Overheard at National Geographic

By National Geographic

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.


Category: Science

Open in Apple Podcasts


Open RSS feed


Open Website


Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 2050
Reviews: 5


 Oct 14, 2020


 Feb 6, 2020


 Dec 15, 2019

Ryan Peck
 Dec 10, 2019
The narrator talks as if he is addressing children.

alex herrera
 Oct 27, 2019
"Overheard" is exactly that, way too heard. It's like listening to something geared for 2nd graders. No new info, just clickbait.

Description

Come dive into one of the curiously delightful conversations overheard at National Geographic’s headquarters, as we follow explorers, photographers, and scientists to the edges of our big, weird, beautiful world. Hosted by Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs.

Episode Date
What You Do Counts
1842
Some of the most crucial countries in the global fight against climate change are in Latin America, and yet there are few resources on the crisis for Spanish speakers. Eyal Weintraub, a 22-year-old National Geographic Young Explorer and climate activist from Buenos Aires, Argentina, is working to change that. Guest host Jordan Salama joins Weintraub to talk about his popular podcast, Lo Que Haces Cuenta, which unpacks the climate crisis in bite-sized episodes—and explores the everyday ways people can fight it. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? Learn more about Eyal Weintraub by following him on Instagram @eyalwein and follow Jordan Salama @JordanSalama19. Listen to Lo Que Haces Cuenta wherever you get your podcasts.  Also Explore: For more content celebrating Hispanic and Latin American Heritage Month, visit NatGeo.com/HLAHM.  Listen to some other Overheard episodes that feature Latin America like “The Guerrilla Cyclists of Mexico City” and their efforts to build DIY bike lanes or “Solving the Mystery of the Boiling River” about Explorer Andrés Ruzo’s search for an Incan legend. For subscribers:  Since a 2016 peace deal, nearly 1,300 Colombians living in former guerrilla territories have been killed resisting mining, logging, and drugs. Read Jordan Salama’s article about the Colombian environmentalists risking their lives to defend their land.  New York City has a rich and storied maritime history. Now, after centuries of degradation, both people and wildlife are finding their way back to city waters. Jordan explains how life is returning to New York's coastline in this article.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 27, 2022
Searching for a Butterfly in a Conflict Zone
1922
Photographer Rena Effendi’s father, a Soviet entomologist, collected 90,000 butterflies in his lifetime. But there was one species he couldn’t capture—Satyrus effendi. Effendi takes on the quest to track down the endangered butterfly named after her father, but to do so, she must navigate its home territory, a conflict zone in Azerbaijan. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? To see Rena Effendi’s photography, take a look at her portfolio. Also explore. We only briefly touched on the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which you can read more about in Rena Effendi’s article. Through words and photos, she followed the half a million Azerbaijanis who lost their homes in the conflict. Plus, learn more about how the COVID-19 pandemic had a big effect on Armenians and Azerbaijanis already struggling with the conflict. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 20, 2022
A Man of the World
1780
Go behind the yellow border to meet the family that made National Geographic an American institution. Gilbert M. Grosvenor’s 60-year career followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather—but he learned that sometimes he had to do things his own way. In his new memoir, A Man of the World, Grosvenor recounts a crucial decision that made him rethink the way National Geographic covers the world. Grosvenor also shares an unforgettable conversation with Jacques Cousteau and how he witnessed Jane Goodall’s transformation from unknown young scientist to, well, Jane Goodall. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? Check out Gil Grosvenor’s new memoir, A Man of the World: My Life at National Geographic. From his first day of work in 1899, Gil’s grandfather, Gilbert H. Grosvenor, put National Geographic on the map. A behind-the-scenes photo from our archives shows Grosvenor testing a state-of-the-art camera in 1913. Gil’s commitment to environmental storytelling is now a part of National Geographic’s DNA. See how we continue that legacy with initiatives like Planet or Plastic and our special issue, Saving Forests.     Also explore: Learn more about seminal explorers Jacques Cousteau and Jane Goodall in our previous episodes, “The gateway to secret underwater worlds” and “The next generation’s champion of chimps.” Subscribers can also read about the development of Cousteau’s Aqua-Lung, which threw open the undersea world, and revisit Goodall’s groundbreaking 1963 National Geographic article, “My Life With Wild Chimpanzees.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 13, 2022
Inside the Epic World of Bertie Gregory
1629
In a collaboration with National Geographic television, we follow 29-year-old adventurer and filmmaker Bertie Gregory on a nail-biting journey to some of the harshest, most spectacular corners of the world. Join guest host Drew Jones as he sits down with Gregory to discuss coming face-to-face with buffalo-hunting lions in Zambia, searching for the largest gathering of whales ever filmed in Antarctica, diving in dangerous Costa Rican waters to film hammerhead sharks, and spreading the message of conservation in the face of nature’s greatest challenges. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? Watch Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory on Disney+, and check out some of the amazing photos Bertie and his crew have captured from his adventures, including his tree nest in Kasanka National Park, and swimming alongside whales with the help of an underwater scooter. Learn more about Bertie’s career as an explorer and photographer, which started with a childhood obsession with nature, and his extensive use of drones and other filming methods to capture spectacular landscapes and peculiar animal behaviors. Also explore: The annual migration of fruit bats to Zambia’s Kasanka National Park is a critical to Africa’s environment. This article in The Guardian shows how wildlife protectors and conservationists are working against threats from poachers and deforestation, even in the face of violence. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 06, 2022
Playback: Why War Zones Need Science Too
1788
It’s a jewel of biodiversity, the so-called Galápagos of the Indian Ocean, and might also hold traces of the earliest humans to leave Africa. No wonder scientists want to explore Socotra. But it’s also part of Yemen, a country enduring a horrific civil war. Meet the Nat Geo explorer with a track record of navigating the world’s most hostile hot spots who’s determined to probe the island—and empower its local scientists before it’s too late. Want more? See Socotra’s wonders—including the dragon’s blood tree—through the eyes of National Geographic explorers. And check out human footprints preserved for more than 100,000 years, which could be the oldest signs of humans in Arabia.  Ancient caravan kingdoms are threatened in Yemen’s civil war. Their storied legacy—including temples built by the queen of Sheba—is entwined with the fate of modern Yemenis. Read more here.  Also explore: Learn more about Yemen’s civil war. One Yemeni photographer explains why she looks for points of light in the darkness. And for subscribers, go inside the country’s health crisis and the life of violence and disease the war has brought to many civilians. Also, learn more about Ella Al-Shamahi’s new book, The Handshake: A Gripping History, and visit Horn Heritage, Sada Mire’s website preserving heritage in Somalia, Somaliland, and the Horn of Africa.    If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 30, 2022
The Problem With Superchickens
2013
Scientists recently discovered a fascinating paradox: when they bred together superproductive, egg-laying hens, they found the chickens produced fewer eggs. We examine what went wrong with these so-called superchickens, and we look at human examples of this phenomenon—a high school Model UN team and a retail giant. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? David Sloan Wilson’s theories on competition and cooperation go far beyond superchickens. Take a look at an article he wrote about rethinking economics on Evonomics.com, a website started by one of his former students. And for more on his work, visit davidsloanwilson.world. Plus, retail has been through a lot over the last 50 years. To learn more about that world from the inside, check out his book, Remarkable Retail: How to Win and Keep Customers in the Age of Disruption, and his podcast, the Remarkable Retail Podcast. And read a Bloomberg article that goes into detail about what happened at Sears. Also explore: Darwin transformed the world with his evolutionary theories. He also got a lot wrong. To learn how modern science is building on his work, see our article on the subject. For subscribers: Evolution hasn’t stopped, but it is changing. Discover how humans are using technology to shape their own evolution in our article. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 23, 2022
What It Takes to Keep America Beautiful
2090
The U.S. is home to some of the most beautiful, incomparable places on the planet, from the pristine Shi Shi Beach at the Makah Reservation in Washington State to the Couturie Forest in New Orleans. But as climate change and development continue to threaten the country’s natural treasures, we explore the limits of traditional conservation and learn how innovation and Indigenous knowledge could shift how we protect the environment in the 21st century. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more?  Learn about the Makah’s efforts to resume their practice of hunting gray whales, which was banned in the mid-1900s, in this article by Emma Marris. See even more of America’s most spectacular locations and diverse species in America the Beautiful. Hosted by Michael B. Jordan, this docuseries is now streaming on Disney+. As massive wildfires continue to wreak havoc in the American West, Indigenous people are reviving centuries-old cultural burning practices to protect their communities. Learn more about cultural burning in the Overheard episode “This Indigenous Practice Fights Fire With Fire.” Also explore: See more of photographer Stephen Wilkes’s Day to Night photos and learn about how he creates them in this article. Read Emma Marris’s article about the Indigenous people living in Peru’s Manú National Park. For subscribers: Check out Emma Marris’s article on conservation in the upcoming issue of National Geographic magazine. Available online here in September.  How many counties in the contiguous U.S. have water or land worth conserving? Every single one. Explore this map to see what value each has for conservation. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 16, 2022
The Triumph and Tragedy of Indian Independence
2074
When India and Pakistan gained their independence from Britain, a border was drawn between the two new countries. The split started a chain reaction of violence that led to one of the largest forced migrations in human history. More than 1 million people died in the tragedy. Both countries are now approaching 75 years of independence, and the people who were there to remember it are reaching their twilight years. This may be our last chance to hear directly from the eyewitnesses who lived through the victory of independence and the subsequent tragedy of partition. National Geographic Explorer Sparsh Ahuja has been documenting the stories of people who were forced from their homes during partition and is bringing them back to their ancestral home—if not in person then through virtual reality.  For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? To learn more about Sparsh Ahuja’s work and to hear more interviews with survivors of partition, take a look at the website for Project Dastaan. The end of British colonial rule birthed two sovereign nations—but hastily drawn borders caused simmering tensions to boil over. Read about how 75 years later, memories of partition still haunt survivors, and see on a map where those borders were drawn. Also explore: India struggled under British rule for more than 200 years, not always peacefully. Read about India’s first war of independence and the Indian rani (queen) at the center of it all. You’ve probably heard of Mahatma Gandhi, the nonviolent leader of the Indian independence movement, but how much do you know about him? We’ve put together an explainer about his life and ideas. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 09, 2022
Frank Drake’s Cosmic Road Map
2239
Are we alone in the universe? It’s a question we’ve been asking for millennia. Now we’re on the cusp of learning the answer. Frank Drake—one of the most vocal (and brilliant) askers—has spent the past six decades inspiring others to join him in this quest. Now, a new generation of scientists is carrying his work forward. They’re finally being taken seriously, and they’re about to change the way we think about our place in the cosmos. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? Space isn’t the only place to explore when scientists are looking for alien life; it’s also important to go underground—here on Earth. Find out why on another episode of Overheard. Breakthrough Listen is reaching beyond our galaxy to determine whether or not there is life in space. The project is audacious—and worth following closely. Frank Drake and Carl Sagan had a legendary friendship and professional relationship. One of their many projects was to create another kind of cosmic road map meant to show aliens how to find us.  Also explore: In 1977, NASA sent a set of Golden Records to space attached to two Voyager spacecraft. Carl Sagan, Frank Drake, and a team of inspired scientists decided what they should contain. Here’s the music that’s flying outside of our solar system right now. Thanks to another kind of map, it’s possible to see just how far those radio signals have traveled since leaving our planet over a hundred years ago. So far, they’ve traveled about 200 light-years—and no one has heard them yet. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 02, 2022
Playback: Amelia Earhart Part II: The Lady’s Legacy
2291
Amelia Earhart’s statue was recently unveiled at the U.S. Capitol, and for good reason: Her adventurous spirit had implications for women around the country. Earhart went well beyond setting records as a pilot--her true end game was equality for women, a rarely explored side of her life story that goes well beyond the mystery of her disappearance. In today's Playback, we hit our archives and learn about a different Amelia. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. This summer, adventure is never far away with a free one-month trial subscription to Nat Geo Digital. For starters, there’s full access to our online stories, plus every Nat Geo issue ever published in our archives! There’s a whole lot more for subscribers, and you can check it all out–for free–at natgeo.com/exploremore. Want more? Read “My Flight from Hawaii,” the 1935 article Earhart wrote for National Geographic about her voyage from Hawaii to California.  Peruse the Amelia Earhart archive at Purdue University, which is filled with memorabilia and images from Earhart’s life, including her inimitable sense of fashion and some revolutionary luggage. Take a look through Earhart’s childhood home in Atchison, Kansas. It’s now the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum.  And click here to learn more about the Amelia Earhart statue at the U.S. Capitol and the new Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum being built in Atchison. Also explore: Check out Earhart’s cherry red Lockheed Vega 5B, used to fly across the Atlantic solo in 1932. It’s on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, in Washington, D.C. Learn about the Ninety-Nines, an organization founded in 1929 to promote advancement for women in aviation. Earhart was the Ninety-Nines’ first president. Today its membership is composed of thousands of female pilots from around the world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 28, 2022
Harnessing the Power of Yellowstone’s Supervolcano
2230
If a major eruption ever were to occur at Yellowstone’s “supervolcano,” the event could destroy huge swaths of North America. But in recent years, some scientists have proposed that the amazing power locked beneath the caldera could be harnessed to generate renewable geothermal energy. National Geographic writer Maya Wei-Haas examines the risks of a supervolcanic eruption at Yellowstone and what it would take to use it as a power source. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more?  Check out Maya Wei-Haas’ article about how bacteria discovered in Yellowstone led to the development of PCR tests used to detect Covid-19, and her article about the eruption of Cumbre Vieja on La Palma.  See how the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory is monitoring the region on their website.  Listen to more of Paolo Dell'aversana’s geomusic on his YouTube page. Also explore: Find out more about the geothermal facilities mentioned in this episode on their websites: Cornell University Borehole Observatory The Geysers in California  Krafla Magma Testbed If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 26, 2022
Stonehenge Has a Traffic Problem
1768
The 4,500-year-old Stonehenge attracts hordes of tourists—and massive congestion. To alleviate traffic, the British government is considering a plan to build a tunnel near the monument, but historians and modern Druids alike are concerned that the development could damage artifacts critical to understanding the ancient stone circle. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? Did you know that some pieces of Stonehenge may have come from even older artifacts? Take a look at our article on the subject. Also explore Now that you’ve heard about Alice Zoo’s and Reuben Wu’s photography, want to see it for yourself? Check out Alicezoo.com and ReubenWu.com. For subscribers We only scraped the surface when it comes to Stonehenge. Roff Smith wrote a piece for the August issue of the magazine that digs into the ancient past of the site as well as its modern issues, and you can read more about how Reuben captured the spirit of the world heritage site using a drone. Also, through this interactive graphic, visit Stonehenge in 2500 B.C. to learn more about how and why the mysterious circle was built. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 19, 2022
Do Shark Stories Help Sharks?
2252
Our obsession with sharks has generated folklore around the world for thousands of years. But a series of attacks at the Jersey shore in 1916 would forever change the way we tell stories about sharks. We trace how attitudes toward sharks shifted in the past century—from stoking our fears to emboldening some to ride on their backs—which directly affects the future of one of the most evolved species on the planet. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want More?  SharkFest returns! For more great stories on sharks and for our programming schedule, check out natgeo.com/sharkfest. Read about camo sharks that change the color of their skin, scientists who are using drones to expand our understanding of shark behavior, and discoveries on the shark superpowers of speed and bite force. Also explore:  The attacks on the Jersey Shore in 1916 were captured in the newspapers at the time; the fear generated was instantaneous. Read more about that here. “Sharkzilla” was not a thing. But that didn’t stop many people from believing in it. What was the real story behind the Carcharocles megalodon? Read about it here. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 12, 2022
How Black Climbers Are Closing the Adventure Gap
1844
Ever since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest, there has been a long list of firsts: the first ascent without supplemental oxygen, the first in winter, and the first full ski descent, to name a few. The first Black climber reached the roof of the world in 2003. But until this year, no team of Black climbers had done it. Meet one of the climbers in the Full Circle Everest expedition, and learn why he hopes this historic accomplishment shows that Black people belong in outdoor recreation too. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard Want more? Read more about Full Circle Everest, the revolutionary team that made history on the world’s highest peak. And go deeper with James’s podcast episode featuring an interview with Demond “Dom” Mullins, as well as James’s website The Joy Trip Project and his book The Adventure Gap. Black Americans make up just two percent of National Park visitors, according to a 2018 report. Read about how the National Park Service is trying to live up to its credo to provide “Benefit and Enjoyment of the People”—all people. Income disparities and an inability to take time off work can restrict people of color from outdoor recreation. Follow a group of people strapping on crampons and climbing frozen waterfalls for the first time.    Also explore: Check out other groups—like Outdoor Afro and Melanin Base Camp—dedicated to diversifying the outdoors. See Everest from above. Panoramic drone photography shows what it’s like to stand on the roof of the world. In 2021, researchers announced a new height for Mount Everest: 29,031.69 feet above sea level. Learn how they arrived at such a precise measurement, as well as the biting-cold, middle-of-the-night ascent that made it possible. Everest may be the world’s tallest mountain, but K2 is often called the most dangerous. In another Overheard episode, we chronicle the all-Nepali team that climbed K2 in winter, something that had never been done before.   If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 05, 2022
Playback: The Tree At the End of the World
1661
Deadly seas. Hurricane-force winds. A punishing journey to the tip of South America is all in a day’s work for Nat Geo Explorer Brian Buma. But Craig Welch, a reporter who calls himself a “normal human being,” also tagged along—and found that a miserable expedition makes for a heck of a story. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? Read Craig’s story about the wind-blasted journey to Cape Horn and see photos of the remote, otherworldly landscape at natgeo.com. Forests are the key to protecting the planet, and they need our help. Subscribers can read more of Craig Welch’s reporting in a special issue of National Geographic all about forests. Also explore: At an estimated 5,400 years old, a Patagonian cypress may set a new record for the world’s oldest tree. But some scientists aren’t convinced the math checks out. High-altitude snow and ice are disappearing much faster than previously assumed, according to climate research in another extreme environment—Mount Everest, called the “roof of the world.” If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 28, 2022
She Shoots, She Scores: Title IX Turns 50
2129
Meet Kari. Now meet the other Kari. One played college lacrosse in the 1980s; the other currently plays at the same school for the same coach. College sports have radically evolved during that time—take the high-tech clothes that emit infrared radiation to maximize performance—but there’s one constant: Title IX of the Higher Education Act ensures that no person is excluded from university programs “on the basis of sex.” In collaboration with ESPN and The Walt Disney Company, we examine how Title IX continues to ripple across American society. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? Dive into ESPN’s Fifty/50, a month-long storytelling project that illuminates Title IX, one of the most significant pieces of American civil rights legislation—and maybe the most misunderstood. Title IX met fierce resistance even after it was passed. Learn why it was urgently needed and how its opponents pushed back. “If you’re not upset about this problem, then you’re a part of it.” Disparities in food and training facilities at an NCAA championship tournament led to a public reckoning for college basketball. Also explore: The Iroquois invented lacrosse. Now the Iroquois national lacrosse team—led by one of the sport’s biggest stars—wants to compete in the 2028 Olympics. The first step: gain recognition from international sports organizers. The stories of 20 women from the National Geographic archives show how these explorers mapped the ocean floor, conquered Earth’s highest peaks, and unearthed ancient civilizations—but didn’t always get the credit they deserved.  If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 21, 2022
This Indigenous Practice Fights Fire with Fire
1849
For decades, the U.S. government evangelized fire suppression, most famously through Smokey Bear’s wildfire prevention campaign. But as climate change continues to exacerbate wildfire seasons and a growing body of scientific research supports using fire to fight fire, Indigenous groups in the Klamath Basin are reviving cultural burning practices that effectively controlled forest fires for centuries. National Geographic photographer Kiliii Yüyan introduces us to people bringing back this cultural practice and teaching the next generation how to use fire. SHOW NOTES Want more? If you want to hear more from Kiliii, you can also listen to a previous Overheard episode where he shares stories from the many weeks he spent camping on sea ice with Native Alaskan whale hunters.  And you’re dying to see his photography, check out his website to see portraits of Indigenous people, Arctic wildlife, and more.  Also explore: To learn more about Margo Robbins and her efforts to revive cultural burns, check out our article on the subject. For subscribers: Cultural burns are just one of many stories that Kiliii and writer Charles Mann covered about the ways Indigenous groups are trying to reclaim sovereignty. That’s coming out in the July issue of the magazine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 14, 2022
Sonic Postcards From the Appian Way
2337
“All roads lead to Rome” was once more than a saying; it was a fact. The first of the great roads of ancient Rome, the Appian Way was the most important of them all. Italians still travel what’s left of the Queen of Roads, even if they don’t always know it. National Geographic writer Nina Strochlic and photographer Andrea Frazzetta take us on an immersive trip down the venerable road. The soundscapes they travel through—the voices and vibrations of modern and ancient life—reveal something essential about the Italian identity. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? So, how did the Romans build 200,000 miles of roads? It wasn’t easy. You’ll find out more here in an issue of National Geographic History. St. Peter fled Rome, so the story goes, along the Appian Way. As he left, he encountered Jesus Christ—resurrected. There is still a church on that site, aptly named Domine Quo Vadis, for the famous phrase St. Peter uttered before he returned to Rome and was crucified himself. You can see Annibale Carracci’s 17th-century painting of the event here. If going underground and being surrounded by bones doesn’t give you the willies, then you’ll love visiting the catacombs in Italy. Or you can take a look here, and read about why Romans buried their dead this way. Also explore: If your appetite is piqued after hearing about a trip through Italy, you might want to check out what the ancient Romans ate. You won’t find gelato (or a tomato) anywhere in sight. But you might be inspired to re-create a peppery custard. For the truly adventurous, try your hand at recipes from the oldest surviving Italian cookbook, De Re Coquinaria. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 07, 2022
Restoring a Lost Sense of Touch
2060
When Brandon Prestwood’s left hand was caught in an industrial conveyor belt 10 years ago, he lost his hand and forearm. Scientists are unraveling the science of touch by trying to tap into the human nervous system and re-create the sensation for people like Prestwood. After an experimental surgery, Prestwood’s prosthetic arm was upgraded with a rudimentary sense of touch—a major development in technology that could bring us all a little closer together. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.    Want More? To learn more about this story and writer Cynthia Gorney’s other reporting on the science of touch, take a look at her feature article. The robotic arm isn't the only nascent technology that seems like it's right out of Star Wars. Our science desk has compiled a list of examples of real research inspired by the franchise.   Also Explore More information about Dustin Tyler’s research can be found through his Case Western Reserve University website and his organization, the Human Fusions Institute. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 31, 2022
Where in the World Is Jessica Nabongo?
1542
In 2019 Jessica Nabongo, author of the popular travel blog The Catch Me If You Can, became the first documented Black woman to travel to every country in the world. From swimming with humpback whales near Tonga to eating delicious dumplings in Georgia, the world traveler shares how globe-trotting changed the way she sees the world and humanity. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? Check out Jessica Nabongo’s forthcoming book, The Catch Me If You Can: One Woman’s Journey to Every Country in the World, published by Nat Geo Books. You can learn more about her adventures on her blog, The Catch Me If You Can, and Instagram page.  Also explore: Learn more about pangolins, why they are so heavily trafficked, and the ongoing efforts to protect them.  Archaeologists have found that humans have been making wine in Georgia for 8,000 years. Talk about vintage.  If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 24, 2022
Bringing the Dead to Life
1889
Thousand-year-old Peruvian queens and medieval murder victims may seem lost to time, but history “detectives” are on a mission to solve a mystery: What did those people look like? We hear from Oscar Nilsson, a forensic facial reconstructionist who uses a combination of science and art to re-create the faces of our ancestors. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? Oscar Nilsson’s reconstructions of Cheddar Man, Bocksten Man and others can be seen at his website odnilsson.com. Also explore:  When an explorer uncovered the skeleton of an ancient Peruvian queen in a tomb in Peru, they asked Nilsson to make a recreation of her. Uncover the story here. 8,000 years ago, a man’s bones were used in a ritual in Scandinavia. Take a look at Nilsson’s recreation of him. For subscribers: A mother and child were buried in Sweden 4,000 years ago. Read about Nilsson’s recreation of the woman and see what she might have looked like. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 17, 2022
The Greening of Pittsburgh
1765
When it comes to examples of cities that have successfully emerged from the industrial age into the information age, look no further than Pittsburgh. But can it be done with an eye toward climate solutions? In this editorial collaboration with Project Drawdown, storyteller Matt Scott follows engineer and artist Clara Kitongo, architect Erica Cochran Hameen, and transportation manager Sarah Olexsak, three of the women working toward a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable community, straight out of the future they want to build. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want More? Clara, Erica, and Sarah are just three of the Pittsburgh climate-solutions advocates featured in Project Drawdown’s short documentary series Drawdown’s Neighborhood. The series, done in collaboration with adventure filmmaker Erik Douds, will announce its expansion to additional cities later this year. Check out the New York Times best seller Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, edited by environmentalist and Project Drawdown co-founder Paul Hawken, for more climate solutions from scientists, researchers, and environmental advocates. And find out how climate change impacts including wildfire, extreme heat, and drought are affecting forests from the Amazon to the Arctic in National Geographic’s special issue “Saving Forests.” If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 10, 2022
Going Undercover to Save Manta Rays
2448
After wildlife filmmaker Malaika Vaz stumbled upon manta ray poaching near her home in India, she disguised herself as a fish trader to find out who was behind the plot—a dicey proposition as she pursues traffickers in India, China, and Nepal. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? Check out Malaika and Nitye’s production company, Untamed Planet. There, you can see films about big cats, pandemics, and, of course, manta ray trafficking. Also explore:  Curious how these animals stole Malaika’s heart? Take a look at Nat Geo Wild’s The Social Lives of Manta Rays. For subscribers: Believe it or not, manta rays have their own distinct social circles. Learn more in our article about manta ray friendships. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 03, 2022
Farming for the Planet
1250
How do you turn barren land into a complex working farm that reflects the planet’s biodiversity? Just ask John and Molly Chester, who traded city life in Los Angeles for 200 acres in Ventura County, where they are rebuilding soil health and growing the most nutrient-dense food possible. Their film, The Biggest Little Farm: The Return is now available on Disney Plus. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 26, 2022
The Secret Life of Plants
1569
How do you capture the image of a 150-foot-tall tree in the middle of a dense rainforest? If you’re National Geographic Explorer Nirupa Rao, you pull out your paints. Rao draws from the centuries-old practice of botanical illustration to catalog and celebrate native plant life of the southern Indian rainforest, introducing new audiences to the wonders they hold. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? This Earth Day, celebrate our planet’s beautiful, remote, and at-risk locations—and meet the explorers protecting them—at natgeo.com. See Nirupa’s illustrations on Instagram, @niruparao. And check out her books Hidden Kingdom and Pillars of Life. “Sky islands” in the Western Ghats host an almost unbelievable array of microclimates—and a chance for scientists to see evolution in action. King cobras, which live in the Western Ghats, can "stand up" and look a full-grown person in the eye. Fortunately, they avoid humans whenever possible. Also explore: Rainforests have an unsung hero that keeps the forest healthy and functional: termites. Also, National Geographic’s resident artist, Fernando Baptista, brings stories to life by sculpting clay models, then using them for a drawing or stop-motion film. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 19, 2022
Solving the Mystery of the Boiling River
2346
As a boy growing up in Peru, Andrés Ruzo recalls his grandfather’s stories about the horrors Spanish conquistadores encountered in the Amazon, including a “boiling river.” Years later, Ruzo, a National Geographic Explorer, journeys into the Amazon to try to find the waterway. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? Read Andrés’s book: The Boiling River: Adventure and Discovery in the Amazon. Also explore:  Curious what you can do to help the river’s ecosystem? Go to www.boilingriver.org.  For subscribers:  Read a Q&A with Andrés to learn more about the communities that live around Shanay-Timpishka and the theories scientists explored to understand why the river boils. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 12, 2022
Turning Old Cell Phones into Forest Guardians
1644
What happens when a tree falls in a forest and no one is listening? The sound starts with truck engines and chainsaws and ends with a small piece of forest being silenced. Illegal logging is slowly thinning out the world’s forests, paving the way for widespread deforestation. With limited resources and difficult terrain, it’s a hard problem to tackle. National Geographic Explorer Topher White—who considers himself a war photographer for climate change—has found that by listening for the sounds of logging through hundreds of recycled cell phones nailed high in treetops from Indonesia to Eastern Europe, the stewards of the world's trees might have a chance to detect and prevent illegal logging. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want More: Check out this article to learn more about how illegal lumber makes its way into the global supply chain. National Geographic has detailed explanations of both gibbons and deforestation.  Take a look at this project to use waste from coffee production to help renew destroyed forests.  Also Explore: Take a look at the last known footage of a Tasmanian Tiger. To learn more about Topher White and the Rainforest Connection, take a look at their website. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 05, 2022
Queens of the High Seas
1811
Yo-ho, a pirate’s life for she! Legends of Blackbeard and movie buccaneers like Captain Jack Sparrow give us the impression that piracy was a man’s world. But historians and the Nat Geo book Pirate Queens: Dauntless Women Who Dared to Rule the High Seas are righting the ship. Join the fleet of Zheng Yi Sao, a woman from southern China who at her peak commanded some 70,000 pirates during the early 19th century. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? Check out Pirate Queens: Dauntless Women Who Dared to Rule the High Seas, the new book from National Geographic Kids.  Subscribers can follow the trail of pirate queen Grace O’Malley—also known as “Bald Grace”—who became a living legend in 16th-century Ireland. An animated video breaks down the life of Zheng Yi Sao, perhaps the most successful pirate of all time. Also explore: There are plenty of pirate myths, but National Geographic has the true stories of discovering Blackbeard’s ship, the reason pirates practiced democracy, and what science has to say about the food pirates ate (hint: it was usually terrible).      Go deeper with the books Pirates of the South China Coast, 1790-1810 by Dian Murray and The Blue Frontier: Maritime Vision and Power in the Qing Empire by Ronald Po. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 29, 2022
First Ascent of a Sky Island
2213
In the most remote part of Guyana, plateaus called tepuis—also known as sky islands for poking through the clouds—rise up from the jungle. They’re topped by unique ecosystems, filled with plants and animals never before seen by human eyes. That’s because getting there is no small feat. Eager to find new species but unable to scale the sheer cliff faces, 80-year-old biologist Bruce Means teamed up with professional climbers and Indigenous people to trek through the jungle and get to the top of an uncharted tepui named Weiassipu in search of frogs and adventure.  For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.   Want More? To learn more about the expedition to the top of Weiassipu, take a look at Mark Synnott’s feature story in the upcoming April issue of National Geographic magazine.  And to see these stunning sky islands for yourself, check out the National Geographic special Explorer: The Last Tepui, streaming on Earth Day, April 22, exclusively on Disney+. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 22, 2022
Nowruz and the Night Sky
2067
Not everyone celebrates the New Year in the middle of winter; for 300 million people around the world, their New Year begins at the moment of the vernal equinox. The holiday of Nowruz celebrates that “new day” by encouraging us to make poetic connections between life and death, and past and present. National Geographic photographer Babak Tafreshi reacquaints us with the shimmering origins of this ancient Persian holiday; they are above our heads, shining in the night sky. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? The International Dark Sky Association is working to protect our skies from light pollution. They can help you find your way to the starriest viewing on the planet.     As Nowruz approaches, it’s not too late to learn more about Iran’s long history of poets going back to more than 10 centuries.  Also explore: If you’d like to create your own haft-sin table, check out these gorgeous examples for inspiration. Babak Tafreshi has published a book of his beautiful night sky photography, The World at Night.  For subscribers:  Learn more about how light pollution is affecting our planet through images that Tafreshi captured. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 15, 2022
Amelia Earhart Part II: The Lady’s Legacy
2234
Behind her modest smile and windblown charm, Amelia Earhart was a rarity in the 1930s: a fiercely confident woman with a dream to fly. Her adventurous spirit went well beyond setting records as a pilot—her true goal was perhaps equality for women. This is a different Amelia, which might explain why the mystery of her disappearance remains unsolved—explorers are looking in the wrong place. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? Read “My Flight from Hawaii,” the 1935 article Earhart wrote for National Geographic about her voyage from Hawaii to California.  Peruse the Amelia Earhart archive at Purdue University, which is filled with memorabilia and images from Earhart’s life, including her inimitable sense of fashion and some revolutionary luggage. Take a look through Earhart’s childhood home in Atchison, Kansas. It’s now the Amelia Earhart Museum.  Also explore: Check out Earhart’s cherry red Lockheed Vega 5B, used to fly across the Atlantic solo in 1932. It’s on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, in Washington, D.C. Learn about the Ninety-Nines, an organization founded in 1929 to promote advancement for women in aviation. Earhart was the Ninety-Nines’ first president. Today its membership is composed of thousands of female pilots from around the world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 08, 2022
Amelia Earhart Part I: The Lady Vanishes
2366
Ever since Amelia Earhart made her last radio transmission somewhere over the Pacific, theories about her disappearance have proliferated; more than 80 years later, the constant retelling of her story shows no signs of slowing. Although the search to find a “smoking gun” has yielded little evidence, there are many who believe they know how Amelia’s story ended. Whether they’re right or wrong, one thing remains true: Their stories have little to do with Amelia herself. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? Check out the maps of Amelia Earhart’s flight plan as well as archival photos, and take a peek inside Bob Ballard’s search vessel in a National Geographic story about Ballard’s expedition. You can also watch the documentary Expedition Amelia on Disney+.  See the final radio log between Earhart and the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca on the morning she disappeared.  Also explore: Learn about how cadaver dogs are used around the world to help uncover what humans can’t detect.  There’s a reason humans are such good storytellers—it’s to our evolutionary advantage. Learn about why we crave the ending to a story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 01, 2022
Playback: The Battle for the Soul of Artificial Intelligence
1691
With every breakthrough, computer scientists are pushing the boundaries of artificial intelligence (AI). We see it in everything from predictive text to facial recognition to mapping disease incidence. But increasingly machines show many of the same biases as humans, particularly with communities of color and vulnerable populations. In this episode, we learn how leading technologists are disrupting their own inventions to create a more humane AI. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? In 2020 widespread use of medical masks has created a new niche—face-mask recognition. The technology would help local governments enforce mask mandates, but is it worth it? Thanks to evolution, human faces are much more variable than other body parts. In the words of one researcher, “It's like evolving a name tag.” Most people have difficulty accurately recognizing strangers. But a few individuals—called super-recognizers—excel at the task. London police have employed some of these people to help find criminal suspects. Also explore:  Take a look at the documentary Coded Bias, featuring AI researcher Joy Buolamwini. The film explores Joy’s research on racial bias in facial recognition AI. Read the NIST report, co-authored by Patrick Grother and discussed in this episode. For subscribers:  Artificial intelligence and robotics have been improving rapidly. Our cover story from September 2020 explores the latest robotic technology from around the world. In 1976 Isaac Asimov wrote an article for National Geographic predicting how humans might live in 2026. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 22, 2022
Summiting the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain
1974
K2, a mountain in the Kashmir region of Asia, is the second highest peak on Earth and yet more dangerous than Mount Everest, especially in the winter. But in January 2021, a group of Nepali climbers attempted to accomplish what people thought was impossible. Team co-leader Mingma Gyalje Sherpa tells the story of the epic journey on what experienced climbers call the Savage Mountain.  For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? Watch the video of the Nepali climbers summiting K2, singing their national anthem. Check out Nims’s new, adventurous memoir, Beyond Possible. And learn about previous attempts to summit K2. Our article follows a couple of European teams trying—and failing—to summit the mountain.  Also explore:  Curious about those Polish climbers who started this winter climbing craze? Read Bernadette McDonald’s book Freedom Climbers. For reflections on the risks of mountaineering, listen to our recent episode about the tragic story of the late renowned climber Alex Lowe. For subscribers:  There’s way more to this K2 expedition than we could cover in one episode. For more on Mingma G. and Nims’s journey, check out our magazine story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 15, 2022
The Wonders of Urban Wildlife
1884
National Geographic Explorer Danielle Lee takes us on a tour of potential research sites around her home in the St. Louis area, sharing her passion for witnessing how wildlife (particularly rodents) thrives in neglected urban spaces—along with the reality of doing fieldwork as a Black scientist and how she hopes to inspire young African Americans to join her.  For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want More?  Check out Danielle’s Ted Talks on how African pouched rats can help people find land mines and using hip-hop to communicate science.  And you can watch National Geographic’s video on Danielle’s work with field mice.    Also explore:  If you’re interested in the emerging field of segregation ecology, learn about how access to green space is affecting the behavior of urban coyotes. And here’s the scientific summary of the study on raccoons in St. Louis.  You can also listen to stories Danielle’s told live on stage for The Story Collider podcast: one on a terrible exchange with a science website editor and another on her experiences in Tanzania.   And read her thoughts on science outreach at her Urban Scientist blog on Scientific American.  Find Danielle Lee’s Twitter @DNLee5. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 08, 2022
The Price of Adventure
1973
Renowned mountaineer Alex Lowe had reached the summit of his career by 1999, scaling some of the planet’s most challenging peaks. Just a few months after he was featured in National Geographic as “one of the world’s finest all-around climbers,” he was killed in an avalanche in Tibet. His son Max Lowe and his best friend, Conrad Anker, share their reflections on what it means to be a mountaineer and the true price of adventure.  For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? More information about Max Lowe’s documentary, Torn, can be found here: https://films.nationalgeographic.com/torn The sport of rock climbing has a long and eventful history, this article explains some of climbing’s greatest moments.  Check out our interview with Dawa Yangsum Sherpa, a Nepali climber who shares her thoughts on overcrowding on Mt. Everest.  Also explore: The Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation was founded in memory of Alex Lowe and helps people living in remote parts of the world. If you like what you hear and you want to support more content like this, please rate and review us in your podcast app and consider a National Geographic subscription. That’s the best way to support Overheard. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 01, 2022
The Arctic Story Hunter
1502
What’s it like to grow up underneath the aurora borealis, on the shores of the Arctic Ocean? Photographer Evgenia Arbugaeva describes leaving—and returning to—Tiksi, a Siberian coastal town that during her childhood slowly became a ghost town in the wake of the Soviet collapse. That experience led her to find beauty in unexpected places—riding reindeer with nomadic herders and watching Arctic storms in isolated weather stations. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want More? See Evgenia’s photos in National Geographic, which include stories of the lucrative “tusk rush” on woolly mammoth bones that have emerged from Russian permafrost as well as the murky world of butterfly trading in Indonesia. Evgenia’s lens also focuses on the wild whimsy of her frigid hometown, Tiksi. See more photos on Instagram @evgenia_arbugaeva and @natgeo. Also explore: Learn how a gigantic offshore oil rig could radically alter the Arctic environment. Listen to a Nat Geo photographer explain in a previous Overheard episode how climate change’s impact on the Arctic is threatening the way of life for Alaskan Natives.   If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 25, 2022
Resurrecting Notre-Dame de Paris
1981
National Geographic photographer Tomas van Houtryve documents the layered history and revival of one of the world’s most enduring landmarks, Notre-Dame de Paris. A reflection of the city and part of its soul, the cathedral has been ravaged, reimagined, and resurrected over the course of eight centuries. Badly damaged by fire in 2019, Notre-Dame is again in the hands of skilled artisans who are braving dizzying heights and dangerous conditions to bring the cathedral back to life. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.  Want more? For more on the restoration of the Notre Dame de Paris, read National Geographic’s magazine story, which features Tomas van Houtryve’s photography and drone videos. Take a look at more than a century of photos of Notre Dame from National Geographic’s archive, including some very curious-looking gargoyles.  The late art historian Andrew Tallon had a vision to map Notre-Dame de Paris with lasers. His work has aided the reconstruction of the cathedral.  Also explore: Victor Hugo is a literary icon with deep connections throughout French culture. See the source of his inspirations here.  Painter Henri Matisse could see Notre Dame from his window on Quai Saint-Michel; it was the subject of many of his paintings and sketches. But many other artists had their own angle on the cathedral. See 16 of them here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 18, 2022
Overheard in 2022: Weekly Adventures Ahead
137
In 2022, we’ll journey into the Amazon to solve the mystery of a boiling river, to the South Pacific to search for the legendary aviator Amelia Earhart, and to K2, the world’s second-highest mountain, where a team of Nepalis has rewritten mountaineering history.  We’ll also venture into some of the world’s most isolated forests with an engineer who turns old cell phones into poacher-tracking devices. And we’ll join a team of climbers and scientists searching for rare frog species that have evolved on cliffs rising out of Guyana’s cloud forests. Our weekly show begins Jan. 18, hosted by Peter Gwin, Amy Briggs, and the editors and producers of Overheard. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 11, 2022
Capturing the Year in an Instant
1779
We’ll sift through 2021 with Whitney Johnson, National Geographic’s director of visuals and immersive experiences, as she works on the “Year in Pictures” special issue and shares what makes an unforgettable image. And we’ll talk with photographers who documented the COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of California wildfires among other key moments of the year. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.  Want more? Lynsey Addario followed around a group of women firefighters this summer. Meet them in our article. And check out writer Alejandra Borunda’s piece on how land managers are using new strategies to help control wildfires. Also explore: To see Muhammad Fadli’s photos, take a look at our article on COVID-19 in Indonesia. For subscribers:  See how we summed up 2021 in the “Year in Pictures.” It hits newsstands December 15. Take a look at Muhammad Fadli’s work in a 2020 article that showed how the pandemic affected communities all over the world.   Learn the backstory of eight National Geographic photos that made an impact, including the image of the Peruvian shepherd. Plus, read about our famous wall of photos at headquarters in an essay I wrote for our photography newsletter. If you like what you hear and you want to support more content like this, please rate and review us in your podcast app AND consider a National Geographic subscription. That’s the best way to support Overheard. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 14, 2021
Descendants of Cahokia
1897
How did people create Cahokia, an ancient American Indian metropolis near present-day St. Louis? And why did they abandon it? Archaeologists are piecing together the answers—but Cahokia’s story isn’t finished yet. Hear how an Osage anthropologist is protecting the remaining burial mounds and sacred shrines so the descendants of Cahokia’s founders can keep its legacy alive. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? Learn more about Cahokia—and see depictions of America’s first city, as well as artifacts left behind—in National Geographic History. See more stunning finds that unlock our deepest history in the new book Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World. Subscribers can read more about the two centuries of excavation on six continents that give voice to humanity’s forgotten past. Also explore: Why did people abandon Cahokia? New research rules out a theory that environmental degradation led to its demise and shows the limits of using a modern, Western lens to study the ancient city. Learn more about Picture Cave—the Osage “womb of the universe”—in the book Picture Cave: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Mississippian Cosmos by Carol Diaz-Granados and Jim Duncan. Osage photographer Ryan RedCorn has a message about American Indian culture: “The state of things is not in decline.” Grisly discoveries of unmarked graves at U.S. and Canadian boarding schools have forced a reckoning over government-funded programs that were designed to strip Native American children of their language and culture—and even their names. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 07, 2021
Kenya's Wildlife Warriors
1761
In the heart of the Serengeti, hippos bathe and hyenas snatch food from hungry lions. National Geographic Explorer of the Year Paula Kahumbu brings this world to life in her documentary series Wildlife Warriors, a nature show made by Kenyans for Kenyans. Host Peter Gwin meets up with Paula in the Serengeti to learn how she became an unlikely TV star, and why it’s up to local wildlife warriors—not foreign scientists or tourists—to preserve Africa’s wild landscapes. For more info on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard Want more? See the Serengeti like never before in the December 2021 issue of National Geographic. Along with heart-stopping wildlife photos, subscribers can go inside the planet’s largest animal migration: the perilous 400-mile circuit of the wildebeest. Subscribers can also meet a Maasai spiritual leader who protects a remote mountain forest, and read Paula Kahumbu’s essay on the future of African conservation. Don’t miss Welcome to Earth, a Disney+ original series from National Geographic, where Will Smith is led on an epic adventure around the world to explore Earth’s greatest wonders, including the Serengeti. All six episodes stream December 8th, only on Disney+. Also explore: Watch episodes of Wildlife Warriors on its YouTube channel, WildlifeWarriorsTV. Learn more about the wildlife that makes the Serengeti irreplaceable. African elephants are “ecosystem engineers” who shape their own habitat. Hippopotamuses spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in water—that’s why their name comes from the Greek for “river horse.” If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 30, 2021
The Gateway to Secret Underwater Worlds
1870
When Jacques Cousteau was young, an accident sent him on a path that led him to invent scuba, opening up the underwater world to humans. Today, explorers David Doubilet and Laurent Ballesta follow in his footsteps, making discoveries on their own amazing and sometimes terrifying adventures. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.  Want more? Learn more about Jacques Cousteau. From National Geographic Documentary Films, Becoming Cousteau is now streaming on Disney+. See more of Laurent Ballesta’s photographs, including an image he took of a grouper mating frenzy that recently won him the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award from the London Natural History Museum.  Also explore:  David Doubilet has been taking photos for Nat Geo for decades. If you want a list of his greatest hits, check out our article “32 Astonishing Photos of A Career Spent Underwater.”  And check out his new book out this month with some spectacular underwater images. It’s called “Two Worlds: Above and Below the Sea.” For subscribers:  For Nat Geo subscribers, you can also read about the time Laurent and a small crew of explorers spent 28 days living underwater in the Mediterranean Sea.   If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please rate and review us in your podcast app and consider a National Geographic subscription. That’s the best way to support Overheard. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 23, 2021
Ancient Orchestra
1840
Sound on! From conch shells to bone flutes, humans have been making musical instruments for tens of thousands of years. What did prehistoric music sound like? Follow us on a journey to find the oldest musical instruments and combine them into one big orchestra of human history. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard  Want More? A conch is more than just a musical instrument. A mollusk lives in that shell, and it’s a staple food in the Bahamas—so much so that overfishing is threatening their existence, but a few simple solutions may solve the problem. The oldest musical instrument was once thought to be a cave bear bone flute made by Neanderthals, but recent evidence suggests that the holes were made by animals rather than tools. More information about each instrument The organization First Sounds found and brought to life the recordings of Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville. For more information about that project, please visit www.firstsounds.org. Bettina Joy de Guzman travels the world, composing and performing music on ancient instruments. You can read more about her work on her website: www.bettinajoydeguzman.com More information about the bells of Bronze Age China can be found at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art. A virtual version of their collection can be viewed here: https://asia.si.edu/exhibition/resound-ancient-bells-of-china/ (Credit: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; gift of Arthur M. Sackler, S1987.4-9) The conch shell sounds you heard were research recordings of the approximately 3,000-year-old Titanostrombus galeatus conch shell horn—excavated in 2018 by John Rick and team from the UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site Chavín de Huántar, in Perú—from a 2019 acoustics and performance study by Miriam Kolar, Riemann Ramírez Rodríguez, Ricardo Guerrero de Luna Rueda, Obert Silva Espinoza, and Ronald San Miguel Fernández. Recordings were made at the Centro Internacional de Investigación, Conservación y Restauración de Chavín (CIICR) in the Museo Nacional Chavín as research conducted within the Programa de Investigación Arqueológica y Conservación Chavín de Huántar (PIACCdH). Site music archaeology and archaeoacoustics research information can be found on the Chavín de Huántar Archaeological Acoustics project website: https://ccrma.stanford.edu/groups/chavin/pututus.html. National Geographic Explorer Jahawi Bertolli is collecting the sounds of rock gongs from all over the African continent. More information about his rock project can be found here: www.jahawi.com/first-rock Flutist Anna Potengowski specializes in recreating the sounds of ancient flutes. You can hear more of her work here: open.spotify.com/artist/4a9uIQ2g8A5BIDN1VExUZq If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 16, 2021
When Family Secrets (And Soap Operas) Fuel Creativity
1502
National Geographic photographer Diana Markosian tells us about her remarkable childhood and how her career as a photographer led her into the war in Chechnya—and eventually to her long-lost father’s doorstep in Armenia. For more info on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard Want More?   Check out Diana’s film Santa Barbara, which is showing at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art until Dec. 12 and the International Center of Photography until Jan. 10. Read her account of finding her father, grandfather, and a piece of herself in Armenia.  And to see more of her photos, follow her on Instagram @markosian. For subscribers:  See Diana’s photographs showing how a Wisconsin high school graduated its seniors in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. And her portraits of a small town in Oregon that was destroyed by wildfires in September 2020 and a resident who lost her home.   If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 09, 2021
Modern Lives, Ancient Caves
1826
There's a lost continent waiting to be explored, and it’s right below our feet. We’ll dig into the deep, human relationship to the underground, and why we understand it from an instinctive point of view — but not so much from a physical one. (Hint: we’re afraid of the dark.) National Geographic photographer, Tamara Merino, will take us subterranean in Utah, Australia, and Spain where modern-day cave dwellers teach us how to escape the heat.   For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard  Want more? Go belowground with National Geographic Explorer Tamara Merino to see how these communities have been living—quite comfortably—for a very long time.  In Vietnam photojournalist and National Geographic Explorer Martin Edström created 360 images of the world’s largest cave, Son Doong. It’s so big that a forest grows inside of it. Ever zip-line to a remote island? Cartographers did, 30 miles west of San Francisco. What did they see when they mapped the hard-to-reach landform known as the Farallon Islands? Caves. China is home to some of the most intricate cave systems on the planet. These explorers used a laser scanner to capture never before seen images of undocumented caves. Also explore: South Dakota is famous among cavers for its web of cave mazes. Take a look at what they’ve found under the Black Hills. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 02, 2021
A Skeptic's Guide to Loving Bats
1852
Blood-sucking villains. Spooky specters of the night. Our views of bats are often based more on fiction than fact. Enter National Geographic Explorer at Large Rodrigo Medellín, aka the Bat Man of Mexico. For decades he’s waged a charm offensive to show the world how much we need bats, from the clothes we wear to a sip of tequila at the end of a long day. Now, as the COVID-19 pandemic causes even more harmful bat myths, the world must once again realize that bats may not be the hero everyone wants—but they’re the hero we need. For more info on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard Want more?
 See how Rodrigo uses a multi-pronged approach—involving field research, conservation, and tequila—to help protect bats. In a Nat Geo short film, Rodrigo ventures into an ancient Mayan ruin to find two rare species of vampire bat. Curious about the connection between bats and COVID-19? Explore why it’s so tricky to trace the disease’s origins.  Also explore: Learn more about bats: They can be found nearly everywhere on Earth and range in size from lighter than a penny to a six-foot wingspan.   Why do bats get a bad rap? See how Spanish conquistadors and Dracula convinced us bats are more fright than friend. Bat myths have real-world consequences. In Mauritius, a government campaign culled tens of thousands of endangered fruit bats. For more bat info, follow Rodrigo on Instagram @batmanmedellin And for paid subscribers: Step inside Borneo’s limestone caves, some of the largest and wildest on Earth—and home to to millions of bats. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 26, 2021
Playback: If These Walls Could Talk
1335
Social media is not just for modern folk. In this episode from the Overheard archives, we’ll look at how in ancient Pompeii, people also shared what they thought, who they met with, what they ate—just with different technology. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? The new book Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: A History of the World in 100 Discoveries details the story of Pompeii and other milestones in the human journey. Pompeii is not just an archaeological site; it's one huge graveyard. But it was very much a living city right up until it was snuffed out by Mt. Vesuvius. When you think of an avalanche, you probably think of snow. But volcanoes also cause avalanches. Archaeologists believe that it was an avalanche of rocketing, boiling gas and sediment that cooked Pompeiians alive in 79 A.D. In the late 1800s, archaeologists started pouring plaster into voids left in the hardened volcanic ash covering Pompeii. The result? Full-sized casts of Vesuvius' victims—human and otherwise. Do you live in the shadow of a volcano? Here are a few safety tips for when that telltale rumbling begins. Could Chernobyl be our contemporary version of Pompeii? Some archaeologists think so. Also explore: Curious about how Pompeii's graffiti compares to the stuff in your own backyard? Check out images of ancient Pompeiian graffiti at the Ancient Graffiti Project. Vesuvius will erupt again. The question is when, and what will Pompeiians do when it does? If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 05, 2021
Playback: The Frozen Zoo
1739
San Diego is home to the world’s first frozen zoo—a genetic library where scientists are racing to bank the tissues and stem cells of disappearing animals. As scientists begin to clone endangered species, we revisit an episode from our archives that delves into what conservation looks like, as we head into a period that some scientists believe is our next great extinction. Want more? More information about Elizabeth Ann, the cloned black-footed ferret can be found here. National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale has covered conflict and nature. She was with Sudan when he died and she believes that the survival of creatures like the northern white rhino is intertwined with our own. Move over, Noah. Joel Sartore is building his own ark — out of photographs. He’s on a decades-long mission to take portraits of more than 15,000 endangered species before it’s too late.   Stuart Pimm has a lot more to say about species revival. In this editorial he makes a case against de-extinction — and explains why bringing back extinct creatures could do more harm than good.  It’s been a long time since Jurassic Park hit theatres. Today, our revival technology straddles the line between science fact and science fiction — but do we want to go there?   Also explore: Read Kate Gammon’s original reporting for InsideScience, which inspired this conversation here at Overheard HQ.  Want to dive further into the debate? Hear George Church’s talk — and talks by some of the greatest minds in conservation — at the TedxDeExtinction conference.  The Frozen Zoo is working on a lot of exciting research that didn’t make it into the episode. For example, they’ve already managed to turn rhino skin cells into beating heart cells. To learn more about what they’re up to, check out the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research for yourself.  Some of the most promising applications for the Frozen Zoo come from new technology that lets us turn one kind of cell into any other kind of cell. Read more about the first mouse that was created from skin cells. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 28, 2021
The Guerrilla Cyclists of Mexico City
1713
Tired of waiting for the local government to build more bike lanes, a group of cyclists in Mexico City, the largest city in North America, took matters into their own hands: they painted the lanes themselves.. As traffic and pollution continue to choke cities, bicycles can ease the pain. Yet cities around the world struggle to build biking infrastructure. Grassroots activism is finding creative ways to get the job done. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.  Want more?  Learn why some cities in the U.S. have made huge strides in becoming more bike-friendly, while others are lagging behind. Follow our vigilante superhero Jorge Cáñez on Twitter @peatonito.  And learn more about Areli Carréon’s group—the first bike lobby group in Mexico City—at bicitekas.org.  John Pucher’s book Cycling for Sustainable Cities features a collection of research reports sourced from transportation experts all around the world.  And for paid subscribers:  Dive even deeper into the world of green transportation by checking out the September issue of the magazine, which features stories about electric cars and hydrogen-powered planes.  If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 21, 2021
Venturing into the Heart of Manila
1665
While growing up, Hannah Reyes Morales wasn’t allowed to venture out into the rough streets of Manila, but later her work as a photographer would take her there. In the city’s dark corners, she shed light on the Philippine government’s violent war on drugs and the plight of some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.  Want More? Hannah Reyes Morales’s Living Lullabies project showcases nighttime rituals all over the world, including those of health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Ten million Filipinos work abroad. Hear their stories and see Hannah’s photos in this story. And you can see parts one and two of Hannah’s reporting on the Philippine drug war.  Also explore: To see the portraits of couples who fell in love after being forced to marry each other during the Khmer Rouge era, check out the Al Jazeera story “Only ‘Lovers’ Left Alive” by Dene-Hern Chen.  And take a look at the photo essay Hannah produced about domestic workers for Parts Unknown, which includes images of Nanay, the woman who raised her.  To view more of Hannah’s work, you can follow her on Instagram @hannahreyesmorales. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 14, 2021
Joel Sartore Wants to Save the Creepy-Crawlies
1837
Joel Sartore has been called a modern Noah for his work on the Photo Ark, a photography project with a simple mission: Get people to care that we could lose half of all species by the turn of the next century. He photographs animals on simple backgrounds, highlighting their power, their beauty, and often their cuteness. But while quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic, he turned to the animals in his own backyard: creepy, crawly bugs. Can his photography save them too? For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.  Want more?  Peruse the 11,000 photos (and counting!) that Joel has taken for his Photo Ark on his website.  You can also flip through the entire Book of Monsters online. Also explore:  Joel has two new books out next month. The first is Wonders, and it features the most eye-catching animals he’s photographed over the years. The other is a book for kids, and it goes through the ABC’s, with poetry by Debbie Levy.  And for paid subscribers:  Back in 2018, Rachel Hartigan wrote a magazine feature profiling Joel and his ambitious project.  If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 07, 2021
Portraits of Afghanistan Before the Fall
1870
Twenty years since the 9/11 attacks and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban have once again seized power of the country. In the months leading up to the fall of the nation’s capital, National Geographic photographer Kiana Hayeri and writer Jason Motlagh heard the stories of young Afghans struggling for a better future.  In the time since this reporting, some of the people featured have died or have become unreachable. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? Read Jason and Kiana’s full article about the people of Afghanistan, just a few months before the Taliban takeover. After her evacuation from Kabul, Kiana sat down with us for an extended interview. Learn more about the life of Sharbat Gula, the famed “Afghan girl,” whose portrait became National Geographic’s most famous cover photo ever.  In Afghanistan, girls are sometimes dressed as boys to avoid the stigma and restrictions of being a girl. But for many of these bacha posh, going back to life as a female is difficult.   If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 30, 2021
Lucy in the Sky With Asteroids
1851
How did the planets form? How did life happen? Where did Earth’s water come from? To answer questions like these, scientists used to go big—looking at planets, dwarf planets, and moons—but now small is the new big. Technology is zooming in on the pint-size stuff—asteroids, comets, meteors, and other chunks of space rock—that couldn’t be studied before, and Lucy, a spacecraft designed to visit eight asteroids near Jupiter, is poised to learn how the secrets inside these small bodies are reshaping ideas about the big old solar system. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard Want more?
 How do you recover a sample from an asteroid? Send a spacecraft equipped with something akin to a Roomba at the end of a 10-foot pogo stick. Bennu's orbit brings it close to Earth. Now we have a precise calculation of the odds that—gulp—it will collide with us Coming soon from NASA: a demonstration to test whether we could avert an oncoming asteroid. Also explore: In the early 1800s, astronomers wanted to find a missing planet. Instead, as our video series Nat Geo Explores shows us, they discovered the asteroid belt.  For the first time, scientists are studying interstellar interlopers—asteroids and comets visiting us from another star system. The solar system has always been a violent place. But Earth’s recent history suggests a rising tide of celestial impacts, according to one study. And for paid subscribers: Michael Greshko’s National Geographic cover story explains how the study of small objects is rewriting what astronomers know about the solar system. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 24, 2021
Cracking Down on Cheetah Traffickers
1720
Cheetahs are in trouble. With just 7,000 left in the wild in Africa, populations have been in a continuous decline due to trophy hunting, habitat loss, retaliatory killings, and dealers looking to sell them to the wealthy. National Geographic editor Rachael Bale shares what she saw at the trial of a notorious cheetah smuggler and explores how Somaliland is battling the illegal cheetah trade. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? To see Nichole’s pictures and read Rachael’s reporting, check out their article “Cheetahs for Sale.” Can’t learn enough about cheetahs? Our Cheetah 101 video lays out the basics of cheetah biology and conservation  In Somaliland, droughts are a major driver of human conflict with wildlife. You can read more about the effects of these droughts here. ​​ Also explore: If you enjoyed this episode of Overheard, you might also like Guardians of the River, winner of first-ever Tribeca Film Festival Podcast Award The eight-episode series—produced by National Geographic Explorer Catherine de Medici Jaffee—follows scientists and members of the local community as they strive to protect the Okavango river system in southern Africa.   If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 17, 2021
The Aztec: From Empire to AI
2015
August 1521: Spain’s victory over the Aztec launches colonization of Mexico, but Aztec culture will survive for centuries through preservation and practice. Aztec codices—16th-century Rosetta Stones that preserved Aztec language and deeds—laid a foundation that scholars are building on today as Aztec culture is woven into AI. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? If you want to know more about what the Aztec were like before 1521, check out our history magazine piece. And learn how this anniversary is playing out in Mexico … especially during Covid.  We only spent a few minutes with Nahua communities. To spend more time with them, take a look at Alan’s book “Corn is Our Blood: Culture and Ethnic Identity in a Contemporary Aztec Indian Village.” He and Pamela also have a new book coming out in 2022 called “Pilgrimage to Broken Mountain.” It’s a look at Nahua Sacred Journeys in Mexico. Plus, if the rain gods intrigued you, take a look at Jim’s book, “The Rain Gods’ Rebellion.” To learn more about Rafael’s MEXICA AI program, go to his website. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 10, 2021
Cooling Cities By Throwing Shade
1687
Trees provide much-needed shade for urban Americans on a hot day, but not everyone gets to enjoy it. New research illuminates how decades of U.S. housing policy created cities where prosperous, white neighborhoods are more likely to be lush, and low-income communities of color have little respite from the sun. National Geographic writer Alejandra Borunda explains how activists are trying to make Los Angeles greener and healthier for everyone, and why the solution isn’t just to plant more trees. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard Want more? Research shows how racist housing practices created oppressively hot neighborhoods. The video series Nat Geo Explores breaks down redlining and the lasting environmental impact of a series of 1930s maps. Black and brown communities bear the brunt of environmental degradation, pollution, and extreme weather fueled by climate change. After decades of activism, the environmental justice movement sees an opening to fix long-standing wrongs. Also explore: Why does shade matter? The urban heat island effect means cities are noticeably warmer than nearby rural areas. Even as the climate crisis will make urban heat more intense, parks and trees could help cities stay cool. An interactive map from the University of Richmond shows the discrimination baked into Great Depression-era federal housing policy. For paid subscribers: A National Geographic cover story explores Los Angeles as the city confronts its shady divide. Plus, driving down one L.A. street illustrates the legacy of decades of discrimination. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 03, 2021
Dive Deeper: Season 7 of Overheard
146
Exploring the superpowers of sharks. Building shade for warming cities. Remapping the solar system. Investigating illegal cheetah trafficking. Join us for curiously delightful conversations, overheard at National Geographic headquarters. Hosted by Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 27, 2021
Playback: The Glass Stratosphere
1771
As billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson lead the charge for a new commercial space race, we revisit an episode from our archives: What if women had been among the first to head to the moon? A NASA physician thought that wasn't such a far-fetched idea back in the 1960s. He developed the physical and psychological tests used to select NASA's first male astronauts. We'll investigate what happened to his program and what the women who were involved had to say. For more information about this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard Want more? Private companies Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are reaching the Earth’s edge. Find out what that means for the future of space tourism. Also, read more about why the ultrarich itch for space—and why scratching that itch helps keep crewed space exploration alive. Where is the edge of space anyway? The answer depends on who you ask. Also explore: Since the first humans went to space 60 years ago, we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to leave Earth. Here’s how the “right stuff” has changed since then. And for subscribers:
 See why some scientists think women are better suited to spaceflight than men. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 20, 2021
Bonus episode: The Surprising Superpowers of Sharks
1713
Sharks have never been able to outswim their reputation as mindless killers, which is so entrenched that the U.S. Navy once even tried to weaponize them. But are sharks really just “remorseless eating machines” on the hunt for blood? Hop in the water with marine scientists for a look at sharks’ extraordinary senses and unique adaptability. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want More? National Geographic’s SharkFest swims onto screens this July and August with six weeks of programming! Watch Shark Beach With Chris Hemsworth, the feature documentary Playing With Sharks, and other shark-infested programming all summer long on National Geographic and Disney+. You can read our stories about how sharks can navigate via the Earth’s magnetic field and even band together to hunt. And be sure to check out our list of the most fascinating shark discoveries in the last decade.  Also explore: Lauren Simonitis is a member of a cool group called Minorities in Shark Science, which promotes inclusivity and diversity in shark science. You can read more about shark repellent research in Mary Roach’s book Grunt, and her latest book comes out September 14. It’s called FUZZ: When Nature Breaks the Law. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 13, 2021
Olympic Training During a Pandemic
2244
It’s a dream year in the making. High jumper Priscilla Frederick-Loomis will do anything to support her training for the 2020 Olympics—even clean strangers’ houses. But as the postponed Tokyo Games approach, she’s still suffering mysterious health problems months after contracting COVID-19. In collaboration with ESPN, we follow Frederick-Loomis’s progress and ask: What will it take to safely pull off the Olympics? For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? Follow Priscilla Frederick Loomis and her journey to the 2021 Olympics on Instagram @priscilla_frederick. And hear more from Pablo Torre at ESPN Daily, ESPN’s flagship podcast. Leroy Sims recently appeared to talk about leading the vaccine rollout for the NBA.   For more of ESPN’s reporting on the Olympics, meet the USA Rugby player who works as a pediatric nurse. And learn how Japanese athletes are getting the vaccine before the general public. The Olympics has had a turbulent history. Read our story about it and explore if a curse could explain why the Olympics gets disrupted so often. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 22, 2021
The Next Generation's Champion of Chimps
1600
How do you calculate the number of chimpanzees living in the forests of Nigeria? If you’re National Geographic Explorer Rachel Ashegbofe, you listen carefully. After discovering that Nigerian chimpanzees are a genetically distinct population, Rachel began searching for their nests to study them more closely. Now she’s teaching her community how to be good neighbors to humans’ closest genetic relative—and potentially save them from extinction.   For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? Did you know that chimpanzees hunt tortoises? Catch up on all there is to know about Pan Troglodytes through National Geographic’s chimpanzee fact sheet. Chimpanzee moms form strong bonds with their children. Take a look at some of the latest research on the social lives of chimpanzee mothers.   And for subscribers: Travel back in time to Jane Goodall’s original 1963 article for National Geographic, just three years after she started her field research at Gombe Stream National Park.    Or take a look at the entire National Geographic Magazine Archive.   Also explore: Learn more about Rachel Ashegbofe’s work through the website for the South West/Niger Delta Forest Project. Jane Goodall continues to be a conservation icon and she even has a podcast of her own called The Jane Goodall Hopecast. You can listen to the first episode here.   For Disney+ subscribers, you can also watch National Geographic’s 2017 documentary film Jane, which features rare footage of her chimpanzee work, and 2020 film The Hope, which focuses on her career as an environmental activist.  If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 15, 2021
The Real-Life MacGyver in Nat Geo’s Basement
1867
In the basement of National Geographic’s headquarters, there’s a lab holding a secret tech weapon: Tom O’Brien. As Nat Geo’s photo engineer, O’Brien adapts new technologies to capture sights and sounds previously never seen or heard before. O’Brien leads us on a tour of his lab as he designs and builds an underwater camera and shows us some of his favorite gadgets—including a camera lens that flew over Machu Picchu in a blimp, a remote camera he designed for the film Free Solo and a piece of gear known simply as the "funky bird train." For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? See photographs mentioned in this episode, including wolves captured by a gnaw-proof camera, sage grouse as seen by the funky bird train, and a cheetah running in super slow motion. Want to see what goes on in Nat Geo’s photo engineering lab? Follow Tom O’Brien on Instagram @mechanicalphoto. And learn more about Tom’s predecessor, Kenji Yamaguchi, who held the job for more than 30 years. Also explore: On World Oceans Day, learn more about Jacques Cousteau, who pioneered scuba gear, brought the oceans to life, and jolted people into environmental activism.    And hear more about beavers and how they shape the world on a previous Overheard episode, “March of the Beaver.” If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 08, 2021
Giraffes on a Boat
1656
It sounds like the start of a bad joke: How do you move eight giraffes—including a newborn calf—off an island in Africa’s Western Rift Valley? Answer: It isn’t easy, and it involves a boat, blindfolds, and earmuffs. We follow conservationist David O’Connor on an epic (and awkward) journey to save these endangered animals. For more information about this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? To learn more about David O’Connor’s conservation work, check out his organization, Save Giraffes Now.  You can also read up on how scientists are trying to prevent giraffes from going extinct.  Subscribers can also see what the “giraft” looked like and read more about the giraffe rescue from Lake Baringo.  If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 01, 2021
How Cicadas Become Flying Saltshakers of Death
1426
After 17 years underground, so-called Brood X cicadas get a fleeting moment in the sun and commence their deafening buzz. But periodical cicadas can’t escape a silent killer: a fungus that eats them from the inside and forces them into a rabid mania. Follow National Geographic Explorer Matt Kasson as he tracks these “flying saltshakers of death,” and hear why scientists say cicadas should be respected, not feared—even if they do raise a ruckus in your backyard. For more information about this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more?
 Trillions of cicadas appearing at once is a good thing, we promise. Learn more about how periodical cicadas do it. And see photos of annual cicadas from the National Geographic Photo Ark. Also, bring Brood X to your taste buds with recipes for cocktails, cupcakes, and other buggy treats. Also explore: Read on about the weird world of zombie cicadas. And track cicada emergences near you with Cicada Safari or other smartphone apps. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 25, 2021
A Reckoning in Tulsa
1854
A Reckoning in Tulsa A century ago, Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood was a vibrant Black community. One spring night in 1921 changed all that: a white mob rioted, murdering as many as 300 Black residents and destroying their family homes and thriving businesses. Archaeologists are working to uncover one of the worst—and virtually unknown—incidents of racial violence in American history, as efforts to locate the victims' unmarked graves continue.  For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? For more on the Tulsa Race Massacre, check out the cover story on the anniversary from writer Deneen Brown in the upcoming June issue of National Geographic. You can also find the Race Card, a project from journalist Michele Norris, to capture people’s thoughts on race in just six words. And poet Elizabeth Alexander will reflect on what it means to be Black and free in a country that undermines Black freedom. And for subscribers: Check out Tucker Toole’s piece on how Greenwood was destroyed by the Tulsa Race Massacre, in the May/June issue of National Geographic History magazine.  And soon, you’ll also be able read a personal essay Tucker wrote about his ancestor J.B. Stradford on our website. Also explore: And check out Scott Ellsworth’s new book on the Tulsa Race Massacre called, The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice. Finally, stay tuned this summer for National Geographic’s documentary, Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer, which chronicles white supremacist terrorism and race riots that took place across the country in 1919, shortly before the Tulsa Race Massacre.  If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 18, 2021
Camping on Sea Ice with Whale Hunters
1760
Every spring Inupiaq hunters camp on the sea ice north of the Arctic Circle, in hopes of capturing a bowhead whale to share with their village. But as global warming accelerates ice melt, it threatens the tribe’s 4,000-year-old tradition. National Geographic photographer Kiliii Yuyan recounts the five years he spent documenting these whale hunters, including one harrowing experience when the sea ice groaned—and then collapsed underneath them. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? Learn more about bowhead whales and hear their recordings of their wild sounds. And take a look at our in-depth coverage on the challenges facing polar bears in the Arctic. To see Kiliii’s stunning photography and short film about the Inupiaq people and their whale hunting traditions, Nat Geo subscribers can check them out in an online story, titled “Meet the Bowhead Whale Hunters of Northern Alaska.”  You can also follow Kiliii on Instagram where you can see amazing portraits he’s taken of native people, wildlife and kayaks that he built himself.  If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 11, 2021
The Battle for the Soul of Artificial Intelligence
1667
With every breakthrough, computer scientists are pushing the boundaries of artificial intelligence (AI). We see it in everything from predictive text to facial recognition to mapping disease incidence. But increasingly machines show many of the same biases as humans, particularly with communities of color and vulnerable populations. In this episode, we learn how leading technologists are disrupting their own inventions to create a more humane AI.   For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.   Want more? In 2020 widespread use of medical masks has created a new niche—face-mask recognition. The technology would help local governments enforce mask mandates, but is it worth it? Thanks to evolution, human faces are much more variable than other body parts. In the words of one researcher, “It's like evolving a name tag.” Most people have difficulty accurately recognizing strangers. But a few individuals—called super-recognizers—excel at the task. London police have employed some of these people to help find criminal suspects.   And for subscribers:  Artificial intelligence and robotics have been improving rapidly. Our cover story from September 2020 explores the latest robotic technology from around the world.  In 1976 Isaac Asimov wrote an article for National Geographic predicting how humans might live in 2026.   Also explore:  Take a look at the documentary Coded Bias, featuring AI researcher Joy Buolamwini. The film explores Joy’s research on racial bias in facial recognition AI. Read the NIST report, co-authored by Patrick Grother and discussed in this episode. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 04, 2021
Treat Your Brain: Season 6 of Overheard
174
Dive with killer whales to observe their surprising cultures. Venture into the world of artificial intelligence to see how scientists are teaching machines to recognize human diversity. Visit Nat Geo’s legendary tech lab where engineers have dreamed up super cameras to hunt for the Loch Ness monster, float above Machu Picchu and swim with Jacques Cousteau. Join us for curiously delightful conversations overheard at National Geographic headquarters. Hosted by Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 27, 2021
Bonus episode: The Secret Culture of Killer Whales
1837
Scientists are discovering that killer whales, among the most social and intelligent of marine animals, have unique family structures and behaviors, passed from one generation to the next. National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry traveled the globe to document killer whale pods—where he found that diving with these special creatures can lead to strange and wonderful situations.  For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? All four episodes of the Disney+ original series, Secrets of the Whales, from National Geographic, streams Earth Day, April 22 on Disney+. Join National Geographic’s Earth Day Eve celebration on Wednesday, April 21st at 8:30 pm EST, with a star-studded lineup of environmentally conscious musical artists, including Willie Nelson, Maggie Rogers, Yo-Yo Ma, Ziggy Marley, streamed on  NatGeo’s YouTube and NatGeo.com/EarthDayEve Also explore: Learn about orca behavior in our magazine piece, including orca greeting ceremonies and dialects. And read about Brian Skerry’s 10,000 hours underwater and find out why orca whales do poorly in captivity. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 13, 2021
The Secret of Musical Genius
1935
Mozart wowed audiences as a child. The Beatles blew away Ed Sullivan. Beyonce hypnotized Super Bowl crowds. The world has been enthralled by those we call musical geniuses. But what defines a musical genius? And how does society recognize it? We probe these questions as we examine the life and career of Aretha Franklin, a transformational figure in American music, and the rise of a young prodigy, Keedron Bryant. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? Watch the Genius: Aretha, a series about Aretha’s life, now streaming on Hulu. And check out the magazine piece about her and this journey through the career of the Queen of Soul.  Immerse yourself in the genius of Aretha Franklin and her music with this playlist https://lnk.to/ArethaGenius!NGE. Available on Spotify and Apple Music. And of course, check out the song that made Keedron viral and the opera performance that cemented Aretha’s genius. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 23, 2021
Legends of Kingfishers, Otters, and Red-Tailed Hawks
1515
Photographer Charlie Hamilton James chronicles his days ditching high school to hide out by the river near his home in Bristol, England, to snap photos of brilliantly plumed kingfishers dive-bombing for fish—“delinquent behavior” that somehow led to a job making films for the BBC and eventually to National Geographic. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? You can see some of Charlie’s stunning photos of vultures in this story about vulture poisoning in Kenya.  Check out Charlie’s photographs of kingfisher’s in this article from the magazine “Blaze of Blue.” Also explore: Look through Charlie’s lens to get a glimpse into the lives of indigenous peoples of the Amazon. Charlie’s also photographed the urban animals that live alongside us: rats. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 16, 2021
The Real Amazons
1699
Greek myths tell tales of Amazons, fearsome women warriors who were the equals of men. Now archaeological discoveries and modern DNA analysis are uncovering reality: these women warriors existed. National Geographic History magazine Executive Editor Amy Briggs and historian Adrienne Mayor introduce us to the horse-riding, arrow-flinging women who fought like men—and were feared by them too. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? Uncover the hidden meaning of Amazon names, hidden in ancient inscriptions. They include names like “Hot Flanks” and “Don’t Fail.”   And for subscribers, read the full History Magazine cover story that Adrienne wrote about the Amazons. You can also see photographs of modern women warriors around the world through the eyes of photojournalist Lynsey Addario.   Also explore:  Adrienne has written a whole book on Amazons. It’s called The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World.  If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 09, 2021
Deep Inside the First Wilderness
1554
On assignment in the canyons of the Gila Wilderness, Nat Geo photographer Katie Orlinsky has a fireside chat with Overheard host Peter Gwin about telling stories through pictures. She chronicles how she found her way—from growing up in New York City to covering workers rights in rural Mexico and the world’s most grueling dogsled race in Alaska.  For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? Some of Katie's picture from this assignment can be seen on National Geographic's Instagram page, In her work on the Yukon Quest dog sled race, you can see what it looks like to cross 1,000 miles of Alaska on dog power. On Katie’s personal website, you can see more images, including from her time in Juárez. Also explore: And magazine subscribers can see Katie’s photos in our recent story about thawing permafrost. Sometimes that thaw creates pockets of methane under frozen lakes that scientists test by setting on fire. That story was also featured in our podcast episode about how beavers are changing the Arctic. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 02, 2021
Unraveling a Mapmaker’s Dangerous Decision
1832
For much of recorded history, maps have helped us define where we live and who we are. National Geographic writer Freddie Wilkinson shows us how one small line on a map led to a bitter conflict in another country, thousands of miles away. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? Everyone knows Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, but exactly how tall is it? The science and politics behind finding that number is surprisingly complicated. A team from Nepal and China recently came up with a new official height. The world's second tallest mountain, K2, is only a few miles away from Hodgson's line and the Siachen glacier. Just a few months ago a team of 10 Nepalis completed the first winter climb of the mountain. The history of the Kashmir conflict is complicated. Here's a straightforward explainer of how it all started. Also explore: Magazine subscribers can read Freddie Wilkinson’s full article, including more details about Robert Hodgson’s life and our geography team's detailed maps of the Siachen glacier. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 23, 2021
Why War Zones Need Science Too
1733
It’s a jewel of biodiversity, the so-called Galápagos of the Indian Ocean, and might also hold traces of the earliest humans to leave Africa. No wonder scientists want to explore Socotra. But it’s also part of Yemen, a country enduring a horrific civil war. Meet the Nat Geo explorer with a track record of navigating the world’s most hostile hot spots who’s determined to probe the island—and empower its local scientists before it’s too late. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? See Socotra’s wonders—including the dragon’s blood tree—through the eyes of National Geographic explorers. And check out human footprints preserved for more than 100,000 years, which could be the oldest signs of humans in Arabia.  Also explore: Learn more about Yemen’s civil war. One Yemeni photographer explains why she looks for points of light in the darkness. And for subscribers, go inside the country’s health crisis and the life of violence and disease the war has brought to many civilians. Also, learn more about Ella Al-Shamahi’s new book, The Handshake: A Gripping History, and visit Horn Heritage, Sada Mire’s website preserving heritage in Somalia, Somaliland and the Horn of Africa.    If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 16, 2021
Bonus Episode: In Conversation: Reframing Black History and Culture
2545
For the past year, Overheard has explored the journeys of photographers and scientists who are focusing a new lens on history. National Geographic presents In Conversation, a special podcast episode featuring explorer Tara Roberts, computer scientist Gloria Washington, and photographer Ruddy Roye. Through their dynamic work across maritime archeology, artificial intelligence, and photojournalism, they’re determined to reimagine Black history. We begin with National Geographic Explorer and Storytelling Fellow Tara Roberts, who talks to Overheard’s Amy Briggs about documenting the efforts of Black scuba divers and archaeologists in their search for the lost wrecks of ships that carried enslaved Africans to the Americas. We’ll also hear from computer scientist Gloria Washington of Howard University. She speaks with guest host Brian Gutierrez about her work developing “emotional” artificial intelligence. And finally National Geographic Storytelling Fellow Ruddy Roye traces his photographic journey with Overheard’s Peter Gwin—and turns his lens on the racial and civil conflicts that defined 2020. For more stories like this one, visit National Geographic’s Race in America homepage, chronicling the human journey of racial, ethnic, and religious groups across the United States. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 12, 2021
Mars Gets Ready for Its Close-up
1783
Mars Gets Ready for Its Close-up Mars has fascinated Earthlings for millennia, ever since we looked skyward and found the red planet. Through telescopes, probes, and robots, scientists have gazed at its red rocks, craters, and canyons—and the latest rover, Perseverance, is poised to tell them much more about the planet’s past and present as sophisticated new cameras search for signs of ancient life. Join National Geographic writer Nadia Drake, NASA engineer Christina Hernandez and Mars Perseverance Principal Investigator Jim Bell for a behind-the-scenes look at how Perseverance will expose Mars in ways we’ve never seen before.  For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want More? Magazine subscribers can learn about the Mars Perseverance mission through a series of beautiful graphics, including those of the instruments that will help the rover search for traces of ancient life.  You can also read Nadia Drake’s article on why people are so “dang obsessed” with Mars, an explainer on the history of Mars exploration and how artwork over several centuries has shown how people have imagined the red planet.  There’s also an interactive graphic of the red planet you can play with to learn about how it might have evolved over the last 3.8 billion years.  Also explore:  Humans could make it to Mars one day, but for now, our AR experience may be as close as you can get. See through the Perseverance rover’s eyes and share your own selfie on Instagram. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 09, 2021
Searching for the Himalaya’s Ghost Cats
1782
Searching for the Himalaya’s Ghost Cats National Geographic’s editor at large Peter Gwin travels to the Himalaya to join photographer and National Geographic explorer Prasenjeet Yadav on his search for snow leopards, one of the planet’s most elusive animals in one of its most forbidding landscapes. Himalayan communities have long regarded the snow leopards as threats to their livelihoods, but conservation efforts and tourism are changing the way people see them. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more?  For Peter Gwin’s reporting on snow leopards in Kibber, National Geographic magazine subscribers can read his piece, “Himalaya Snow Leopards Are Finally Coming Into View.”  And if you want to see photos that National Geographic explorer Prasenjeet Yadav has captured of snow leopards, head to his instagram page: @prasen.yadav.  Also explore:  For basic information on snow leopards, here’s National Geographic’s reference page on the species. Subscribers can also see beautiful illustrations that show how the snow leopard’s anatomy has adapted to the harsh Himalaya environment and read about how poaching is threatening the species in Asia.  If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 02, 2021
Overheard Season 5: Bigger. Weirder. Beautiful-er.
161
Tracking snow leopards in the Himalaya. Looking for ancient microbial life on Mars. Uncovering the truth about Amazon warriors. Unraveling a mapmaker’s dangerous decision. Join us for curiously delightful conversations, overheard at National Geographic headquarters. Hosted by Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 26, 2021
Bonus Episode: Bicycles, Better Angels, and Biden
1747
Since George Washington took the first presidential oath of office in 1789, inaugurations have been held during times of war and peace, prosperity and uncertainty, strong unity and deep division. How will history remember Joe Biden’s inauguration? National Geographic deployed a team of photographers and writers around the nation’s capital to document this historic moment. Editor-at-Large Peter Gwin was among them, and he and Amy Briggs, Executive Editor of National Geographic History, talk about how this day fits in with inaugurations of the past. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? You can see Nina Berman and David Guttenfelder’s photography in articles about the first “virtual” inauguration and the celebration that followed. And check out Louie Palu’s video of the January 6th insurrection on the Capitol. For more of their photography, you can follow Louie Palu, Nina Berman and David Guttenfelder on Instagram. Also explore: You can also listen to our interview with photographer Andrea Bruce for a reflection on what democracy means and explore dispatches from her project, Our Democracy. And for paid subscribers, read Amy Briggs’s article on past inaugural addresses, which highlights some wise words leaders used to unite us in troubled times. And learn about fraught presidential transitions in our nation’s history. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 21, 2021
A Traveling Circus and its Great Escape
1798
Decades of daring acrobatics, spectacular motorcycle stunts, and mind-blowing magic tricks couldn’t prepare Central America’s oldest-running circus for its most challenging feat yet—how to get home during a pandemic. Photographer and National Geographic Explorer Tomas Ayuso encountered the Segovia Brothers Circus stranded in Honduras amid the coronavirus lockdown, and then chronicled the performers’ rollercoaster journey back to their native Guatemala–and the surprising circus fan who ultimately came to the rescue. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? If you’d like to read the magazine article that inspired this episode, you can find that in our show notes. There, you’ll find another story from Tomas Ayuso – it’s about the impact that coronavirus has had on migrant families applying for asylum in the United States. Also explore: If you’d like to read more circus coverage from National Geographic, check out our story about traditional tightrope walking in remote Russian villages.  And for paid subscribers: Check out a recent National Geographic Magazine feature on COVID-19. It takes the work of photographers in five countries and compiles it all into one photo essay about how the pandemic became a painful shared experience around the globe. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 15, 2020
An Accidental Case of the Blues
1472
Pigments color the world all around us, but where do those colors come from? Historically, they’ve come from crushed sea snails, beetles, and even ground-up mummies. But new pigments are still being discovered in unexpected places, and for researcher Mas Subramanian, a new color came, well, out of the blue. Overheard’s Amy Briggs ventured into the National Geographic photo studio to see the new color—the first blue pigment of its kind discovered since Thomas Jefferson was president. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? Read about how underwater cave explorers discovered a 11,000 year old pigment mine in Mexico and what it might tell us about the people who lived there. The names of colors are usually fanciful, but mummy brown is a surprisingly accurate description of this macabre pigment.  This episode is all about color, and so we have two colorful photo galleries for you to dive into: Photos through the eyes of the color blind, and the 12 different kinds of rainbows defined by science. Also explore: Check out the pigment collection and Harvard’s Art museum.  Read more about Mas Subramanian’s research at Oregon State University. And for paid subscribers: In this episode, Amy Briggs went into the Nat Geo studio to see our staff photographers hard at work photographing YInMn blue and other pigments. Take a look at our magazine feature to see the final product. The Phonician empire was shaped by the production of Tyrion purple, a pigment with its weight in gold which was made by boiling the mucus glands of thousands of sea snails. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 08, 2020
Introducing: Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller
2073
Today we share an episode of a new podcast series called Trafficked, hosted by National Geographic Channel’s Mariana van Zeller. The series pulls back the curtain on the people operating trafficking rings and shadow economies. In this episode, Mariana sits down with country rapper Struggle Jennings. An outlaw country rapper—and the grandson of country music legend Waylon Jennings— he once got busted for trying to purchase a big load of oxycontin in a Walmart parking lot in Memphis, Tennessee. Mariana and Jennings discuss the day he got busted, his life leading up to it, and the toll it took. This episode features some strong language and drug references, so if your kids are around, you might want to check out another one of our episodes.   The Trafficked TV series is available now on National Geographic, and new episodes air Wednesdays. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 03, 2020
The Trouble with America’s Captive Tigers
1821
Less than 4,000 tigers live in the wild, but experts say there may be more than 10,000 captive in the U.S., where ownership of big cats is largely unregulated. Overheard’s Peter Gwin talks with National Geographic Channel's Mariana van Zeller about her investigation into tiger trafficking and how wildlife tourism encourages a cycle of breeding and mistreatment. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? For Mariana van Zeller’s reporting on tiger tourism and trafficking around the world, tune into National Geographic’s series Trafficked.  Learn about what the Netflix series Tiger King left out about captive tigers and how visitors of roadside zoos can pose health risks to big cats. And check out how some of the series’ characters, like Doc Antle and Jeff Lowe, have been penalized for their treatment of wild animals.  Also explore: Listen to our previous episode about the hidden costs of wildlife tourism.  And for paid subscribers: Read “Captive tigers in the U.S. outnumber those in the wild. It’s a problem,” the National Geographic magazine story that looked into why there are thousands of big cats in the U.S. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 01, 2020
The Strange Tail of Spinosaurus
1906
Spinosaurus has long been a superstar among dinosaur fans, with its massive alligator-like body and a huge “sail” of skin running the length of its spine. Though the fossil was unearthed a century ago, scientists hadn’t been able to say exactly what it looked like because only a few bones had ever been found. But new fossil discoveries by National Geographic explorer Nizar Ibrahim will forever change the way we think about Spinosaurus—and all other dinosaurs. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? Michael Greshko has a lot more to say about Spinosaurus. Take a look at his article full of pictures and animations of what Spinosaurus might have looked like in the water.  Or learn about why dinosaurs went extinct in the first place. You can also make Spinoaurus and other prehistoric creatures appear in your living room by using Nat Geo's dinosaur instagram AR filter. Follow us at instagram.com/NatGeo.  Also explore: Check out our previous episode about the illegal trade of dinosaur fossils in the United States. And for paid subscribers: In our cover story, “Re-imagining dinosaurs,” you can read about how paleontologists are learning more than ever by using advanced techniques like giving CT scans to frozen crocodiles or using lasers to figure out what color Velociraptor eggs were. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 24, 2020
The Search for History’s Lost Slave Ships
1574
On the bottom of the world’s oceans lie historic treasures—the lost wrecks of ships that carried enslaved people from Africa to the Americas. Only a handful have been identified so far, but National Geographic explorer and Storytelling Fellow Tara Roberts is documenting the efforts of Black scuba divers and archaeologists to find more, hoping to finally bring their stories to light. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? Follow Tara’s journey around the world on Instagram. And here’s the photo that Tara Roberts saw at the National Museum of African American History and Culture that inspired her to learn to scuba dive. Read about the last slave ship survivor, Matilda McCrear, and what her descendants make of her legacy. Tag along on a scuba mission with DWP divers in this video produced by National Geographic. And for paid subscribers: Read a History magazine article about the Clotilda, the ship that illegally smuggled 110 West Africans into the United States on the eve of the Civil War. We have another History magazine article about 1619, when the first enslaved Africans arrived in colonial North America If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 17, 2020
Chasing the World’s Largest Tornado
1854
How do you measure something that destroys everything it touches? That’s an essential question for tornado researchers. After he narrowly escaped the largest twister on record—a two-and-a-half-mile-wide behemoth with 300-mile-an-hour winds—National Geographic Explorer Anton Seimon found a new, safer way to peer inside them and helped solve a long-standing mystery about how they form. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? See some of Anton’s mesmerizing tornado videos and his analysis of the El Reno tornado. Check out what we know about the science of tornadoes and tips to stay safe if you’re in a tornado’s path. Plus, learn more about The Man Who Caught the Storm, Brantley Hargrove’s biography of Tim Samaras. And for paid subscribers: Read “The Last Chase,” the National Geographic cover story chronicling Tim Samaras’ pursuit of the El Reno tornado.  If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 10, 2020
Documenting Democracy
1767
Andrea Bruce, a National Geographic photographer, has covered conflict zones around the world for nearly two decades. She shares how the experience of capturing democratic ideals as a war photographer in Egypt, Afghanistan, and Iraq now shapes the way she's chronicling democracy in America in 2020. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? Explore dispatches from Andrea Bruce’s Our Democracy project as well as her photos from overseas. We also have resources for election night, including how experts say you should talk to your kids about elections and why election maps may be misleading. And for paid subscribers: See what Bolivia, New Zealand, Iraq, and Afghanistan have in common: Women there have made huge advances and gained political power. Andrea Bruce photographed the women in charge—and the women still fighting for change. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 03, 2020
Can You Hear the Reggae in My Photographs?
1897
Photographer and National Geographic Storytelling Fellow Ruddy Roye grew up in Jamaica, a cradle of reggae and social justice movements. He describes how that background prepared him to cover the historic protests and civil unrest in 2020, what he’s tackling in his new National Geographic project "When Living Is a Protest," and what he tells his sons about growing up in America. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? See some of Ruddy Roye’s National Geographic assignments, including his coverage of the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as his most recent photographs, depicting the impact of COVID on people of color and the Black Lives Matter protests. And for paid subscribers: See the renaissance happening at historically Black colleges—a surge in enrollment and a new brand of African-American activism. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 27, 2020
Overheard Season 4
157
Documenting democracy. Untwisting the world’s largest tornado. Searching for wrecks of lost slave ships. Dinosaur hunting in Morocco. Accidentally inventing a new color. Come dive into one of the curiously delightful conversations overheard at National Geographic’s headquarters, as we follow explorers, photographers, and scientists to the edges of our big, weird, beautiful world. Hosted by Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 13, 2020
How I Learned to Love Zombie Parasites
1762
Photographer Anand Varma details his very first natural history adventures—not in Amazonian rainforests or on Polynesian coral reefs but in suburban Atlanta—and how a childhood fascination with catching frogs and turtles in his backyard led to a career documenting the fantastical worlds of “zombie” parasites, fire ant colonies, vampire bats, hummingbirds, and jellyfish.   Want More? Read about the zombie parasites that control their hosts, and watch a video of these mindsuckers here. Also check out Mexico’s carnivorous bats, and go behind the lens with Anand as he attempts to capture the iconic shot of a honeybee emerging from a brood cell for the first time.   Also explore: The science of hummingbirds and what makes these birds the perfect flying machines. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 04, 2020
The Failing of War Photography
1940
Anastasia Taylor-Lind talks about how she grew up living the life of a modern gypsy, traveling across southern England in the back of a horse-drawn wagon, and how her experiences covering conflicts in Iraq and Ukraine forever changed the way she views storytelling and war photography.   Want More? You can see the photo of the female Peshmerga soldier that launched Anastasia’s career on her website along with many of her other projects. Read Anastasia’s essay “The Most Frightening Thing About War” here. Check out the story Peter Gwin and Anastasia collaborated on about riding Arabian horses in Oman. You can watch Anastasia’s TED talk “Fighters and Mourners of the Ukrainian Revolution.”   Also explore: See our story on soldiers using art to reveal the trauma of war and learn about today’s battlefields, where more women than ever are on the front lines of armed conflict and as peacekeepers in the world’s hot spots.   If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 28, 2020
The Canary of the Sea
1230
Chirp. Whistle. Creak. Beluga whales, the canaries of the sea, have a lot to say. But noise from ships can drown out their calls, putting calves in danger. What happens when humans press pause during the coronavirus pandemic—and finally give ocean life some peace and quiet? For more on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/podcasts/overheard. Want more? Ever wonder why ocean animals eat plastic? The answer is surprisingly complicated.  Whales around the world are still being hunted for their meat. But in Iceland that might be ending. Also explore: Take in the breathtaking sight of hundreds of beluga whales gathering in the Arctic. Check out the very first episode of Overheard for another story on how whales communicate. And for paid subscribers: The graphics team at Nat Geo has mapped out the effects of shipping on Arctic sea ice. Read Craig Welch’s reporting on the changing Arctic, including how the thawing of permafrost affects us all. See photos of whales taken by a Nat Geo explorer who’s spent 10,000 hours underwater.  If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 21, 2020
A Spore of Hope
1440
Humans face an existential problem: feeding billions of people in a warming world. But there’s a ray of hope. And it all starts with microbes.  For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? Microbes are everywhere! Learn about the bacteria living in the depths of the Mariana Trench, in the Pacific Ocean, and what they might tell us about life in outer space on one of Jupiter’s moons. Microbes have been around a long time! Check out the world’s oldest fossilized fungus. Also explore: Read more about the “communication” between fungi and plants happening under our feet. Listen to Nat Geo contributor Joel Bourne Jr. discuss his book, The End of Plenty. And for paid subscribers: How the tiny country of the Netherlands is pioneering the future of sustainable agriculture. And learn all about the trillions of microbes that live inside us! If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 14, 2020
The Tree at the End of the World
1637
A harrowing journey is all in a day's work for a Nat Geo explorer trying to find the world’s southernmost tree. But what happens when a self-proclaimed "normal human being" tags along? For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/podcasts/overheard. Want more? Read Craig’s story, and see pictures of the journey and the world’s southernmost tree. A nature reserve in the Cape Horn archipelago has the “world's cleanest rain and cleanest streams.” Learn how scientists are protecting it. Nat Geo Explorer Brian Buma is no stranger to scientific adventures. Read about the time he went into the field with old photos, a metal detector, and bear mace. Also explore: Take a virtual trip with these photos of 19 iconic trees from around the world.   And for paid subscribers: Follow as Craig witnesses “the big meltdown” in Antarctica.   If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 07, 2020
The United States v. One Tyrannosaurus Bataar
1440
When a Mongolian paleontologist sees a dinosaur skeleton illegally up for auction in the United States, she goes to great lengths to stop the sale. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? Read about the latest discoveries in paleontology, such as the T.Rex's survival strategy for when food was scarce. Find out about the entrepreneur from Florida who went to jail for smuggling Mongolian fossils. Learn about the two leading theories for why dinosaurs went extinct in the first place. Also explore: Watch the final return of the fossil that was auctioned off in New York to Bolor Minjin and other representatives of the Mongolian government. Bolor once took a Winnebago filled with dinosaur exhibits off-road, across the Gobi. Read more about how she's helping to educate Mongolians about paleontology at The Institute for the Study of Mongolian Dinosaurs. And for paid subscribers: Take a look behind the scenes at the private collectors who are buying dinosaur bones. Bones are the most common type of dinosaur fossil, but in the right conditions, scales and even skin can be preserved. See pictures of a petrified nodosaur on our website. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 30, 2020
The Unstoppable Wily Coyote
1536
They're smart, they're sneaky, and they aren't moving out any time soon. Meet your new neighbor, the coyote, and find out why these cunning canids are on the rise in North America-and beyond. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/podcasts/overheard. Want more? Read more of Christine Dell'Amore's reporting about coyotes' remarkable spread. See Chicago through a coyote's eyes with video from a Nat Geo Crittercam. It's not just coyotes: other animals are finding homes in cities. Dive into Nat Geo stories about urban wildlife. Learn about the U.S. government program that killed millions of coyotes in "the most epic campaign of persecution against any animal in North American history." Also explore: Meet the National Geographic Explorer trying to save jaguars, a key coyote predator in Central America. Be prepared: here are tips to avoid coyote conflict and a guide to Hazing 101. Check out Roland Kays' podcast, Wild Animals, for more fun animal stories. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 23, 2020
The Towers of Ladakh
1334
A mechanical engineer teams up with an unlikely band of students who use middle school math and science to create artificial glaciers that irrigate Ladakh, a region in India hit hard by climate change. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/podcasts/overheard. Want More? Read Arati's story about Sonam Wangchuk and his artificial glaciers in this month's issue of the magazine. It's not just Ladakh that's facing a water crisis. Learn more about India's struggles with water infrastructure, with more reporting by Arati Kumar-Rao. You can read about the complicated history of Kashmir, an area that's witnessed two wars and a longstanding insurgency. Also explore: Check out photos of Sonam's solar-powered school built from mud. You can also make your own pledge to live simply by visiting the I Live Simply movement's website. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 16, 2020
Overheard Season 3
94
Smuggled dinosaur bones. Man-made glaciers. An audacious quest to find the world's southernmost tree. Each week, we'll dive into one of the curiously delightful conversations we've overheard around National Geographic's headquarters. You'll be introduced to the explorers, photographers and scientists at the edges of our big, bizarre, and beautiful world. Hosted by Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 10, 2020
The Virus Hunter
1247
Coronaviruses aren't new. For more than 20 years, German virologist Rolf Hilgenfeld has been looking for ways to slow or stop the virus. What does it take to find a treatment for coronaviruses, and what might that mean for the future of COVID-19? For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? Rolf Hilgenfeld is one of the many people who are trying to test and develop medicine for COVID-19. Nat Geo reporter Michael Greshko has put together an article explaining the other approaches out there. On our Coronavirus Coverage page you can find National Geographic's most up-to-date articles on the pandemic, including news and explanations of the science. On that page, other articles provide new perspectives, such as how astronauts handle social isolation, and what people used to do before toilet paper was invented. And if you've had too much news about the pandemic, Nat Geo has put together a new newsletter called Escape, full of awe-inspiring pictures, compelling stories, and no COVID-19 updates whatsoever. Also explore: If you'd like to dive deeper into the antiviral compound Rolf Hilgenfeld has been developing, check out the research paper. The CDC website is the best source for new information about COVID-19 and how you can stay safe and keep others around you safe. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 28, 2020
The Frozen Zoo
1694
Right now, one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. Conservation scientists are doing whatever they can to save them, or at least of piece of them. For the last 45 years, a team of researchers at the San Diego Zoo has been freezing the cells of endangered animals. With these time capsules of DNA, researchers continue to study endangered animals, and hope to maybe even bring some back from the brink of extinction. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale has covered conflict and nature. She was with Sudan when he died and she believes that the survival of creatures like the northern white rhino is intertwined with our own. Move over, Noah. Joel Sartore is building his own ark - out of photographs. He's on a decades-long mission to take portraits of more than 15,000 endangered species before it's too late. Stuart Pimm has a lot more to say about species revival. In this editorial he makes a case against de-extinction - and explains why bringing back extinct creatures could do more harm than good. It's been a long time since Jurassic Park hit theaters. Today, our revival technology straddles the line between science fact and science fiction - but do we want to go there? Also explore: Read Kate Gammon's original reporting for InsideScience, which inspired this conversation here at Overheard HQ. Want to dive further into the debate? Hear George Church's talk - and talks by some of the greatest minds in conservation - at the TedxDeExtinction conference. The Frozen Zoo is working on a lot of exciting research that didn't make it into the episode. For example, they've already managed to turn rhino skin cells into beating heart cells. To learn more about what they're up to, check out the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research for yourself. Some of the most promising applications for the Frozen Zoo come from new technology that lets us turn one kind of cell into any other kind of cell. Read more about the first mouse that was created from skin cells. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 10, 2019
If These Walls Could Talk
1262
Social Media is not just for modern folk. In ancient Pompeii, people also shared what they thought, who they met with, what they ate... It's just, they had to use different technology. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? Pompeii is not just an archaeological site, it's one huge graveyard. But it was very much a living city right up until it was snuffed out by Mt. Vesuvius. When you think of an avalanche, you probably think of snow. But volcanoes also cause avalanches. Archaeologists believe that it was an avalanche of rocketing, boiling gas and sediment that cooked Pompeiians alive in 79 A.D. In the late 1800s, archaeologists started pouring plaster into voids left in the hardened volcanic ash covering Pompeii. The result? Full-sized casts of Vesuvius' victims -- human and otherwise. Do you live in the shadow of a volcano? Here are a few safety tips for when that telltale rumbling begins. Could Chernobyl be our contemporary version of Pompeii? Some archaeologists think so. Also explore: Curious about how Pompeii's graffiti compares to the stuff in your own backyard? Check out imagines of ancient Pompeiian graffiti at the Ancient Graffiti Project. Vesuvius will erupt again. The question is when, and what will Pompeiians do when it does? If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 26, 2019
The Aquarius Project
1726
A fireball from outer space crashed into one of Earth's biggest lakes. Scientists didn't know how to find it. So, they called in just the right people for the job -- an actor and a bunch of teenagers. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/podcasts/overheard. Want more? See eyewitness reports and videos from the February 2017 fireball that sparked the Aquarius Project. The Aquarius Project is no longer the only group to look for a meteorite in a massive body of water. Using a similar method, a NASA scientist recovered meteorite fragments from the ocean floor off the Washington coast. Read about other extraordinary lengths people take to find meteorites -- like the explorer, fueled by reindeer milk, who trudged deep into Siberia to find the site of a monstrous meteor impact. Meet the only person in recorded human history to be struck by a meteorite. Also explore: Almost all meteorites originate from our solar system. But scientists discovered one interstellar interloper that may have slammed into earth. Nearly 50 tons of space debris hit Earth every day. Watch Meteor Showers 101. Listen to the Adler Planetarium's podcast series chronicling the Aquarius Project. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 19, 2019
March of the Beaver
1155
The desolate Alaskan tundra - a landscape that has literally been frozen solid for thousands of years - is suddenly caving in on itself. Colonizing beavers are engineering new wetlands that thaw the soil, rapidly releasing greenhouse methane into the atmosphere. Beavers can survive in the arctic because - like people - they change the environment to make homes for themselves, and their carbon footprint can be seen from space. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want More? Permafrost covers an area more than twice the size of the United States. Read about why it's thawing faster than we expected. There are drunken trees in forests across Alaska, Canada and northern Eurasia. Check out pictures of some drunken forests. Ben Goldfarb believes that beavers aren't only not to blame for climate change, they're actually helping fight against it. Also explore: Not only is methane a greenhouse gas, it's also flammable. Watch Katey Walter Anthony set frozen lakes on fire. Ever wonder why beavers make such great hats? And why they eventually went out of style? Wonder no more. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 12, 2019
Cave of the Jaguar God
1865
Crawl into the Maya underworld, where science meets spirits, shamans, and snakes. A long-forgotten cave could shed light on one of history's most enduring questions: why did the ancient Maya collapse? For more information on this episode, visit https://www.nationalgeographic.com/podcasts/overheard Want more? See the incense burners, plates and grinding stones found in the Cave of the Jaguar God. Learn how Guillermo de Anda uses ground-penetrating radar and other high-tech tools to investigate Chichen Itza. Read about jaguars and their place as the divine feline in Mesoamerican cultures. Also explore: Travel inside the world's longest underwater cave system -- spanning 215 miles underneath the Yucatan Peninsula. What can you find inside the longest underwater cave? Remains of ice age giant sloths and an ancient relative of the elephant. Check out more of Guillermo's work through the Great Maya Aquifer Project. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 05, 2019
The Hidden Cost of the Perfect Selfie
1742
What do tigers, sloths, elephants and bears have in common? They're all part of the incredibly lucrative captive wildlife tourism industry. Travelers from around the world clamor for opportunities to pose with these magnificent creatures and get that perfect selfie. This week - we look at the complicated nature of elephant tourism in Thailand. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want More? Read Natasha's cover story on wildlife tourism to learn more about the global industry. Learn more about Ban Ta Klang the "elephant village" at the center of Thailand's captive elephant trade. Want to know how to approach wildlife tourism in a way that's better for animals? We've got some tips on how to make sure you're having an ethical encounter. Why do people risk their lives for animal selfies? Natasha talked with psychologists to find out. Learn more about Puerto Alegria - a Peruvian town on the banks of the Amazon that was once a hotbed of wildlife tourism. Also Explore Get some tips from National Geographic photographers on how to photograph wild animals ethically. Learn more about Think Elephants International, the organization that Joshua Plotnik co-founded. The advocacy group World Animal Protection studied the impact of wildlife selfies in the Amazon. Read more about what they found. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 29, 2019
The Alien Underground
1791
Half a mile below the surface of the earth, in a cave too hot to explore without an ice-packed suit, NASA scientist and Nat Geo explorer Penny Boston clambers around glassy crystals that are taller than telephone poles and wider than dinner tables. But it's not The Crystal Cave's grandeur she's interested in -- it's what may be hibernating inside the crystals. Astrobiologists like Penny Boston scour the Earth's most hostile environments for microorganisms, to see if they hold clues to what life might look like on other planets - maybe even planets in our solar system. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want More? Hear Penny Boston speak on stage about her search for extremophiles all over the world. Inside the Cave of Crystals, Penny Boston discovered organisms that have been alive for tens of thousands of years, trapped inside the crystals. Kevin Hand has been eager to search for life on Europa for a long time. He's been testing robots in the arctic to see if they can withstand the extreme conditions there. Europa isn't the only planet with the potential for life. Europa isn't the only planet with the potential for life. Scientists are hunting the galaxy for other planets that are just the right size and temperature. It turns out there may be billions of them. Also explore: Watch President Bill Clinton give a speech about the Allan Hills meteorite - a rock from Mars that looked like it might contain fossilized life. You can see a photo of the strange shapes in the Allan Hills meteorite and read more about why scientists thought those shapes might be signs of life. Penny Boston is the director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. They're working hard to study what alien life might be like. Kevin Hand is part of a team of scientists who are building the Europa Clipper - a probe designed to search the moon orbiting Jupiter for the right conditions for life. Europa has a huge liquid water ocean. Here's more information from Kevin Hand about why that ocean might be inhabited. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 22, 2019
Digging Up Disaster
1714
How did an ancient Roman harbor end up in ruins? Scientists realized the culprit was a long-forgotten natural disaster that left tell-tale geological clues -- and possibly an eyewitness account in an ancient religious text. But solving this mystery led to a bigger question: what if it happens again? For more information on this episode visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? Learn about the science of tsunamis -- including why Indonesia may be due for another big one. Could earthquakes explain some biblical stories? Scientists matched a tale of "fire and brimstone" with geological records of Israel's seismic history. A surprise tsunami in 2018 was far worse than early-warning systems expected. Here's what we're learning about different types of earthquakes. Also explore: A forgotten, 600-year-old tsunami explains the rise of a powerful Islamic kingdom. More about Beverly Goodman and her work at the Charney School of Marine Sciences. And want to learn more about the Talmud? Henry Abramson helps teach it, one page a day. Scientists didn't know an area in Mexico was prone to big earthquakes - until they factored in centuries-old Aztec records. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 15, 2019
Overheard at National Geographic Season 2
61
Exploring the ancient Maya Cave of the Jaguar God. The graffiti of Pompeii. Searching for alien life underground. New season of Overheard at National Geographic starting October 15th. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 02, 2019
Honeybee Chop Shop
1457
What is a honeybee chop shop, and why do they exist? Turns out the answer has everything to do with the food on our tables. We dig into the sticky business of beekeeping and commercial agriculture. For more information on this episode visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want More? Read more about the seriously sticky problem of honeybee theft. Also Explore: Watch an amazing time-lapse of bees hatching. See how honeybees are each assigned their distinct jobs. Read about an unlikely feud between Maya beekeepers and Mennonites in Mexico. Learn more about honeybees. Without insects, we might all die, argues this author. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 30, 2019
The Glass Stratosphere
1721
What if women had been among the first to head to the moon? A NASA physician thought that wasn't such a far fetched idea back in the 1960s. He developed the physical and psychological tests used to select NASA's first male astronauts, and ran those same test on women, who thought their performance punched their ticket to the moon. We'll hear about what happened from two of the women involved. For more information on this episode visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want More? Read why some scientists think the future of spaceflight should be female. Also Explore: Meet the people who got us to space and the pioneers pushing us farther. Explore the never-used Soviet space shuttles rusting in a hangar in Kazakhstan. See Nat Geo editors' favorite space photos. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 23, 2019
The Harem Conspiracy
1647
Murder, succession, and a 18-foot scroll of papyrus that reads like an ancient Egyptian episode of Law and Order. We get the lowdown on the Judicial Papyrus of Turin. For more information on this episode visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want More? Read about the bloody coup described in the Judicial Papyrus of Turin, as well as other poignant examples of law and order in ancient Egypt. Learn more about the Queens of Egypt exhibition at the National Geographic Museum. Also Explore: Explore the Book of the Dead, ancient Egypt's guide to the underworld. See the artifacts that honor Egypt's powerful queens. Test your knowledge of ancient Egypt. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 16, 2019
The Zombie Mice of Marion Island
1360
Mice on the sub-Antarctic Marion Island are out for blood, and they're feasting, zombie-style, on living, immature albatrosses. Turns out, these tiny mammals are a very big threat to these huge seabirds. One photographer says it was more intense than watching the first four seasons of The Walking Dead. For more information on this episode visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? Want to see the zombie mice of Marion Island yourself? You can see photos and video here, but beware, some may find the footage disturbing. Meet National Geographic Photographer Thomas Peschak, and see more of his work. Read more about Peschak's experience documenting these ravenous mice (warning: the photos and video are graphic). Also explore: This other island has been declared rat-free thanks to a conservation effort. Learn more about the global migratory bird crisis. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 09, 2019
Scuba Diving in a Pyramid
1287
One of National Geographic's writers was hard to pin down for a while. That's because she was in Sudan, scuba diving underneath a pyramid. We had so many questions for her-especially once she shared with us that the contents of the pyramid could fundamentally change what we understand about ancient Egypt's 25th dynasty. For more information on this episode visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? Read Kristin Romey's piece, and watch a video of what it's like to go scuba diving under a pyramid at Nuri. Learn more about the Kingdom of Kush in what is now Sudan, a rival to ancient Egypt awash in gold and power. Also explore: Read about the mysterious void discovered in Egypt's Great Pyramid. Learn how illegal tomb raiders are stealing the world's history. Watch: Ancient Egypt 101 If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 02, 2019
Rats vs Humans: A Love Story
1141
Bringers of plague, schleppers of pizza slices, garbage gobblers. Rats have adapted over the millennia to survive and thrive in human company, much to our amazement and (often) disgust. But love them or hate them, our past and our future is bound up with these little hustlers. For more information on this episode visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want More? Read Emma Marris's magazine story on how rats have become a global, inescapable part of city life. Yes, rats really can wriggle up toilets. Learn more about their "ninja" skills. Rats can remember who's nice to them, and return the favor, reports a study on their surprisingly complex social behavior. Also explore: Are rats really to blame for the Medieval "black death" plagues? These scientists have a different theory. Rats remain a popular food in Vietnam. Learn why. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 25, 2019
Evolution of a Little Liar
1227
Most parents see lying as a cause for worry or reprimand. But some experts suggest lying at a young age could be a welcome sign of childhood development. So what does lying tell us about human cognition? For more information on this episode visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want More? Read writer Yudhijit Bhattacharrjee's magazine story on why we lie, and what it says about us. Watch: Why science says it's good for kids to lie. Learn more about researcher Kang Lee's work. Read about Charles Darwin's report on his son, Doddy. Also explore: Do you lie more or less than the average person? Take this quiz to find out. Meet history's most notorious liars. These are the best liars of the animal world. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 18, 2019
Humpback Hit Factory
1265
There's a humpback whale song sensation that's sweeping the South Pacific. We'll learn about the burgeoning study of "whale culture"-and why these super smart cetaceans may have a lot more in common with us than we'd ever imagined. For more information on this episode visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more? Meet National Geographic Photographer Brian Skerry, and see examples of his work beneath the waves. Read Ellen Garland's original paper on whale song transmission, and listen to the humpback audio recordings that helped her piece this phenomenon together. Here's the backstory behind those whale songs you heard at the top of the show, from Roger Payne's Songs of the Humpback Whale. Also explore: Sperm whales in the Caribbean form clans that have their own unique dialects-and thus culture. Video: Off the coast of Argentina, seasoned killer whales hunt sea lion pups. Whale song recordings off Hawaii have revealed a strange series of deep beats almost inaudible to humans. An unusual number of humpback whales are dying along the U.S. East Coast, and scientists are racing to figure out why. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 11, 2019
Introducing Overheard from National Geographic
69
A new weekly podcast from National Geographic. We talk with explorers and scientists who are uncovering amazing stories at the edges of our wild and wonderful world. New episodes every Tuesday, starting June 11. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 04, 2019