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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 …
 
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 o…
 
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 infrastr…
 
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 e…
 
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 durin…
 
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 t…
 
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 bef…
 
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 Somal…
 
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 o…
 
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 B…
 
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, pleas…
 
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 f…
 
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…
 
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 p…
 
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 …
 
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 …
 
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…
 
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,” a…
 
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…
 
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,…
 
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…
 
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 C…
 
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 t…
 
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…
 
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 e…
 
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 f…
 
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…
 
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. Eve…
 
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 spo…
 
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 archeolo…
 
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 sophist…
 
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 …
 
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 …
 
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 docume…
 
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 coron…
 
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 …
 
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 coun…
 
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 …
 
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 …
 
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 fi…
 
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-s…
 
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 nation…
 
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 so…
 
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 …
 
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, hummin…
 
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…
 
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. …
 
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…
 
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…
 
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.…
 
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