Like magic, these habitats disappear and reappear each spring
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Like magic, these habitats disappear and reappear each spring

Ponds that vanish and reappear, animals that go dormant and return to life—vernal pools feel a bit like spring magic, but they’re 100 percent real. These ephemeral habitats,…

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Everything you need to know about Rocky Mountain National Park
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Everything you need to know about Rocky Mountain National Park

A version of this article originally appeared in the National Geographic book 100 Parks, 5000 Ideas. There’s much ado about altitude at this remarkable park in the Colorado…

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49 environmental victories since the first Earth Day
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49 environmental victories since the first Earth Day

The first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, was a milestone event for the planet. An estimated 20 million people took to the streets across the U.S. to…

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Everything you wanted to know about stars
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Everything you wanted to know about stars

Gently singing Twinkle, twinkle, little star may lull a baby to sleep, but beyond the confines of Earth’s atmosphere, the words aren’t exactly accurate. A correct, albeit less…

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In search of the perfect cup of tea
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In search of the perfect cup of tea

We are deep in the tea mountains of Xishuangbanna Prefecture in China’s Yunnan Province. Villages inhabited by the Dai, Bulang, Lahu, Akha, and other ethnic minorities lie across…

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Rock climbing: from ancient practice to Olympic sport
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Rock climbing: from ancient practice to Olympic sport

Since modern recreational climbing began in the late 19th century, breakthroughs derived from new technology and tactics have pushed it in myriad directions. Today, as international competitors at…

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A change in our diets may have changed the way we speak
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A change in our diets may have changed the way we speak

As the saying goes, we are what we eat—but does that aspect of our identity carry over to the languages we speak? In a new study in Science,…

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Surprising DNA found in ancient people from southern Europe
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Surprising DNA found in ancient people from southern Europe

Since the beginning of human migration, the Iberian Peninsula—home of modern-day Spain and Portugal—has been a place where the cultures of Africa, Europe, and the Mediterranean have mingled.…

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Your best photos of the week, March 15, 2019
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Your best photos of the week, March 15, 2019

One of the most humbling experiences as a photo editor is when a photograph forces you to pause and take a second look. This might happen while looking…

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This Renaissance warrior woman defied powerful popes to defend her lands
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This Renaissance warrior woman defied powerful popes to defend her lands

Toward the end of 1499, a woman stood atop the walls of the Rocca di Ravaldino in Forlì, some 185 miles north of Rome. The troops of the…

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This man will eat only what he can grow or forage—here’s why
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This man will eat only what he can grow or forage—here’s why

9 lesser-known train trips
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9 lesser-known train trips

As travelers, we know there are a lot of ways to get from point A to point B. But if you’re looking for a journey that’s more than…

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Whale watching in Japan is on the rise, even as commercial hunts are set to resume
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Whale watching in Japan is on the rise, even as commercial hunts are set to resume

The Japanese, it seems, are becoming more interested in watching whales than eating them. Researchers at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), an animal welfare and conservation…

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Want to grow plants in space? Go to the coldest place on Earth.
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Want to grow plants in space? Go to the coldest place on Earth.

A land of unrelenting wind and ice, Antarctica is about as far from verdant as any place can get. Yet cucumbers are growing on the continent’s coast. Next…

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How pigeons landed in cities, and more breakthroughs
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How pigeons landed in cities, and more breakthroughs

See the many sides of a city in a single picture
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See the many sides of a city in a single picture