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Ocean Diversity Challenge

What You Will Do
Try to find all 73 ocean organisms
in the Year of the Ocean 1998 poster!

Photo credit: Courtesy Steve Shachter, NOAA

The Ocean is vital to life on earth. From the life-giving rain that nourishes crops, to life-saving medicines; from the fish that come from the ocean floor, to the goods that are transported on the sea’s surface— in some way the ocean plays a role in your life every day.

This is a poster by artist Steve Shachter, prepared for NOAA during the International Year of the Ocean (1998)[See also IYOR 2008 on Magic Porthole.] Look at the variety of living organisms!

About 275,000 marine species are known to science. But more than 95% of Earth’s oceans have not been explored, so there are almost certainly many species that are still undiscovered. Some scientists think there may be as many as ten million undiscovered species living in the ocean. Other scientists think the number may be much higher. Almost all of the major animal groups are found in the ocean, and many are not found anywhere else. So the sea holds most of Earth’s biological heritage, which scientists call biodiversity.

Why is biodiversity important? Because we know that marine organisms already provide food, fertilizer, drugs, jewellery, clothing and many other products. With so many species undiscovered, the potential for new products is huge.

Here’s a way to get acquainted with a few of the species whose home is the sea. But remember: there are millions more!

You can Find What You Will Need On NOAA Ocean Service
Go to:


Ocean Challenge Puzzle
Ocean Explorer

Test your ocean literacy with the Ocean Challenge Puzzle! With each correct answer, you’ll reveal another tile of the puzzle. Collaborate with other users to reveal the full picture. Target: Educators, students (grades 9-12), and adults. From:


Grouper George, Boxing Barry, Coco Clown, Moray Melanie, and the Wise Old Emperor help you make discoveries as you explore coral reefs in the Magic Porthole experience.

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