National Geographic

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

Bizarre, Enormous 16th-Century Map Assembled for First Time

The largest known world map of its time—made of 60 individual sheets—can finally be seen as the mapmaker intended.<p>This colorful and intricately detailed map from 1587 is more than nine feet by nine feet when fully assembled. For the last 430 years, its 60 individual sheets were bound together as an …

Maps

The Simple River-Cleaning Tactics That Big Farms Ignore

Des Moines, Iowa<p>In Iowa and elsewhere, runoff from fertilized fields pollutes drinking water and creates dead zones. Yet straightforward solutions exist.<p>Ione Cleverley wasn’t eager to break up with her tenant, who had been farming 88 acres of her central Iowa land for more than a decade. He was …

Agriculture

Duck-Like Dinosaur Is Among Oddest Fossils Yet Found

The exquisite fossil, which was rescued from poachers, is one of the few known dinosaurs that lived on the water.<p>More than 70 million years ago, a creature roaming Earth’s ancient wetlands may have looked like a duck and hunted like a duck—but it was really a dinosaur related to …

Dinosaurs

3.6-Million-Year-Old Human Ancestor Unveiled to Public

Assembling "Little Foot," the oldest hominid skeleton ever found in the region, was an effort that took more than 20 years.<p>A near-complete skeleton dating back 3.67 million years has been unveiled to the public.<p>On December 6, an Australopithecus fossil dubbed "Little Foot" was displayed at the …

South Africa

Vast Yukon Wilderness Protected in Ruling for Native Tribes

A Canadian Supreme Court decision spares the massive Peel Watershed from development and mining.<p>Environmental and indigenous groups are cheering a landmark decision by Canada’s highest court on Friday, which ordered the Yukon Territorial Government to abide by a negotiated plan to preserve one of …

Canada

76 Years On, Pearl Harbor Survivors Forgive—But Can't Forget

On December 7, 1941, Japan’s deadly attack catalyzed a nation, shattering America’s sense of invincibility and pulling the country into war. Today the site is a symbol of service, science, and healing.<p>It’s still there. Seventy-five years later, the U.S.S. <i>Arizona</i> is still resting on the seafloor in …

Military History

Spectacular Adventures in Snow-Covered Japan

See the wintry side of this Asian archipelago.<p>Spring isn't the only time Japan fills with people enjoying its gorgeous natural spaces. While bright blossoms certainly draw crowds, a winter in Japan is just as stunning—and filled with opportunities for adventure. As a growing ski destination, the …

Skiing

Huge Magma Bubble May Be Rising Under New England

If the findings hold up, the northeastern U.S. may be more geologically active than anyone realized.<p>At first glance, New England doesn’t seem like a hotbed of geologic activity. The region doesn’t have any rumbling volcanoes. Earthquakes are almost unheard of. And its mountains are mere hills …

Geology

10 Strange Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Earth

The planet we all call home is even more bizarre than you might imagine.<p><b>ONE STRANGE ROCK</b> <i>, a ten-episode global TV event, premiers March 2018 on National Geographic.</i><p>There’s no doubt that planet Earth is awe-inspiring. That’s even more true for the handful of humans who’ve seen it from space with …

Nature

Where's Santa Buried? Resting Places of the Real St. Nick

The mortal remains of the 4th-century Greek bishop are likely scattered around the world as holy relics.<p>The story of how St. Nicholas became the red-suited chimney hopper we know as Santa is fascinating in its own right. But the final chapter of the holy man's own story is equally intriguing—and …

Archaeology

Watch This Ice City Come Alive with Colorful Lights

Brave the sub-zero temperatures at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in China.<p>Winters can be harsh in Heilongjiang, China’s most northeastern province, bordering Siberian Russia.<p>The residents of Harbin, Heilongjiang’s capital, brighten the long, frigid months by carving …

List-Worthy

Tourist Dies in Extremely Rare Shark Attack

The incident is likely the fifth confirmed, unprovoked shark attack in Costa Rica in the last 400 years.<p>An American tourist recently died off the coast of Costa Rica in a tragic shark attack—a deadly incident that is extremely rare.<p>The Costa Rican newspaper <i>La Nación</i>reports that the 49-year-old …

Oceans

The Ultimate Florida Keys Road Trip

Embrace the laid-back Keys life on a classic drive down the Florida Keys Overseas Highway (U.S. 1). The roughly 100-mile (one-way) route island-hops along the southern rim of the Everglades and Florida Bay from Key Largo south to Key West. Featured stops celebrate all things Keys: fresh-caught …

Florida

'Time Capsule' Found in Jesus Statue—Where You Wouldn't Expect

During restorations on an 18th century statue of Jesus, preservationists found two 240-year-old letters in an unlikely place.<p>While restoring an 18th century statue, Spanish historians found what appears to be a time capsule in an unlikely place—the buttocks of a statue.<p>The statue portrayed the …

Archaeology

Instagram Fights Animal Abuse With New Warning System

Using tools built to tackle self-harm and suicide, the social network will now alert users to behavior that harms wildlife.<p>Instagram is rife with photos of cute wild animals—including the exotic and endangered. A picture of someone hugging a sloth or showing off a pet tiger cub is just a click away …

Wildlife

Welcome to the World's Most Awesomely Awful Places

Take a tour of the most hellish and deadly natural wonders, from sulfur-choked pits to a bloody waterfall.<p>Spectacular but woefully underappreciated natural wonders are tucked away all over the planet. Granted, visiting some of them might leave you sweaty, faint, and gasping for breath.<p>Hardly anyone …

Nature

What Trump’s Shrinking of National Monuments Actually Means

As the president is expected to announce boundary reductions of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante in Utah Monday, the actual picture on the ground remains highly uncertain.<p>President Trump will travel to Salt Lake City on Monday to sign an Executive Order sharply reducing two Utah national …

National Parks

Cutting-Edge Science Honored by Star-Studded Breakthrough Prize Awards

Some $3 million in prizes are being given out to recognize excellence in astronomy, life sciences, and other fields.<p>Maps of the infant universe and understanding the proteins involved in neurological disease are among the scientific achievements honored by this year’s Breakthrough Prizes in …

Biology

Ice Age-Era Cave System Found Under Major City

The first rooms in the St. Léonard cave system were found in 1812, but the discovery of additional caverns has explorers excited.<p>Pie-XII Park lies in the heart of Montréal, surrounded by busy city streets. But it's what lies beneath those streets that has cave experts and city residents buzzing.<p>A …

Archaeology

See the Alaska Wildlife Refuge Targeted for Drilling by Tax Plan

A controversial provision in a major bill may have significant impact on wildlife. Here's how.<p>The U.S. Senate passed a sweeping, $1.4 trillion tax bill Friday, sending it to a reconcillation process with the House, which passed a similar bill earlier this fall. In all the sometimes heated …

Nature

How To Tell A Turtle From A Tortoise

For one thing, tortoises have "tiny elephant feet."<p>People are prone to stereotyping, but we love it when someone flips the script.<p>So when Hilary Brown asked us what the difference is between turtles and tortoises, we were happy to learn that our notions about turtles were all wet.<p><b>Turtle or tortoise?</b><p>…

Biological Species

Secret Lives of Jellyfish: Robots, Genetics, and World Domination

Jellyfish have lived in the oceans longer than any other creature but now may be their time to flourish.<p>Jellyfish are the oldest animals in the ocean—they’ve been swimming on our planet for more than half a billion years. But it is only recently that scientists have begun to understand these …

Oceans

10 Awesome Holiday Gifts for Map Lovers

You’re sure to find something on this list of unusual items to thrill your geographile friends and family.<p>If you’ve got a world traveler, geographile, map freak, or just someone who’s hard to shop for on your list this year, this roundup of gift ideas may be just what you need. All year long, we’ve …

Maps

The History of Europe's Most Controversial Christmas Character

Some cities and schools are changing how they portray “Black Pete.” Others won’t budge.<p>This November, a group of white extremists in the Netherlands blocked a highway to keep anti-racist protesters away from a parade that had blackface. A week later, ten people wearing blackface barged into a …

Santa Claus

More Than Half of This Country Believes in Elves

For real.<p>Elves are small—only 36 inches high at most. And though they have big ears and wear old-fashioned clothing, they do not wear pointy hats.<p>Such facts can be learned on an “elf walk” in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland, a harbor town just outside Reykjavík reputed to be the elves’ capital.<p>Yes, elves. …

Iceland

7 Stunning Natural Wonders in South America

Escape to cascading waterfalls, ivory glaciers, and pristine beaches across this wild continent.<p>South America’s 6.9 million square miles hide chilly glaciers, epic waterfalls, and diverse landscapes from desert and jungle. Here are 7 incredible natural features in South America not to miss.

Nature

Leaked Maps Show How Trump May Slash National Monuments

Draft government maps reveal massive cuts to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante in Utah. But will such measures go through?<p>Maps of draft proposals that would drastically shrink the boundaries of two U.S. national monuments in southern Utah’s Red Rock country leaked Thursday to multiple …

National Parks

Cold Moon, Meteors, and More Can't-Miss Sky Events in December

Get ready to see a stunning full moon, two meteor showers, and other celestial wonders this month.<p>The coming month brings back-to-back meteor showers, the moon posing with planets, and plenty more reasons to look up at the night sky. You’ll even have the chance to catch the only visible supermoon …

Astronomy

Behind the Lens: A Peaceful Moment in Japan

National Geographic photographer, Krista Rossow, captures the perfect moment despite the cloudy skies caused by Typhoon Lan.<p>In October I went to Japan to explore the Shimane and Hiroshima Prefectures for National Geographic. As luck would have it, I arrived to Japan along with Typhoon Lan, the …

Japan

To Save the Oceans, Should You Give Up Glitter?

Sparkles are fun, but these tiny bits of plastic escape into waterways.<p>When 19 British pre-schools stopped using glitter in art projects to save the oceans, it set off a frenzy that reached as far as New Zealand over glitter’s potential to harm marine life. The change at the Tops Day Nurseries, the …

Oceans