio and image slideshows, you can learn more about WHOI research.
  3. LHS Whale Sounds: Listen to and identify whale sounds in this resource.
  4. The Ocean Project Multimedia Resources: Here, The Ocean Project links to a variety of mp3s.


Learn more about the ocean through these interactive websites.

  1. From Sea to Shining Sea: In this interactive map, you’ll be able to explore America’s oceans.
  2. Virtual Sailor: Hop aboard this simulator to find out what it’s like to experience sailing.
  3. WHOI Jigsaw Puzzles: Complete ocean jigsaw puzzles including a comb jelly, coral, and more here.
  4. Sea and Sky: Play free sea games on this website.
  5. Ocean Climate Interactive: In this interactive site, you can see the systems at work in the ocean’s climate.
  6. Ocean Explorer: In this game, you’ll take underwater photos on a journey to the bottom of the ocean.
  7. MarineBio Ocean Quizzes: Test your knowledge about the ocean with these quizzes.
  8. Indian Ocean Tsunami: Interactive Guides: See how the tsunami happened and more through these interactive guides.
  9. [email protected] Interactive Activities: This collection of interactive activities includes quizzes, crosswords, and word searches.
  10. WHOI Interactives: You can look into whales, submarines, and more in these Flash interactives.
  11. Blue Planet Challenge: Take part in this challenge to learn about habitats and adaptation.
  12. Ocean Challenge Puzzle: Solve the ocean challenge puzzle with players around the globe or in your classroom.
  13. Ocean Adventures: Take on fun and games in this ocean adventure.

Data & Monitoring

Get access to data, current conditions, and more for the ocean on these sites.

  1. Ocean Motion and Surface Currents: This site from NASA shares currents, temperature, motion, data, and more.
  2. NOS Data Explorer: Search for NOAA Data through the NOS Data Explorer.
  3. NASA Ocean Surface Topography Multimedia: View multimedia from the ocean surface here, courtesy of NASA.
  4. NOAA Shoreline: You can learn about shoreline data through this website.
  5. British Oceanography Data Centre: The BODC makes biological, chemical, physical, and geophysical marine data available for search and download.
  6. National Data Buoy Center: Through the NDBC, you can view data from collecting buoys and coastal stations.
  7. Cente for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science: Cefas provides data on salinity, temperature, waves, health and more.
  8. DChart: This project offers an ocean and weather data navigator.

Learning & Education

Check out these sites for teaching, or just learning about the ocean on your own.

  1. NOAA Ocean Explorer Library: Check out this library to find important resources from the NOAA.
  2. Ocean Mysteries: Check out this resource to learn about some of the mysteries of the deep sea.
  3. Encarta: The World’s Oceans and Seas: Encarta offers information and exploration of the world’s oceans here.
  4. Oceans Alive: Oceans Alive has a variety of resources that you can use to learn about celebrating marine biodiversity and saving our oceans.
  5. MarineBio Facts: Learn fun and little known facts about the ocean from MarineBio.
  6. NOAA Ocean Explorer Maps: See animations, maps, and more of a variety of oceans in this gallery.
  7. WhaleNet: WhaleNet of Wheelock College is an interactive educational website focusing on whales and marine research.
  8. Ocean Literacy: Learn about the essential principles and fundamental concepts of ocean literacy here.
  9. Encyclopedia of Life: The Encyclopedia of Life offers you the ability to research each species of organism in the sea and beyond.
  10. Intute Oceanography Timeline: This timeline features the history of oceanography.
  11. Enchanted Learning: Find the answers to your ocean questions on EnchantedLearning.
  12. The Ocean Portal: Teachers can find learning resources from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History here.
  13. NOAA Learning Objects: From the Monterey Institute, this resource offers learning objects on mid-ocean ridges, deep-sea corals, energy from the oceans, pollution, and more.
  14. Deep Sea Fishes: Find images, species, and more in this biological guide to deep sea fish.
  15. National Ocean Service Education: Find educational activities through this NOS education resource.
  16. The Bridge: The bridge offers a variety of free teacher-approved marine education resources.
  17. Ocean Classroom: Find curriculum, exemplars, and more from the World Ocean Observatory here.
  18. OceanWorld: Texas A&M’s Ocean World brings the ocean to the classroom.
  19. NOAA Ocean Explorer Education: Find excellent teaching resources from this NOAA site.
  20. Contrasts in Blue: Smithsonian in Your Classroom provides a look into life on the Caribbean coral reef and the rocky coast of Maine.
  21. Aquarium of the Pacific: This aquarium has an online learning center that will help you learn about different ocean species.
  22. Ocean Motion Teachers: Check out this resource to learn how you can use Ocean Motion in education.
  23. Planet Ocean: Discovery Education offers an excellent resource for learning about underwater life in Planet Ocean.
  24. Cultural Heritage: The NOAA’s Cultural Heritage site offers a look at artifacts, shipwrecks, and other underwater cultural treasures.
  25. History: Learn about early US ocean exploration from these images.

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