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National Geographic Magazine January 2020

The latest news in science, exploration, and culture will open your eyes to the world’s many wonders. Get a National Geographic digital magazine subscription today and experience the same high-quality articles and breathtaking photography contained in the print edit.

United States
National Geographic Society
$6.63(Incl. tax)
$25.20(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
what’s coming

NAT GEO TV Take your mind out to play with new Brain Games Back with more mind-expanding illusions and experiments, Brain Games launches its eighth season by mixing brainpower and star power. Keegan-Michael Key (at left) hosts celebrity guests including Kristen Bell, Jack Black, Tiffany Haddish, and Ted Danson (at right). The two-hour premiere airs January 20 at 9/8c, followed by episodes on the next six Mondays at 9/8c on National Geographic. Previous seasons’ episodes will be available in late January on Disney+. BOOKS Immortality, Inc.: Can we outsmart aging? In what Publisher’s Weekly calls “a fascinating account,” journalist Chip Walter follows a group of entrepreneurs determined to find a cure for aging. Immortality, Inc.: Renegade Science, Silicon Valley Billions, and the Quest to Live Forever is available where books are sold and at shopng.com/books. NAT…

2 min
our aim: to illuminate and protect

THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY uses the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. With this mission statement, we honor our legacy as a 131-year-old global nonprofit and the principles that will guide our work in the years ahead. As we start 2020, I’d like to share our plans for what will truly be a consequential year. We will commemorate important milestones, such as the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. We’ll celebrate the 60th anniversary of Jane Goodall’s arrival in what is now Gombe National Park, with an immersive museum exhibit at our headquarters in Washington, D.C. And National Geographic will join world leaders at the Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Kunming, China, to help inform a post-2020 framework for supporting global…

1 min
making eye contact

1 min
the backstory

FIRST THEY WERE LOOKING at him—and then he started looking back. Photographer Remus Tiplea noticed the damselflies perched on foliage in his garden in Negresti-Oas, Romania. Staring with bulging eyes, the delicate insects looked inquisitive, Tiplea thought, and a little imposing. Long afternoons photographing damselflies became his summertime ritual. Through hours of watching, Tiplea learned the behaviors of the damselflies, a close relative of dragonflies but with slimmer bodies and narrower wings. He observed when they got hungry, when they reproduced, and what caused them to suddenly take flight. He saw how they behaved in rain and how they chose where to sleep. With time, he could tell their gender and the dominant qualities in mate selection. If he saw multiple damselflies in one frame, he’d have a few seconds to…

3 min
the science of annoyance

LUMINATING THE MYSTERIES—AND WONDERS—ALL AROUND US EVERY DAY IN THIS SECTION Dirty Dirt Floors Lab of the Future Bootbuilding Tools How Many Passports? PICTURE YOURSELF AT A CROWDED airport departure gate. Your flight is 20 minutes late, although the illuminated sign still says On Time. The woman on your left is noisily eating something that smells awful. The overhead TV is tuned to a celebrity gossip show, a relentless stream of Bieber after Gwyneth after Miley, plus countless Kardashians. The man to your right is still braying into his cell phone, and the traveler next to him is preparing to kill time with … wait, is that a toenail clipper? Unless you are saintly or unconscious, a few things in that description—or many things, or all the things—are likely to really bug you. We know…

4 min
our annoying survey answers

The most annoying technology Robocalls … Pop-up ads … Selfie sticks … Other people’s cell phones … Electric scooters … Captchas (typing symbols to prove you’re not a robot) … Virtual assistants like Alexa, Echo, Siri … “Everything after the wheel.” he most annoying noise Buzzing insects … Barking dogs … Leaf blowers … Open-mouthed chewing … Car alarms … People singing really badly … Construction … Entitled people screaming … Knuckles cracking … Loud neighbors … “Being told no.” The most annoying people Fakers … Telemarketers who don’t stop at the first NO … TSA agents … Line cutters … Narcissists … Low talkers … Celebrities … Bigots. Now it could be that you read that last paragraph and said to yourself, Wait a minute—a delayed flight isn’t that annoying. If I have a good…