NASA Satellite Spies on the Tiniest of Sea Critters from 450 Miles Up

Plankton are tiny. With the exception of critters like jellyfish and cephalopods, which are technically "megaplankton," most plankton are smaller than 2 millimeters long. Phytoplankton, the plants of the plankton world, are microscopic. » 6/02/14 4:13pm 6/02/14 4:13pm

This is what a massive plankton bloom looks like from space

Plankton are tiny all by their lonesome, but every summer these tiny marine organisms take over the Barents Sea north of Norway. On August 14, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this giant bloom stretching several hundred kilometers over the Scandinavian Peninsula. » 8/17/11 4:30pm 8/17/11 4:30pm

Why global warming will make the world smellier

It's hard to know where to begin when calculating the effects that climate change might have on our planet, but I'm guessing most people haven't considered the smell factor. Global warming could super-charge the production of a particularly smelly gas. » 6/26/11 3:00pm 6/26/11 3:00pm

Fish live in fear of deadly jellyfish poop

Generally speaking, poop isn't pleasant, but it also isn't exactly lethal. But every year jellyfish unleash bowel movements so deadly that they can destroy entire marine ecosystems. A little odor doesn't seem so bad all of a sudden, does it? » 6/12/11 1:00pm 6/12/11 1:00pm

Phytoplankton in bloom off the coast of Argentina

This amazing image reveals a colorful mix of microscopic life and floating nutrients that have been churned together by the movements of powerful ocean currents. This massive bloom of phytoplankton is hundreds of miles long and visible from space. » 1/02/11 2:00pm 1/02/11 2:00pm

The ferocious blooms of Ireland's plankton are visible from space

Check out that blue alien swarm off the coast of Ireland. It's phytoplankton in bloom, in an image captured last spring and released this week. They swirl in the water, almost like an intelligence... with a purpose. [ESA via NationalGeographic] » 8/19/10 6:30am 8/19/10 6:30am

Sperm whales' doo-doo keeps their carbon footprint in check

Every year, the average sperm whale poops out 50 metric tons of iron, an amount equal to 30.3 2009 Hyundai Accents. These ferrous feces nourish phytoplankton at the ocean's surface, which in turn absorb CO2 for photosynthesis. » 6/16/10 6:53am 6/16/10 6:53am