National Geographic

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Meet the Bug That Armors Itself With Shells

The caddisfly is one of many insects that get creative in shielding themselves from predators.<p>We understand the superhero "no capes" rule—but what about shields?<p>Many insects know the power of this form of stylish protection. For instance, caddisfly larvae, which sometimes measure only a tenth of an …

Insects

Why the Short-Lived Pony Express Still Fascinates Us

The Pony Express operated for less than two years, but its legend—burnished by Buffalo Bill Cody—lives on.<p>In its day, the Pony Express was like the Twitter or Facebook of the mid-1800s: a means of communication that could move information across the North American continent faster than ever before, …

Native Americans

Think Your Body Is Infested With Insects? You're Not Alone.

More people are turning to entomologists to diagnose seemingly inexplicable sensations of parasites crawling on their bodies.<p>A few years ago, a man began telling his family members a horrifying tale: There are bugs living inside him.<p>These bugs, he said, have hard shells that crunch when he squashes …

Insects

Could Humans and Dinosaurs Coexist? Here's the Science.

“The dinosaurs would be aliens in our world.”<p>In <i>Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom</i>, humans are faced with a moral dilemma: Do we save the dinosaurs brought back to life by science when they are threatened by volcanic annihilation? Or do we let the dangerous beasts perish again?<p>This made us wonder …

Dinosaurs

World’s Biggest Pig Captured in Rare Video

The 600-pound giant forest hog is expert at avoiding people, who are increasingly hunting the animal in its African habitat.<p>At 600 pounds, the giant forest hog may be on average the world’s biggest pig—but it’s also one of the most mysterious.<p>The bristly black animal with prominent cheeks and sharp …

Wildlife

See Colorful Summer Photos of Hungary’s Beloved 'Sea'

Once an important destination for families split by the Iron Curtain, Hungary’s Lake Balaton is on the brink of a renaissance.<p>If there’s one common Hungarian childhood memory that spans generations and geography, it’s summer vacation at Lake Balaton. Swimming in the shallow, freshwater lake and …

Central Europe

Why I Always Travel to The World Cup

Hint: It's much more than soccer.<p>Crowds of white, green, red, and blue overflowed from packed bars into the streets of New York City’s Little Italy neighborhood. Strangers clutched each other’s arms in anticipation while balancing on tiptoes with craned necks, all in an attempt to glimpse the …

Travel Photography

Syphilis DNA Pulled From Colonial-Era Bones

The 350-year-old genes may help researchers settle the debate about where the disease originated.<p>In 1494, just after Columbus' first voyage to the New World, historical accounts in Europe describe a debilitating epidemic of a previously unrecorded disease that we know now as syphilis. That timing …

Public Health

Ancient Royal Tomb Yields Strange New Ape Species

The toothy creature provides rare evidence of early human-caused extinctions.<p>Lady Xia's tomb would have certainly been something to behold. Excavated in 2004, the tomb belonged to the grandmother of China's first emperor, Qin Shihuang. Inside was an array of riches—jade, gold, silver, engraved …

Anthropology

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Drops Monkey Circus

At Vietnam’s Can Gio reserve, monkeys performed tricks in subpar conditions. The circus has left—but the monkeys remain in possession of the corporation.<p><i>As animal welfare increasingly becomes a part of the public conversation, it’s becoming more common to see stories about animals living in</i> …

Ho Chi Minh City

This Summer Solstice, Earth's Days Are Longer Than Ever

Earth hasn't always had a 24-hour day. Here's what that means for the June solstice.<p>As the summer solstice draws closer, Stephen Meyers has been welcoming the few extra minutes of sunlight each day that light up his walk home. He knows that after the year’s longest stretch of sunlight on June 21, …

Earth Science

Why T. Rex Couldn't Waggle Its Tongue

Scientists were in for a surprise after peering inside the mouths of modern alligators and birds.<p>You might be surprised by what dinosaur tongues can teach you.<p>By comparing the small bones that stabilize the tongue from dinosaur fossils to those of modern birds and crocodilians, researchers found …

Dinosaurs

Can Bees Help Save Elephants From Train Strikes?

Bengaluru, India<p>In India, where elephants are hit by trains, people are trying innovative solutions.<p>Conservation scientist Aritra Kshettry had just begun his fieldwork studying the shared spaces between people and wildlife in India when he witnessed the aftermath of a gruesome interaction.<p>The …

Wildlife

Dive into the Vibrant Waters of the Great Barrier Reef

This sprawling coral reef system is one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet.<p>You can spend a lifetime exploring the Great Barrier Reef and still not see all of this colorful coral realm—it’s nearly the size of Montana. Sprawling off the east coast of Queensland, Australia, the …

Great Barrier Reef

This Bird Has Been Singing the Same Song for 1,000 Years

The American swamp sparrow’s amazing ability to pass down its song perfectly is an example of handing down a cultural tradition, scientists say.<p>Every summer, the melodic whistles of thousands of American swamp sparrows echo across North America’s wetlands. These little brown birds may know just a …

Birds

Traumatized Refugee Children in Greece Face a Mental Health Crisis

In the fall of 2015, Essam Daod was standing on the beach in Lesbos, Greece, when a crowded rubber dinghy packed with refugees landed ashore. Among them was an inconsolable five-year-old Syrian boy named Omar.<p>Daod took him from his mother and pointed at the police helicopter circling overhead: …

Mental Health

Some Rivers Are So Drug-Polluted, Their Eels Get High on Cocaine

Illegal drug residues in the water could be affecting native fish.<p>Critically endangered eels hyped up on cocaine could have trouble making a 3,700-mile trip to mate and reproduce—new research warns.<p>And while societies have long grappled with ways to cope with the use of illicit drugs, less …

Eels

Why This Rare Lobster Is Colored Like Blue Cotton Candy

The critter’s pastel rainbow hues may be the result of a genetic mutation or an unusual diet.<p>Last November, Canadian lobsterman Robin Russell was pulling up his catch when he found a unicorn of sorts: Peeking out among the mottled burnt orange and brown was a pastel lobster, sporting a shell of …

Nature

Why Great White Sharks Hang Out in Warm Whirlpools

New research on famous white sharks Mary Lee and Lydia shows the giant fish spend a surprising amount of time in warm oceanic eddies.<p>The lives of great white sharks, despite their notoriety, remain murky.<p>Foremost among the many questions that remain: Where do they spend most of their time, and what …

Nature

Would a U.S. Space Force Be Legal? Get the Facts.

With the president calling for a new military branch, get the pros and cons of the plan and find out what the U.S. military is already doing off-world.<p>Sparking a news cycle that resembled the prologue of a sci-fi film, U.S. President Donald Trump voiced support on Monday for a “Space Force,” a …

Space Science

What Is Hogweed, the Invading Plant That Burns and Blinds?

The striking plant was brought to North America to decorate gardens and arboretums, but now officials are working to wipe it out.<p>If you see it growing in your garden, don't touch it.<p>The 15-foot-tall invasive plant locally known as hogweed (<i>Heracleum mantagazzianum)</i> was recently spotted for the …

Washington State

Rare Manta Ray Nursery Discovered

Off the coast of Texas, a coral reef houses a vibrant nursery ground where young manta rays grow up.<p>Marine biologist Josh Stewart was floating underwater, looking up at the manta ray that materialized out of the blue above him, when he did a double take: The animal was a juvenile, only a few feet …

Manta Rays

12 Historic LGBTQ Figures Who Changed the World

These activists, artists, doctors, and writers had a lasting impact on communities around the globe.<p>Pride is a time for celebration and acceptance. Rainbow flags are hoisted high, droves rush to parades, and LGBTQ-identifying people and allies adorn their best Pride regalia. But it’s also a time to …

LGBTQI

No, World Cup Fans Didn't Trigger an Earthquake. Here's Why.

Mexico's win over Germany rocked Mexico City. But not literally.<p>Mexico’s victory over Germany in an early World Cup game on Sunday caused quite the stir in Mexico City. At 11:35 am, when Hirving Lozano scored the game-winning goal at a match in Russia, seismometers in Mexico City picked up a spike …

Geology

Love Cheese? Here's Where to Travel.

Experience cheese in all of its gooey glory.<p>Cheese is a staple of many cultures. The way a region enjoys its cheese can flavor not only its dishes, but can also be a reflection of the way its people approach life. From a hearty Bavarian side dish best enjoyed in a beer garden, to a mild but …

Cooking

Python Swallows Woman Whole—What Experts Say About the Rare Attack

Development in their native habitat might be influencing their behavior, but humans have a history of conflict with snakes.<p>The reported killing of a woman in Indonesia by a large snake has raised questions about how human development is impacting both people and serpents.<p>Fifty-four-year-old Wa Tiba …

Mississippi River

Long-Lost Panda Relative Revealed by 22,000-Year-Old Fossil

The weathered remains from a cave in China contain the world's oldest sample of panda DNA.<p>In August 2014, paleoanthropologist Yingqi Zhang and his team descended into a sinkhole on the hunt for <i>Gigantopithecus</i>, the largest known primate to ever live. They came back out with a mix of bones from the …

University of Iowa

Marine Protected Areas Are Important. But Are They Working?

The world won't meet international ocean conservation targets by 2020, so a team of scientists is looking at what's next for saving our seas.<p>You can think of a marine protected area like a boost of vitamin C taken at the onset of a cold. It may not cure you, but it can help you bounce back.<p>“A …

Conservation

Meet the Single Dads of the Animal World

These fathers fly, swim, and hop the extra mile for their babies.<p>Raising kids is no easy task, and it’s even tougher when you’re on your own.<p>From carrying the young to caring for them, these animal dads get kudos for working hard to bring their mini-me’s safely out into the world.<p><b>Giant Water …

Zoology

When Nature Runs Wild, the Results Can Be Spectacular

So-called rewilding involves taking a hands-off approach to the land and letting natural processes happen.<p>In a sleepy corner of southern England, a revolution is taking place. For centuries, Knepp Castle’s 3,500-acre estate was devoted to intensive arable and dairy farming. But in 2001, Isabella …

Farming