Syed Ali Behram

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The 14 Most Extreme Plastic Surgeries of 2014

Body mods were big this year.<p><b>1. Jordan Parke's transformation into Kim Kardashian.</b><p>Jordan Parke, a 23-year-old British makeup artist, says Kim Kardashian is "the most gorgeous woman ever. Her skin is perfect, her hair, everything about her." He's spent a lot of money (including eyebrow tattoos and …

China’s Illegal Ivory Trade Escalating Out of Control

Human Journey<p>Plain, polished ivory tusks are growing in popularity in China.<p>The illegal ivory trade is exploding in China, overwhelming efforts to enforce the law, according to the results of the first detailed research on the markets of Beijing and Shanghai since 2002, published today by Save the …

Polar Bears Sparring

Changing Planet<p><i>This post is the first in the Click! Click! Click! Series which profiles interesting photographic moments that Kike captures during his travels.</i><p>About the photo: Two male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sparring.<p>Location: Canadian Arctic<p>If you like this photograph, you find it at the …

Weird Animal Question of the Week: Oddest Eggs of the Animal Kingdom

Weird Animal Question of the Week<p>From the horn shark's "drill bit" to the lacewing's sticky stalks, eggs come in all shape and sizes.<p>Eggs across the animal kingdom range from simple to spectacular—even among the most common of barnyard animals, the chicken.<p>Our Weird Animal Question of the Week came …

Best Space Pictures of 2014: A Year's Delights Courtesy of Starry Nights

Of the 350 breathtaking space photos we published in 2014, here are our picks for the 12 best of the year.

The Real Reason Hitler Launched the Battle of the Bulge

Among a new book's revelations: Crystal meth was the German army's drug of choice.<p>Winston Churchill called World War II's Battle of the Bulge "the greatest American battle of the war." Steven Spielberg engraved the 6-week ordeal on the popular imagination with <i>Band of Brothers</i>, which dramatized the …

World Moves One Step Closer to Climate Treaty

Compromise reached in Lima among UN negotiators, with much work remaining.<p>It could have been a scene in a political thriller, the negotiators meeting into the early hours Sunday morning, going 48 hours without a break. Finally, they concluded the UN's 20th climate conference with a draft agreement …

8 Sky Events This Week: Comet Visits Galaxy, Jovian Eclipses

December diamonds crown the night sky, lovely sights for stargazers as the solar system's royalty dances.<p>Jam-packed skies offer plenty of celestial treats this week for stargazers, from a comet snuggling with a galaxy to the moon courting a maiden.<p><b>Jovian shadows.</b> Night owls will see a double moon …

Alien Life on Mars? NASA Rover Spots Methane, a Possible Sign of Microbes

Unexpected geology, or perhaps even alien life, may explain intriguing gas plumes.<p>SAN FRANCISCO—NASA's Curiosity rover team reported on Tuesday surprising spikes in methane gas, raising the possibility of microbial alien life on the red planet.<p>On Earth, most methane, better known as natural gas, is …

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Vote For Cape Parrot As SA’s Favourite Bird!

Changing Planet<p><b>Click here to Vote for CAPE PARROT as South Africa’s favourite bird!</b><p>The green-and gold Cape Parrot is our national parrot and are only found here, yet most South Africans do not even know they exists. Our Cape Parrot is Africa’s most <i>Endangered</i> parrot species with around 1,000 Cape …

Snow-Laden-Trees in Central Park

Changing Planet<p><i>This post is the last in the Click! Click! Click! Series which profiles interesting photographic moments that Kike captures during his travels.</i><p>Man in red coat under a canopy of snow-laden-trees.<p>This photograph is available at the National Geographic Online Store.

Tracking Mountain Lions in California's Urban Jungles

Scientists struggle to track the secretive predators, which are turning up near cities' expanding edges, including around San Francisco Bay.<p>Crouched in the darkness, two field technicians squint at a laptop, hoping to catch a glimpse of California's most elusive predator.<p>"Possum. Possum. Possum," …

Denmark Eyes North Pole, but How Much Oil and Gas Await?

Countries are looking at the long-term economic potential of the Arctic.<p>Just days before Christmas, Denmark has laid claim to an energy-rich but difficult-to-develop part of the world that's a fount of holiday lore: the North Pole.<p>The Arctic's fate will take years to decide, but it's attracted …

4-Foot Salamander Arrives in London as Face of New Conservation Effort

Dubbed Professor Wu, the new arrival could help the Zoological Society of London's efforts to save the critically endangered animal.<p>With his tiny eyes, sly grin, and slimy skin, Professor Wu may sound like an odd poster child.<p>But the Chinese giant salamander, which recently arrived at the …

Just Back: New York City

<i>National Geographic Traveler</i> features editor <b>Amy Alipio</b> (on Twitter @amytravels and on Instagram @amyalipio) recently returned from a family trip to <b>New York City</b> to soak up the holiday glow.<p><b>Here are some of the high points of her trip, in her own words:</b><p><b>Biggest selling point:</b> <b>Midtown Manhattan</b> …

Pictures: Alaska's Wondrous Bristol Bay, Now Off-Limits to Gas and Oil Drilling

Photographer Michael Melford is celebrating the announcement that the U.S. government will protect the area's waters from oil and gas development.

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Where Has All the (Sea Trash) Plastic Gone?

Microplastics embed into deep-sea sediment—and there's a lot more than thought.<p>When Spanish scientist Andres Cozar Cabanas compiled the first ever global map of ocean trash last July, he inadvertently uncovered a mystery. Much of the plastic he expected to find bobbing in the oceans, given a …

Birds May Have Sensed Severe Storms Days in Advance

The sudden departure of golden-winged warblers before deadly tornadoes has blown away scientists.<p>Earlier this year, a group of scientists studying golden-winged warblers in Tennessee noticed something odd: The birds had taken a sudden detour from their breeding grounds.<p>Analysis of the data revealed …

Photo Lesson: Setting the Scene

In addition to being longtime contributing photographers for <i>Traveler</i> magazine, my wife Sisse and I are frequently invited to join National Geographic Expeditions trips as photography experts, interacting with guests aboard the <i>National Geographic Explorer.</i><p>On a recent trip to the <b>Macaronesia …

Could New York's Fracking Ban Have Domino Effect?

Activists hope the Empire State's decision will help end drilling in other states.<p>New York's decision to ban fracking for health reasons could reverberate beyond the state, bolstering other efforts to limit the controversial method of drilling for oil and natural gas.<p>While two dozen U.S. …

Low-Key Caribbean: A Tale of Four Islands

In a world where the easiest route is usually the most popular, it’s no surprise that many vacationers limit their warm-weather winter getaways to the Caribbean’s more accessible islands—especially if they have kids in tow. And while the quick trip has its advantages, some of the best destinations …

Big Data Arrives on a Small Lake in Vermont

Wildlife<p>While visiting Vermont in late July, I took a day to catch up with colleagues who are studying lakes. University of Vermont (UVM) Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory director Jason Stockwell arranged for me to go out on a sampling run with two interns. Our destination was Shelburne …

For Leopards in Iran and Iraq, Land Mines Are a Surprising Refuge

Land mines keep people out of the Persian leopard's last habitats, creating a conundrum—removing the hazards leaves the cats more vulnerable.<p>SULAYMANIYAH, Iraq—Few parts of the world look more hostile to big cats than the rugged wilderness that flanks the northern Iran-Iraq frontier.<p>Laced with land …

Week's Best Space Pictures: Galaxies Collide, Gullies Get Frosted, and Cities Light Up

Colliding galaxies put on a show, Martian gullies meet Jack Frost, and cities glitter for the holidays in this week's best space pictures.

How Long Can the U.S. Oil Boom Last?

The long-term problem for oil frackers isn't just low prices. It's low reserves.<p>Now that oil prices have dropped to levels not seen since 2009, helped by a flood of oil flowing from hydraulic fracturing or fracking wells in North Dakota and Texas, it's time to ask the question: How long can the …

Explaining Mysterious 'Pancake Ice' on River in Scotland

The right conditions make for strange lily-pad formations.<p>Strange-looking formations that resemble frozen lily pads have appeared this week on Scotland's River Dee, drawing Internet attention from around the world. Called "ice pancakes" or "pancake ice," the natural formations occur when conditions …

World's Most Ambitious Re-Creation of Prehistoric Cave Art to Open

After three years of effort, a precision replica of a French cave and its 36,000-year-old art will open to the public in April.<p>On a September afternoon in 2013, Gilles Tosello sat sipping a cup of American-style coffee in his Toulouse studio, pondering the talents of cave painters who lived in …

Watch: World's Deepest Fish Lurks 5 Miles Down in Mariana Trench

The tissue-like fish lives at the very edge of survivable pressures, over 26,000 feet (8,000 meters) deep.<p>Things get weird for fish that live on the edge. A potentially new species of deep-sea snailfish with a bulbous head and partly transparent body has smashed the record for deepest fish in the …