Overheard at National Geographic

By National Geographic

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Subscribers: 1803
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
Kenya's Wildlife Warriors
1701
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/explore to subscribe today.
Nov 30, 2021
The Gateway to Secret Underwater Worlds
1810
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/explore to subscribe.
Nov 23, 2021
Ancient Orchestra
1780
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
Nov 16, 2021
When Family Secrets (And Soap Operas) Fuel Creativity
1442
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/explore to subscribe today.
Nov 09, 2021
Modern Lives, Ancient Caves
1766
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.
Nov 02, 2021
A Skeptic's Guide to Loving Bats
1792
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/explore to subscribe today.
Oct 26, 2021
Playback: If These Walls Could Talk
1275
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/explore to subscribe today.
Oct 05, 2021
Playback: The Frozen Zoo
1679
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.
Sep 28, 2021
The Guerrilla Cyclists of Mexico City
1653
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/explore to subscribe today.
Sep 21, 2021
Venturing into the Heart of Manila
1605
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/explore to subscribe today. 
Sep 14, 2021
Joel Sartore Wants to Save the Creepy-Crawlies
1777
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/explore to subscribe today. 
Sep 07, 2021
Portraits of Afghanistan Before the Fall
1810
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/explore to subscribe today.
Aug 30, 2021
Lucy in the Sky With Asteroids
1791
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/explore to subscribe today.
Aug 24, 2021
Cracking Down on Cheetah Traffickers
1660
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/explore to subscribe today.
Aug 17, 2021
The Aztec: From Empire to AI
1955
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/explore to subscribe today.
Aug 10, 2021
Cooling Cities By Throwing Shade
1627
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/explore to subscribe today.
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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jul 27, 2021
Playback: The Glass Stratosphere
1711
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/explore to subscribe today.
Jul 20, 2021
Bonus episode: The Surprising Superpowers of Sharks
1653
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/explore to subscribe today.
Jul 13, 2021
Olympic Training During a Pandemic
2184
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/explore to subscribe today.
Jun 22, 2021
The Next Generation's Champion of Chimps
1540
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/explore to subscribe today.
Jun 15, 2021
The Real-Life MacGyver in Nat Geo’s Basement
1807
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/explore to subscribe today.
Jun 08, 2021
Giraffes on a Boat
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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/explore to subscribe today.
Jun 01, 2021
How Cicadas Become Flying Saltshakers of Death
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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/explore to subscribe today.
May 25, 2021
A Reckoning in Tulsa
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
May 18, 2021
Camping on Sea Ice with Whale Hunters
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
May 11, 2021
The Battle for the Soul of Artificial Intelligence
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
May 04, 2021
Treat Your Brain: Season 6 of Overheard
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Apr 27, 2021
Bonus episode: The Secret Culture of Killer Whales
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Apr 13, 2021
The Secret of Musical Genius
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Mar 23, 2021
Legends of Kingfishers, Otters, and Red-Tailed Hawks
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Mar 16, 2021
The Real Amazons
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Mar 09, 2021
Deep Inside the First Wilderness
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Mar 02, 2021
Unraveling a Mapmaker’s Dangerous Decision
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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/explore to subscribe today.   
Feb 23, 2021
Why War Zones Need Science Too
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Feb 16, 2021
Bonus Episode: In Conversation: Reframing Black History and Culture
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Feb 12, 2021
Mars Gets Ready for Its Close-up
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Feb 09, 2021
Searching for the Himalaya’s Ghost Cats
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Feb 02, 2021
Overheard Season 5: Bigger. Weirder. Beautiful-er.
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jan 26, 2021
Bonus Episode: Bicycles, Better Angels, and Biden
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jan 21, 2021
A Traveling Circus and its Great Escape
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Dec 15, 2020
An Accidental Case of the Blues
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Dec 08, 2020
Introducing: Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Dec 03, 2020
The Trouble with America’s Captive Tigers
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Dec 01, 2020
The Strange Tail of Spinosaurus
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Nov 24, 2020
The Search for History’s Lost Slave Ships
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Nov 17, 2020
Chasing the World’s Largest Tornado
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Nov 10, 2020
Documenting Democracy
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Nov 03, 2020
Can You Hear the Reggae in My Photographs?
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Oct 27, 2020
Overheard Season 4
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Oct 13, 2020
How I Learned to Love Zombie Parasites
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Aug 04, 2020
The Failing of War Photography
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jul 28, 2020
The Canary of the Sea
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jul 21, 2020
A Spore of Hope
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jul 14, 2020
The Tree at the End of the World
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jul 07, 2020
The United States v. One Tyrannosaurus Bataar
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jun 30, 2020
The Unstoppable Wily Coyote
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jun 23, 2020
The Towers of Ladakh
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jun 10, 2020
The Virus Hunter
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Apr 28, 2020
The Frozen Zoo
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Dec 10, 2019
If These Walls Could Talk
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Nov 26, 2019
The Aquarius Project
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Nov 19, 2019
March of the Beaver
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Nov 12, 2019
Cave of the Jaguar God
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Nov 05, 2019
The Hidden Cost of the Perfect Selfie
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Oct 29, 2019
The Alien Underground
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Oct 22, 2019
Digging Up Disaster
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Oct 15, 2019
Overheard at National Geographic Season 2
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Oct 02, 2019
Honeybee Chop Shop
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jul 30, 2019
The Glass Stratosphere
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jul 23, 2019
The Harem Conspiracy
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jul 16, 2019
The Zombie Mice of Marion Island
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jul 09, 2019
Scuba Diving in a Pyramid
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jul 02, 2019
Rats vs Humans: A Love Story
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jun 25, 2019
Evolution of a Little Liar
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jun 18, 2019
Humpback Hit Factory
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jun 11, 2019
Introducing Overheard from National Geographic
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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/explore to subscribe today. 
Jun 04, 2019