National Geographic News


National Geographic Wins First-Ever 'Media Company of the Year' Webby

National Geographic News

On April 24, National Geographic was recognized by the Webby Awards as the inaugural "Media Company of the Year." Announced annually since 1996, the Webby Awards recognize excellence in media, from website and social presence to video content and advertising. "National Geographic has set a high bar this year and we're thrilled to honor them with the inaugural Webby Media Company of the Year Award," says David-Michel Davies, CEO of the Webby Awards. "Spanning everything from machine learning and chatbots to virtual reality and social platforms, their award-winning creative contributions have leveraged the Internet in exciting new ways to deliver the larger-than-life content that National Geographic is best known for directly to fans around the world." Media Company of the Year awards are intended to recognize companies that have the most wins across editorial and branded content categories.


How Do You Protect Endangered Animals at Night? Ask an Astrophysicist.

National Geographic News

What do animals and galaxies have in common? The similarity is now helping conservationists monitor endangered animals that are often targeted by poachers. By deploying small drones with infrared cameras attached, scientists are developing tools for wildlife officials to watch these wild animals without disturbing them. At night, when poachers are most likely to strike, wildlife guards have a difficult time spotting animals in the dark. But on infrared cameras, they're impossible to miss.


Exclusive: Massive Ancient Drawings Found in Peruvian Desert

National Geographic News

Researchers surveying in southern Peru with drones have captured images of ancient geoglyphs, and more than 50 of the massive ancient drawings are considered new discoveries by archaeologists. Etched into the high desert of southern Peru more than a millennium ago, the enigmatic Nasca lines continue to capture our imagination. More than a thousand of these geoglyphs (literally, 'ground drawings') sprawl across the sandy soil of Nasca province, the remains of little-understood ritual practices that may have been connected to life-giving rain. Now, Peruvian archaeologists armed with drones have discovered more than 50 new examples of these mysterious desert monuments in adjacent Palpa province, traced onto the earth's surface in lines almost too fine to see with the human eye. In addition, archaeologists surveyed locally known geoglyphs with drones for the first time--mapping them in never-before-seen detail.


Drones Are Spying on Caribou--for Science

National Geographic News

A drone camera films a herd of caribou as they migrate in Western Canada. The footage offers a unique look at the behavior of individuals within the herd. Flying cameras are giving biologists an all-encompassing view of migration that reveals how social interactions motivate the animals' every move. Ecologists Andrew Berdahl, a Santa Fe Institute fellow, Colin Torney of the University of Glasgow, and colleagues flew drones to capture footage of Dolphin and Union caribou, a Canadian herd, as the animals crossed from Victoria Island to the Canadian mainland in the last stage of their fall migration. Scientists have long pondered the dynamics of animal migrations, but they've had limited ways to study them.


This Wiggly Fish Is the Most Advanced Robot of Its Kind

National Geographic News

Unlike the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica, however, this infiltrator was on a peaceful mission. In a new study published in Science Robotics, researchers at MIT unveil what they say is the most advanced robotic fish of its kind ever built. Armed with a camera and a lifelike wiggle, the device could one day help biologists monitor the health of marine habitats without stressing out their aquatic denizens. The Soft Robotic Fish, SoFi for short, is 18.5 inches long from snout to tail and weighs about 3.5 pounds. It can dive 60 feet underwater and is powered by enough juice for about 40 minutes of exploration.


'Feeling' Recreated in Amputees' Robotic Arms--Here's How

National Geographic News

When it comes to moving your limbs, you don't need to see to believe. Intuitively, you know where your limbs are, as well as the positions they're making. This kind of awareness, called kinesthesia, is missing from prosthetic limbs--especially advanced, motorized ones. But a new study published in Science Translational Medicine lays out how a sense of self can be extended to prostheses, through cleverly crafted illusions. "By restoring the intuitive feeling of limb movement--the sensation of opening and closing your hand--we are able to blur the lines between what the patients' brains perceived as'self' versus'machine'," said Paul Marasco, director of the Cleveland Clinic's Laboratory for Bionic Integration, in a statement.


Stephen Hawking's Most Provocative Moments, From Evil Aliens to Black Hole Wagers

National Geographic News

Stephen Hawking presents a lecture at Texas A&M in April 2010. In the 1970s, Stephen Hawking, who died on Wednesday age 76, turned the physics world upside down when he announced that black holes aren't so black after all, and that some light can in fact escape the singularity's edge, called the event horizon. That bombshell, which inspired a whole new way of looking at black holes through a quantum lens, would certainly not be the last time Hawking made shocking pronouncements about the nature of the cosmos. Here, we revisit some of the most famous wagers and provocative statements that Hawking made during his more than 40 years of public life. As tribute to the life and works of world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, watch host Neil deGrasse Tyson's recent StarTalk interview with the groundbreaking theoretical physicist.


How a Pond Snail Could Someday Improve Your Memory

National Geographic News

The memory mechanisms of great pond snails could one day help develop drugs for trauma and dementia patients. If you think of a snail, and then think of a human, there are some obvious differences. But decades of studies say our memories might have more in common than some might guess. Memory, and its formation, has been the subject of neuroscientific research for quite some time, yet science has only made incremental steps in this extremely complicated field. One of the recent advances is the discovery that memory is likely similar across organisms, at least at a molecular level.


Exclusive: Royal Burial in Ancient Canaan May Shed New Light on Biblical City

National Geographic News

Scholars have long held the belief that Hurrians were a roving mountain people who emerged in the region sometime between the fourth and third millennium B.C., and eventually settled down and adopted cuneiform as a script. New excavations of Hurrian cities, however, have revealed an advanced culture with a distinctive language and belief system that may have played a key role in shaping the first cities and states of the Near East. The forthcoming DNA results from Megiddo may for the first time reveal the Hurrian role in running Canaanite city states, as well as change our perception of the population of Canaan.