Unseen Oceans

March 12, 2018 — August 18, 2019



Submersible with a round glass dome where three people are seated and bright lights on each side, illuminating a small portion of the ocean.
A marvelous, alien world lies hidden beneath the sunlit surface.

With the use of 21st-century technologies like robotics, satellite monitoring, and more, scientists are revealing the unseen habitats of the oceans’ most mysterious animals and mapping remote, inhospitable areas in unprecedented detail.

Experience an ocean you never imagined in Unseen Oceans.  

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What You'll See in Unseen Oceans

Mysterious Drifters

Meet some of the most important organisms on the planet: plankton! They’re tiny, unimaginably numerous, and absolutely vital to life on Earth—including yours. And find out how researchers are studying plankton using swarms of mini autonomous underwater explorers (mini-AUEs).

Secret Lives

Enter a sensory world very different from what you see on land. Diving at night, with specialized lights and cameras, researchers have revealed that many undersea animals are fluorescent—glowing in startling shades of red, orange, and green. 

Encountering Giants

Earth’s oceans are home to giant animals—but we know surprisingly little about their lives. Meet some of the ocean’s biggest residents, past and present—and some of the experts who are getting to know them.

Going Deep

Dive in to discover dramatic undersea landscapes and the extraordinary organisms that inhabit them. Find out how scientists are developing unique “stealth” technologies to make sure humans can observe here without disrupting.

Taking a Dive: Journey to the Deep

The ocean may seem uniform to us land-dwellers, but it contains many distinct habitats. This immersive theater presentation takes viewers on a vertical journey through marine environments at different depths. See a scale model Triton submersible to find out what it's like inside!

Vital Abundance

We see an ocean that teems with life. But what does abundance mean when more and more humans rely on the ocean for sustenance? Discover today’s greatest threats to the ocean’s vital abundance, and some potential solutions.

Future of Ocean Research

The next generation of ocean scientists is already making amazing discoveries. Find out more about researchers who are on the frontlines of ocean exploration.

Lead funding for Unseen Oceans and its educational resources is provided by



The American Museum of Natural History gratefully acknowledges the Richard and Karen LeFrak Exhibition and Education Fund.

Unseen Oceans is generously supported by

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