Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Dive Deeper at Home: Introduction to the Deep Sea

An Activity for Deep Sea Animal Adaptations Week

Deep Sea Exploration Challenge

The deep ocean is a deep, dark, cold, and high pressure environment that is home to some amazing animals. In this challenge, you will explore some of these animals, practice your observation skills, and choose one to create art.

What You Need

  • Access to the web.
  • Paper and pencil, colored pencils, pens, or crayons OR other household items!


  1. Explore photos of these deep sea animals: Look at Life in the Deep Sea and Deep Ocean Diversity Slide Show.
  2. Pick one of the deep sea animals that interests you.
  3. Make observations about its features. What looks familiar? What is unique? What words would you use to describe it to someone who could not see it? You can write these ideas down.
  4. Decide on the type of art you want to use to represent your animal. You can draw it, write a description, make a sculpture, perform a skit, or any other form of art.
  5. Create your art piece and share it with your people at home. Tell them about why you think using art to talk about ocean science is fun and/or important.

Take It a Step Further

  1. Learn more about your animal, other deep sea animals, and the deep sea itself on the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal.
  2. Pick another deep sea animal and create a new art piece. Think about how the two animals are similar and different.
  3. Learn about some of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum’s deep sea biologists:
    1. Deep Reef Biodiversity - Exploring the Unexplored with Dr. Carole Baldwin
    2. Deep Ocean Discovery - Octopods and Squids with Dr. Mike Vecchione
  4. Explore more ocean art.
Resource Type
Hands-On Activities
Grade Level
3-5, 6-8
Life Science