VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers


These Giant Manta Rays Just Want to Hang Out

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.

Face-to-Face With Wildlife in Florida’s Hidden Wilderness: #bestjobever

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.

Diving Deep Below Arctic Ice to Bring Back Our Ocean’s Skeletons: #bestjobever

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.

Puppies and Scientists Team Up Against Zika and Other Diseases

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.

Shipwreck Hunter Unearths Lost History and Treasures: #bestjobever

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.

Leopard Seal vs. Leopard Seal—Underwater Food Fight

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.

Submarine Diving in Deep-Sea Galápagos: #bestjobever

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.

Climbers Try Biking—Wipeout Ensues

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.

Watch: Inside the World’s Longest Sea Caves

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.

Tagging Adorable, Nasty Little Penguins: #bestjobever

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.

Shipwreck Hunter Discovers 500-Year-Old Treasures

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.

Best Job Ever: Conquering the World’s Largest Glaciers

“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.

Watch: Monarch Butterflies Get Tiny Radio Trackers

National Geographic grantee Martin Wikelski tries to put electronic tags on free-flying monarch butterflies for the first time ever in order to track their remarkable migration.

Best Job Ever: Filming a Wild Beluga Whale Party by Drone

Thousands of beluga whales congregate in Canada’s Cunningham Inlet each summer for what National Geographic Young Explorer and nature photographer Nansen Weber calls “a big beluga party.” Using a drone, Weber captures the breathtaking view from above.

Best Job Ever: Living With Mongolian Nomads

What’s it like to live among modern Mongolian nomads? From throwing himself into traditional wrestling matches where he faces certain crushing defeats to riding galloping horses across the Mongolian steppe, National Geographic grantee Chris Bashinelli tries to find out.