National Geographic

5 Magazines | 5.9M Followers | @NationalGeographic | Inspiring perspectives on the planet.

Burn, Mummify, Compost—Different Ways to Treat the Dead

A mortician travels the world in search of a 'good death.'<p>Everyone has to die. Death is one of the few, truly universal experiences shared by people of all races, cultures, and creeds. And the way in which different cultures tend to their dead is as varied, and as colorful, as humanity itself. Yet …

Funeral Homes

Raccoons Pass Famous Intelligence Test—By Upending It

The notoriously clever mammals had their own approach to the Aesop's Fable experiment.<p>Raccoons are notoriously pesky, but are they as clever as a crow?<p>Scientists recently put the masked mammals through the Aesop's Fable test, which measures if animals can discern cause and effect by displacing …

Animals

How to See a Space Station Fall From the Sky

A Chinese space station could crash to Earth anytime between now and April 2018. Here’s how to see it with your own eyes.<p>Six years after it launched, a truck-sized space station is flying out of control on a collision course with Earth—and it could come crashing down almost anytime between now and …

Astronomy

Ancient Teeth Found in Europe Belonged to Mystery Primate

Despite claims of a new origin story for humans, the fossils more likely belonged to a very distant branch on the primate family tree.<p>Two well-preserved teeth recovered from sediments in Germany offer intriguing clues to how some of our distant primate relatives eked out a living in what is now …

Humanity

Photos of Real-Life Wonder Women

Get inspired by these images of tenacious female athletes tackling extreme adventures.<p>The adventure community is filled with amazing women who climb, trek, ski, dive, bike, and surf alongside their male counterparts. Every day, these women are taking on new challenges and showing the world the many …

Pinterest

How to Watch the 2017 Orionid Meteor Shower

If you're outside late in the coming days, look up to catch a sky show created by Halley's comet.<p>Night owls, rejoice: From midnight to dawn in the coming days, stargazers with clear skies will be able to see the peak of the 2017 Orionid meteor shower. And thanks to a mostly moonless sky, the …

Astronomy

How a Runaway Nun Helped an Outlaw Monk Change the World

Martin Luther's marriage to Katharina von Bora scandalized their contemporaries—and formed a partnership that shaped the course of history.<p>In terms of marriage prospects, Martin Luther wasn’t necessarily a natural pick. The middle-aged theology professor was known to be loud, argumentative, and …

Theology

Use These Adventure Skills to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

Hone these talents and you just might live.<p>The end is nigh—that is, if you believe the Hollywood hype. Turn on your television to watch <i>The Walking Dead</i>, crack the cover of <i>World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War</i>, or rent the classic <i>Night of the Living Dead</i>, and you’ll begin to feel like the …

Nature

Male Dolphins Offer Likely Love Token to Females in Rare Video

Male Australian humpback dolphins give sponges to females in a possible show of courtship, a new study says.<p>Australia's bottlenose dolphins have long been known to use sea sponges as a tool for finding a meal—but now researchers may have observed males of another species attempting towoo females …

Biological Species

Why This Massive Mud Volcano Turned Deadly

The cause of the eruption is hotly debated, but a new study found that a tunnel of magma may have kept the site active for the past decade.<p>More than ten years ago, rivers of mud started spewing out of the ground in five different locations on the Indonesian island of Java. And it hasn’t stopped …

Geology

Kiwi Coffin Club Throws Glitter on the Idea of Dying

A growing number of New Zealand senior citizens are taking matters of death into their own hands through paint, song, and dance.<p>The show must go on! Or must it? The members of New Zealand’s quirky Coffin Clubs don’t think so. The clubs—which consist of Kiwi senior citizens who seek comfort, …

New Zealand

Learn to Heli-Ski in These Magnificent Mountain Ranges

This thrilling winter sport isn't just for experts.<p>Ever want to stand at the top of a powder-covered backcountry bowl or big mountain chute and know you and your crew have it all to yourselves? It's the stuff of skiing dreams, but it's also the reality of heli-skiing. The freedom to fly promises an …

Skiing

Explore Your Favorite Movie Worlds Through Beautiful, Hand-Painted Maps

See the geography and plots of Star Wars, Princess Bride, Lord of the Rings and more laid out from start to finish on these hand-painted maps.<p>Illustrating everything that happens in an action adventure movie like <i>Star Trek</i> on one page is like playing Tetris, according to artist Andrew DeGraff, who …

Maps

Great Tits May Be Evolving Bigger Beaks. Here's Why.

Since Darwin's time, birds have served as models for the wonders of evolution—and this study was no exception.<p>Setting up a bird feeder is one of the easiest ways to interact with wildlife. But could this seemingly innocent pastime be changing the very shape of our backyard birds?<p>It’s still too …

Birds

How to Bike the Breathtaking Italian Alps

Use these tips to tackle your next cycling adventure.<p>When I was asked to join an epic 400-mile cycling journey across the Dolomites in northern Italy, I said yes—and decided I’d figure out the rest later.<p>As a cyclist in Washington, D.C., I ride to work, on the weekends, and on bike-camping trips. …

Cycling

This Saber-Toothed Cat Mingled With Modern Humans

A surprisingly young fossil jaw found in Europe is helping scientists better climb the sabertooth family tree.<p>When modern humans first wandered into Europe some 50,000 years ago, this snaggle-toothed cat was probably there to greet them.<p>Painstaking genetic analysis of a jawbone dredged up from the …

Anthropology

Poachers Target Rescued Circus Lions in Worrying New Trend

At least 20 captive lions in a single province of South Africa have been killed or attacked by poachers so far this year.<p>It was a fairy tale ending when 33 lions rescued from circuses in Peru and Colombia were airlifted to a sanctuary in South Africa in May 2016. Setting foot on the sandy soil …

Wildlife

Stunning Photos Show the Alaska Refuge Under Threat

Opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling has been a contentious debate for decades. See what's at stake.<p>When Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was established in the 1960s, the U.S. government had several goals in mind—chief among them protecting the region's unique …

Nature

See the World's First Floating Wind Farm

By creating wind turbines that float, engineers have new possibilities for where they can generate power.<p>Scotland is known for picturesque highlands and tartan-wearing highlanders, but now the country boasts the world's first floating wind farm. The large turbines are floating in the North Sea, 15 …

Wind Farm

These Are the Happiest Cities in the United States

National Geographic Explorer and best-selling author Dan Buettner searched for the happiest Americans. Where he found them will surprise you.<p>Who are the happiest Americans? Ask this question anywhere from Montauk to Maui and you’re bound to pique interest (you may even pick a fight). While fans of …

American Cities

The Adventurer's Guide to a New Zealand Road Trip

Follow the path of these 12 essential adventures for the perfect expedition.<p>New Zealand's South Island was made for road trips. It has glaciers, fjords, volcanoes, vineyards, <i>Lord of the Rings</i>-style forest, impeccable roads, and very few people sharing it. With only a million inhabitants in a …

New Zealand

Visit the World's Only Carbon-Negative Country

Bhutan has built sustainability into its national identity.<p>Bhutan is arguably the world’s happiest country. It’s also one of the greenest. That’s no coincidence. In fact, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck developed his signature Gross National Happiness index based on four pillars: sustainable …

Bhutan

Amazing Green Route in Thailand

Explore Thailand's historic regions and witness its commitment to environmental preservation.<p>The Amazing Green Route, one of Thailand’s 7 Greens activities, takes travelers on a journey through Thailand’s carefully preserved natural beauty and culture. The sample itineraries featured in this route …

Thailand

A Fresh Perspective on Coexistence

A photographer captures moments of peace and prosperity in a country of diversity.<p>Kenya is a country of beauty and diversity. Lush grasslands and savannahs give way to humid, broadleaf forests along the Indian Ocean. For a photographer, East Africa offers up an array of opportunity. Whether …

Photography

Incredible Photo Catches the Moment a Frog Swallows a Snake

But it turns out the snake wasn't quite ready to give up.<p>One Last Scream Into The Abysssss from WTF<p>It's hard to not sympathize with that snake—sliding backwards into the gooey stomach of a carnivorous frog.<p>One perfectly timed photo shows the bizarre natural interaction as a snake is being eaten by …

Biological Species

How Volcanoes Caused Violent Uprisings in Cleopatra's Egypt

Distant volcanic eruptions disrupted climate, a new study suggests, causing life-giving rains along the Nile to fail.<p>Twenty-three hundred years ago, when Euclid and Archimedes wandered Alexandria, and Cleopatra's family controlled the Egyptian throne, revolts and territorial disputes were common. …

Ancient History

Once Thought Loners, Cougars Revealed to Have Rich Society

The shocking find upends commonly held beliefs about one of the Americas' most iconic big cats.<p>For decades, the cougar (<i>Puma concolor</i>) has been thought of as a loner predator, running across other members of its species only to mate or to fight.<p>But a new study now shows that, contrary to popular …

Wildlife

The World's Most Epic Day Hikes

These tremendous treks don't require an overnight bag.<p>Every trail offers a fresh adventure, whether you meander along a river, through a forest, or into a valley. With these 10 treks from around the globe, you'll take in views of gorgeous landscapes, challenge your abilities, and see a new part of …

List-Worthy

Monarch Butterflies Migrate 3,000 Miles—Here's How

The colorful insect's migration across the North American continent is one of the greatest natural events on Earth.<p>Each fall, millions of monarch butterflies leave their summer breeding grounds in the northeastern U.S. and Canada and travel upwards of 3,000 miles to reach overwintering grounds in …

Insects

3 Weird Impacts From Storm Ophelia Explained

Along with hurricane-force winds, the storm has caused red skies in England and wildfires in the Iberian Peninsula—which some are likening to the apocalypse.<p>This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whoosh.<p>It’s strange enough the U.K. is in the path of Storm Ophelia, a post-tropical …

Weather