Science news from the National Geographic Society

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News from the National Geographic Society. The society is is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical conservation, and the study of world culture and history. The National Geographic Society’s historical mission is “to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world’s cultural, historical, and natural resources” and the news feed covers all manner of subjects in these areas.

All content is copyright National Geographic Society.

National Geographic News

Reporting our world daily: original nature and science news from National Geographic.

Last feed update: Tuesday January 23rd, 2018 08:07:36 AM

Half Billion-Year-Old Fossil Clue to How Worms Evolved

Monday January 22nd, 2018 10:58:17 PM Sarah Gibbens
The incredibly well-preserved fossil is helping scientists understand how some of Earth's first worms evolved.

Eerie Images of Hong Kong Concealed by Smog

Monday January 22nd, 2018 05:51:29 PM
The city's expansive skyline is now barely visible beyond the thick pollution.

You Need Your Personal Space—Here's the Science Why

Saturday January 20th, 2018 05:01:00 AM Simon Worrall
Your brain uses it to protect you.

Why Do Moose Shed Their Antlers?

Saturday January 20th, 2018 05:01:00 AM Liz Langley
Male moose—the world's largest deer—go to great lengths to allure females.

Face of 9,000-Year-Old Teenager Reconstructed

Saturday January 20th, 2018 12:01:00 AM Sarah Gibbens
The meticulous process, based on a skull from a Greek cave, reveals how our facial features have changed over the millennia.

Why Archaeologists Are Excited About a Viking Comb

Friday January 19th, 2018 11:13:26 PM Sarah Gibbens
It's a 1,000-year-old comb simply inscribed with the word "comb," but it may hold clues to the origins of the Viking Age.

Ancient Maps Show Islands That Don't Really Exist

Friday January 19th, 2018 10:25:21 PM Greg Miller
For centuries, mapmakers have conjured up islands that only exist in the imagination.

Bloodsucking Ticks Make Cement to Attach to Your Skin

Friday January 19th, 2018 07:57:27 PM Joshua Rapp Learn
The disease-carrying parasites' natural glue could also hold a key to healing us.

How the U.S. Government Shutdown Could Impact Science

Friday January 19th, 2018 06:02:00 PM Michael Greshko
When Congress can't agree on a budget, scientific research and environmental cleanup often pays the price.

A World Without Waste? Absolutely

Friday January 19th, 2018 01:07:00 PM
Investing in our planet: We’re working to bring people together to help us take back a bottle or can for every one we sell

Frogs Tote Tiny Radios to Save Their Species

Thursday January 18th, 2018 09:42:00 PM Sarah Gibbens
Scientists recently released hundreds of harlequin frogs to learn more about a deadly fungus pushing the species to extinction.

Advanced Plumbing and Metalwork Found on Ancient Greek Island

Thursday January 18th, 2018 08:47:58 PM Elaina Zachos
Thousands of years ago, the Greek island of Keros was a sprawling metropolis.

6-Foot Iguana Shot With Crossbow Rescued in Florida

Thursday January 18th, 2018 08:45:11 PM Heather Brady
The animal was shot several times and needed emergency surgery upon arrival at a wildlife center.

Sac Full of Deadly Spiders Opened and Milked for Venom

Thursday January 18th, 2018 08:18:13 PM Lulu Morris
These Australian funnel web spiders were found in a garden and brought to a zoo, where they will help scientists develop life-saving drugs.

You Can Smell When Someone's Sick—Here's How

Thursday January 18th, 2018 07:45:55 PM Erika Engelhaupt
The curious case of a woman who can smell Parkinson’s reminds us our noses are our first defense against illness.

Chameleon Bones Glow in the Dark, Even Through Skin

Thursday January 18th, 2018 02:09:29 PM Elaina Zachos
A new study reveals that the color changers can also glow in the dark under ultraviolet light.

Animals Are Shrinking and Freezing to Death in a Changing Arctic

Thursday January 18th, 2018 10:00:40 AM Craig Welch
Unusual weather brought by climate change is making it tough for muskoxen to get food—and sometimes even entombs them in ice.

World's Largest Underwater Cave Discovered

Wednesday January 17th, 2018 08:47:25 PM National Geographic Staff
Joining two previously known underwater caves, the newly discovered system is 215 miles long.

This Rat-Free City Park Is a Paradise of Rare Birds

Wednesday January 17th, 2018 08:39:55 PM Emma Marris
Since a park in Wellington, New Zealand, fenced out rats, stoats, and other predators, rare indigenous birds have returned to the city.

What Makes This Flu Season So Bad

Wednesday January 17th, 2018 07:38:55 PM Sarah Gibbens
A dangerous strain paired with less effective vaccines has created a dangerous recipe for illness.

Venomous Sea Snake Found Off California—How'd It Get There?

Wednesday January 17th, 2018 07:07:00 PM Jason G. Goldman
The yellow-bellied sea snake usually roams the world's tropical oceans.

The Science Behind the Meteor That Lit Up the North American Sky

Wednesday January 17th, 2018 05:13:09 PM Elaina Zachos
What's the difference between a meteor, a meteoroid, and a meteorite?

A Running List of How Trump Is Changing the Environment

Wednesday January 17th, 2018 03:30:00 PM Michael Greshko
The Trump administration has promised vast changes to U.S. science and environmental policy—and we’re tracking them here as they happen.

Watch Wildlife Crime Evidence Go Up in Flames to Protect Species

Wednesday January 17th, 2018 03:28:11 PM Rachael Bale
Authorities in Indonesia destroyed a stuffed tiger, boa skins, and other contraband to ensure they don’t leak out of government possession and back onto the black market.

Vintage Video Explains How Road Maps Were Made in 1940

Tuesday January 16th, 2018 11:26:58 PM Greg Miller
See how mapmakers painstakingly kept pace in an era when America’s road network was constantly expanding.

Your Bright Idea Could Save the Biggest Reef on Earth

Tuesday January 16th, 2018 08:26:48 PM Elaina Zachos
Australia is calling on scientists from around the world to help rescue the Great Barrier Reef.

What Wiped Out the Aztecs? Scientists Find New Clues.

Tuesday January 16th, 2018 07:53:00 PM Sarah Gibbens
Salmonella could be partially to blame for a 16th century epidemic that killed millions.

Octopus Chokes Dolphin to Death in First-Ever Discovery

Tuesday January 16th, 2018 07:04:49 PM Joshua Rapp Learn
The young male, Gilligan, was in otherwise perfect condition, a new study says.

This Woman Has Saved Thousands of Baby Bats

Tuesday January 16th, 2018 12:00:00 PM Sarah Gibbens
She cares for dozens of orphans in her own home, swaddling them in blankets and hand feeding them.

Human Emissions Made Ocean Heat Wave 53 Times More Likely

Tuesday January 16th, 2018 05:01:00 AM Craig Welch
Three 2016 marine heat waves that killed whales, birds, corals, and shellfish from Australia to Alaska were many times more likely thanks to climate change.

Maybe Rats Aren't to Blame for the Black Death

Monday January 15th, 2018 08:00:00 PM Michael Greshko
A provocative new study suggests that medieval plagues spread via fleas and lice on people.

See Why Japanese Women Are Paying to Cry with a 'Handsome' Man

Monday January 15th, 2018 06:03:05 PM Austa Somvichian-Clausen
In a society that values emotional suppression, see how this attractive man is being paid to make you weep.

New 'Rainbow' Dinosaur May Have Sparkled Like a Hummingbird

Monday January 15th, 2018 10:00:24 AM Michael Greshko
The duck-size animal found in China had iridescent plumage all over its head and chest.

What If Martin Luther King Jr. Was Never Assassinated?

Monday January 15th, 2018 02:30:13 AM Rachel Brown
In weighing the question, historians unravel how Americans construct King’s legacy—and how we conceive of civil rights in our own time.

Meet the Teen Who Snuck Aboard a Polar Expedition

Saturday January 13th, 2018 05:01:59 AM Simon Worrall
The 17-year-old made increasingly daring attempts to join Richard Byrd’s 1928 Antarctic voyage.

Chickens Prefer Attractive People

Saturday January 13th, 2018 05:01:00 AM Liz Langley
The barnyard bird is a lot smarter than you think.

Big-Eyed, Fluffy-Tailed Lemur Species Discovered

Friday January 12th, 2018 10:05:00 PM Sarah Gibbens
The newly identified dwarf lemur is smaller than a squirrel and lives in rainforest canopies.

Ancient Throne and Ceremonial Hall Unearthed in Peru

Friday January 12th, 2018 09:17:37 PM Elaina Zachos
The two-chambered complex would have held Moche ceremonies.

10 Weird Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About the Milky Way

Friday January 12th, 2018 08:15:18 PM Nadia Drake
Sarlaccs might live in a galaxy far, far away, but our star-studded home has plenty of its own strange wonders.

See the Abandoned WWII Base on Greenland Leaking Toxic Waste

Friday January 12th, 2018 06:30:00 PM Hannah Lang
Bluie East Two was a U.S. Air Force base in Greenland in 1941. So why is it still there?

Scores of Dolphin Deaths Have Scientists Baffled

Friday January 12th, 2018 03:50:00 PM Elaina Zachos
Though the dolphin die-off has be attributed to a virus, the cause of the disease remains a mystery.

Photographer Uses Fire and Ice to Show How Glaciers Melt

Friday January 12th, 2018 05:01:27 AM Austa Somvichian-Clausen
See how a National Geographic photographer captured a moment in time that reflects decades of change.

115 Years Ago, This Arctic Expedition Ended in Disaster

Friday January 12th, 2018 05:01:00 AM Nina Strochlic
On the 130th anniversary of National Geographic’s founding, see what happened during an attempt to reach the North Pole.

Take a 3-D Tour of a Space Cloud Full of Baby Stars

Thursday January 11th, 2018 10:21:40 PM Nadia Drake
NASA pictures merge with movie magic to create a stunning fly-through of the Orion Nebula.

'Alien'-Like Sharks With Extendable Jaws Pulled From Deep Sea

Thursday January 11th, 2018 07:28:14 PM Sarah Gibbens
Viper dogfish sharks are rarely seen. They're thought to live a thousand feet below sea.

Huge Water Reserves Found All Over Mars

Thursday January 11th, 2018 07:02:03 PM Michael Greshko
New NASA images show layers of ice peeking out of eroded cliffs—a potential boon for future humans on the red planet.

Extinct Burrowing Bat Discovered, and It Was Giant

Thursday January 11th, 2018 06:06:00 PM Elaina Zachos
The prehistoric mammal lived in modern-day New Zealand millions of years ago.

Whale Allegedly Protects Diver From Shark, But Questions Remain

Thursday January 11th, 2018 05:12:14 PM Sarah Gibbens
Video shows what one biologist considers to be altruism, but other scientists remain skeptical.

1,700-Year-Old Musical Instrument Found, and It Still Works

Thursday January 11th, 2018 05:08:00 PM Heather Brady
The mouth harp was recently discovered in the Altai Mountains region of Russia and still makes music after well over a millennium.

18 Spider-Killing Spiders Discovered—And They Look Like Pelicans

Thursday January 11th, 2018 03:55:46 PM Jason Bittel
The brutally effective assassins live in the rain forests of Madagascar, a new study says.

Arctic Fox and Snowy Owl Filmed Doing Strange 'Dance'—But Why?

Wednesday January 10th, 2018 08:03:00 PM Jason Bittel
Is it play or predation? Experts weigh in on a curious video of two Arctic denizens meeting on the snowy tundra.

See How a Massive Supernova Released the Building Blocks of Life

Wednesday January 10th, 2018 07:35:15 PM Sarah Gibbens
When Cassiopeia A exploded, it released elements like oxygen, hydrogen, and other elements needed to make DNA.

Mudslides, Wildfires, and Drought—California's Deadly Weather Explained

Wednesday January 10th, 2018 07:32:08 PM Elaina Zachos
A warming planet is at least partially to blame for the state's recent weather woes.

Mystery Radio Bursts From Space Just Got Even Weirder

Wednesday January 10th, 2018 06:01:00 PM Nadia Drake
Astronomers are transfixed by twisted waves seen coming from an odd object three billion light-years away.

How a Wayward Antarctic Seal Ended Up on a Brazilian Beach

Wednesday January 10th, 2018 03:36:02 PM Carrie Arnold
The young animal did not survive its journey, but provided an astonishing case study for biologists.

North America's Waterways are Getting Saltier. That's a Big Problem.

Tuesday January 9th, 2018 08:43:16 PM Elaina Zachos
A salty chemical cocktail could make rivers and streams more corrosive, leading to dangerous effects.

Bats Are Boiling Alive in Australia's Heat Wave

Tuesday January 9th, 2018 07:10:00 PM Sarah Gibbens
Thousands could die from the summer heat, wildlife conservation groups predict.

Oil and Gas Drilling Is Causing Birds to Have Fewer Chicks

Monday January 8th, 2018 08:01:00 PM Jason Bittel
A new study is the first in any animal to link noise pollution to stress and show that this connection can disrupt reproduction.

Why These Birds Carry Flames In Their Beaks

Monday January 8th, 2018 07:08:03 PM Michael Greshko
Australia's indigenous peoples have long observed "firehawks" spreading wildfires throughout the country's tropical savannas.

Why the Oil Tanker Explosion Would Be Such a Huge Disaster

Monday January 8th, 2018 05:30:54 PM Sarah Gibbens
The ship was carrying a form of oil called condensate—here's what it could mean for the environment.

99% of These Sea Turtles Are Turning Female—Here’s Why

Monday January 8th, 2018 05:01:07 PM Craig Welch
At the Pacific Ocean's largest green sea turtle rookery, a crisis is unfolding, likely thanks to warming temperatures. Will this become a global problem?

Ringless Saturn? The Planet's Famous Feature May Be Surprisingly Young.

Monday January 8th, 2018 04:47:45 PM Nadia Drake
The signature ring system may be no older than the age of dinosaurs.

How Diverse Personalities Help Animals Survive

Saturday January 6th, 2018 05:02:43 AM Simon Worrall
Macho bluebirds and timid coyotes—and timid bluebirds and macho coyotes—drive the success of their species.

Why Dogs Pee in Their Bowls and Other Pet Behaviors Explained

Saturday January 6th, 2018 05:02:19 AM Liz Langley
We ask experts to decode the mysterious activities of our furred and feathered friends.

This Artificial Muscle Costs 10 Cents to Make. And It’s As Strong As an Elephant.

Friday January 5th, 2018 09:34:45 PM Elaina Zachos
A team of young scientists hopes to use the device for prosthetics and industrial applications.

Florida Is 'Raining Iguanas.' Will The Invasive Reptiles Adapt?

Friday January 5th, 2018 06:23:26 PM Sarah Gibbens
Many reptiles will die in the days following Florida's cold snap, but it's unlikely the weather will put a dent in populations long term.

What's Behind a Surge in Stingray Attacks?

Friday January 5th, 2018 05:02:17 AM Sarah Gibbens
Lifeguards would have been surprised to treat more than 40 injuries in one day, so when they treated over 70, they were shocked.

Chance Blackbeard Discovery Reveals Pirate Reading Habits

Friday January 5th, 2018 12:59:37 AM Kristin Romey
Tiny paper scraps from the 300-year-old wreck of Queen Anne's Revenge are traced to a 1712 adventure account from the South Seas.

Stunning Video Shows a Man Flying With Birds

Thursday January 4th, 2018 11:22:57 PM Elaina Zachos
What started as a conservation effort in the 1990s now puts tourists into the air, soaring alongside geese and cranes.

Trump's Offshore Drilling Plan—What You Need to Know

Thursday January 4th, 2018 07:37:58 PM Elaina Zachos
A new federal plan would expose 90 percent of coastal waters to oil drilling efforts. Here's what that means.

Climate Change Is Suffocating Large Parts of the Ocean

Thursday January 4th, 2018 07:26:54 PM Craig Welch
A new study says warming has reduced the oxygen levels in large swaths of the deep ocean, threatening marine life around the world.

Window to Save World's Coral Reefs Closing Rapidly

Thursday January 4th, 2018 07:01:32 PM Michael Greshko
A new study confirms that coral reefs have faced devastating damage in recent years—a symptom of Earth's rapidly changing climate.

Frozen Bubbles, Instant Ice, and Other Winter Weather Stunts Explained

Thursday January 4th, 2018 06:57:15 PM Angie McPherson
As much of the U.S. is gripped in bomb cyclone-related cold weather, viral videos are circulating of rapid freezing and other surprising effects.

U.S. Cold Snap: What Do Bitter Temperatures Do to the Human Body?

Thursday January 4th, 2018 03:30:00 PM Christine Dell'Amore
Thinking of taking a jog in the coldest weather to hit the U.S. in decades? You may want to read this.

Notorious Bat Killer Found to Have a Weak Link

Wednesday January 3rd, 2018 09:59:00 PM Elaina Zachos
Doses of ultraviolet light destroy the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, scientists say.

Lost Native American Ancestor Revealed in Ancient Child’s DNA

Wednesday January 3rd, 2018 06:01:00 PM Michelle Z. Donahue
Study of 11,500-year-old bones offer surprising clues about the origins of New World genetic diversity.

Bomb Cyclones and Polar Vortexes—This Winter's Scary Weather Explained

Wednesday January 3rd, 2018 05:54:00 PM Sarah Gibbens
What's behind the record-shattering cold heading our way?

Mystery of 'Alien Megastructure' Star Has Been Cracked

Wednesday January 3rd, 2018 03:01:00 PM Nadia Drake
Twinkle, twinkle, Tabby’s Star: Dips in brightness so bizarre. Could it be we’ve found ET? No, not yet! It’s dust we see.

How Fear Makes You Do Good Or Evil

Wednesday January 3rd, 2018 05:02:00 AM Nina Strochlic
An ancient part of your brain determines your response.

6 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About North Korea

Wednesday January 3rd, 2018 05:00:00 AM Heather Brady
As tensions between North Korea and the U.S. mount, curiosity about what life is like there has increased.

First-of-Its-Kind Brain Surgery Saves Beloved Fur Seal

Tuesday January 2nd, 2018 10:47:50 PM Sarah Gibbens
Ziggy Star was found stranded off the coast of California with a debilitating brain disease. Now, she’s back in the water.

World's Oldest Known Wild Bird Lays Egg at 67

Tuesday January 2nd, 2018 07:01:00 PM Christine Dell'Amore
Wisdom is a "beacon of hope" for the Laysan albatross, which faces threats such as ingesting ocean plastic.

Orphaned Baby Elephant Saved by Helicopter

Monday January 1st, 2018 05:01:40 AM Elaina Zachos
Although they're normally too large to fit inside helicopters, this undersized, premature calf went along for a ride.

Blue Moon Eclipse and More Can't-Miss Sky Events in January

Monday January 1st, 2018 05:01:00 AM Andrew Fazekas
Get ready to see a double supermoon, a meteor shower, and more celestial wonders this month.

China Shuts Down Its Legal Ivory Trade

Sunday December 31st, 2017 01:55:11 AM Rachael Bale
Two years after a joint pledge with the United States to ban the domestic trade in ivory, all of China’s government-licensed carving factories and ivory retailers are about to close.

The Brutal Story of How Europe Conquered the Pacific

Saturday December 30th, 2017 05:01:00 AM Simon Worrall
Warning: It includes mutiny, murder, and mass rape.

What Makes This New Year's Eve Cold Snap So Unusual

Friday December 29th, 2017 08:24:55 PM Elaina Zachos
Freezing conditions are blanketing parts of the U.S., but other spots are warmer than usual.

Climbers Set Off to Be First to Summit World's Most Notorious Mountain in Winter

Friday December 29th, 2017 12:01:00 PM Sarah Gibbens
A team of Poland's most elite climbers will attempt to scale one of the deadliest mountains on Earth—a feat no one has accomplished.

What Causes These Pillars of Light to Form in the Atmosphere?

Thursday December 28th, 2017 07:26:00 PM Sarah Gibbens
The phenomenon can often be seen at far northern latitudes, but a blast of winter air has brought it south.

Top 8 Must-See Sky Events for 2018

Thursday December 28th, 2017 04:55:00 PM Andrew Fazekas
Get ready to see amazing eclipses, a comet encounter, planetary pairings, and more celestial wonders.

Sponges and Algae Are Choking the Caribbean's Coral Reefs

Thursday December 28th, 2017 01:01:36 PM Erik Vance
According to at least one leading expert. Some scientists aren’t convinced the sponge apocalypse is at hand.

We Fact-Checked 8 Animal Emojis—Here's What We Found

Thursday December 28th, 2017 05:02:27 AM Jason Bittel
For starters, caterpillars don't have antenna and zebra ears aren't pink.

How You Can Help Fix the Global Water Crisis

Wednesday December 27th, 2017 05:02:10 AM Elaina Zachos
Humans may be depleting our water supply, but innovative methods say there's a way to replenish it.

August Solar Eclipse Created Boat-Like Ripples in Earth's Atmosphere

Tuesday December 26th, 2017 07:57:51 PM Christina Nunez
During the historic event, the moon's shadow created atmospheric waves that scientists first predicted about four decades ago.

9 Photos of Extraordinary Mummies, Ancient and Modern

Tuesday December 26th, 2017 07:01:21 AM Kristin Romey
From thousand-year-old crocodiles to a 20th-century pneumonia victim, these preserved remains tell remarkable stories about life and death.

Rescued Bear With Amputated Paws Learns to Walk Again

Tuesday December 26th, 2017 05:02:31 AM Heather Brady
After a grueling life on a bear bile farm in Vietnam, Hai Chan got to experience walking on grass for the first time in her life.

The UN Starts a Conservation Treaty for the High Seas

Sunday December 24th, 2017 06:31:18 PM Stephen Leahy
A new international effort hopes to stem the tide of illegal and under-regulated fishing and otherwise protect the ocean from a range of threats, to benefit everyone.

The Little Town of Bethlehem Has a Surprising History

Saturday December 23rd, 2017 05:04:19 AM Simon Worrall
Christ’s birthplace is the site of modern uprisings and groundbreaking prehistoric art.

Do Partridges Really Live in Pear Trees?

Saturday December 23rd, 2017 05:00:00 AM Liz Langley
Here's the truth behind the turtle doves, French hens, and other birds in the famous song "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

Pictures Reveal Hardship in the World’s Fastest Sinking City

Friday December 22nd, 2017 04:30:00 PM Brian Clark Howard
Jakarta, Indonesia, is sinking below sea level, thanks to a perfect storm of illegal water pumping, rising water, and climate change.

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