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category_outlined / Science
National Geographic MagazineNational Geographic Magazine

National Geographic Magazine October 2018

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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
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12 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time1 min.
explore new worlds in nat geo almanac 2019

Need a refresher on the world around you? The new National Geographic Almanac can help with that. The 2019 edition, coming this month, illuminates the worlds of science, nature, history, and geography in vivid detail. Dazzling photography, maps by distinguished cartographers, illustrated time lines, and quizzes in each section will help catch you up on the latest discoveries. Available where books are sold and at shopng.com/books.INSIDE THE ALMANACEYE-POPPING LANDSCAPESTHE ATACAMA DESERT in Chile sees practically no rain; the high mountains that ring it help prevent moisture from reaching the sands.THE NILE RIVER, the world’s longest, runs for about 4,160 miles, depositing its freshwater into the Mediterranean Sea.MAMMOTH CAVE in Kentucky is part of the world’s longest cave system. Some 400 miles have been mapped.NAT GEO BOOKSNAT GEO WILDWho’s Taking Fido’s…

access_time4 min.
isolated and at risk: peoples of the amazon

One of the most challenging aspects of storytelling at National Geographic is introducing our readers to people and cultures they’ve never seen before. It’s a beautiful part of our 130-year history but also an ethical minefield: What’s our responsibility in telling the stories of those who, at least outwardly, seem so different from us? How do we cover cultures sensitively, without “exoticizing” or romanticizing what’s natural for them?Photographer Charlie Hamilton James is a National Geographic Society fellow.‘IF YOU STRIP AWAY YOUR PRECONCEPTIONS, IT’S A FAR MORE HONEST WAY OF CONVEYING WHAT PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY LIKE.’This month’s cover story, on grave threats to the indigenous people who live in the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon, brings this subject into high relief. Our photographer, Charlie Hamilton James, spent a month with indigenous groups…

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flowers in a new light

A technique that relies on ultraviolet light reveals the hidden, colorful—and even sparkly—attributes of common plants.The common myrtle shrub (Myrtus communis) can often pass unnoticed. The anthers of its normally white flowers contain pigments that, under ultraviolet light, provide a brilliant flourish.Some colorful flowers of Monarda sp., also known as bee balm or bergamot, attract pollinators with their vibrant hues. Under UV light the plant looks like an electrified rainbow.The Callery pear tree (Pyrus calleryana) produces white flowers that look purple under UV light. The colors that humans normally see are created when wavelengths are reflected by certain materials (e.g., grass absorbs all colors but green). Fluorescence is the emission of light of one wavelength from a substance that absorbs radiation of another wavelength. As a result, flowers reveal these…

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the backstory

STEP ONE for photographer Craig Burrows is to select a flower. He does this carefully, foraging in parks and cracks in the pavement. Once he finds a worthy candidate—full in body and complex in texture—he brings it home. If he can’t find a specimen he likes, he’ll go to his garden and grow it himself.Burrows lives near Los Angeles, a prime place for diverse plants. He has photographed flowers since 2014 with a technique known as ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence (UVIVF) photography. The method allows a flower to reveal the spectacular colors it emits when exposed to UV light. Ordinary pigments come to life in strange new ways, showing colors you’d expect on another planet. Daisies and sunflowers often have the most striking fluorescence, their pigments glowing in vibrant colors. Many…

access_time7 min.
despite perils, decide to hope

YOU WOULD ALMOST have to be nuts to be filled with hope in a world so rife with hunger, hatred, climate change, pollution, and pestilence, let alone the self-destructive or severely annoying behavior of certain people, both famous and just down the hall, none of whom we will name by name.Yet I have boundless hope, most of the time. Hope is a sometimes cranky optimism, trust, and confidence that those I love will be OK—that they will come through, whatever life holds in store. Hope is the belief that no matter how dire things look or how long rescue or healing takes, modern science in tandem with people’s goodness and caring will boggle our minds, in the best way.Hope is (for me) not usually the religious-looking fingers of light slanting…

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more brains make research possible

BRAINS ARE in short supply. Neuroscientists need brain tissue of all types to study the diseases that affect more than 15 percent of people in the world. Enter Tish Hevel. In 2015, after Hevel’s father died from Lewy body dementia, her family wanted to offer his brain for research—but knew that it would take much more than an organ donor card. The experience inspired Hevel to create the Brain Donor Project “to raise awareness of the critical need” and make enrolling easier for would-be donors. Nearly two years in, more than 2,000 people have signed up.This donated brain of a 101-year-old man is larger than a typical brain of someone his age. He’s said to have been astute until the day he died.MEDICINEBusting Myths About Donating Your BrainThe organization that…

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