6 Promising Non-fiction Books to Brush Up on Your Ocean Knowledge

Continue reading to discover the perfect books for taking a deep dive on all things water, seas, and oceans!

Non-Fiction Recommendations
Two nonfiction book covers on an ocean background with marine life surrounding them.

For some, the thought of the ocean, its creatures and its extreme power is scary. Who knows what lurks beyond the dark surface of the ocean? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ocean Exploration, water makes up 70% of the Earth’s surface. We have only explored 5% of the ocean despite about 20% of the ocean floor being mapped. With that being said, it’s totally understandable as to why some people are terrified of what takes place in the depths of the unknown. The following 10 books will help expand your ocean knowledge!

1. Marine Biology for the Non-Biologist by Andrew Caine

Marine Biology for the Non-Biologist by Andrew Caine, book cover depicting Jellyfish in the water.
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This book is perfect for anyone who would appreciate just having a basic knowledge of the ocean. Written in simple terminology, this book is easy to grasp but still educational and entertaining. Covering a lot of information, the book starts off with animals in the ocean, their history, reproductive tactics, and predator avoidance. Then, it moves on to other things such as coral reefs, life in the polar sea, and much more. Filled with an abundance of facts, this book will keep you, or whoever you buy it for, hooked.

2. The World Beneath: The Life and Times of Unknown Sea Creatures and Coral Reefs by Dr. Richard Smith

The World Beneath: The Life and Times of Unknown Sea Creatures and Coral Reefs by Dr. Richard Smith, book cover depicting a Blue-greenish fish in deep ocean.
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With over 300 photos, readers will be taken on a magical exploration across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans, being introduced to many different creatures that call the deep blue their home. The book goes into detail about various sea creatures and their unusual qualities that allow them to survive within the ocean. Readers will also learn about the naming process and which animals are facing extinction.

3. A History of the World in Twelve Shipwrecks by David Gibbons

A History of the World in Twelve Shipwrecks by David Gibbons, book cover depicting a Diver above a shipwreck.
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This book discusses the many shipwrecks that have occurred in the middle of the ocean. From thousands of years ago to more recent wrecks, archaeologist David Gibbons discusses not only the people who sailed on these ships but also the spread of religion, people, and ideas from around the world. From the Bronze Age to the exploration of the Arctic, Gibbons tells all with shipwrecks.

4. The Breath of a Whale: The Science and Spirit of Pacific Ocean Giants by Leigh Calvez

The Breath of a Whale: The Science and Spirit of Pacific Ocean Giants by Leigh Calvez, book cover depicting Humpback whale swimming.
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After over a decade of exploring, researching, and poking into the lives of the giant whales that call the ocean home, Calvez tells the stories and findings of many researchers in her book. From humpback whales to blue whales, the lives of these animals and many others are shared in great detail, covering the secretive routes in order to gain access to the giant beasts and the skills and tactics they use to survive.

5. Between the Tides in California: Exploring Beaches and Tidepools by Ryan P. Kelly, Terrie Klinger, Patrick J. Krug and John J. Meyer

Between the Tides in California: Exploring Beaches and Tidepools by Ryan P. Kelly, Terrie Klinger, Patrick J. Krug and John J. Meyer, book cover depicting a tidepool on the coast with coral.
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Between the nooks and crannies of the Californian tidepools hide an enormous amount of wildlife. In their book, these four authors guide readers on how ecosystems work and where to find hidden creatures within tidepools up and down the coast of California, with colorful illustrations and easy-to-understand writing. From prickly, purple sea urchins to barnacles, tidepools are full of surprising little specimens — if you keep an eye out for them, you will definitely find them!

6. The Marine World: A Natural History of Ocean Life by Frances Dipperc

Between the Tides in California: Exploring Beaches and Tidepools by Ryan P. Kelly, Terrie Klinger, Patrick J. Krug and John J. Meyer, book cover depicting a glowing jellyfish.
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Perfect for all ages and all levels of interest in marine biology, this book encompasses information on the various types of organisms that live near, in, or on the ocean. With colorful illustrations and 1500 photos of accessible writing, Dipper makes it easy for readers to enjoy learning about the ecology, biology, classification, and much more of each animal group that calls the ocean home.

From sea urchins to blue whales, these books have something for everyone. Hopefully after reading, any fears of the ocean you may have will float away! Happy reading!


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