Category archives for NG Library & Archives
On April 30, 1975, the Vietnam War officially ended with the fall of Saigon to Communist forces. Many Vietnamese fled their country, including one Special Forces officer who painstakingly planned his escape and paid $200 on the black market for a copy of a March 1971 National Geographic map to guide him.
April 22nd through April 28th is National Park Week. It’s a celebration of the more than 400 national parks in the U.S., including canyons, forests, beaches, historic houses and battlefields. While National Geographic can’t take any credit for these spectacular places, we do take pride in our long-standing connection to the national parks, a connection that stretches back all the way to the 1800s – before either the National Geographic Society or the National Park Service even existed.
Scientists at the Hamamatsu University School of Medicine in Japan have come up with a special kind of spacesuit that can help keep insects alive in a vacuum. Unlike the gear astronauts wear, the nano-suit — as scientists are calling it — is more than 1,000 times thinner than a human hair and it’s made using electrons.
Each spring, as the Japanese cherry trees bloom in Potomac Park and around the Tidal Basin, something tugs at our memories. Didn’t the National Geographic Society have something to do with getting those trees here? Wasn’t Eliza Scidmore, the first woman on our board of trustees, somehow involved?
Bumblebees may not have the large, highly-developed brains that certain other animals possess – us highly intelligent primates, for example – but they can perform surprisingly sophisticated tasks, like using logic and picking up cues from their fellow bees.
According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations agency responsible for the prevention of marine pollution by ships, water carried in ships’ ballasts is a top threat to global biodiversity and marine ecosystems. How? By transporting thousands of species out of their native environments and depositing them elsewhere around the world, where they…
It’s a fact: cities are loud. All that noise can have a deleterious effect on our lives, but humans aren’t the only ones negatively impacted by urban noise. Scientists have linked high levels of urban noise to a decline in songbird diversity.
Forests in the eastern United States have become less green over the past decade. That’s what scientists at NASA have concluded after analyzing a series of satellite images compiled between 2000 and 2010.
Because their brains may be built that way. So says a University of Maryland School of Medicine study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, which found that young girls have a greater abundance of a protein that’s associated with language development in mammals. And this might explain why men tend to be less talkative than…
What can the rock hyrax – or, more specifically, the rock hyrax’s pee – tell us about climate change? More than you might think.
An emu was stolen this week from a wildlife park near Sydney, Australia. Could this be the perfect crime?
Bacteria with the ability to change ions into solid gold? This scenario may sound like a biochemist’s version of a fairy tale, but it’s real and scientists at McMaster University have just figured out how the process works.
Air pollution. Light pollution. Radical changes to local ecosystems. The profound environmental impact of cities is a popular topic among scientists these days. Now it appears that cities may actually be changing the weather — and the effects are being felt not just in urban areas, but in places thousands of miles away from major metropolises.
Particulate levels in Beijing broke records last weekend, when the Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center recorded levels of PM2.5 that Reuters said may have reached 900 micrograms per square meter–more than 30 times what the World Health Organisation considers a safe daily level.
From the top of Mount Everest to the depths of the sea, from the world beneath the microscope to the stars in distant galaxies, the National Geographic Society has reported on “the world and all that is in it” for 125 years. On January 13, 1888, thirty-three men attended a meeting to discuss the “advisability of organizing a society for the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge,” and voted to set up such an organization.
What’s the trick to making a truly satisfying hot chocolate? It may be less about the ingredients you use and more about which mug you use to drink it.
Environmental contamination, and not the holiday season, has caused the International Prototype Kilogram to put on some extra pounds over the decades. Scientists are now looking for a safe and reliable method of cleaning the cylinder so that its mass remains stable and equal to that of several dozen copies around the world.
In 1879, National Geographic founder George Melville boarded a ship called the Jeannette for what would become one of the epic stories in early American Arctic exploration. The men on the expedition hoped to find a warm current that might take them to the North Pole; instead the ship was caught in the polar ice pack and drifted nearly two years before it was crushed.
As a U. S. Navy commander, National Geographic founder Winfield Scott Schley performed several daring feats, including the rescue of fellow National Geographic founder Adolphus W. Greely after Greely and his men became stranded in the Arctic during their disastrous 1881 expedition. But Schley’s conduct in battle left some critics questioning his judgment, calling him not brave, but impetuous.
Since the end of the Soviet era, archaeologists have unearthed a treasure trove of information on the mysteries beneath Moscow’s streets.
National Geographic founder A.W. Greely’s expedition to Lady Franklin Bay in 1881 tragically demonstrated the hardships and deadliness of attempts to explore the Arctic. Despite his many other achievements — including leading the relief efforts after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake — his reputation would forever be tainted.
National Geographic founder Gardiner Greene Hubbard was not a scientist, but he was a forward-thinking man in a still-young country brimming over with promise and a belief in the marvels of the industrial age. When he met Alexander Graham Bell, something new and bold was bound to result.
Bomb Sight, a year-long project to map Nazi Germany’s bombing campaign against London, is now complete. The interactive tool, based on Bomb Census Survey maps from the United Kingdom’s National Archives, depicts the location and type of bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe from Oct. 7, 1940 through June 6, 1941.
Otto Tittmann may be one of National Geographic’s lesser-known founders, but his contributions to the Society were held in high regard. So much so that Gilbert H. Grosvenor pulled strings to get a relief bill from Congress that paid Tittmann $150 per month for the rest of his life. Grosvenor told him: “It is not possible to measure the benefits conferred on The Society by your faith in the purposes of The Society and your wise counsels given these forty-seven years without remuneration.”
For urbanites, rats are an often unavoidable by-product of city living. Though well-known as disease vectors, they’re probably more cringe-worthy than genuinely threatening to most human inhabitants. But on South Georgia island, rats are an invasive species, introduced more than two centuries ago by sealing boats. And now, their population estimated in the millions, they’re…