The Haenyo Are South Korean Mermaids

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The Haenyo Are South Korean Mermaids

Remember when you watched The Little Mermaid, then told your entire class that you wanted to be a mermaid when you grew up? No, just us? We digress. A group of elderly South Korean women are considered real-life mermaids, diving depths of up to 65 feet (20 meters) without any oxygen tanks. Beat that, Ariel.

Scotland Had A Real Sea Monster 170 Million Years Ago

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Scotland Had A Real Sea Monster 170 Million Years Ago

Cryptozoologists may bicker about the existence of the Loch Ness Monster, but 170 million years ago, the area that's now Scotland had a different sort of beast. In September 2016, researchers unveiled the fossil of the Storr Lochs Monster, a type of ocean-dwelling ichthyosaur that would grow to 13 feet (4 meters) in length. It had a long, pointed head filled with hundreds of cone-shaped teeth that scientists believe it used to dine on fish and squid. The most complete skeleton of a marine reptile from the Middle Jurassic—sometimes known as the Age of the Dinosaurs—this particular fossil was discovered in 1966 by Norrie Gillies, a power station manager who found it on a beach near the facility. Despite this early discovery, it wasn't until 2016 that the National Museums Scotland and the University of Edinburgh were able to combine their expertise and take a more complete look at the fossil. Learn more about the Storr Lochs Monster and the world of fossils with the videos below.

Are Sea Pens The Solution for Captive Marine Mammals?

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Are Sea Pens The Solution for Captive Marine Mammals?

In March 2016, SeaWorld announced the end to their orca breeding program. This is great news to future generations of killer whales that won't be born into captivity, but it brings up an important question for the orcas that remain: will they be released into the wild, or will they live out their days in a concrete tank? Whales and other marine mammals are extremely intelligent, and living in a tank that's a tiny fraction of their natural habitat causes untold physical and psychological issues for the animals. But experts almost unanimously agree that releasing marine mammals that have lived every moment of their lives in captivity -- with no knowledge of how to catch food or otherwise survive without humans -- is a death sentence. There could be a third option: sea pens. These huge, cordoned-off coastal habitats would work on principles similar to wildlife sanctuaries for elephants and great apes, just in the ocean. Humans would provide medical care and other protection, but the animals wouldn't be forced to perform for or otherwise interact with visitors. SeaWorld and other experts are critical of the plan. Sea pens have failed to protect whales in the past; sometimes famously, as in the case of Keiko, the whale depicted in "Free Willy" who escaped his pen and died a few months later. The damaged animals would be exposed to weather, pollution, and other environmental threats that they didn't experience in captivity. There's also the cost, which could reach the tens of millions of dollars, though groups say this could be offset by outreach and educational programs. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.

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from TakePart

Key Facts to Know

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    In March 2016, SeaWorld brought an end to its killer-whale breeding program. 29 orcas remain in captivity. 0:00

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    A sea pen is a cordoned-off habitat that serves as a sanctuary for rescued marine mammals. Here's what one might look like. 0:36

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    The cost of building and maintaining the pens, which could be tens of millions of dollars, could be offset by educational programs. 1:35

The Croatia's Sea Organ Makes Music From The Waves

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The Croatia's Sea Organ Makes Music From The Waves

The Sea Organ in Zadar, Croatia is played by the wind and waves of the Adriatic Sea. The Sea Organ, or Morske Orgulje, is a 230-foot long instrument and an architectural marvel. Concealed beneath its long staircase are 35 pipes, which release notes through openings in the uppermost stairs. These notes are produced when the sea's waves and wind pass through the pipes, "playing" the instrument continuously. The organ was completed in 2005 by architect Nikola Bašić. Listen to the organ's eerily beautiful music in the video below, and learn about some other "instruments" found in nature.

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Key Facts to Know

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    Listen to the sounds of the Sea Organ, a gigantic instrument played by the Adriatic Sea: 0:10

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    Notes are released by the Sea Organ when water and wind pass through its hidden pipes. 0:32

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    Near the Sea Organ in Zadar, an artwork called "Salute to the Sun" uses solar power to displays patterns of light. 1:24

The Sargasso Sea

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The Sargasso Sea

The Sargasso Sea never reaches land, and is the only sea on Earth without a coastline. It stretches more than one thousand miles wide and 3,000 miles long, occupying nearly two thirds of the North Atlantic Ocean.

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from MBARI

Key Facts to Know

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    The Sargasso Sea occupies almost two thirds of the North Atlantic Ocean. 0:05

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    Animals communities in the Sargasso Sea are less diverse today than the were in the 1970s. 1:01

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    The animals in the Sargasso Sea provide essential food for long-distance migrating animals, like sea turtles and bluefin tuna. 2:22