Was NASA originally created for sea exploration? No, that's not true: NASA was founded in 1958 as a response to then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower wanting to explore the upper atmosphere sciences and the capabilities of rockets. It was also created as a response to the Soviet Union launching their space satellite, Sputnik I. NASA did not start exploring the ocean until 1978.
The claim appeared in an Instagram post on August 8, 2022. The post includes a brief video of two men sitting in a car casually talking. One says:
NASA was originally made for um ... like, sea exploration.
This is what the Instagram post looked like at the time of writing:
(Source: Instagram post screenshot taken on Thu Oct 20 14:45:25 2022 UTC)
In their brief talk, the men theorize that possibly NASA found something undersea that was too frightening for sea exploration to continue.
According to the Eisenhower Library website, Eisenhower and the Department of Defense wanted to push research efforts toward "fields of rocketry and upper atmosphere sciences." Eisenhower approved a plan to get a U.S. satellite in space between July 1, 1957, and December 31, 1958. Soon after those plans were announced, the Soviet Union declared their plans to create their own satellite.
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit Earth, beating the United State's satellite efforts.
NASA was created in response to the Soviet Union launching their 1957 satellites, Sputnik I and Sputnik II. The launch of NASA and the Sputniks began a competition ovef which country could achieve more in space exploration. Here is the timeline of the U.S.-Soviet Union's space race.