VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
What would you do to be a National Geographic photographer? Would you trudge across a snowy volcano with a hundred pounds of gear thrown over your shoulder? Would you trek by yourself across a giant river oft visited by grizzly bears? Would you stake out in the dark wilderness with the howls of wolves getting closer and closer? Conservation photographer Ronan Donovan did all that and more for a year and a half to photograph Yellowstone National Park and the wolves that call it home.
As a mechanical engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, Kobie Boykins has the awesome privilege of building stuff, only to blast it millions of miles away into space at thousands of miles an hour. He goes into work every day with the enviable job of revealing the remarkable mysteries of our universe, and as part of that mission, he’s…
In a pitch black, 140-foot-deep underwater cave, three divers make a stunning 13,000-year-old discovery: the oldest complete human skeleton ever found in the Americas. In this video, see the ancient remains, venture through the remarkable deep-water chamber, and see how a skeleton belonging to a teenage girl from the last ice age lead scientists to a major revelation about the earliest Americans.
How would you like to hop in the water with a giant sea creature that can grow almost 25 feet across and weigh up to two tons? For marine biologist and National Geographic grantee Joshua Stewart, it’s all in a day’s work. He has a soft spot for giant oceanic manta rays and is fighting to protect these gentle giants.
Encounters with massive alligator gars, manatees, and rattlesnakes are all par for the course when National Geographic photographer Carlton Ward embarks on a 1,000 mile, 70 day trek to protect Florida’s hidden wilderness.
Polar expeditions to explore the ocean are not for the faint of heart. Above the water’s surface, you better be on alert for polar bears. Below, you better be game for diving 60 feet under sea ice into freezing temperatures. Watch National Geographic grantee Branwen Williams lead a team to the Canadian Arctic to do both in an effort to better understand how our oceans and the climate are changing over time.
In the fight against Zika, bubonic plague, and other infectious diseases in the Amazon, microbial biologist and National Geographic grantee Ryan Jones has found an unlikely and adorable ally: puppies.
It’s not often you see “shipwreck hunter” listed on someone’s business card or résumé, but that is indeed National Geographic grantee David Mearns’s career choice. For him, unearthing lost history and recovering centuries-old treasures is just another day at the office—or ocean, rather.
We know that leopard seals are large, formidable predators, but exactly what they’re doing below the waterline has long remained a mystery. But now, thanks to National Geographic grantee Douglas Krause, we’re getting an underwater glimpse into leopard seals’ carnivorous lives—and the seal-on-seal battles are a sight to behold.
What’s it like to submarine dive a thousand feet underwater to an unexplored region of the Galápagos Islands? Marine conservationist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Jessica Cramp takes us on a journey to find out.
As part of an effort to climb 45 iconic rock towers, world-renowned climbers Cedar Wright and Alex Honnold attempt to bike across the desert. They do not come out unscathed.
Geologist and National Geographic grantee Nicolas Barth was studying active faults on New Zealand’s South Island when he decided to climb down some cliffs and go for a swim. That’s when he discovered the longest sea cave in the world.
The world has had a love affair with penguins for some time now. Their tuxedo-colored feathers, waddling walk, and awkward mannerisms make them easy to adore. But get too close to penguins—chinstrap penguins in particular—and your endearing perception of these birds may be tested, given their penchant for projectile pooping and beating each other up.
After 500 years lost at sea, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama’s Esmeralda shipwreck has been discovered, and National Geographic grantee David Mearns is recovering the infamous ship’s remarkable treasures.
“For me, it’s definitely worthwhile to live shorter, but intense,” says Vincent Colliard, a young explorer joining renowned polar explorer Børge Ousland in an endeavor to cross the world’s 20 largest glaciers. The ambitious 10-year journey is part of an effort to document climate change, an important mission for sure but one that regularly places the explorers in the path of danger.