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Terrestrial Tour: The Ocean in Bloom

Normal quantities of phytoplankton bloom can be helpful, but too much can kill ocean life.


Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory (

Story adapted from Image of the Day post by Kathryn Hansen:
Images and animations are courtesy of NASA/GSFC, the MODIS Rapid Response Team, the NASA/GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio, the SeaWiFS Project, and ORBIMAGE

  • Image of bloom near Iceland courtesy of Norman Kuring, Ocean Color Group at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

  • Assorted diatoms photo courtesy of NSF Polar Programs

  • Images of individual phytoplankton courtesy of Sharyn Hedrick, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

  • Hurricane animation courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

  • Haddock photo courtesy of NOAA

  • Photo of red tide in New Zealand courtesy of M. Godfrey, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

  • Photo of red tide in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico, courtesy of M. Gaskings, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

  • Photo of red tide off La Jolla, California, courtesy of Alejandro Diaz

  • Aqua satellite illustration courtesy of Reto Stöckli, NASA

  • Written by Tracy Vogel

  • Designed by Stephanie Smith

  • Music courtesy of Associated Production Music


All narration is presented in text form within the video. In addition, a full transcript will be available in the Library in the near future. Check back soon!