National Geographic Magazine May 2019

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
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12 Números

en este número

1 min.
what’s coming

NAT GEO TV Scientists Confront a Lethal Foe in The Hot Zone Richard Preston’s best-selling book The Hot Zone tells the story of the origins of the deadly Ebola virus in the central African rainforest and its arrival on U.S. soil in 1989. Now the book is a television miniseries in which Nancy Jaax, the heroic U.S. Army scientist who helped prevent the virus’s spread, is played by Julianna Margulies (above, at right). The six-part series will air two episodes a night starting at 9/8c, on May 27, 28, and 29 on National Geographic. TELEVISION This Is Not Your High School’s Science Fair Each year 1,700 teen scientists are invited to compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair, where more than four million dollars in scholarships and awards are at stake. Go inside the…

2 min.
oceans of debris

THERE’S THE PLASTIC waste we can see—bottles, bags, discarded fishing nets, and all manner of other objects littering shorelines and bobbing in oceans. And then there’s the plastic waste we can’t see: microplastics, whittled by sun, wind, and waves into bits so small that some are visible only under a microscope. Scientists are just beginning to understand the impact these particles are having on fish, the food chain, and ultimately, us. For this month’s story about microplastics—part of National Geographic’s #PlanetOrPlastic initiative to reduce plastic waste—photographer David Liittschwager documented the ubiquity of plastics in ocean water samples. Writer Laura Parker’s reporting took her to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lab in Honolulu, where oceanographer Jamison Gove and fish biologist Jonathan Whitney study microplastics in the slicks where larval fish spend…

1 min.
modern girls, ancient rite


2 min.
the backstory

WHAT MAKES A TRADITION—and why do people keep traditions alive? You might ask any of the children chosen to be Las Mayas in Colmenar Viejo, a village in Spain. Each spring, a few girls typically between the ages of seven and 11 sit in elaborate altars decorated with fresh flowers to mark the new season. As crowds pass by for two hours, the girls are to sit perfectly still, their facial expressions a sign of how seriously they take their roles. Families are honored if their daughter is selected from the dozens of young girls who apply to participate in this local tradition with ancient roots. But taking part means weeks of feverish activity preparing the elaborate altars and dresses. Photographer Daniel Ochoa de Olza has spent his career documenting Spanish traditions,…

6 min.
the future of dying in style

THE DISCOVERIES OF TODAY THAT WILL DEFINE THE WORLD OF TOMORROW NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VOL. 234 NO. 5 THROUGHOUT HISTORY, PEOPLE have devised elaborate ways to memorialize the dead: the pyramids of Egypt, Europe’s Gothic mausoleums, the Taj Mahal in India. What some mourners consider meaningful, others would call macabre. In 19th-century Europe and America, “death photography” produced portraits of the departed in lifelike poses; in the Tibetan Buddhist rite known as sky burial or bya gtor (alms for the birds), earthly remains are set out to feed vultures. Notions about honoring the dead are shaped by many factors—culture, tradition, geography, religion. But the notion is one thing, and the execution is another. In every era, it’s the available technology that determines our range of memorial options. The intersections of death and technology have long been…

1 min.
ashes to ashes: other options

Memorial diamonds are just one of many contemporary options for processing cremation ashes. Long live rock! A British company will press your loved one’s ashes into a custom-made vinyl record. Puns provided at no extra cost: The company’s name is And Vinyly (say it aloud). Under the sea: Ocean lovers may want to make their afterlife plans with a Florida company that incorporates cremains into artificial reefs and marine habitats. Space oddity: A Houston-based business has partnered with commercial spaceflight companies to send ashes into orbit, to the moon, or even into deep space. Heads up, though: The prices are, yes, astronomical.…