Aesthetics Wiki

Ocean Academia is an Academia aesthetic that revolves around the fascination, dark understanding, and scientific pursuit of marine education. It is very similar to dark or classic academia, but with a focus on marine sciences such as oceanography and marine biology.

This aesthetic revolves around one's passion for learning about the ocean, but differs from traditional academics in that it accepts supernatural and mythical ideas about the sea.

This aesthetic is not derived from any particular culture, society, trend, or period of time. Hence, it is more open to personal touches and individualistic desires. It romanticizes the ocean's depth and darkness, as well as the unknown that lies beyond.


Ocean Academia was coined by SirenInTheBathtub for the Aesthetics Wiki, but humans have been fascinated by the ocean for millennia, and many great scholars and environmentalists, such as Jacques Cousteau, Sylvia Earle, and Rachel Carson, have devoted their lives to the study of marine science.


At its heart, Ocean Academia aims to express the the inexplicable mystery that the ocean holds: its secretive yet inviting nature and the evocation of abstract emotions. The idea is to acknowledge and respect the ocean for what it is: vast, deep, profound.

Values include curiosity and open-mindedness while on the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of the ocean and the self. Environmentalism is important in this aesthetic: we protect what we love.

Through these values, ocean academics can find emotional peace and personal gnosis.


Ocean Academia is found across various platforms, including photography, music, visual arts, literature, poetry, philosophy and architecture. It is similar to other academic aesthetics, but focuses on a color palette of blues, greys, greens and black, with ocean motifs such as whales, crabs, seaweed and other ocean life.

The aesthetic is broad, since the ocean is so large, there are endless topics of specialization.

  • Marine biologists may study:
    • the pelagic zone (the open ocean), where creatures like jellyfish, whales and large schools of fish may be found
    • the littoral zone (the intertidal zone) where they may encounter tide pools, crabs, seaweeds and algae
    • the abyssopelagic zone (the deepest ocean) where there is no sunlight, and strange bioluminescent creatures like anglerfish, comb jellies and gossamer worms.
  • Oceanographers study the ocean itself as a body of water with specializations including:
    • meteorology including maritime weather patterns and storms
    • physical actions of waves and tides
    • maritime geography and cartography


Sylvia Earle rocking a blue blazer over a black turtleneck with a gold seashell necklace

Sylvia Earle rocks a formal outfit with a blue blazer over a black turtleneck with a gold seashell necklace

Fashion is very similar to other academia aesthetics, but with a color scheme consisting primarily of blues, blacks and greys. Ocean motifs are common. Because of the propensity for laboratory and field work, the aesthetic is slightly more casual: practicality is often a priority. Outfits worn to lectures or events may be more dressy, but lab days often require closed-toe shoes, pants and overall simplicity, while field work often calls for practical shoes, layers, hats or even swimwear.


  • Black or navy blue turtleneck
  • Sailor collar shirt
  • Fisherman sweaters
  • Dark linen shirts
  • T-shirts with ocean motifs/patterns
  • T-shirts collected from aquariums/internships
  • Dark kurta/kurti
  • Dark silk shirt
  • Lacy camisoles in black, grey, or blue
  • Chambray shirts left unbuttoned


  • Linen skirts in blue or black
  • Midi skirts
  • Dark pants- linen, denim or dress pants
  • Sailor skirts
  • Frayed jeans
  • Fishnet Stockings


  • Blazers
  • Overcoats or trench coats
  • Fisherman-style rubber rain coat


  • Bean boots/duck boots
  • Dark Doc Martens or other sturdy boots
  • Comfortable sandals
  • Strappy sandals
  • Boat shoes
  • Dark brogues
  • Navy blue sneakers
  • Wellies


  • Beach waves
  • Long hair with the front tied up out of your face
  • Short hair slightly mussed
  • Ribbons


  • Waterfall
  • Fishtail
  • Mermaid
  • Snake
  • French/Dutch


  • Nautical tattoos
  • Vintage compasses
  • Wire-rimmed glasses
  • Motif ties
  • Cozy knit socks or socks with shells/anchors
  • Seashell/starfish hair clips


  • Silver piercings
  • Brooches, esp with seashells or tridents, etc
  • Silver tentacle rings
  • Leather cord anklet with shells
  • Black neck ribbon
  • Pearl, coral, aragonite, aquamarine, larimar, sapphire




  • 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian
  • The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen
  • The Nightfarers by Mark Valentine
  • And The Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness
  • Walking on Knives by Maya Chhabra
  • The Blue Salt Road by Joanne Harris
  • The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist by S.L. Huang
  • The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster
  • Deep Breath by J.M. Miller
  • The Eyes of Water by Alison Littlewood
  • Monster in Our Wake by J.H. Moncrieff
  • Hell's Teeth by Paul Mannering
  • The Seafarer's Kiss by Julia Ember
  • Some of the works of H.P. Lovecraft
  • Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan


  • The Edge of the Sea by Rachel Carson
  • The Ocean World by Jacques Cousteau
  • Eat Like A Fish by Bren Smith
  • The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery
  • Sex in the Sea by Marah J. Hardt


  • "Sea Fever" by John Masefield
  • The Sea! The Sea! by Peter Jay
  • Poems of the Sea by J.D. McClatchy
  • The Ocean by K Tolnoe
  • An Aquarium by Jeffrey Yang
  • "The Sea" by James Reeve
  • Your Heart Is The Sea by Nikita Gill
  • The Seafarer edited by Ida L. Gordon
  • Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe


  • Bioshock (2007)
  • Endless Ocean (2007)
  • Bioshock 2 (2010)
  • Endless Ocean: Blue World (2010)
  • Subnautica (2014)
  • Mission Atlantis (Poptropica) (2014)
  • ABZÛ (2016)
  • Subnautica: Below Zero (2019)
  • Disaster Log C (2019)


  • The Abyss (1989)
  • Deep Blue Sea (1999)
  • Cast Away (2000)
  • The Perfect Storm (2000)
  • Life of Pi (2012)
  • 47 Meters Down (2017)
  • The Meg (2018)





  • Planet Ocean
  • National Geographic
  • Natural World Facts
  • Netflix
  • Naked Science



Because of the fundamental antagonism between the books (sheets, maps, papers) and water it is not obvious what belongs to Ocean Academia. How can we imagine specific pictures, dresses or free-time activities? There are several sub-genres of this aesthetic which resolve the fact that water destroys books. Also note the Ocean Academia is about self-discovery, so those who follow this aesthetic should explore their own takes on the genre.

  • blue / watery version of dark or light academia: pearl accessories, waving blue silk robes, black, white and blue tapestry or furniture, paintings about the sea on the wall etc., otherwise nothing special: studying people, libraries, museums, books, literature, literacy...
  • vacation-of-the-librarian: moodboards that contain reading persons on the beach, on the rocks of a seashore or on boats
  • Venice: university cities built on the sea or lakes, where the streets are often canals, the residents do not walk but use gondolas or boats for transportation. Can be a historically accurate (Venice, Bruges, Wroclaw etc.) or fantasy environment.
  • wise mermaids: fantasy subgenre where the entire 'landscape' is underwater and the intelligent species (mermaids, sirens, tritons, nixies, sea elf communities etc.) found a way how to write or perpetuate their knowledge in the deep
  • contemporary: contemporary sub-culture of those scholars, oceanographers, researchers and artists who study the seas or inspired by the sea
  • futuristic: a subgenre that supposes a future where cities are built on or under the sea. It can be an optimistic fiction close to solarpunk where mankind had learnt how to live in harmony with nature (The Deep - animation series) but can be a darker universe too e.g. like the post-apocalyptic Waterworld film (1995).



  • Swimming
  • Recreational diving
  • Long walks on the beach (especially on foggy evenings)


  • Underwater photography
  • Watching or filming ocean documentaries
  • Studying mythology of marine deities and sea monsters
  • Midnight research
  • Reading marine science textbooks
  • Drinking tea
  • Cooking seafood
  • Collecting seashells
  • Reading philosophy
  • Exploring shipwrecks
  • Obsessing over supernatural mysteries of the ocean
  • Collecting shells and marine fossils
  • Maritime history
  • Painting seascapes or drawing marine anatomy
  • Foreign languages
  • Listening to deep sea ambience
  • Studying nautical charts
  • Laboratory research
  • Aquarium keeping
  • Carrying a Rite-in-the-Rain notebook with you everywhere so you can document thoughts and observations whether on shore or at sea
  • Sailing
  • Freediving or snorkeling


  • Aquariums
  • Beach bars
  • Libraries & book shops
  • Art museums
  • Science & natural history museums
  • Tide pools
  • Fishing piers
  • Whale watches
  • Foggy beaches