Overheard at National Geographic
Overheard at National Geographic
National Geographic
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.
Venturing into the Heart of Manila
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
26 min
Joel Sartore Wants to Save the Creepy-Crawlies
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 7
29 min
Portraits of Afghanistan Before the Fall
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
30 min
Lucy in the Sky With Asteroids
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
29 min
Cracking Down on Cheetah Traffickers
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
27 min
The Aztec: From Empire to AI
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
32 min
Cooling Cities By Throwing Shade
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 3
27 min
Dive Deeper: Season 7 of Overheard
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
2 min
Playback: The Glass Stratosphere
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
28 min
Bonus episode: The Surprising Superpowers of Sharks
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
27 min
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