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National Geographic


Exploration Into the Alien Deep

Educational Resources Created from the Alien Deep Series

Audience versions of this page: Students

  • Hydrothermal Vents

    More Than Just Hot Water

  • Plankton Revealed

    These Microorganisms Play a Role in Ocean Health

  • Science of Surfline

    Website Predicts Where to Catch the Best Waves

    Surfline's forecasts have helped surfers discover new surf areas, such as the islands of Fiji and the many islands of Indonesia. Here, professional surfer Wayan "Gobleg" Suyadnya rides a wave in his native Bali, Indonesia.
  • Alien Deep Series

    Photos and Videos From the National Geographic Channel

    Off Big Island, Hawaii: The Pisces IV sub explores a ridge dotted with Iridogorgia, a kind of octocoral. (Photo Credit: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

National Geographic Channel’s Alien Deep is a five-part series that gives viewers an inside look at modern ocean exploration and recent discoveries. Viewers embark on expeditions with Dr. Robert Ballard as he explores geological secrets hidden in the depths of the ocean. Watch Ballard scour the seafloor of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea in search of shipwrecks that offer insight into the lives of ancient mariners.

These short videos and their supporting materials have been made specifically for educational use from clips from the Alien Deep series and never-before-seen film from Ballard's recent expeditions. Featuring topics like rogue waves and hydrothermal vents, this exciting footage engages learners with a wide variety of science and geography topics.

Technology and Innovation

Ocean Exploration: Technology

What’s out there? What’s down there? Modern tools and technologies are providing oceanographers and astronomers new opportunities to explore the depths of the ocean and the expanse of space.

Ocean Circulation and the Butterfly Effect

Explore how the smallest swimming organisms may play an important role in ocean mixing.

Ocean Currents and Climate

Scientists across the globe are trying to figure out why the ocean is becoming more violent and what, if anything, can be done about it.

Plankton Revealed

See how a young boy's fascination with microorganisms led to a man's successful profession investigating plankton's role in ocean health.

Ancient Exploration

Ancient Mariners of the Mediterranean

With 95 percent of the seafloor not yet explored, oceanographers and maritime archaeologists look to the deep waters of the Mediterranean and Aegean seas for shipwrecks that can be used to tell the story of ancient civilizations throughout the region. 

Ancient Shipwrecks of the Black Sea

Due to very low levels of oxygen at shallow depths, Black Sea shipwrecks are well preserved when compared to other Mediterranean wrecks from the same time period. Oceanographers and maritime archaeologists look to the waters of the Black Sea for shipwrecks that can be used to uncover the history and culture of ancient civilizations throughout the region. 

Economy of Shipping

The shipping industry is feeling the effects of climate change.


Learn how climate change is affecting the surface of the ocean.


Learn about deep-sea geology and explore Mauna Kea, the world's tallest mountain.

National Geographic Channel

Alien Deep Series

Check out Alien Deep photos and video clips from the National Geographic Channel.

Get the DVD

Alien Deep

Learn more about the Alien Deep expeditions by purchasing the complete series on DVD.

Alien Deep Interactive

Explore the Floors of Our Ocean Planet

Take a voyage via submersible across our planet's largely unexplored ocean floors. Investigate the many mysteries of the sea, including underwater volcanoes and centuries-old shipwrecks.

Meet the Experts

Dr. Robert Ballard

Dr. Robert Ballard is an ocean explorer who has discovered shipwrecks (the Titanic!) and explored the weird world of hydrothermal vents.

Dr. Kakani Katija

Dr. Kakani Katija is a bioengineer and National Geographic Emerging Explorer.

Ocean Exploration

Did you know that 98% of the ocean remains unexplored?


Geo-Story. These featured events just skim the surface of ocean exploration—and there's still more to explore!


Timeline. A timeline of important events in ocean underwater exploration.

More Than Just Hot Water

Exploring the Edge of Existence

Robert Ballard talks about his discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

Oceans: Hydrothermal Vents

One of the strangest ecosystems on Earth lies deep under the ocean.

More About the Ocean

Ocean Education

Explore the ocean with illustrations, photographs, and videos.

Marine Communities

Use these illustrations with students in Grades 9-12 to explore various marine ecosystems.