600+ Stunning Vintage Sea Life Illustrations

Is there anything more fascinating than the depths of ocean? We know so little about something that takes up so much space in our world and new discoveries are being made every day. I’m not the most science-minded person myself, but we live near the beach and I love exploring the rockpools on the shoreline and collecting shells and seaglass. I love vintage marine science illustrations because it’s like looking into the mind of a scientist, except it’s all laid out in a beautiful, visual way.

The vintage marine science illustration category might just be my most favourite. Big call, I know! But just look at them! They’re useful, detailed, beautiful and they spark something in my imagination. I love thinking about what it would have been like to find and record new marine plants and animals. I’m sure my romantic ideas of sketching quietly on a remote beach aren’t exactly spot on (scurvy, sunburn, saltwater showers) but thanks to early scientific illustrators like Ernst Haeckel and the power of the interwebs, we can view and download vintage marine biology illustrations from the comfort of our own homes. 9 months on a stinky sailing ship not required.

Just a few of the vintage marine science illustrations you’ll find below are:

Go wild! They’re all public domain marine science illustrations, which means that they’re copyright free so you can use them however you like! Wouldn’t they make the most amazing print on a tea towel or even as decals on ceramic plates and cups?