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How the U.S. Air Force Mapped the World at the Dawn of the Cold War

Measuring and Mapping the World When Gordon Barnes joined the U.S. Air Force in 1956, he worked as a navigator on the tanker planes that refuel long-range bombers in midair. Coordinating a connection between two planes moving hundreds of miles an hour at 30,000 feet may sound exciting, but Barnes found the work routine. “It actually did get boring to ...

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"Year of the Rooster" Brings Celebrations and Hazardous Smog

View Images The Chinese, or “Lunar,” New Year—celebrated throughout China and expatriate populations worldwide—falls on January 28 this year. Because the holiday’s traditionally celebrated with fireworks, millions were set off Friday night, January 27, in Beijing despite government restrictions on firework lighting. On Saturday, as the Year of the Rooster commenced, the city was filled with dense smoke. Chinese New ...

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The Rare African Park Where Elephants Are Thriving

View Images Without the stress of poaching, elephants in Chad’s Zakouma National Park have started breeding again. Last year 70 calves were born. Photogrpah by Brent Stirton The visitors had been in Chad’s Zakouma National Park for nearly a week, delighting in the wildlife they’d traveled thousands of miles to see: hoary buffalos; towering giraffes; cartoonish hartebeests; storks, eagles, pelicans, ...

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7 Real-Life Dragons That Live Up to Their Names

View Images The Komodo dragon’s forked tongue can sense prey, which experience a particularly brutal death. Photograph by Stefano Unterthiner, National Geographic Creative There be dragons—and not just on Game of Thrones. In honor of Chinese New Year, a festival that features mythical dragons, Weird Animal Question of the Week wondered: “What are some of the most dazzling dragons in ...

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Why a Volcano Has Erupted Almost Every Hour for 94 Years

TIL: This Volcano Has Erupted Almost Every Hour For 94 Years Almost like church bells or a clock tower, a town in the western highlands of Guatemala has been able to practically tell the time by the regular eruptions of a local volcano. In the town of Quetzaltenango, volcanic eruptions have occurred so frequently that they have nearly marked every ...

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The Worst Wildfires in Chile’s History Revealed in Pictures

It’s been over 10 days of the same dynamic: a fire gets put out and another lights up a few miles away. Firemen, the military, and volunteers run from place to place, trying to suffocate the unleashed hell that is sweeping through the central parts of Chile, home of vineyards, farmlands, and the ecoregion of Mediterranean Chile, one of five ...

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3 Things You Need to Know About the Science Rebellion Against Trump

View Images Ice is melting in much of the Arctic thanks to rising global average temperatures. The new presidential administration is facing heat over its early response. Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic Creative The Trump administration was merely minutes old when all references to climate change disappeared from the White House website. Later that day, the National Park Service ...

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Watch Alien Worlds Whirl Around a Distant Star

View Images “The images were initially captured by Dr. Christian Marois of the National Research Council of Canada’s Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics. The movie animation was put together by Wang, who is part of the Berkeley arm of the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS), a NASA-sponsored group formed to encourage interdisciplinary exoplanet science.” Images by Jason Wang and Christian ...

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Human-Pig Hybrid Created in the Lab—Here Are the Facts

View Images This pig embryo was injected with human cells early in its development and grew to be four weeks old. Photograph courtesy Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte In a remarkable—if likely controversial—feat, scientists announced today that they have created the first successful human-animal hybrids. The project proves that human cells can be introduced into a non-human organism, survive, and even ...

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Another Baby Dolphin Killed By Selfie-Seeking Tourists

View Images It’s becoming more common to hear stories of wild animals harmed by people (or people harmed by wild animals) seeking photos for social media. Photograph by LUIS LAMAR, National Geographic Creative It happened again: a baby dolphin in Argentina has been killed after being mobbed by tourists looking for the perfect selfie. According to La Capital, a newspaper ...

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