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Photo by @paoloverzone / A cadet of the Theresian Military Academy, in Vienna, Austria. The academy was founded in 1752 by Empress Maria Theresa, and is located in a castle. This portrait is part of the Cadets series I photographed in 20 European military academies, located in 16 countries. I’d been working with the cadets for three days, discovering the charm of the castle, surrounded by a beautiful park. Follow @paoloverzone for more photos and stories.
Video by @bertiegregory / A wolf bodychecks its pack member during play, on the west coast of the Hudson Bay, in Canada. While watching these wolves play around, it's hard not to see how similar they are to domestic dogs. Considering how much we humans like domestic dogs, it’s pretty shocking how badly we treat wild wolves around the world. Fortunately, in recent years some brilliant conservation and reintroductions mean wolves are on the comeback. We can all do our bit by getting behind these projects. Follow @bertiegregory for more wildlife adventures. #wildlife #animals #wolves #wolf #snow
Photo by Pete McBride @pedromcbride / Nothing like the night sky in this roofless cathedral. Eighty percent of Americans can no longer see the Milky Way due to artificial light pollution; thankfully, here the sky still puts on quite a show. I recently had the privilege to paddle through this majestic place, and I was reminded of how important, particularly now, our wild places are. For more from the Grand Canyon, follow @pedromcbride. #grandcanyon #nature #nightsky #milkyway
Photo by @beverlyjoubert / With the world gripped by so many challenges and difficulties, appeals for action to address the plight of nature risk getting lost in the turbulence of this harrowing time. And yet the biodiversity crisis surrounding us on all sides is at the heart of so much that threatens our world and our continued existence in it. As a species, we are almost entirely responsible for the extinctions our planet has seen in past decades–and evidence keeps mounting that we will see many more unless we radically change course. Just among the world’s mammals, predictions suggest a further 550 species will be lost in this century. Just as we can no longer remain complacent, we also cannot allow ourselves to lose hope. Now is the time for ambition and action to undo this crisis of our own making. #nature #biodiversity #lions #wildlife
Photo by @joelsartore / This is Pahu, a Sumatran rhino named after the river nearby where she was found. She was rescued by #SumatranRhinoRescue, an alliance of conservation groups including National Geographic working to save the Sumatran rhino from the brink of extinction. Today, there are fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos left in the world. Pahu is the Bornean subspecies of the Sumatran rhino. She is markedly smaller than the other two subspecies of Sumantran rhinos. To see more species featured in the Photo Ark, follow me @joelsartore, and to learn more about Pahu’s rescue, watch the second episode of my new show, The Photo Ark on @NatGeoWild tonight at 10pm ET. To learn more, check out Nat Geo's link in bio.
Video by @estherhorvath / Arctic sea ice can be several years old before it melts. In the 1980s, 70% of the Arctic Ocean was covered with ice older than a year, called multiyear ice. Today, it's just 30%—because most melts during its first summer. According to climate models, the Arctic Ocean in summer may be ice free before 2035. To monitor the state of rapidly changing sea ice in the Arctic, the Alfred Wegener Institute conducts airborne surveys twice a year. The flights are done at an altitude of 200 feet (about 60m) while towing a torpedo-like instrument called “Bird." It measures the ice thickness with electromagnetic and laser technology. Surveys are carried out in close collaboration with other international projects: the European Space Agency’s Cryosat Validation Experiments (CryoVEx) and NASA’s Operation Icebridge (OIB). Please follow @estherhorvath for polar science documentaries and @awiexpeditions for polar research.
Photo by @gabrielegalimbertiphoto / From my Toy Stories series: This is Oscar, 6, from Bradford-on-Avon, U.K. Toy Stories is an ongoing project—wherever I travel in the world, I take portraits of children with their favorite toys. In three years, I've visited over 50 countries, where I've recorded the spontaneous and natural joy that unites kids, despite their diverse backgrounds. Whether the child owns a veritable fleet of miniature cars or a single stuffed monkey, the pride that they have is moving, funny, and thought-provoking. Follow me @gabrielegalimbertiphoto for more photos and stories. #toys #play #kids #child #children
Photo by Keith Ladzinski @ladzinski / A female puma stands guard next to a fresh guanaco kill, entangled in a barbed-wire fence, in Patagonia, Chile. The pumas of this region are quite clever and use ranch fences in the area as catch-nets. They chase their panicked prey into these fences where they become entangled and are easily killed. Along the fence lines within the region, it's common to see skeletal remains of guanaco that met a gruesome fate there.
Photo by Prasenjeet Yadav @prasen.yadav / Snow leopards patrol their territory, and one way they mark their land is by spraying urine and scent on stones. In this image, a snow leopard approaches a scent-marking location early in the morning, triggering a camera trap. In this vast landscape, the snow leopard merges with the background that makes it tricky to spot. For this very reason, @snowleopardtrust uses camera traps to estimate snow leopard density and populations. Follow me @prasen.yadav for more photos from India.
Photo by @jasperdoest / My cousin Odette and Flamingo Bob, as he's known, enjoy an early morning swim—and so did I during a visit to Curaçao last year. At the beach, I looked back at this odd couple, still bobbing at sea. They live a remarkable life together, although to them it’s just daily life. To me, their story (she's a veterinarian, he's a rescue bird) is an intimate love story about how two individuals that depend on each other can initiate positive change by educating future generations. Follow @jasperdoest to learn more about Flamingo Bob. #flamingobob #meetbob #flamingo #birdrescue #animalambassador Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by @brentstirton / I photographed these Indian schoolboys at a boarding school in West Bengal, India, as part of a story on the cure for blindness. They were sharing a dorm room in a school devoted to the blind. These particular boys live with a condition known as albinism, characterized by the absence of melanin. This congenital disorder is associated with various vision defects, and these boys were learning life skills that would allow them to thrive despite their condition. Their teachers told me they had only a tiny amount of vision. Just before I took this image, they were playing chess. While two played with their hands flying over the board with extraordinary sensitivity, the others were listening. That means they would have had to evolve the capacity to retain an entire game in their memories as well as strategize on moves going forward. This was one of the best examples I have seen of how the human body can compensate for impairment and a timely reminder that, given a chance, the blind can be amazing, valuable members of society. Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
If you didn’t know these are two male polar bears, it would be reasonable to think this was some kind of male/female courtship. While stranded on land, male polar bears often pair with a sparring buddy. This allows them to practice fighting, as in a few months' time they could be out on the sea ice fighting deadly battles over breeding rights. Filmmaker @bertiegregory captured these two massive predators nuzzling and nibbling one another for half an hour. It was only after this tenderness that they somehow decided to have a fight!
Photo by @iantehphotography / A fashionable Malay woman walks past a closed Chinese shop on Jalan Masjid India. Ordinarily, this is a busy shopping area in Kuala Lumpur, but on this occasion, it was relatively subdued despite the relaxation of lockdown rules during the Eid Muslim festivities a few weeks ago. To date, contact tracing procedures and temperature checks are in place at all venues, and face masks have to be worn when entering shops. Malaysia has been relatively successful in flattening the curve for the past seven months. Still, it recently suffered a spike in infections, primarily caused by the Sabah state elections and religious gatherings in Kedah. This third wave now exceeds earlier ones. The government has since implemented lockdowns in affected areas throughout the country. While the rest of the world and in particular Europe and the U.S. are currently experiencing a significant rise in COVID-19 cases, Malaysia has, by comparison, relatively low numbers of infection rates. Follow me on @iantehphotography to see slices of daily life from around the world. #malaysia #kualalumpur #covid-19 #coronavirus #economy
Photos by @erintrieb / This month marks the 4th anniversary of the Iraq military's offensive and liberation of Mosul and surrounding areas, which from 2014-2016 were occupied and controlled by the Islamic State. Some 5,000 U.S. troops were deployed in Iraq as advisors, to assist the Iraqi military in its fight against ISIS. Image one: U.S. soldiers from the 101st Infantry Division fire illumination rounds from Qayara Airbase near Mosul. Image two: The U.S. military fires a HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) rocket from Qayara Airbase near Mosul, October 2016 (both). For more human stories from around the world follow @erintrieb.
Photos by @katieorlinsky / Children at a farmworkers' camp in Atlantic County, New Jersey. The hundreds of thousands of temporary agricultural workers who arrive in the U.S. each year often bring their children with them. One of the most surprising things I found while documenting blueberry farm workers in New Jersey this summer was that it is legal for minors over the age of 12 to work on farms, as long as it is not during school hours and they have written parental consent (or it's a farm where a parent is employed.) Typically farmworkers’ children can attend government-sponsored programs that provide free meals and education, and they also offer night classes tailored to the unique schedules of children who work. These programs were cancelled this year because of the pandemic. Parents can’t afford to stop working in the field, and many cannot afford childcare, so this summer many of the younger children ended up staying at the migrant camp for up to 15 hours a day, with only an older sibling or a grandparent to look after them. Check out @natgeo’s link in bio for more on this story, created with the support of the @insidenatgeo COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
Nat Geo photographer @keithladzinski captured the CalWood fire that sprang up last week in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado. In a single day, the fire had consumed over 5,000 acres and had broken the record for the largest fire in the county’s history. As of today, the fire is 20% contained and has burned over 10,000 acres (4,000 ha), forcing nearly 3,000 evacuations. The total damage is still undetermined.
Photo by @michaelchristopherbrown / Andre Bauma carries an orphaned gorilla at the Senwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Center, home to orphaned mountain gorillas from Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Senkwekwe is the world’s only facility that harbors orphaned gorillas that lost parents during the Congo wars and uprisings, and gives the gorillas a second chance at life. Among the most protected areas of Africa and the continent's first national park, Virunga was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. It's home to active volcanoes and hundreds of endemic species including the eastern gorilla and the golden monkey. While living in Goma, I spent much time traveling through the lush, remote 3,000-square-mile area, full of grandeur. Virunga made headlines recently when 12 of its park rangers were killed while protecting people and animals in the park, ever at the mercy of poachers, militias, and others looking to take advantage of park resources. Follow @michaelchristopherbrown for more human stories from around the world.
Photo by @johnstanmeyer / Heavy machinery is used to scoop sand from the Son riverbed in Bihar. Although this operation may be legal, sand mining is often done illegally under cover of darkness. Sand supplies India’s booming construction industry, but excessive mining disrupts rivers and destroys habitats of endangered species such as river dolphins and crocodile-like gharials. The image is from my latest story in @natgeo magazine, "Water Everywhere, and Nowhere," in the August issue, now on newsstands worldwide. @outofedenwalk #walkingindia #edenwalk #india #son #sonriver Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by Robbie Shone @shonephoto / Križna jama (cave) is one of the few tourist caves in Slovenia that don’t contain concrete pathways or harsh lighting, which is harmful to the interior environment. With a chain of underground lakes shimmering with emerald green water, the cave is considered to be one of the most beautiful and best preserved in Europe—and the world.
Photo by @nataliekeyssar / A horse grazes near the Sea Wall in Georgetown, Guyana, on a scorching August day. Five years ago, oil was discovered off of Guyana's shores, creating excitement for the income and infrastructure it could generate, but environmentalists fear the impact of offshore drilling. History shows that having natural resources doesn't always translate into a benefit for the people in an oil-rich country. Follow me at @nataliekeyssar for more stories and stories.
Photo by @williamalbertallard / Venice, Italy, 1969. This is from my very first trip to Italy, where I made pictures of Venice for a National Geographic book. On the day of the most important regatta on the Grand Canal, I had arranged to photograph from the window of an apartment overlooking a sweeping curve in the canal. I used a Zeiss Hologon Ultrawide with a fixed 15 mm lens to capture this flowing procession of colorful gondolas, overlooked by observers on the balconies of the ancient stone and brick buildings. The image is reminiscent of a painting. That camera was stolen from me later that year as I walked along a street in Saigon, grabbed from my hand by a youngster riding on one of the countless motor scooters buzzing through the streets of southern Vietnam. For more images of Venice and other assignments spanning a five-decade career, follow me @williamalbertallard. #venice #italy #canal #regatta #filmphotography
Photos by Yagazie Emezi @yagazieemezi / These are scenes from peaceful protests at Lekki Toll Gate, in Lagos, one of many locations across Nigeria where youth have been making a stand against police brutality for two weeks. On October 20 around 7 p.m., security cameras were reported to have been removed from the toll gate and surrounding lights turned off, when the Nigerian military showed up and started shooting into the crowd. A number of protesters were injured and killed. Earlier in the day, an impromptu 24-hour curfew had been announced, stating the move was an attempt to arrest “criminals and miscreants hiding under the umbrella of these protests.“ Protesters remained at the toll gate, singing the national anthem and waving green and white flags. As the shooting was underway, the curfew was extended to 9 p.m. via a tweet from state officials. The president has yet to make a public statement. For more, follow @yagazieemezi.
Photos by Keith Ladzinski @ladzinski / On October 17, the CalWood fire sprang up in the foothills of Boulder County, Colorado. In a single day, the fire had already consumed over 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) and had broken the record for the largest fire in county history. As of today, the fire is 17% contained and has burned over 9,000 acres, forcing nearly 3,000 evacuations. The total damage is still undetermined. This comes in leu of the already catastrophic Cameron Peak Fire, Colorado’s largest in recorded history, which is still burning and has already enveloped over 200,000 acres (80,000 ha). To see more photos please visit @ladzinski.
Photo by Anastasia Taylor-Lind @anastasiatl / Ghazanchetsots cathedral in Shushi, Nagorno-Karabakh, was shelled on October 8. After more than 20 years of relative calm, fighting between Azeri and Armenian forces has been escalating since September 27, causing casualties and inflicting suffering on all sides. I worked in the region in 2011, when I photographed the cathedral. Here, Shushanik Hayrapetyan and Vitaliy Ghangiryan leave the cathedral after getting married. #nagornokarabakh Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more info.
Photo by @amivitale / Hilary Zaranek rides her horse as a storm moves in at the Crazy D ranch outside Bozeman, Montana. The Crazy D is the winter pasture for the J Bar L Ranch. Hilary is a @natgeo explorer and an extraordinary woman who founded the first range-rider program in the Tom Miner Basin, which borders Yellowstone National Park. She studies bear and wolf behavior, tracks wildlife, and moves cattle through daily to create a better understanding among landowners and cattle managers. Follow @amivitale for more stories about connections between humanity and nature.
Photo by Karla Gachet @kchete77 / Daniel Montes, 30, harvests grapes in Caruthers, California, during an August heat wave. These grapes will be used to make raisins; the harvest is called "la tabla," referring to the piece of paper where they place them. Workers get paid by the number of "tablas" they fill up. Each one is worth 33 cents, and the harvesters usually do between 250 to 400 tablas a day, depending on how much fruit the vines contain. Montes has been working in the fields since he was 20 years old. According to law, when the temperature reaches 80°F (26°C), the contractors should provide shade where the workers can take breaks. They should be allowed to take a paid, five-minute (or as long as needed) break if they start feeling ill. When the temperature reaches 95°F (35°C), they should be given a 10-minute break, and there should be a plan on how to proceed in case of an emergency. #HEAT #migrantfarmworkers #CentralValley
Ode to Alaska by @jewel / Alaska is the last frontier. It’s a wild, vast land no fence can tame. Alps challenge the sky on the white wings of glaciers, the tips of which touch the taciturn sea in their slow migration. Bent grass tells of a bear’s quiet wandering. The songs of wolves fill the night skies. The northern lights are a spectacle beyond any psychedelic. Alaska is one of the last truly wild places, a treasure. A teacher of scale and proportion. Here you remember you are not bigger than nature. You do not control nature. Here you learn the exhale of receding tides and autumn days. The exuberant inhale of salmon rushing rivers. You learn to respect and care for Mother, and in turn you learn what it is to be cared for. Alaska raised me. Taught me what water weighs as I scram-bled from streams with a five-gallon bucket for the garden. Alaska taught me how hard it is to grow food, and how valuable it is. I learned that resilience is diversity, and the dangers of a monoculture. Biodiversity translated into diversity of thought—of adapting by being in tune with the needs of our surroundings. Alaska reminds us what it is to be wild. Nature is never neurotic, it never worries or has anxiety. If I am anxious, I know I am out of harmony with nature. Alaska is always here, reminding us how to be human. Photo by @katieorlinsky / A sled dog team races through the Brooks Range in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, which sits entirely north of the Arctic Circle. This text and accompanying image are from “America the Beautiful,” a new Nat Geo book, with more than 200 images from all 50 states, highlighting America’s unique natural and cultural treasures. Check out Nat Geo’s link in bio to learn more.
Ode to Arizona by @gabbygiffords / I grew up in Tucson learning to ride horses and loving the heat. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, the majesty of Arizona’s deserts quickly reveals itself to your senses: both the stunning, expansive views and the comforting way creosote emits the smell of earth when it rains. Come to Arizona, and you’ll find community. I’ve discovered—in cities, desert towns, tribal communities, and ranches—the richness and vibrancy of the area’s history and diversity. You learn to love the people and food of Arizona, respect the land we live on now, and embrace life in the Southwest. Photo by Pete McBride @pedromcbride / A hiker takes in the view of the Colorado River winding its way through the Grand Canyon at sunset. This text and accompanying image are from “America the Beautiful,” a new Nat Geo book, with more than 200 images from all 50 states, highlighting America’s unique natural and cultural treasures. Check out Nat Geo’s link in bio to learn more.
Ode to Texas by @evalongoria / In this one expansive state, there are the surfers in a sparkling city by the sea; the big, bustling cities of Houston and Dallas; the border; and the place most important to me, our ranch. Here, in land granted to my family in 1603, my sisters and I would rise early, grab a tortilla, and spend the day running through the woods. Dad worked the cattle, pigs, and chickens and grew crops of corn or watermelon. We girls would run. No other neighbor or house in sight. Just quiet. We’d watch a storm roll in. And on a clear night, climb to our roof to gaze at all the stars. In Texas, I learned to read the big sky. This is the land built by generations of Spanish explorers, indigenous tribes, Tejanos, and Irish. Sometimes we forget these brave, ambitious people are what made us strong. They are what we celebrate. This is where I have my land, my roots. Texas is home. Photo by @babaktafreshi / A starry sky hovers above the 36-foot (11 m) Hobby-Eberly Telescope at the McDonald Observatory. One of the world’s largest optical telescopes, it is used for spectroscopy, the decoding of light from stars and galaxies. This text and accompanying image are from “America the Beautiful,” a new Nat Geo book, with more than 200 images from all 50 states, highlighting America’s unique natural and cultural treasures. Check out Nat Geo’s link in bio to learn more.
Ode to Iowa by Peggy Whitson @astro_peggy / “To Be of the Earth” was a poem I wrote as a kid. For me those words describe rolling hillsides of corn and soybeans that make up Iowa. Black Angus leisurely grazing the pastures of timothy and clover, calves frolicking beside. A life, and a way of life, that nurtured and supported my dreams. Photo by David Guttenfelder @dguttenfelder / Flags, military patches, and memorial messages decorate a telephone pole that stands along a county road dedicated to United States military veterans. This text and accompanying image are from “America the Beautiful,” a new Nat Geo book, with more than 200 images from all 50 states, highlighting America’s unique natural and cultural treasures. Check out Nat Geo’s link in bio to learn more.
Ode to Mississippi by @robinrobertsgma / In Mississippi, the Gulf Coast is majestic and serene, the food is fried, and warmth is everywhere. I don’t mean just the weather, but there’s warmth in the music of the blues, in the soul service gospel I heard at my church as a child, and in the people. When you see someone in Pass Christian, the quintessential small town where I grew up, you stop and wave. New to town? A neighbor will bring a Bundt cake. That’s just what you do. We were a military family, and I grew up moving all the time. But when it came time for my father to retire from the U.S. Air Force, the Roberts family got to decide where we would put down our roots. I am proud to say we chose Mississippi. It is home. Photo by @randyolson / A man eats outside the Old Country Store in Lorman. A former general store built on a local plantation in 1875, the rustic building is now home to a gift shop, thrift store, and Mr. D’s restaurant, serving “heavenly” fried chicken. This text and accompanying image are from “America the Beautiful,” a new Nat Geo book, with more than 200 images from all 50 states, highlighting America’s unique natural and cultural treasures. Check out Nat Geo’s link in bio to learn more.
Ode to Michigan by James Earl Jones / For many, Michigan means lakes and football, icy cold winters bundled up or summers spent hanging out on hot city streets. Or for me, time spent in church with my grandparents or on stage at a school theater reciting lines. But we know Michigan is really about the people with big open hearts, like the kind teacher who taught me to stand up and speak. Michigan is a place where a young boy can find his true voice. Photo by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz / Once a 1920s Hi-Speed gas station, Mr. Fix It on 8 Mile Road in Detroit is now an auto-repair shop. A sign painter named Eugene decorated the art deco building in his signature style. This text and accompanying image are from “America the Beautiful,” a new Nat Geo book, with more than 200 images from all 50 states, highlighting America’s unique natural and cultural treasures. Check out Nat Geo’s link in bio to learn more.
Ode to Ohio by LeBron James @kingjames / Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have. No matter where I go in the world, Ohio will always be home. Photo by @ismailferdous / While traveling in the countryside of central Ohio this spring, in my periphery I saw a herd of white deer. I quickly got out of my car and took a picture before they crossed the field. This text is from “America the Beautiful,” a new Nat Geo book, with more than 200 images from all 50 states, highlighting America’s unique natural and cultural treasures. Check out Nat Geo’s link in bio to learn more.
Ode to Florida by @jimmybuffett / Saying what Florida means to me in a handful of words is not an easy task. Florida began with free orange juice at the welcome station on the FloraBama border. It blossomed in Key West, where I wrote a three-minute song that people liked, and I didn’t have to get a day job. Photo by @brianskerry / There are an estimated 6,500 manatees living around U.S. waters in Florida and Puerto Rico. This text and accompanying image are from “America the Beautiful,” a new Nat Geo book, with more than 200 images from all 50 states, highlighting America’s unique natural and cultural treasures. Check out Nat Geo’s link in bio to learn more.
Ode to Virginia by @katiecouric / I had an idyllic “Leave It to Beaver” upbringing in Arlington, Virginia. But the state has come a long way since the Cleavers (and even since I graduated from the University of Virginia in 1979). A hundred years ago, 90 percent of Virginians were born in state; today, a majority were born elsewhere, making it a more vibrant and forward-thinking place. Sometimes tradition makes it difficult to see things in a new light. But this is not your grandfather’s Old Dominion. Today, Virginia isn’t just for lovers. It’s for everyone. Photo by Trevor Frost @tbfrost / A herd of wild ponies graze in a meadow in Grayson Highlands State Park in southwest Virginia. The park was established in 1965. The origin story of the wild ponies isn’t crystal-clear, but the ponies within the park were released by the U.S. Forest Service in 1975 to help manage vegetation in the meadowlike clearings called balds that you see in this picture. The wild pony population is now around 150. This text is from “America the Beautiful,” a new Nat Geo book, with more than 200 images from all 50 states, highlighting America’s unique natural and cultural treasures. Check out Nat Geo’s link in bio to learn more.
Ode to Washington, D.C. by Lonnie Bunch III / When I first came to Washington as a 17-year-old freshman at Howard University, D.C. was unsettling and scary. I had never lived in a city, especially one still on edge from the urban conflagrations of 1968 and disheveled by the massive construction that would soon lead to the Metro. Yet I quickly discovered that D.C. was a city with soul and culture. I reveled in the pace and the poetry of Chocolate City and found joy and inspiration from visiting each of the Smithsonian museums. And when I needed a respite from urban life, there was nothing better than exploring the best city park in America—Rock Creek Park. D.C. is more than the seat of politics; it has become my home. Photo by @babaktafreshi / On a sunny April morning in Washington, D.C., the Tidal Basin cherry trees were in full bloom. The Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial is in a perfect spot as you enter this paradise. The iconic civil rights figure stands 30 feet high—a monument to freedom, opportunity, and justice. This text is from “America the Beautiful,” a new Nat Geo book, with more than 200 images from all 50 states, highlighting America’s unique natural and cultural treasures. Check out Nat Geo’s link in bio to learn more.
Ode to New Jersey by @kalpenn / New Jersey is about more than the chest-thumping bravado of diverse communities of motivated people. It’s also about skiing in the winter. Hiking. Pinning beach badges to bathing suits at the shore, walking barefoot on the boardwalk, and working long shifts all summer at a farm on the side of a two-lane road. It’s home. Photo by @amytoensing / Beachgoers spread out across the sand in Ocean City to enjoy the sun and Atlantic Ocean waves. This text and accompanying image are from “America the Beautiful,” a new Nat Geo book, with more than 200 images from all 50 states, highlighting America’s unique natural and cultural treasures. Check out Nat Geo’s link in bio to learn more.
Ode to Vermont by @hannahteter / The Green Mountain State attracts people from around the world with its neon colors every fall, and fills their bellies with maple syrup, cheddar cheese, and Ben & Jerry’s. Vermont has the best of both worlds—mountains full of snow and beautiful lakes all around. Growing up on a mountaintop, my mom had a huge organic garden overly abundant with fruits and vegetables; the fertile Vermont soil and perfectly humid summer climate makes living off the land a little easier. This is the birthplace of snowboarding, created here by Jake Burton. Vermont led the charge to a globally loved sport and Olympic dreams for many—including myself. Photo by @timlaman / Ski lifts make their way up Madonna Mountain at Smugglers’ Notch. The ski resort features 78 ski and snow-boarding runs. This text and accompanying image are from “America the Beautiful,” a new Nat Geo book, with more than 200 images from all 50 states, highlighting America’s unique natural and cultural treasures. Check out Nat Geo’s link in bio to learn more.
Photo by @chien_chi_chang / Bago, Myanmar, 2009. In a monastery, devout Buddhist novices double up on showers and laundry. Most Burmese young men and some young women between the ages of 10 to 16 become Buddhist novices, either for a short time before returning to secular life or becoming fully ordained monks. It's estimated that there are 500,000 monks, novices and nuns at any given time in Myanmar–a nation with 53 million people. #MagnumPhotos
Photo by @tamaramerino_photography / Chile's Atacama Desert, the most arid desert in the world, is host to a beautiful natural phenomenon known as the desierto florido (flowering desert). About 200 species, many of them endemic, sprout only during this particular event, covering the desert in life and color. Most seeds are able to lie dormant for many years under the soil until favorable conditions allow them to germinate and bloom. Here, twin sisters walk carefully on a carpet of flowers that takes over the land for some days. The flowering desert is generally associated with the El Niño phenomenon, which produces high rainfall and an average ambient temperature suitable for the germination of seeds and bulbs. Follow me on @tamaramerino_photography for more.
Keith Ladzinski (@ladzinski) shot these kestrels as they battle it out in a tree near a 13th-century monastery in Prelip, Macedonia. He says it was an odd scene for such a serene place. He counted seven pairs nesting among the ancient cobblestone walls, making them a place of competition and contention. A monk said he welcomed the birds, which help keep mice at bay.
Photo by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz / The ancientamphitheater of Caral, Peru, is seen in a long exposure as I retraced the outlines while holding a kerosene lamp. Caral was the first urban center in the new world about 4,600 years ago, about the same time as the pyramids were built in Egypt. Caral’s civilization was made possible by the discovery of large-scale irrigation, which allowed multiple growing seasons in the coastal desert of Peru. The amphitheater appears to have been the ceremonial heart of the city, but what took place here is still a mystery. To explore more of our world, follow me @geosteinmetz.
Photos by @stevewinterphoto with @mikemcgovern / It's a special moment when you witness an intimate connection between an animal and a human. I had the pleasure of capturing the relationship between Ethan and Little Girl, a black bear cub with hydrocephalus, a condition where liquid builds up around the brain. Because of her condition, she is unable to perform many of the basic tasks necessary for survival in the wild. Lucky for Little Girl, she was rescued by the Kilham Bear Center in New Hampshire, a facility dedicated to rescuing abandoned black bear cubs and releasing them into the wild— which they've been doing with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department for 25 years. Due to her condition, she may be their first bear that is unable to be released, but that has not stopped Ethan from building a unique friendship with her. Every day Ethan visits Little Girl and walks with her from her covered resting shed to an open outdoor area. With difficulty controlling her body, she often tumbles down and struggles to see obstacles. However, with a determination to survive and Ethan by her side, she has persevered. @stevewinterphoto @mikemcgovern
Photo by @joelsartore / One of eight pangolin species, the Sunda pangolin, like this one at the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Center in Vietnam's Cuc Phuong National Park, is critically endangered and has earned the unfortunate reputation as one of the most trafficked animals in the world. Like their fellow pangolin species elsewhere in Asia and Africa, they are being poached to extinction for their meat and their scales, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine, though there's no evidence that they are effective in improving human health. Many governmental groups and NGOs are working hard to combat the trafficking crisis, but they need your help. Use the power of your network to share this incredible species with as many people as you can and bring attention to the threats they are facing in the wild. To see more species featured in the Photo Ark, follow me @joelsartore. #PhotoArk #savetogether
Photo by @mattiasklumofficial / A green crested lizard perched on a leaf in the majestic Danum Valley, Sabah, in Malaysian Borneo. Of all rainforest destinations on our planet, this is truly one of my favorites. I've been lucky to work in many incredible places, and Danum, with its ancient rainforest and mind-boggling biodiversity, is hard to beat! In fact, Borneo, an island, provides habitat for about 15,000 known species of flowering plants, and more than 3,000 tree species, 221 terrestrial mammal species, and 420 bird species. Please go to @mattiasklumofficial for more of my images and films. #protectbiodiversity #danumvalley #borneo #crestedlizard
Photo by @laurakmorton / When the COVID-19 pandemic halted normal life, I started taking long walks in my neighborhood every day. This overlook in San Francisco’s Fort Mason, where you can feel the breeze coming off San Francisco Bay and enjoy a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, has become one of my favorite places to enjoy the soothing effect of nature. For more photographs of people, places and culture follow me @laurakmorton.
Photo by Muhammed Muheisen @mmuheisen / Al-Khazneh (the treasury), one of many facades carved into the mountains of the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. For more photos and videos from different parts of the world, follow me @mmuheisen and @mmuheisenpublic #muhammedmuheisen #jordan #الاردن #Petra
Photo by @babaktafreshi / I started photographing the night sky in early 1990s, in high school. I tried digital cameras for the first time in early 2000s, and by 2007 I had completely switched over. This is from March 2007, one of my last analog photos, on Ektachrome 100 slide film. Film cameras, specially medium format, are still pretty good for long exposures like this, revealing rich and natural star colors. If you have one around, give it a try under dark skies. On this starry desert night, far from cities, the long exposure (three hours) shows colorful trails of the constellation Orion and the bright star Sirius. They are moving across the sky as the Earth's rotation slowly turns the sky above us. The tamarix trees in the foreground are typical vegetation in Khar Touran National Park, in eastern Iran, one of the last refuges of the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah. Explore more of the world at night with me @babaktafreshi. #twanight #earth #fineart #longexposure
Photo by @enricsala in New Caledonia / Everything that humans need to survive is produced by other species: the food we eat, the water we drink, and the oxygen we breathe. We need to be humbler and acknowledge what other creatures do for us, and respect the natural world by giving it the space it needs to thrive. For more on the benefits of protecting our land and oceans, follow @enricsala.
Photo by @dina_litovsky / A man reads a newspaper in the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York City. The metropolis, almost completely reopened after three months of quarantine in the spring, is enjoying a revival in street life. People are spending the last few warm nights of the season on the streets that until recently stood eerily deserted. For more images of night New York City, follow me @dina_litovsky.
Photo by @magnuswennman / Lesvos, Greece, September 17, 2020. The orange life jacket that previously served as a lifeline during the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean is now a toy for a young boy who dives and plays near the shore. The situation for the thousands of refugees who lost everything when the Moria refugee camp burned to the ground is terrible. It's a strange feeling to be in such a beautiful place and hell on Earth at the same time. The Moria camp was built during the refugee crisis in 2015 for 3,000 people. Before the fire, about 12,000 people lived there, including 4,000 children. When the Moria camp was reduced to rubble, thousands were forced to sleep on parking lots and sidewalks and in abandoned houses. A new camp has been built, but many are afraid to move in—feeling mistreated in the old camp, they're afraid that it will happen again.
Photo by @lucalocatelliphoto / Piles of discarded wool clothes await to be recycled in Prato, Italy. Italy is known for fashion, and this small town in Tuscany has been the epicenter of wool recycling for centuries. The town has become so efficient at it that today 15% of the world’s recycled textiles come from Prato. The recycling process starts with collection and sorting. These piles of rags have been carefully curated by experienced workers who separate the clothes by color. Once packaged, some colors may end up sitting in a warehouse for decades, waiting to be requested by the fashion industry. Only then are they unwrapped and put through recycling to create raw wool. The textile recycling industry of Prato is one of the subjects in my latest story called the "End of Trash" for the magazine. While the industry has been around for nearly two centuries, only in recent years have entrepreneurs in Prato started to advertise the recycled aspect of their wool. What was once considered a discarded item is today a symbol of sustainable production. Please follow me @lucalocatelliphoto to find out more. #prato #textile #waste #environment #italy Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by @jasperdoest / A brown pelican and a flamingo bob in the crystal-clear waters surrounding Curaçao. Both were rescued by my cousin Odette, who works as a veterinarian on the island. Unfortunately these two birds couldn't be released back to the wild. The pelican, named Neil, arrived at her rescue facility with a complicated wing fracture (he's since passed away), and the flamingo, whose name is Bob, had slammed against a hotel window and has a chronic foot condition. Bob became the ambassador of @fdoccuracao, a local conservation education charity that teaches environmental awareness. Follow @jasperdoest to learn more about Flamingo Bob. #flamingobob #meetbob #flamingo #birdrescue #pelican Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by @edkashi / I'm on the road documenting the 100 days leading up to this year's election. Outside Pecos, Texas, a gas flare was captured through a window of a broken-down bus near one of the hundreds of wells in one of the largest natural gas fields in the world. The collapse in the demand for energy amid the pandemic has caused major struggles for this town, which helped transform the U.S. into a dominant player in the global market. #americandream #texas #naturalgas #pecostx #oilcollapse
Photo by @joelsartore / The Amazonian manatee is the largest mammal in the Amazon rainforest. Manatees are aquatic mammals who spend up to 8 hours a day grazing. Because of how they move in the water, it’s clear why manatee means “fish cow” in Portuguese. While they are graceful swimmers, they are large and slow moving, found in coastal waters and rivers where the greatest risk to their populations are collisions with boats. I ventured to INPA, an aquatic conservation center in Manaus, Brazil for the opportunity to photograph this majestic creature. I used an underwater camera and scuba dived in order to get a closer shot of the manatee. To see more species featured in the Photo Ark, follow me @joelsartore, and to learn more of the Amazonian manatee watch my show, the Photo Ark on @NatGeoWild tonight in the U.S. at 10pm ET. To learn more, check out Nat Geo's link in bio.
Photo by Cristina Mittermeier @mitty / A Weddell seal reclines luxuriously on the rocks for a snooze in the glow of Antarctica’s pale sun. Lulled by the gentle lapping of waves and the distant cries of seabirds, it closes its eyes and stretches contentedly. Far off across the water, glacial sculptures drift in their quiet voyages, and I think of the wonders they must see along the way: breaching minke whales, pods of roaming orcas, and Adélie penguins racing through the icy abyss, ever watchful of the hungry jaws of leopard seals. The story of our Southern Ocean has never truly been told and even with modern advancements in science and technology, its depths have remained largely mysterious. My team @SeaLegacy, @PaulNicklen, and I have worked tirelessly to document this beautiful expanse of unimaginable life. Follow me @Mitty to learn more about how we can protect it forever. With @andy_mann @ladzinski. #antarctica2020
Photo by @paoloverzone / More than 100 million years separate the early bird Hesperornis from the dinosaur Coelophysis, seen here in the hands of Yale professor Bhart-Anjan Bhullar. He says both creatures are characters in the same epic story. In his research, Bhullar has shown that skulls of adult birds retain traits seen in the bones of extinct juvenile dinosaurs. Follow @paoloverzone for more photos and stories. Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.