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Does Donald Duck Read National Geographic?

Donald Duck turned 79 this week. His illustrator Carl Banks once said he used to “rob from the Geographic” for ideas.

Escape From Vietnam

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.

National Geographic and the National Parks: A Brief History

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 Create “Nano-Suits” That Allow Bugs to Survive in A Vacuum

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.

The Society and Washington’s Flowering Cherry Trees

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?

Like People, Bees Learn From Watching One Another

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.

Cleaning Up the World’s Ballast Water

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…

Scientists Link Urban Noise To Decline In City Songbirds

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.

Declining Forests In The Eastern United States As Seen From Space

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.

Why Do Women Talk So Much?

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…

Rock Hyrax Urine Offers Clues About Climate Change

What can the rock hyrax – or, more specifically, the rock hyrax’s pee – tell us about climate change? More than you might think.

The Great Emu Caper

An emu was stolen this week from a wildlife park near Sydney, Australia. Could this be the perfect crime?

Scientists Discover How Bacteria Changes Ions Into Gold

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.

Urban Weather: How Cities May Be Changing the Climate

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.

Surgical Masks–Not Just for the E.R.

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.