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Category archives for Weird & Wild

Terrestrial Conservation on Tetiaroa

On Tetiaroa Marlon Brando wanted to “to maintain the natural beauty of the atoll setting” and as our expedition draws to a close we too are marvelling at the natural marine and terrestrial beauty of the atoll.

Keeping peace with predators can cut livestock deaths

When predator animals like tigers, lions, bears and wolves attack livestock animals like goats, cows and horses, you need to kill off the predators to reduce livestock deaths, right? Wrong.

Woo-woo; Whale Magic?

Whales leave us with questions so puzzling they are unsettling, unshakeable, at times even disturbing. Are whales a product of magic, or something else?

Book saves bird’s life: The story of Albie the Albatross

Co-authored by Erica Cirino About a year and a half ago, Melissa Ursey was riding in the car as her husband Jerry drove across the Southern California desert back to their home in Rancho Mirage from their friends’ house in Desert Springs. As the car cruised through the town of Palm Desert, Jerry noticed something…

Excuse me, waiter, there’s an invasive species in my soup

Co-authored by Erica Cirino After a full day looking at dinosaur bones, taxidermy birds and hieroglyphs at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, I walked through the streets of New Haven in the rain to into a warm, rustic little Japanese restaurant feeling ravenous, excited and slightly nervous. While my official excuse to travel…

Exploring Toxic Ice Caves in an Active Volcano

National Geographic grantee Eduardo Cartaya and his team descend into a volcano’s toxic ice caves on a mission to protect climbers and learn about microbial life in this eerie, otherworldly environment.

Chasing Beaver at the End of the World

I’ve found my way to the end of the world, or more precisely Ushuaia on the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego. I’m most interested in seeing some of its most recent immigrants, the Canadian beavers (Castor canadensis).

Apocalypse Paused: Scenes From Soviet-Era “Ghost Farms”

Picture two giant farms: one the size of France; the other the size of Wisconsin. That is how many acres of agricultural land sit fallow in Russia (45 million) and Kazakhstan (35 million).   The 250,000-acre Chilinka Collective Farm, in northern Kazakhstan, was once known as an oasis on the steppes. It was home to 500…

Tense Standoff With a Male Elephant in Mating Mode

National Geographic filmmaker Bob Poole encounters a giant bull elephant at the worst possible time … mating season. During this time male elephants are known for their aggressive and territorial nature, and Poole may be too close for comfort.

How to Celebrate Christmas on a Volcano

Evolutionary biologist and National Geographic grantee Borja Milá went to a volcanic island in the Indian Ocean to study evolution in birds. But when Mother Nature unleashed a tropical storm on Christmas Eve, Milá’s team was stuck atop a volcano.

WATCH: Billions of Bugs Feast on Flesh and Dung in Borneo

Just in time for Halloween, follow cave ecologist and National Geographic grantee Donald McFarlane through Borneo’s “Cockroach Cave,” where every surface vibrates with cockroaches and other guano-grubbing and flesh-feasting creepy-crawlies.

Unsurprisingly, American Explorer Terrible at Milking Cows

Cross-cultural explorer and National Geographic grantee Chris Bashinelli tried to live as Mongolian nomad for a month and found himself face-to-butt with the nomads’ livestock. He quickly discovered that “when your face is a few inches from a cow’s teat and a few feet away from the cow’s kicking legs, it isn’t exactly the most comforting environment.”

Huge Whip Spiders Wear Nail Polish for Science

Behavioral neuroscientist and National Geographic grantee Verner Bingman catches huge whip spiders by hand and outfits them with radio transmitters and … nail polish? The mix of highly technical tools and beauty products helps Bingman study the nightmarish-looking creature’s impressive navigational skills, which are unprecedented in invertebrates.

Coyote Chomps on Sleeping Bag … With Explorer Still Inside

Few things feel better than finally getting to rest after a long day’s journey. That is—unless there’s a coyote nibbling on your sleeping bag.

Make Shark Week About Saving Sharks

The first time I saw an image of a finned shark I was appalled. The shark was sinking in clear beautiful blue water without it’s classic dorsal fin.  The image was especially disturbing because it took a moment for my brain to register what I was looking at, and because the shark was clearly in…