Wow, the winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest are unreal

National Geographic just announced the winners of the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest for 2014. They're all so fantastic you'd swear they aren't real. Like the one above, which is so fantastic that it looks like a photoshop. But it is real—a stunning picture by Marc Henauer of Green Lake in Tragöss, Austria. » 8/04/14 10:40pm 8/04/14 10:40pm

Hundreds of flying rays is one beautiful nightmare

This photograph of a large school of mobula rays by Eduardo Lopez Negrete is one of the entries for the 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. Keep in mind that these majestic creatures can reach a 17-foot (5.2 meter) wingspan and weigh over a ton. It may look like a nightmare but they are harmless. » 7/23/14 9:03pm 7/23/14 9:03pm

The Right Way to Flip a Coin (And Other Things Going Deep Taught Us)

One of the most earth-shattering things that David Rees has learned about flipping a coin: It's not random. "It's a physical process," he says. "And if you can reduce the number of variables involved, you can control the outcome." Yes, it is possible to learn how to flip a coin, and Rees can show you how to do it. » 7/21/14 4:35pm 7/21/14 4:35pm

Scientists Are Mapping the Ocean's Plastic Because 99 Percent Is Missing

Last week, some strange news swept the science internet: Much of the plastic scientists expected to find on the ocean's surface is gone, and no one knows exactly where it is. Now the scientists behind the research have shared a first-of-its-kind map of ocean plastic with National Geographic--and it could be key to… » 7/17/14 11:11am 7/17/14 11:11am

Melting Arctic Ice Is Drastically Changing National Geographic's Atlas

When the the 10th edition of the National Geographic world atlas is released this fall, it will look markedly different from previous versions. That field of endless white usually covering the very north of the planet will be dramatically reduced to reflect the real-life shrinkage of the Arctic ice sheet. » 6/10/14 1:00pm 6/10/14 1:00pm

The Ship-Breakers Who Tear Apart Dead Cargo Vessels By Hand

On the Bangladeshi coast of the Bay of Bengal, past-their-prime oil tankers and cargo vessels are beached on the muddy shore like industrial, open-air graveyards. There, these massive ships are taken apart by men—"ship-breakers"—who toil hand-to-metal for minimal wages on the toxic, exceptionally dangerous sites. » 5/06/14 10:20am 5/06/14 10:20am

The best nature photo of the year is this badass polar bear

This is the Grand Prize Winner of National Geographic's best photo of the year competition, taken by Seattle-based photographer Paul Souders. It's titled The Ice Bear, and it features a female polar bear staring at Paul from underwater. It's an outstanding image, but I think the rest of his series are equally good—or… » 12/19/13 6:45pm 12/19/13 6:45pm

Photos of History's Greatest Failed Explorers (And Their Legacies)

It's said that history is written by the victors. But at the same time, those victors often end up mythologizing the brave, failed losers that came before them. According to National Geographic Magazine, our fascination with failed explorers isn't just about scaring ourselves silly with stories of ice-encrusted tombs… » 8/22/13 4:40pm 8/22/13 4:40pm

National Geographic Puts 125 of Its Most Iconic Photos Up For Sale

We're used to participating in Christie's auctions as mere spectators, gawking at items like the Maharaja of Patiala’s banqueting service or the original Apple 1. But this week, Christie's is offering up a collection of National Geographic's most iconic shots—and they're surprisingly affordable. » 7/22/13 5:00pm 7/22/13 5:00pm

National Geographic Is Suspending Posts on Instagram Because of…

Though Instagram has backpedaled a bit on whether or not it will sell your Instagram photos to advertisers, people are generally wary to trust a company backed by Facebook when it comes to privacy. National Geographic, a company who has a real reason to be sorta ticked off at all this since its pictures are actually … » 12/18/12 7:20pm 12/18/12 7:20pm

Help Us Make National Geographic's Photo Contest Entries Even Better

With the deadline hitting at the end of this week, there's just a few days left to enter National Geographic's 2012 photo contest. So far the submissions are, not surprisingly, stunning, and The Atlantic has rounded up some of the most beautiful entries so far. Choosing a single winner is going to be a daunting task. » 11/28/12 7:40pm 11/28/12 7:40pm

If You Ever Wondered How People Take a Picture of a Cheetah Running at…

Cheetahs are super fast and to capture them running at full speed is damn near impossible. Well, almost impossible. National Geographic shows how they captured a running cheetah and it's pretty impressive: over 400 foot of perfectly level dolly track, a bevy of cameras, an able and willing cheetah and really fast… » 10/26/12 1:00am 10/26/12 1:00am