Whale American Idol. Underwater pyramids. A honeybee chop shop. 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.