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.

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National Geographic News

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

Last feed update: Monday June 17th, 2019 07:08:04 PM

See the evolution of over 2,000 world flags in under 5 minutes

Friday June 14th, 2019 04:00:00 PM Melody Rowell
This film features over 2,000 flags, set in motion to Ludwig van Beethoven, centuries in the making.

2 weeks, 4 deaths, and the start of America's fear of sharks

Wednesday June 12th, 2019 03:00:00 PM Matt McCall
It took a string of shark attacks in New Jersey more than a hundred years ago to make U.S. swimmers fear the ocean’s top predator.

Cyclone, hurricane, typhoon: What's the difference?

Wednesday June 12th, 2019 02:00:00 PM Ker Than
Whatever you choose to call them, these monster storms are powerful natural events with the capacity to wreak incredible havoc.

Shark attacks: After recent bites, your questions answered

Tuesday June 4th, 2019 04:20:00 PM Brian Clark Howard
Encounters with the big fish are rare, but can be deadly. Here's how to reduce your risk, and what you should keep in mind.

What we know—and what we don't—about the science of tornadoes

Tuesday May 21st, 2019 11:00:00 AM Brian Clark Howard
Scientists probe the mysteries of violent twisters.

Plastic proliferates at the bottom of world's deepest ocean trench

Monday May 13th, 2019 10:30:00 PM Sarah Gibbens
The remote Mariana Trench offers up yet another plastic bag during a recent deep submersible dive.

A running list of how President Trump is changing environmental policy

Friday May 3rd, 2019 06:50:00 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.

Military whales and dolphins: What do they do and who uses them?

Friday May 3rd, 2019 02:00:00 PM Jane J. Lee
For all our advanced technology, nothing beats the ability of marine mammals to find things in the ocean.

How to see the Lyrid meteor shower

Monday April 22nd, 2019 12:00:00 PM Andrew Fazekas
One of the oldest annual showers on record, the Lyrids put on a show each spring.

49 environmental victories since the first Earth Day

Monday April 22nd, 2019 10:00:00 AM Brian Clark Howard
As Earth Day turns 49, we take a look back at the biggest milestones in environmental protection.

How the world celebrates Easter in 18 spectacular photos

Wednesday April 17th, 2019 06:45:00 PM Becky Little
From eggs to bunnies, there are almost as many ways to observe Easter as there are countries.

Historian uses lasers to unlock mysteries of Gothic cathedrals

Tuesday April 16th, 2019 08:30:00 PM Rachel Hartigan Shea
A tech-savvy art historian uses lasers to understand how medieval builders constructed their architectural masterpieces.

These pictures made photographic history

Friday April 5th, 2019 01:00:00 PM Becky Little
From a close-up of a spider to the first underwater color photos, these pioneering pictures capture the spirit of exploration.

Gotcha! History's Most Outrageous April Fools' Jokes

Monday April 1st, 2019 08:00:00 AM Becky Little
Learn about these clever April Fools' Day hoaxes and pranks, including the famous Swiss spaghetti harvest.

Bomb cyclones and polar vortexes—winter's scary weather explained

Wednesday March 13th, 2019 02:00:00 PM Sarah Gibbens
What creates these dramatic-sounding weather conditions?

Specific Stonehenge quarries identified by new research

Thursday February 21st, 2019 08:15:00 PM Nick Romeo
Two ancient quarries some 180 miles from the famed prehistoric monument have been identified as the source for stones in the monument’s inner circle.

First mammal species recognized as extinct due to climate change

Wednesday February 20th, 2019 07:05:00 PM Brian Clark Howard
The humble Bramble Cay melomys has disappeared from its island in the Great Barrier Reef.

From St. Nicholas to Santa Claus: the surprising origins of Kris Kringle

Tuesday December 25th, 2018 01:30:00 PM Brian Handwerk
Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St. Nick—no matter the name, everyone knows the story of this plump, jolly, bringer of gifts. Or do they?

Where's Santa buried? Resting places of the real St. Nick

Saturday December 22nd, 2018 10:00:00 AM Brian Handwerk
The mortal remains of the 4th-century Greek bishop are likely scattered around the world as holy relics.

When is the first day of winter? December solstice 2018 explained.

Friday December 21st, 2018 03:50:00 PM Brian Handwerk
Find out how astronomy and meteorology differ on the definition, why solstices happen, and how the day is marked around the world.

A whopping 91% of plastic isn't recycled

Thursday December 20th, 2018 03:00:00 PM Laura Parker
Billions of tons of plastic have been made over the past decades, and much of it is becoming trash and litter, finds the first analysis of the issue.

Fast facts about plastic pollution

Thursday December 20th, 2018 03:00:00 PM Laura Parker
Versatile, pliable, durable, cheap to produce—and ubiquitous. Plastic is all of that. It is also both a life-saving miracle product and the scourge of the Earth. Here are eight essential facts to keep in mind.

We visited the border wall. Here's what it looks like.

Wednesday December 12th, 2018 07:23:00 PM Daniel Stone
In 2016, our photographer visited the heavily guarded—and completely empty—parts of the 2,000-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border.

Both of NASA's Voyager spacecraft are now interstellar. Where to next?

Monday December 10th, 2018 04:00:00 PM Nadia Drake
Launched in 1977, the twin probes will likely outlive the sun. Find out what star systems they’ll meet as they head deeper into the galaxy.

This notorious Christmas character is dividing a country

Thursday December 6th, 2018 04:15:00 PM Becky Little
Neo-Nazis in the Netherlands have responded violently to calls to get rid of Santa's blackface holiday assistant.

Who is Krampus? Explaining the horrific Christmas beast

Wednesday December 5th, 2018 09:00:00 AM Tanya Basu
Santa's got some competition: a terrifying Christmas devil named Krampus, which is catching on in pop culture worldwide.

Turkeys can swim—and other fun facts for Thanksgiving table talk

Wednesday November 21st, 2018 11:00:00 AM Mark Strauss
There's much more to America's holiday bird than white and dark meat.

Are marsquakes anything like earthquakes? NASA is about to find out.

Tuesday November 20th, 2018 05:35:00 PM Nadia Drake
A new spacecraft that's due to land soon on Mars will investigate why and how much the red planet rumbles.

A few things you (probably) don’t know about Thanksgiving

Tuesday November 20th, 2018 12:00:00 PM Becky Little
The pilgrims stole from graves, the Wampanoag were devastated by disease, and the peace between them was political.

How World War I launched mapmaking at National Geographic

Friday November 9th, 2018 09:00:00 PM Becky Little
This Veterans Day marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. It was during the war that National Geographic Society began producing original maps.

'Biggest case on the planet' pits kids vs. climate change

Friday November 9th, 2018 02:45:00 PM Laura Parker
A pioneering lawsuit against the U.S. government has won the right to a trial, overcoming the Trump administration's efforts to cancel it in court.

The map that popularized the word ‘gerrymander’

Tuesday November 6th, 2018 05:00:00 AM Greg Miller
The practice wasn’t new in 1812. But a map in a newspaper gave it a name that stuck.

Why do we have daylight saving time? 100 years of history

Friday November 2nd, 2018 04:01:00 AM Erin Blakemore
Get the facts about springing forward and falling back, a tradition that was established in the U.S. in 1918.

Everything you need to know about Halloween 2018

Wednesday October 31st, 2018 02:00:00 PM Brian Handwerk
From the holiday’s Celtic history to this year’s top costumes, here’s what to know to have a smart and scary holiday.

Five of Museum of the Bible's Dead Sea Scrolls are forgeries

Monday October 22nd, 2018 07:15:00 PM Michael Greshko
With the museum’s support, scholars are racing to understand the disputed Biblical texts.

12 extraordinary pictures show animals headed for extinction

Monday October 22nd, 2018 12:00:00 PM Anna Lukacs
There are thousands of species that may not be around for long.

15 spooky houses for Halloween

Monday October 22nd, 2018 11:00:00 AM Becky Little
We're definitely creeped out by this photo gallery.

What’s really in Antarctica’s mysterious blood falls

Monday October 22nd, 2018 08:00:00 AM Delaney Ross
The eerily gory waterfall is not in fact made of blood, and a new study shows just what gives it its unique color.

Meet 5 "zombie" parasites that mind-control their hosts

Monday October 22nd, 2018 07:30:00 AM Mary Bates
It's no Halloween movie—some parasites hijack their hosts' brains to make them act in horrific ways.

6 ghostly animals just in time for Halloween

Monday October 22nd, 2018 04:02:00 AM Liz Langley
From a deep-sea shark to a dancing moth, some wild animals have earned a spooky reputation.

Take me out to the ball game: 15 unique baseball photos

Friday October 19th, 2018 12:00:00 PM Melody Rowell
From a bat factory to Amish Country to the World Series, see our favorite baseball photos from the National Geographic archives.

These animals’ screams will chill your blood

Friday October 19th, 2018 05:45:00 AM James Owen
The spookiest sounds on Halloween are made by creatures of the night.

Halloween: costumes, history, myths, and more

Friday October 19th, 2018 04:00:00 AM Brian Handwerk
Get the facts on Halloween's history and why we love it so much today.

Wreckage of WWII-era warship U.S.S. Indianapolis found after 72 years

Wednesday October 17th, 2018 02:12:00 AM Christina Nunez
A search led by billionaire Paul Allen locates the cruiser at the bottom of the Philippine Sea.

Sunken World War II aircraft carrier found by deep-sea expedition

Tuesday October 16th, 2018 09:34:00 PM Elaina Zachos
Known for deep-sea exploration efforts uncovering military ships in the past, Paul Allen's personal search team has helped to discover a lost aircraft carrier.

How Microsoft billionaire found largest sunken battleship

Tuesday October 16th, 2018 01:41:00 PM Kristin Romey
High-tech tools, including an undersea "mountain goat," and years of research led to the discovery of the WWII-era Musashi in the Pacific.

Cecil the Lion Died Amid Controversy—Here's What's Happened Since

Monday October 15th, 2018 01:00:00 PM Jani Actman
Cecil’s killing sparked what’s been called the biggest global response to a wildlife story ever.

9 countries and the EU protected the Arctic Ocean before the ice melts

Wednesday October 10th, 2018 04:00:00 PM Craig Welch
Climate change is so quickly melting the far north that key nations just agreed to prohibit commercial fishing in the high seas of the Arctic for at least 16 years.

Who Are the Nobel Prize Winners? We've Crunched the Numbers.

Wednesday October 3rd, 2018 01:40:00 PM Michael Greshko
We dove into 115 years’ worth of past laureates, and the data revealed some striking trends.

These countries changed their names. Here's how it worked out.

Tuesday October 2nd, 2018 02:45:00 PM Stephen Leahy
Macedonia's movement to rename itself is the latest in a series of shifts in country names around the world. Here's a look back at some of the most famous.

Halloween Costume Pictures: Spooky Styles a Century Ago

Tuesday October 2nd, 2018 02:12:00 PM
From roller skates to swastikas, see how people in the early 1900s celebrated what one expert calls the United States' "rogue holiday."

Will Indonesia Be Ready for the Next Tsunami?

Friday September 28th, 2018 04:00:00 AM Tim Folger
After a 2004 catastrophic tsunami killed nearly 170,000 people in Indonesia, is the country ready for the next one?

The Fall Equinox Is Here! Wait, What's the Fall Equinox?

Friday September 21st, 2018 02:00:00 PM Rachel A. Becker
It comes twice a year and marks the first day of fall, but a lot of people don't understand this celestial alignment.

No, Captain Cook's Ship Hasn't Been Found Yet

Wednesday September 19th, 2018 02:23:00 PM Kristin Romey
What we know and don't know about the wreck of the H.M.B. Endeavour.

Remembering 9/11 in Pictures

Tuesday September 11th, 2018 02:45:00 PM Becky Little
Indelible photos mark one of America's darkest days.

Snakeless in Ireland: Blame Ice Age, Not St. Patrick

Thursday August 16th, 2018 06:28:02 PM
One man is credited with taking all snakes out of Ireland, but science tells a different story.

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

Thursday August 9th, 2018 05:40:00 PM Michael Greshko
As the Trump Administration calls for a new military branch, get the plan's pros and cons and learn the rules governing off-world soldiers.

What Do Wild Animals Do in Wildfires?

Monday July 30th, 2018 04:00:00 AM Sarah Zielinski
Big wildfires, like those tearing through Northern California, can hurt some animals—while others escape, and some species even thrive.

5 Reasons to Like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Thursday July 5th, 2018 08:00:00 PM Brian Clark Howard
It keeps a lot of dangerous stuff from being dumped in our air, water, and land.

Living Fireworks, These Animals Produce Light Shows with Their Bodies

Saturday June 30th, 2018 04:01:00 AM Liz Langley
A variety of animals produce bioluminescent light, creating signals that can be used for mating and communication.

Rule to Allow Hunting Could Doom Rare Red Wolves

Friday June 29th, 2018 09:53:39 PM Erik Vance
Wildlife experts aren’t keen on a plan by the government to allow private landowners to shoot wolves living on their land.

Learning to Love Dogs in Kigali

Friday June 29th, 2018 08:32:25 PM Alexandra E. Petri
Rwandans are embracing dogs as pets in spite of the country’s dark canine history.

The Last Cowboys: A Cattle-Ranching Family Fights to Survive

Friday June 29th, 2018 07:00:00 PM Simon Worrall
Bucking broncs, drought, and tourism are just a few challenges for the Wright family’s 150-year-old way of life.

Headless Pompeii Victim Wasn't Crushed to Death, After All

Friday June 29th, 2018 03:26:43 PM Erin Blakemore
A surprising new discovery reveals the truth about what really happened to an unfortunate man in 79 A.D.

Why This Zoo Lion Killed a Lost Water Bird

Thursday June 28th, 2018 09:17:59 PM Elaina Zachos
When a heron inexplicably ended up in the lion enclosure, the big cat’s instincts sprung into action.

What's Giving Some Beachgoers Rashes? Get the Facts.

Thursday June 28th, 2018 08:54:00 PM Theresa Machemer
Lifeguards reported this year’s first cases of sea lice, which aren’t lice at all.

Humans Gave Leprosy to Armadillos. Now, They’re Giving It Back

Thursday June 28th, 2018 06:08:20 PM Jason Bittel
Wild armadillo meat is popular in Brazil, but a new study shows those who eat it put themselves at risk of contracting leprosy.

Meet the 'Kickboxing Grannies' of Kenya's Most Dangerous Slum

Thursday June 28th, 2018 05:17:41 PM Lauren O'Brien
A group of grandmothers hailing from Korogocho have come together to protect and empower themselves and their community.

Gorgeous Panoramic Paintings of National Parks Now Online

Thursday June 28th, 2018 04:29:03 PM Betsy Mason
The iconic illustrations by Austrian artist Heinrich Berann have been digitized in high resolution for the first time, three decades after they were created.

Right Stuff for Life Found on Small Saturn Moon

Wednesday June 27th, 2018 05:00:07 PM Nadia Drake
Data from a dead spacecraft suggest that this world may be the best place besides Earth for life as we know it.

Coldest Place on Earth Found—Here's How

Wednesday June 27th, 2018 03:34:08 PM Alejandra Borunda
"It's a place where Earth is so close to its limit, it's almost like another planet."

Why These Leopard Sisters Are Mating With the Same Male

Wednesday June 27th, 2018 03:16:45 PM
This unusual arrangement was likely the result of the two females coincidentally going into heat at the same time.

19 Eel Smugglers Sentenced, But Lucrative Trade Persists

Wednesday June 27th, 2018 01:50:11 PM Rene Ebersole
With prices for baby eels soaring to a high of nearly $3,000 a pound, illegal traders continue to chance their luck with the police.

Tropical Forest Loss Slowed in 2017—To the Second Worst Total Ever

Wednesday June 27th, 2018 07:47:00 AM Stephen Leahy
Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo lost the most; things improved in Indonesia. Here are five takeaways from a new report.

Amid a Civil War, These Syrians Keep Dancing

Tuesday June 26th, 2018 07:05:43 PM Heather Brady
The group calling themselves 'Dare' says they are using dance as an agent of change in a nation beset by conflict.

How Ancient Mummies Helped This Soccer Player Get to the World Cup

Tuesday June 26th, 2018 03:56:01 PM Sarah Gibbens
After Paolo Guerrero tested positive for cocaine, scientists used Inca mummies to argue that the result may have been influenced by something else.

National Geographic Explorer and Space Architect Dies at 53

Monday June 25th, 2018 10:40:23 PM Alexandra E. Petri
A pioneer in her field, Constance Adams’ love of the solar system and Earth fueled her life’s work.

What Does It Take to Raise a Flamingo?

Monday June 25th, 2018 09:34:00 PM Annie Roth
A zoo celebrates as its flamingo flock gives birth to five new chicks—but the process is more difficult than it may seem.

Birds That Leave Nest Too Late Can Endanger Their Families

Monday June 25th, 2018 08:57:36 PM Elaina Zachos
A baby bird’s ability to move and its chances of survival are closely tied, a new study finds.

Could DNA Testing Reunite Immigrant Families? Get the Facts.

Monday June 25th, 2018 08:00:25 PM Maya Wei-Haas
Genetic testing offers a potential solution to the crisis, but logistics and privacy concerns pose major challenges.

Meet the Bug That Armors Itself With Shells

Saturday June 23rd, 2018 09:00:00 AM Liz Langley
The caddisfly is one of many insects that get creative in shielding themselves from predators.

Why the Short-Lived Pony Express Still Fascinates Us

Saturday June 23rd, 2018 04:01:00 AM Simon Worrall
The Pony Express operated for less than two years, but its legend—burnished by Buffalo Bill Cody—lives on.

Here’s What Makes a Dripping Faucet Go ‘Plink’

Friday June 22nd, 2018 08:25:00 PM Sarah Gibbens
Annoyed by the persistent dripping of water in a bucket, one scientist set out to learn what creates the distinctive sound.

Delusions of Infestation Aren't as Rare as You'd Think

Friday June 22nd, 2018 07:44:00 PM Erika Engelhaupt
More people are turning to entomologists to identify parasites they believe are crawling on their bodies, but which turn out not to be real.

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

Friday June 22nd, 2018 06:55:21 PM John Pickrell
“The dinosaurs would be aliens in our world.”

Why These Children Are Forced to Scale a 40-Foot Well

Friday June 22nd, 2018 06:38:38 PM Heather Brady
A short video shows young girls in India climbing into dangerous, deep wells to retrieve worm-infested water.

World’s Biggest Pig Captured in Rare Video

Friday June 22nd, 2018 06:23:00 PM Christine Dell'Amore
The 600-pound giant forest hog is expert at avoiding people, who are increasingly hunting the animal in its African habitat.

Smoking Ocean Vents Found in Surprisingly Shallow Water

Thursday June 21st, 2018 08:29:00 PM Stephen Leahy
Scientists have found new hydrothermal vents off the Azores, and they may harbor unique life.

Orcas Slap, Kill, But Don't Eat Their Prey

Thursday June 21st, 2018 07:45:32 PM Elaina Zachos
It’s impossible to tell why the whales didn’t eat their prey, one expert says, but here are a few suggestions.

Syphilis DNA Pulled From Colonial-Era Bones

Thursday June 21st, 2018 06:00:14 PM Sarah Gibbens
The 350-year-old genes may help researchers settle the debate about where the disease originated.

Ancient Royal Tomb Yields Strange New Ape Species

Thursday June 21st, 2018 06:00:13 PM Maya Wei-Haas
The toothy creature provides rare evidence of early human-caused extinctions.

Den of Mountain Lion Kittens Found in Unlikely Place

Thursday June 21st, 2018 04:24:46 PM Annie Roth
National Park Service researchers discovered a litter of four cougar kittens near California’s Simi Hills, an area surrounded by highways.

Why Koko the Gorilla Mattered

Thursday June 21st, 2018 02:48:00 PM Douglas Main
Featured twice on the cover of National Geographic magazine, Koko led to major revelations about animal empathy and communication.

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Drops Monkey Circus

Thursday June 21st, 2018 02:11:57 PM Rachael Bale
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.

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

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 09:20:55 PM Alejandra Borunda
Earth hasn't always had a 24-hour day. Here's what that means for the June solstice.

Why T. Rex Couldn't Waggle Its Tongue

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 07:34:00 PM Theresa Machemer
Scientists were in for a surprise after peering inside the mouths of modern alligators and birds.

Can Bees Help Save Elephants From Train Strikes?

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 06:55:00 PM Mary-Rose Abraham
In India, where elephants are hit by trains, people are trying innovative solutions.

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

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 04:06:26 PM Annie Roth
The American swamp sparrow’s amazing ability to pass down its song perfectly is an example of handing down a cultural tradition, scientists say.

After Fleeing War, Refugee Children Face Lasting Psychological Trauma

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 02:21:48 PM Nina Strochlic
In Lesbos, Greece, young refugees cope with a growing mental health crisis.

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

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 10:00:00 AM Joshua Rapp Learn
Illegal drug residues in the water could be affecting native fish.

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