New Hall of the Oceans at the Smithsonian

by Peter Etnoyer

If you live in Washington DC, or plan to visit within the next 30 years, you’ll have to make time to visit the new Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. It’s the most recent addition since the beloved Hall of Mammals opened five years ago. New York Times has a nice perspective piece if you’re interested, but I’m afraid all we’re good for at DSN today is a few pretty pictures.

Don’t let the brevity of this post undermine the significance of the event. The Sant Ocean Hall has been a long time coming. Many curators have come and gone since its original conception.

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The bamboo coral in the lower right of the above picture is a gift from me, actually, on behalf of the 2004 Gulf of Alaska Seamount Expedition. The amazing story of the coral’s recovery by Alvin pilot Bruce Strickrott is described at the bottom of the page at the NOAA-OE website here.

Images courtesy David Hall, NOAA.

Peter Etnoyer (397 Posts)

PhD candidate at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi and doctoral fellow Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.


7 Replies to “New Hall of the Oceans at the Smithsonian”

  1. I would just add, having seen it, that the pics do not do it justice. Sure, from an oceanographers point of view it may be a bit intellectually “lite” but it is far better then many ocean dedicated exhibits. Go, see, be amazed.

  2. The fam and I missed the opening of this by a few weeks or so – I was bummed it was all closed up when we went.

    BTW, is that right whale trying to eat the leatherback?

  3. The bamboo coral looks beautiful. Is it true that the exhibit is no longer open? The displays look dynamite!

  4. The exhibit should be open for the next thirty years. But don’t wait that long to see it, ’cause it’ll be old and dusty, just like us.

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