Celebrate Halloween with 31 days of NOAA Spooky Science

It's officially spooky season! Follow along with us as we celebrate all things spooky, odd, or spine-tingling in the ocean and atmosphere with 31 days of NOAA Spooky Science!

Five pumpkins carved with different NOAA-themed templates including an anglerfish, a jellyfish, a tornado, a bony fish, and a ship and plane. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience with the NOAA logo.
Happy Halloween! These pumpkins were carved by NOAA Office of Education's very own talented intern, Kaleigh Ballantine, and her family, using carving templates Kaleigh created for the office! (Kaleigh Ballantine/NOAA Office of Education)

Check back daily for chilling, creepy content that you can use in and out of your classrooms and institutions, or with your loved ones at home. Follow these fascinating facts on social media with #NOAASpookyScience. We're @NOAAeducation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn offsite link.

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October 1: Spooktacular smartphone wallpaper gallery

October 2: Going batty for ancient climate data

October 3: What is a vampire squid and a vampire fish?

October 4: Creatures of a whale fall

October 5: Severe weather 101, Lightning types

October 6: Halloween pumpkin carving templates

October 7: Creatures of the Deep: Sea spider

October 8: Climate and mummies

October 9: Creatures of the Deep: Chimaera

October 10: Ghost fishing

October 11: America's spooktacular October climate

October 12: Zombie satellites

October 13: Deep-sea octopuses

October 14: Hurricane Hunter footage

October 15: Space weather phenomena

October 16: Whale fall poster

October 17: Exploring shipwrecks

October 18: What is the "Bloop?"

October 19: Did I find the lost underwater civilization of Atlantis?

October 20: Obscuration types

October 21: Things that go bump in the deep sea

October 22: What is a ghost forest?

October 23: What is a dead zone?

October 24: An ode to the Moon


October 1: Spooktacular smartphone wallpaper gallery

Four photos of frightening looking fish on a framed template. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
#NOAASpookyScience: Spooktacular smartphone wallpaper gallery (Kayla do Couto/NOAA Office of Education)

Kicking off 31 days of NOAA Spooky Science is NOAA Fisheries with their spooktacular smartphone wallpaper gallery! From the vicious viperfish to the deadly dragonfish, these photos are sure to add some Halloween flair to your phone!


October 2: Going batty for ancient climate data

A photo of a bat hanging on a cave. Border of the photo is black with orange atmospheric graphics of a lightning bolt and a tornado. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: The greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis). (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

You’ll go batty reading this NOAA Spooky Science fact from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information! A paleoclimate dataset — derived from bat guano — provides insight into climate conditions from way back in 950 AD ... Who knew you could get that kind of information from bat poo?


October 3: What is a vampire squid and a vampire fish?

Left: A fish with large bottom fangs and sharp long teeth. Right: A vampire squid swims in cloudy, speckled water. Border of the photo is black with orange sea creature graphics of octopus tentacles and an anglerfish. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
Left: A payara, commonly referred to as a “vampire fish,” with large bottom fangs and sharp long teeth. Right: A vampire squid surrounded by marine snow is captured on film during a dive on the E/V Nautilus. (Exotic Fish Wikia/Ocean Exploration Trust)

Did you know there are underwater vampires? Okay, maybe not the bloodsucking mermaid you might be picturing, but some equally eerie creatures. Read all about about the vampire squid, a  scary cephalopod of saltwater depths, and the vampire fish, a fanged freshwater fiend in this NOAA Spooky Science resource from the National Ocean Service.


October 4: Creatures of a whale fall

Illustration of deep marine sea creatures. Text: We are the creatures of nightmares. Border of the photo is black with orange sea creature graphics of octopus tentacles and an anglerfish. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
Creatures of a whale fall illustration. (NOAA Sanctuaries/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

This NOAA Spooky Science feature is sure to leave you feeling creepy crawly! From the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, see what happens when a whale dies and sinks to the seafloor. Hey, the little guys gotta eat, too! You'll be surprised what crawls out of the deep...


October 5: Severe weather 101, Lightning types

An illustration of different kinds of transient luminous events (TLEs). Border of the photo is black with orange atmospheric graphics of a lightning bolt and a tornado. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: An illustration of different kinds of transient luminous events (TLEs). (NOAA NSSL/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

Red sprites, blue jets, and elves, oh my! Did you know that these mysterious cousins of lightning can appear high in the atmosphere during a large thunderstorm? This NOAA Spooky Science resource from the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory is filled with strange, spine-chilling storm science.


October 6: Halloween pumpkin carving templates

Five pumpkins carved with different NOAA-themed templates including an anglerfish, a jellyfish, a tornado, a bony fish, and a ship and plane. Border of the photo is black with orange atmospheric graphics of a lightning bolt and a tornado. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: NOAA Education pumpkin carving templates (Kaleigh Ballantine/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

Still thinking about a design for your jack-o-lantern this year? Look no further! Carve out some time for Halloween fun and choose one of our NOAA-themed pumpkin carving templates. Let us know which NOAA Spooky Science template you choose! 


October 7: Creatures of the Deep: Sea spider

A sea spider, which has eight long legs. Border of the photo is black with orange sea creature graphics of octopus tentacles and an anglerfish. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Sea spider (NOAA Ocean Today/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

What’s more frightening … Spiders or SEA spiders?! We thought spiders were limited to land until watching this NOAA Spooky Science video! Okay, they’re not really spiders, but we’re not totally spinning you a web of lies. Check out these spider-like creepy crawlers from NOAA Ocean Today.


October 8: Climate and mummies

A museum room with mummies displayed on tables. Border of the photo is black with orange atmospheric graphics of a lightning bolt and a tornado. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Chinchorro mummies (Getty Images/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

Mummies at a museum in Chile are turning to black ooze … but, why? Find out from NOAA Climate.gov how climate change is playing a role in this mysterious mummy mess!


October 9: Creatures of the Deep: Chimaera

A streamlined grey fish swims in the deep ocean. Border of the photo is black with orange sea creature graphics of octopus tentacles and an anglerfish. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Chimaera (NOAA Ocean Today/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

It has no bones, it lurks in the dark, and it’s sometimes called a “ghost shark.” This denizen of the deep checks all the boxes for NOAA Spooky Science! Do you know what it is? Find out from NOAA Ocean Today.


October 10: Ghost fishing

A net floating and tangled up in the ocean weighs close to 1.5 tons. Border of the photo is black with orange sea creature graphics of octopus tentacles and an anglerfish. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Ghost fishing (NOAA Marine Debris/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

If brain-eating zombies give you a scare, then, dear reader, you better prepare! There are undead fishing nets that roam the sea, you’ll shake in your waders reading this NOAA Spooky Science story from NOAA Marine Debris.


October 11: America's spooktacular October climate

A witch on a broomstick flies in front of the full moon. Border of the photo is black with orange atmospheric graphics of a lightning bolt and a tornado. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: witch in front of a full moon (Pixabay/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

Halloween marks a tricky time of year for meteorologists and climatologists as autumn is in full swing across the Northern Hemisphere. Check out this NOAA Spooky Science resource from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information to learn about the wicked weather variations that Halloween has from year to year.


October 12: Zombie satellites

A graphic of a satellite in orbit with the moon in the background. Border of the photo is black with orange atmospheric graphics of a lightning bolt and a tornado. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Zombie satellites (NOAA Satellites/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

If you’re prepared for ghosts, ghouls, and goblins this Halloween, you might want to also consider zombies … zombie satellites, that is. Should we fear the graveyard orbit of un-dead satellites? Find out in this NOAA Spooky Science resource from NOAA Satellites.


October 13: Deep-sea octopuses

An umbrella octopus swims through the deep ocean. The octopus is a cloudy pinkish-white color. Border of the photo is black with orange sea creature graphics of octopus tentacles and an anglerfish. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Deep-sea octopus (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

A garden of ghouls and ghastly creatures lurk in the deep. One creature has eight suckered arms, three beating hearts, and eats with a beak that can deliver a venomous bite. Do you know what this NOAA Spooky Science video from Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary features?


October 14: Hurricane Hunter footage

A view out the window of an airplane that shows the eye of Hurricane Henri. Border of the photo is black with orange atmospheric graphics of a lightning bolt and a tornado. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience.
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Circling within the eye of Hurricane Henri on NOAA WP-3D Orion N42RF Kermit on August 21, 2021. (NOAA/Nick Underwood)

Flying into the eye of a hurricane sounds nightmarish for some, but for others it’s a thrill that helps collect life-saving data about hurricanes and storm patterns. If you had the chance to bring this daunting dream to life, would you?


October 15: Space weather phenomena

A poster of different space weather phenomena. Border of the photo is black with orange atmospheric graphics of a lightning bolt and a tornado. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience.
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Space weather phenomena (NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

Atmospheric phenomena like geomagnetic storms can scare the casual observer, resembling a gathering of ghastly green ghouls or make it appear as if the sky is on fire. This NOAA Spooky Science resource has all the information you need to learn about space weather.


October 16: Whale fall poster

A poster showing a graphic of a fallen whale at the bottom of the ocean and organisms that feed on the whale. Border of the photo is black with orange sea creature graphics of octopus tentacles and an anglerfish. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Whale fall poster (NOAA Sanctuaries/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

You’ve learned from an earlier NOAA Spooky Science about what happens when a whale dies and sinks to the seafloor. Now, download these especially eerie posters from NOAA Sanctuaries to better understand the creepy crawlies that feed off the carcass.


October 17: Exploring shipwrecks

Stern section of City of Atlanta shipwreck. Border of the photo is black with orange sea creature graphics of octopus tentacles and an anglerfish. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience.
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Stern section of City of Atlanta shipwreck (Monitor National Marine Sanctuary/Hoyt, NOAA/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

There’s a sea of memories waiting to be explored at shipwreck sites around the country. This NOAA Spooky Science resource has info on shipwrecks from the Civil War through World War II.


October 18: What is the "Bloop?"

Satellite image of the tip of Antarctica. Border of the photo is black with orange sea creature graphics of octopus tentacles and an anglerfish. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Satellite image of Antarctica. (NASA/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

In 1997, a mysterious underwater sound was captured by researchers in the southern Pacific ocean. Was the “Bloop” caused by secret underwater nymphs, giant squids, or a sea creature unknown to science? Or, something else entirely? Find out in this NOAA Spooky Science resource from the National Ocean Service.


October 19: Did I find the lost underwater civilization of Atlantis?

The lines seen here show the paths taken by ships using sonar to map small sections of the ocean floor in greater detail. Border of the photo is black with orange sea creature graphics of octopus tentacles and an anglerfish. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Underwater grid patterns. The lines seen here show the paths taken by ships using sonar to map small sections of the ocean floor in greater detail. The gridded-section shown above may look like streets in a small town, but is over 100 miles wide. The area above is one of the more frequently cited 'underwater city' locations in online lore. It's a spot northwest of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean located at the following coordinates: 31º15'15" N, 24º 15' 30". (NOAA/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

Parts of the ocean seafloor are marked by mysterious formations of grid-like artifacts. Could these markings be remnants of lost cities or underwater streets? Find out with this NOAA Spooky Science resource from the National Ocean Service.


October 20: Obscuration types

A foggy area with the sun breaking through. Border of the photo is black with orange atmospheric graphics of a lightning bolt and a tornado. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Fog. Visible minute water particles (droplets) at the Earth's surface that reduce horizontal visibility to less than 5/8th mile (1 km). Unlike drizzle, fog does not fall to the ground but remains suspended. (NWS/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

Every good scary movie uses fog, mist, or a dreary haze to create suspenseful, foreboding scenery. Though these obscurations may add mystery to a story, the reason they appear in the atmosphere isn’t mysterious at all. NWS explains in this NOAA Spooky Science resource.


October 21: Things that go bump in the deep sea

Bathysaurus, a long eel-like fish sits on a sandy ocean bottom. Border of the photo is black with orange sea creature graphics of octopus tentacles and an anglerfish. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Bathysaurus seen in 2018 in the Okeanos Explorer expedition. (NOAA Research/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

It is the world’s deepest living superpredator ... anything it meets, it eats, including individuals of its own kind. Do you know which creepy creature offsite link we’re featuring for NOAA Spooky Science today?


October 22: What is a ghost forest?

The watery remains of a once verdant woodland. Dead trees and broken limbs fill the beach. Border of the photo is black with orange sea creature graphics of octopus tentacles and an anglerfish. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: A ghost forest on Capers Island, South Carolina. (National Ocean Service/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

What insidious poison can reduce a once verdant woodland to a ghost forest haunted by dead and dying timber? *shivers* Find out the answer to this spooky whodunit in this NOAA Spooky Science resource from the National Ocean Service.


October 23: What is a dead zone?

See caption for graph description. Border of the photo is black with orange atmospheric graphics of a lightning bolt and a tornado. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: At 6,334 square miles, the 2021 hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico is the 16th largest ever measured in the 35-year record, measured from July 25 to August 1. Red area denotes 2 milligrams per liter of oxygen or lower, the level which is considered hypoxic, at the bottom of the seafloor. (Bottom panel) Long-term measured size of the hypoxic zone (green bars) measured during the ship surveys since 1985, including the target goal established by the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force and the 5-year average measured size (black dashed lines). (Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

A “dead zone” may sound like an area where zombies congregate, but it’s actually an area that has reduced levels of oxygen in the water, turning habitats once teeming with life into, essentially, biological deserts. Want to know more? Check out this NOAA Spooky Science resource from the National Ocean Service.


October 24: An ode to the Moon

A satellite image of the moon. Border of the photo is black with orange atmospheric graphics of a lightning bolt and a tornado. Text: 31 days of #NOAASpookyScience
NOAA Spooky Science edition: Moon (NOAA Satellites/Graphic by Kayla do Couto, NOAA Office of Education)

Are we sure there isn’t a werewolf over in NOAA Satellites? In this NOAA Spooky Science resource, “An ode to the Moon,” find out how GOES-R satellites use the moon to their advantage (and ‘just happen’ to catch breathtaking glimpses of the moon).