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Industrial-Scale Tiger Farms: Feeding China’s Thirst for Luxury Tiger Products

Young, healthy tigers jump through rings of fire, sit upright on cue, clawing at the air, and perform other well-choreographed circus tricks. Enthusiastic crowds cheer. After the show, some pay extra to hold small, cuddly cubs. But those who visit these tiger attractions in China have no idea of the suffering behind the scenes or the dark commerce that keeps them afloat.

Antarctica 2014: Success at Lewis Bay

Join Ken Sims as he tackles perilous ice-encrusted volcanoes in the attempt to study their geological past in Antarctica.

October 19, 2014: Creating Electricity From Food Waste, Arresting Poachers and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend radio, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they unearth the habits of the world’s largest-ever carnivore, digest kitchen waste to cook dinner, eat like a 500 year old king, stalk Chernobyl’s ruins, trace tree rings’ roots, write a novel about elephants with a plot twist, kayak to protest dams, prosecute poachers in Mozambique, and see the unseen as a large format film.

Puppy-Size Tarantula Found: Explaining World’s Biggest Spider

The world’s largest spider has crept back into the spotlight, thanks to a scientist who described harrowing arachnid encounters on his blog.

Why a Swordfish’s Sword Doesn’t Break

A swordfish’s “sword” is its most prominent feature, but scientists have only now discovered the unusual properties that keep the sword strong and ready to slash.

5 Sky Events This Week: Orion’s Meteors, Hidden Sun, and Zodiacal Light

October’s skies delight the eyes, for stargazers this week.

Rapa Expedition: Off the Ship, Into the Jungle

With winds so strong the waterfalls were flowing upwards, the Pristine Seas crew lands at Rapa Iti and must hike the final miles to make it to the Island Council meeting for permission to begin the expedition.

Roads Benefit People But Can Have Massive Environmental Costs

Road-killed tapir in Peninsular Malaysia (photo © WWF-Malaysia/Lau Ching Fong) By William F. Laurance Located in the wrong places, roads can open a Pandora’s Box of problems, says William F. Laurance In a recent Opinion in National Geographic News (“Want to make a dent in world hunger? Build better roads”, 14 October 2014), U.S. Ambassador Kenneth…

Rapa Expedition: Polynesian Words of Inspiration

In anticipation of Pristine Seas crew’s arrival at Rapa Iti, team member Poema du Prel from Tahiti shares her reflections on the mission, and words of inspiration in two languages from her spiritual grandfather.

Why Did Thousands of Venomous Spiders Swarm a House?

Thousands of brown recluse spiders that forced a family from their home may have been mostly males looking for mates, scientist says.

Comet’s Near Miss with Mars on Tap for Sunday

Heads up, a comet is coming to Mars.

Weird Animal Question of the Week: A Fungus That Looks Like Strawberries and Cream

This Weird Animal Question of the Week focuses on the odd world of fungi, which can resemble wiffleballs, bird’s nests, and strawberries and cream.

Rapa Expedition: Eat More, Go Faster!

Paul Rose muses on the differences between ancient navigation and his own modern equipment and methods on the Pristine Seas expedition to Rapa.

Enric Sala and Pristine Seas Receive EMA Heroes Award

“With six documentary films and counting, chronicling his essential work, Dr. Enric Sala is not only a true inspiration,” said Debbie Levin, President, Environmental Media Association, “he is educating and motivating us all on the intricacies of marine wildlife.”

Watch: Kickboxing Kangaroos and 4 of Nature’s Most Impressive Fighters

After video of kickboxing kangaroos went viral last week, we take a closer look at more of nature’s impressive fighters.