That’s what stood out about this image of Tibet’s historic Tashilhunpo Monastery from the 7,000 submissions we received for the #BestoftheWorld hashtag challenge we hosted on Your Shot, National Geographic’s online photo community. San Diego-based photographer Yu Shi found himself drawn to the architecture and colors of the monastery, which is located in Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city.
The Pulitzer Prizes are about to commemorate their 100th anniversary with a celebration at Poynter. When ProPublica's Michael Grabell was a reporter at The Dallas Morning News, there were three kinds of phone calls he dreaded most.
This course is designed to give you the techniques and tools you need to confront complex and complicated ethical issues. Seven years and more than 1,000 photos ago, Mike Melnotte shared his first image with National Geographic's Your Shot.
It used to be that belonging to the National Geographic community meant being a subscriber and getting a card acknowledging that membership, said Your Shot Director Monica Corcoran.
For amateur photographers, getting into photography and photojournalism can be overwhelming, she said. The benefits for community members, including Melnotte, are pretty obvious — engagement with National Geographic photo editors and photojournalists, exposure and education. Big companies send out surveys to try and assess the audience, said Matt Adams, Your Shot's assistant photo editor. And in a time when platforms, devices and ways of consuming media are constantly shifting, when everyone's taking and sharing images in social spaces like Instagram, Your Shot centers on something that doesn't change much. Until last month, John Stanmeyer, a National Geographic contributing photographer, hadn't yet worked as a photo editor on one of Your Shot's assignments. You can see new images from National Geographic photographers several times a day on Instagram. So far, he has taken part in every assignment and submits between three and five photos a week. Correction: An earlier version of this story used the incorrect spelling for Stephen Alvarez's first name. Behind the Edit: Landmark MomentsWith 13,552 submissions to the Landmark Moments assignment, choosing a final story was not easy for Orsolya and Erlend Haarberg. Assignment: Built to WalkOur most recent assignment Built to Walk asks our members to submit images of the human movement.
Following the lead of the Out of Eden Walk project, we’re looking for images that answer the question: Why do people move? If you’re in need of inspiration both Paul and John have uploaded images to their Your Shot profiles to help you better understand what they may be looking for content wise with this assignment. With the help of our Your Shot members, Salopek and Stanmeyer hope to explore a fundamental quality of being human: restlessness. How the Virgin Mary Became the World’s Most Powerful WomanMary barely speaks in the New Testament, but her image and legacy are found and celebrated around the world. As the sun sets in Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina—a hot spot for Virgin Mary sightings—devotees of diverse faiths and nationalities gather to pray. Dragicevic was one of six poor shepherd children who first reported visions of the Virgin Mary in 1981. I’m in Medjugorje with a group of Americans, mostly hockey dads from the Boston area, plus two men and two women with stage 4 cancer. 5 Things to Know Marian Apparitions Researcher Michael O’Neill relays some fascinating facts about Virgin Mary apparitions.
The next morning, with his friends Rob and Kevin, he met another of the “visionaries,” Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic, in a jewelry shop and asked for her help. Back in Boston a week later, a CT scan at Massachusetts General Hospital revealed that his tumors had shrunk to almost nothing. Praying for the Virgin Mary’s intercession and being devoted to her are a global phenomenon.
Her reported appearances, visions experienced often by very poor children living in remote or conflict-wracked areas, have intensified her mystery and aura.
Muslims as well as Christians consider her to be holy above all women, and her name “Maryam” appears more often in the Koran than “Mary” does in the Bible. Anna Pidlisna, 32, of Ukraine, says she came to Medjugorje—where plaster statues can fetch about 30 euros apiece—after receiving a vision of Mary. The Evangelists were writing 40 to 65 years after Christ’s death and were not biographers, says Father Bertrand Buby, the author of a three-volume study, Mary of Galilee, and a distinguished member of the faculty in the International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton, in Ohio. During the first millennium, as Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire and began spreading into Europe, Mary typically was portrayed as an imperial figure, the equal of emperors, dressed in royal purple and gold.
Because so little is known of Mary from Scripture, “you can project on her whatever cultural values you have,” says Amy-Jill Levine, a professor of New Testament and Jewish studies at Vanderbilt University.
During the Reformation (1517-1648), the idea of Mary as intercessor fell out of favor with Protestants, who advocated going straight to God in prayer.
Sister Marzena Michalczyck, 31, a nun from Krakow, Poland, pauses to pray during her weeklong walk to Czestochowa. Kibeho, a small town in southern Rwanda, is remembered as the place where -->the Virgin Mary appeared to three young girls--> and foretold of the blood and horror of the genocide that would traumatize the country in 1994, when the majority Hutu attacked the minority Tutsi and in three months more than 800,000 people were slaughtered.
In March 1982 the local bishop asked Venant Ntabomvura, a doctor, to go to a girls boarding school on a hillside in Kibeho.
Mary appeared first to Alphonsine, then to Anathalie Mukamazimpaka, followed by Marie Claire Mukangango.
I found Anathalie at dusk one evening in her modest home near her old school, surrounded by rosaries and statues of the Virgin.
Mary’s dire prophecy came on a day in 1982 everyone expected to be especially happy: August 15, the Feast of Mary’s Assumption into heaven.
Anathalie said that what Mary predicted “is exactly what I saw” during the genocide 12 years later. In Rutka, Poland, Anna Bondaruk, 84, prays with Marek Wlodzimirow, 38, who has come to her for spiritual healing.
Michael O’Neill, 39, a Stanford University graduate in mechanical engineering and product design, is the Virgin Mary’s big data numbers cruncher. O’Neill, in his newly published book, Exploring the Miraculous, details the Vatican’s painstaking process when deciding whether to endorse an apparition as miraculous—“truly extraordinary.” The “authenticity” and mental stability of the seer are prime, and anyone suspected of trying to gain fame or riches from contact with the Virgin Mary is ignored or condemned.
The Vatican would never approve an alleged apparition whose message contradicted church teachings, and the faithful aren’t required to believe in apparitions.
Starting in the 16th century, the Roman Catholic Church instituted a strict vetting process for miracles like the 2,000 sightings of the Virgin Mary claimed since A.D. Nonetheless, over the years, as part of the church’s investigative process, seers have been subjected to batteries of tests. In the medical profession what you and I might call a miracle is often referred to as “spontaneous remission” or “regression to mean.” Frank McGovern, the Boston urologic surgeon who had done all he could for Arthur Boyle, told me that the cancer’s virtual disappearance was a “rare” but statistically possible happening. Did the intense heat Boyle experienced when Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic held his head in her hand play a part in his healing? Her image was what Mexicans carried into their war against Spain for independence in 1810 and their internal revolution in 1910. At dawn on December 11, the day before the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I drove southeast from Mexico City toward Puebla. I pulled off the highway at a camp in the woods where pilgrims sleep at night on the cold ground.
The next morning when I arrived at the plaza in front of the basilica, a steady stream of people of all ages—including Alejandra Anai Hernan de Romero, an 18-year-old mother clutching her sick seven-week-old baby, Dieguito, born with a kidney malfunction—were shuffling on their knees across the square, standing only when they entered the basilica.
In the basilica, behind the main altar, protected by glass, hung the original cloth image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, focusing the rapt attention of the faithful passing by on a moving walkway. Many art historians see this as a standard European depiction of Mary, typical of the 16th century. Remarkably, the image hasn’t deteriorated, according to the church, even though the cloth hung in the basilica for more than a century without protection, vulnerable to dirt and smoke. As the only woman to have her own sura, or chapter, in the Koran, Mary was chosen by God “above all other women of the world,” for her chastity and obedience. In Egypt I talked with devout Muslims who, because of their reverence for the Virgin Mary, had no qualms about visiting Christian churches and praying to her in church as well as mosque. I met Nabila Badr, 53, at a Coptic church along the Nile in a part of Cairo called Al Adaweya—one of the many places in Egypt where the Holy Family is said to have stopped. In Lourdes, a small town in France with an outsize reputation for miracles and Marian signs, volunteers push the wheelchairs of terminally or chronically ill pilgrims. Like many Egyptians, Badr also believes in jinn, or spirits, who influence life for good or bad, although she claims only to have her own angel. Following the many paths of Mary, I learned that she has often appeared to people in crisis zones, such as Kibeho and Bosnia and Herzegovina, seeking to warn of danger or to serve as a symbol of healing.
Everything at Lourdes is about scale: more than a hundred acres, six million visitors a year, space for 25,000 worshippers in the giant underground basilica. Lourdes is the Virgin’s miracle factory, with more than 7,000 miraculous cures claimed since the mid-1800s. Shortly after World War II, members of the French and German militaries met at Lourdes to reconcile and heal the wounds of war; now every spring veterans groups are among the hordes of pilgrims. Perkins grew up a poor white girl in a mostly black, inner-city neighborhood in Tacoma, Washington, with nominal support from her mother and alcoholic stepfather. In the Deir al Adra monastery, in Minya, Egypt, Muslims and Christians alike light candles to commemorate the Holy Family’s stay during their biblical flight into Egypt. Perkins attended the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit school, for 12 years but left a few credits short and graduated from SUNY, Albany. During the closing ceremonies at a giant Mass in the basilica, one of the European bishops, preaching in French, said, “World War III is already under way in the Middle East and Africa.” He praised the military there for focusing “on peace, justice, and human rights. I thought of the indelible scene of the candlelight procession the night before—thousands of pilgrims, from places ranging from Argentina to Zambia, silently lifting their candles in prayer. Award-winning journalist Maureen Orth, also a special correspondent for Vanity Fair, has been wandering the world and telling unexpected stories since her time as a Peace Corps volunteer in the 1960s.Tune in Sunday, December 13, to National Geographic Channel’s Explorer series episode The Cult of Mary. Extreme Research Shows How Arctic Ice Is DwindlingWhat happens when the planet loses some of its ability to cool itself? To track changes in sea ice, the Norwegian research vessel Lance drifted along with it for five months in 2015, on a rare voyage from Arctic winter into spring. The sea ice that blankets the Arctic Ocean isn’t the unbroken white mantle depicted in maps.
The Norwegians have done this before, more than a century ago, when polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen and the Fram were locked in pack ice for nearly three years during a vain attempt to drift across the North Pole. In dense fog, sea ice scientists pass in front of the Lance, dragging instruments for measuring ice thickness. Like homesteaders, the scientists established camps on the floe, pitching tents and laying electric cables.
In early March, after shoveling away three feet of snow, scientists from the Lance melt a hole through the ice to collect plankton and water samples. Since 1979, when satellite records began, the Arctic has lost more than half its volume of ice, which has diminished in both overall area and thickness. Since satellites began regularly measuring Arctic sea ice in 1979, it has declined sharply in extent and thickness. The Lance had a predecessor: In the 1890s the Norwegian ship Fram drifted for three years in the Arctic ice.
The assumption is that later this century, without a home field, these animals will simply lose all competitive advantage. Ice loss is also making the Arctic even more vulnerable to ocean acidification, another effect of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. Another scientific team prepares to launch a tethered balloon carrying atmospheric instruments. Warmer air above the ocean basin is projected to spill down over the surrounding coasts of Russia, Alaska, and Canada, causing feedback effects as far as 900 miles inland, including accelerated melting of the Greenland ice sheet and large emissions of carbon dioxide and methane from thawing tundra. In late April biologists Piotr Kukliński, Pedro Duarte, and Haakon Hop (left to right) prepare to dive through a hole in the ice, into a world just being awakened by the spring sun. Wearing a dry suit, Kukliński observes the flora and fauna living under thick, perennial ice.
This piece of Arctic sea ice froze fast on a cold, calm night; polarized light shining through the thin section reveals tightly packed columns of crystals.
In any case, as the warming of the planet continues, cold spells of any kind will become less common. In a fracture behind the Lance, water vapor meets chill air and freezes to “sea smoke.” As dark water replaces ice, the Arctic Ocean absorbs more heat in summer and releases more in fall and winter—perhaps affecting weather elsewhere.
In late June, during the final phase of their expedition, the scientists aboard the Lance awoke to discover that the latest ice floe they’d attached to was disintegrating too.
One morning in March, under a dusky blue sky, I had joined Gunnar Spreen and another NPI researcher, Anja Rosel, on one of their periodic forays to measure changes in the ice floe’s thickness.
In New York Harbor the Statue of Liberty weathers a lightning storm against the sparkle of the New Jersey shore.
On single breaths of up to a minute and a half, these Korean haenyeo, or sea women, search for conch and other edibles off the coast of Jeju Island. Suzanne Oberheu Beard?Miami, Florida Drawn to the surreal sight of a grand piano on a Biscayne Bay sandbar, Beard, 51, captured this image as “the pelicans crowded on it began to lift and fly away.” Her shot went viral. Sitting on her basement floor and using a flash, Courtney, 44, took this shot of her dancing 14-year-old daughter, Emily.
In Kent, England, a rescued hen—nearly featherless after life on an industrial farm—wears a hand-knit sweater. With her dog at her side and a hen at her heart, Mary Allchurch stands near her country home in Kent. This is “Weasel,” an IT specialist for a major insurance company, relaxing with his hens on a Sunday morning in Kent. Sam Bradley, 9—seen with his mother, Sarah, in their Lutton yard—bought his first rescue hen with money saved from his sixth birthday.
NEW MENU  The gorillas now munch on many pounds a day of slimming, fiber-rich produce—including endive, dandelion greens, romaine lettuce, and alfalfa hay. The liquid present in the outer core suggests the moon may have been entirely molten when it formed 4.5 billion years ago, says Weber. The lunar core is about 60 percent liquid by volume, according to a new analysis of Apollo-era seismic data. British law has long dictated that pubs sell beer and cider only in an imperial pint (pictured), which is about 20 percent larger than a U.S. The coat patterns of leopards (above) and other cat species evolved to provide camouflage in their habitats. Spotting the Leopard Writer Rudyard Kipling imagined a leopard’s spots came from the fingertips of a human, to help it blend in with the jungle.
A census of WILD TIGERS in India shows their numbers have risen 20 percent—from 1,411 to 1,706—since the last count, in 2007. With eight legs like a spider and claws like a scorpion, pseudoscorpions come fearsomely equipped.
It’s blue, comes from a creature more ancient than dinosaurs, and saves countless human lives.


So sensitive is the test derived from the proteins that it can detect amounts as slight as one part per trillion. In South Carolina, horseshoe crabs are gathered for their unique bacteria-detecting blood (above). The blood’s blue color comes from copper in its oxygen-carrying protein, hemocyanin— akin to the iron-based hemoglobin in humans. THE STROOP EFFECT Glance at the image to the left and, as quickly as you can, name the animal whose shape is pictured. Little Big Genes Humans fancy themselves complicated, but when it comes to genes, we’ve got nothing on a nearly microscopic water flea. Consortium scientists say humans share much common stock with this not so simple water flea. Love, music, and math have all been called “the international language.” But nowhere is a lingua franca more vital than in places of conflict, where a failure to communicate can be fatal.
John Clark, an Army helicopter pilot stationed in Afghanistan, says nonverbal dialogue is key in a country with multiple languages and dialects. About Intelligent TravelNational Geographic believes that to know the world is to change it.
But shortly after buying his first DSLR camera, when he saw that he could share his images with an online community and that National Geographic editors might favorite them, offer feedback or even feature them, he began taking images and submitting them more and more. Back then, readers could submit one photo a month to try and get published in the magazine. The assignments pull back the curtain on what it feels like to be on assignment, to communicate with an editor in the office and to work around a certain theme or topic. Time spent on the site creeps up to around seven minutes per user, Corcoran said, and a large number are repeat users. They've experimented with pointing the Your Shot community to different missions and projects coming out of Nat Geo, asking people to sign pledges and donate to causes it supports. But National Geographic gets a lot out of the community, too, and not just photography and pageviews. Corcoran's editors note with this photo reads: 'Everywhere I look in this frame, there is something visually interesting. They come from around the world and offer glimpses of what it's like to be on assignment for the magazine. He looks to see who editors have chosen for the Daily Dozen feature and checks in with a few friends he's made over the years. The Daily Dozen is 12 photos chosen by the Your Shot editors each day from thousands of recent uploads. Writer Paul Salopek and National Geographic photographer John Stanmeyer are leading this assignmnet looking to answer the question of why we as people continue to move?
He is setting out to recreate the voyage of dicovery our ancestors made when first wandering out of the prehistoric African Eden and migrated across the Middle East and Asia, before crossing into North America. In a small Roman Catholic chapel in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the village of Medjugorje, Ivan Dragicevic walks down the aisle, kneels in front of the altar, bows his head for a moment, and then, smiling, lifts his gaze heavenward. She identified herself to the four girls and two boys as the “Queen of Peace” and handed down the first of thousands of messages admonishing the faithful to pray more often and asking sinners to repent.
We’re led by 59-year-old Arthur Boyle, a father of 13, who first came here on Labor Day weekend in 2000, riddled with cancer and given months to live. On August 12, during a Mass celebrating her assumption into heaven, Roman Catholic youths guard a life-size figure in Kalwaria Paclawska, Poland. The notion of Mary as intercessor with Jesus begins with the miracle of the wine at the wedding at Cana, when, according to the Gospel of John, she tells him, “They have no wine,” thus prompting his first miracle. And when the children can’t be shaken from their stories—especially if the accounts are accompanied by inexplicable “signs” such as spinning suns or gushing springs—her wonder grows.
Scholars of Mary must take what they can from Hebrew Scriptures, first-century Mediterranean texts, the New Testament, and archaeological digs. After Mary became pregnant, her betrothed, Joseph, a carpenter, considered quietly leaving her until an angel came to him in a dream and told him not to. Maria Enriqueta Garcia, in her sacred theology dissertation at the Marian Institute, explains that Mary brings us to Jesus, who is the light of the world, just as Jewish mothers light the Shabbat candles. In the second millennium, beginning in the 12th century, says medieval historian Miri Rubin of Queen Mary University of London, “she underwent a dramatic shift,” evolving into a more accessible, kinder, gentler maternal figure.
But Mary gained millions of new Catholic followers with the Spanish conquest in the New World in the early 1500s—and, more recently, in Africa as Christianity has spread there. Millions of pilgrims trek there to see the Black Madonna, an icon believed to bestow miracles upon the faithful. He was to investigate three students who had reported visions and conversations with the Virgin Mary.
The girls said they spent countless hours in conversations with the Virgin, who called herself Nyina wa Jambo, Mother of the Word. The Black Madonna—a revered painting of a dark-skinned Virgin Mary and Child Jesus, said to be the work of St.
The local bishops with authority over Medjugorje have never given credence to the apparitions and have been at odds with the Franciscan priests who run the parish and are staunch believers. There have been attempts to get the visionaries in Medjugorje to blink or react to loud noises while they experience apparitions. That’s the case with Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose image on the tilma, or cloak, of a poor Indian man gave rise, in 1531, to Mexican identity. Cesar Chavez marched with her banner in his fight to unionize farmworkers in California in the 1960s.
Pilgrims were thronging in the opposite direction, toward the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the great shrine in the heart of the capital. According to legend, accepted by the church, it was in 1531 that the Virgin of Guadalupe spoke, in Nahuatl (the Aztec language), to Juan Diego, a baptized Indian canonized in 2002. But within the past several decades some church scholars have begun to interpret the visual imagery to be a combination of Catholic and what they consider to be Aztec iconography. Gold stars were added to the Virgin’s mantle, aligned, according to a Mexican study published in 1983, in their configuration at dawn on December 12, 1531, the day the image allegedly appeared on the tilma.
One day in Cairo I encountered two young Muslim women in head scarves standing in front of the old Coptic Abu Serga church, built over a cave that is said to have been used by the Holy Family. Badr is a married mother of three and an events organizer for the governor of a state near Cairo.
Mary’s church in Zaytun, a neighborhood in Old Cairo, apparitions of a silent Madonna bathed in white light are said to have appeared at night above the domes of the church for three years, from 1968 to 1971.
The Massabielle Grotto has been the font of Lourdes’s fame since 1858, when Mary is said to have appeared before a teenage girl and asked her to dig a spring in the hard earth. In her aftermath come physical cures said to be miraculous, as at Medjugorje, and spiritual healings too numerous to count. It was built in 1958 to commemorate the centennial of the Virgin Mary’s first appearance, in 1858, to Bernadette, an illiterate 14-year-old peasant girl.
There’s a strict protocol for how you disrobe and then tie a light linen cloth around your body for a quick, private dip, supported under each arm by a volunteer.
While in San Francisco, she took a job at Macy’s, working her way up the corporate ladder to become a senior executive. It had ended with dozens of veterans in wheelchairs lining up in front, next to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, for songs and prayers.
It’s a jigsaw puzzle of restless floes that are constantly colliding, deforming, and fracturing from the force of wind and ocean currents. Climate models predict that by as early as 2040 it will be possible in summer to sail across open water to the North Pole. So its loss inevitably will affect the climate and weather beyond the Arctic, but precisely how remains unclear.
The scientists singled out a half-mile-wide floe of predominantly seasonal ice that they hoped to study. Physicists like Spreen mapped the ice topography with lasers and recorded the thickness and temperature of the snow on top. Scientists had to contend with numb fingers, snapped cables, and crippled electronic instruments, along with the danger of roving polar bears.
Led by Fridtjof Nansen (second from left), the explorers failed to reach the North Pole, but they collected valuable data.
The loss of sea ice may take a toll on some of the photosynthesizing organisms that fuel the marine food chain—single-celled algae that live under the ice and bloom in the spring when the light returns. Killer whales, for example, are likely to replace polar bears as the top marine predators, as bears retreat to the dwindling remnants of summer sea ice.
Cold water absorbs more CO? than warm water does, and more cold water is now open to the air. The Lance’s mission was to study ice loss and how it’s affecting the environment, both above and below. IPCC models forecast that the total loss of summer sea ice may in itself cause one-third of the warming of the Northern Hemisphere and 14 percent of total global warming by the end of the century. The ice floe and around 15 inches of snow on its surface reflect most sunlight, darkening the ocean below.
The jet stream draws most of its energy from the contrast in temperature and pressure between the frigid air to its north and the warmer air to the south. Even if sharp limits on greenhouse gas emissions are adopted over the next 20 years, the decline of sea ice will continue for decades. We each wore insulated armor—jumpsuit, balaclava, goggles, gloves, mittens over the gloves. But sea ice forms when cold air freezes seawater, and snow falling on top of it acts as an insulating blanket that slows the growth of the ice.
Here a floe has fractured, and the open water is freezing alongside a pressure ridge that formed where two earlier floes collided. The pungent element is mined near the crater’s highly acidic lake for such industrial uses as rubber and sugar processing. Although this bolt missed the monument, a few are estimated to strike Lady Liberty each year.
So when I learned about rescue hens, I could imagine a great visual story about a quirkily important cause. On her rooftop in central London, Julia Stephenson—a columnist and former Green Party candidate in U.K. Yet the instruments they left behind are helping us learn even today about the inner life of our celestial neighbor. The power of modern computers enabled Weber and her colleagues to examine the remainder, with a focus on deep moonquakes. The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) is optimistic that another serving-size option for draft pints will revive an industry whose market share is wobbling under the influence of wine and spirits.
It scuttles, six legged, through its two-year life span in a wetland near Lincoln, Nebraska. William Allen of the University of Bristol took a digital approach to breaking the camouflage code of it and other Felidae members.
Meet the newest addition to the few thousand known species: the Parobisium yosemite, so named for its home, California’s Yosemite National Park. In the case of the marine snail Hinea brasiliana, flashing green sends a clear signal to crabs and other predators: Stop.
It’s the blood of horseshoe crabs, and for decades it’s proved vital to biomedical companies that must screen vaccines, IV fluids, and medical devices for bacteria that can be fatal in our bloodstream.
That’s like one grain of sugar in an Olympic-size pool, says John Dubczak of test producer Charles River, Endosafe. About 20 percent of each crab’s blood is collected before it’s returned to the water (right).
In 2009 American inventors received nearly 53,000 patents abroad, while inventors based in other countries were the recipients of more than half the 167,000 U.S.
That’s because national standards—including the very definition of what can be patented—vary. In fact, the international Daphnia Genomics Consortium now reports that Daphnia pulex, a critical freshwater species, has the most genes of any animal yet sequenced.
That’s why every Friday we ask you the same question on Facebook: Where are you traveling this weekend?
We're on the front lines of travel that illuminates, celebrates, and preserves irreplaceable places—and we're taking you along for the ride. In the last year and a half, Your Shot also added 30 live events around the world that bring the online community together in real life. Shutters both opened and closed, flower boxes, signage, a laundry line filled with drying clothes, and a random assortment of plants that anchor the bottom of the frame. The account, which is run by a community of more than 100 National Geographic photographers, has 44.4 million followers. He also was chosen to serve as a Your Shot guest editor, along with a few other members, and got to visit National Geographic headquarters. Hare, a graduate of the University of Missouri's School of Journalism, spent 5 years as the Sunday features writer and an assistant editor at the St. Dragicevic was 16 years old, and Medjugorje, then in communist-controlled Yugoslavia, had yet to emerge as a hub of miracle cures and spiritual conversions, attracting 30 million pilgrims during the past three decades. He felt broken and dejected and wouldn’t have made the trip had not two friends forced him into it. The image in Mexico of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most reproduced female likenesses ever. She served as a substitute mother in monasteries and convents, which novices often entered at a tender age. Ntabomvura, a kindly ear, nose, and throat specialist who, at 89, is still practicing, says Alphonsine Mumureke had first told of visits by apparitions the previous November.
To be worthy of belief and church support, apparitions must be deemed miraculous with a high degree of certainty and in line with church doctrine, and found to have had a positive impact. A fierce mother figure as well as a goddess, Ezili has been a revered Vodou spirit since the Haitian Revolution. Anyone witnessing the outpouring of love and devotion that pilgrims demonstrate for their beloved Madre on the days leading up to the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe—broadcast live throughout the country on December 12—can see that the Virgin Mary is deeply embedded in Mexican hearts and souls.
Our Lady of Guadalupe conferred instant benediction on the once despised mestizo children of Spaniards and Indians. Along the busy highway I saw people walking alone or in groups, packs of cyclists dressed alike, and numerous pickups flying by with flashing colored lights, artificial flowers, and statues of the Virgin wobbling in the back. Most I talked to said they were coming to give thanks: They had made a promise to the Virgin, and she had answered their prayer. She urged him to tell the bishop that she wanted a church built on the site, Tepeyac Hill, which had been a place for worshipping Aztec earth goddesses.
Flowers don’t bloom there in December, but Juan Diego gathered a bouquet of beautiful roses, which he folded into his tilma, believed to be woven from agave fibers. According to such recent interpretations, an illiterate Indian would instantly be able to read the symbols as a nonverbal catechism. The Aztec greatly revered the sun god, and glowing rays added behind Mary signify that she comes from heaven and that her god has divine power.


Father Johann Roten, a Marian scholar, says Mary’s presence in the Caribbean can be traced to the merging of two cultures—Spanish Catholics and pre-Christian Africans—that began in the early 1500s. A small puddle soon grew into a pool; eventually it became this sacred water source, visited by some six million pilgrims every year. Lourdes, the Virgin’s most famous pilgrimage site, at the foot of the Pyrenees in southwestern France, is her miracle factory, with more than 7,000 miraculous cures claimed since the mid-1800s.
Perkins, 60, an affable triathlete and mother of two who was commanding a battalion of 480 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, when the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001. She learned German during a gap year between high school and college when she lived as an “indentured servant,” cleaning rooms in a family-owned hotel in the Bavarian Alps.
So many souls yearning to be witnesses for hope, so many souls imbued with the belief that the Virgin Mary was lighting their way.
Last February I stood shivering on the deck of the Lance, an old Norwegian research vessel, as it picked a path through a labyrinth of navigable fractures.
The air above it has warmed on average about 5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century, more than twice the global average.
The crew tethered the vessel to the floe with nylon ropes attached to thick metal poles driven into the ice. Oceanographers bored a hole through the ice to gather data about the water and the currents.
Permafrost is thawing, and the land is greening, as tree lines creep north and shrubs and grasses invade the tundra.
Changes in the magnitude and timing of these blooms, as winter ice retreats faster and earlier, may throw off the life cycle of tiny, fatty zooplankton called copepods, which eat the algae and are in turn eaten by arctic cod, seabirds, and bowhead whales.
As sea-ice loss amplifies the warming in the Arctic, the Francis theory goes, that contrast is reduced, weakening the jet stream’s westerly winds.
A more plausible explanation for the wavier jet stream and the southward excursions of the polar vortex, some of them argue, is the influence of the tropical Pacific, which is a far more powerful source of heat than the Arctic.
The scientists brought along a snow-depth probe, a GPS device, and an orange plastic sled carrying the ice-thickness instrument, which works by inducing an electric current in the seawater below. As it happened, two weeks after my walk with Spreen, the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado announced that Arctic sea ice had already reached its maximum extent for the winter in late February—much earlier than usual.
What’s more, unlike some animal-rights activists, the battery-hen advocates I’ve met in London and southern England are refreshingly open-minded, working with the farms to adopt hens and reform the system. Many will need to be “re-homed.” I hope the humor and humaneness in these photographs raise awareness of the situation.
When I heard her call one bird Lloyd, I really began to see each hen as a distinct personality.
The latest look at seismic data from four decades ago confirms that deep inside this cold, dry satellite is a hot, liquid core.
Like the Earth, the moon has a center consisting of liquid and solid layers, the innermost being the hottest yet solid due to intense pressure. But this year Parliament is set to scrap several restrictions on weights and measures to encourage innovation. After comparing photos of the cats with a mathematical model of pattern development on their flanks, Allen and colleagues concluded that the complexity of many coat patterns was related to habitat.
This resident of Australia’s rocky shores isn’t the only bioluminescent snail, but its shell is one of a kind, says Dimitri Deheyn of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography who co-authored a report on the findings late last year. Thanks to proteins in cells that act like a primitive immune system, the crabs’ blood coagulates instantly when it touches pathogens like E. Now Princeton University researchers are looking at another approach using synthetic molecules that replicate antimicrobial peptides found on the skin of African clawed frogs. And although the trend is toward harmonizing systems by sharing information, according to the U.S.
The reason is the Stroop effect, a type of interference that occurs when the brain has to resolve conflicting meanings.
Gillette’s razor (purple) to an Apple iPhone (orange)—require a drawing of the potential product.
Produced by a Virginia firm with input from linguists, graphic designers, military consultants, and technology engineers, these booklets can help troops and locals get their point across in terms that are purely visual.
By pointing to these pictures, an American soldier with no knowledge of Pashto can tell an Afghan man that information about a bombmaker will translate into a monetary reward. Tag all submissions #travelshot then look for your photos on the back page of the magazine, online in one of our My Shot community galleries, or here on the blog. Joseph (Missouri) News-Press, and five years as a staff writer covering race, immigration, the census and aging at the St.
In making our selections, we put special focus on composition, light, and a new approach to each subject.
Along with National Geographic photographer John Stanmeyer , who is visually documenting the Out of Eden Walk project, they are curating an assignment called Built to Walk , which asks our Your Shot community to submit images of human migration and movement.
431, at the Third Ecumenical Council, in Ephesus, that she was officially named Theotokos, Bearer of God. Mary draws millions each year to shrines such as Fatima, in Portugal, and Knock, in Ireland, sustaining religious tourism estimated to be worth billions of dollars a year and providing thousands of jobs. He remembers that Alphonsine “fell down many times, because what she watched was very terrible.
All of this had been predicted.” Anathalie was able to flee Rwanda to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and then Kenya.
Systematic investigation and documentation of supernatural occurrences began with the Council of Trent, the Catholic Church’s ecumenical reaction to the Reformation, more than 450 years ago. She is the symbol of la raza, the definition of what it means to be Mexican, and because of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexicans have always believed they’re special. A volunteer told me that leading up to the Feast of Guadalupe, they feed 5,000 pilgrims a day here. When he finally got to see the bishop and opened his cloak, the roses spilled out, revealing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The dusky woman’s dark hair is parted in the middle, possibly symbolizing that she’s a virgin, but she wears a black bow high around her waist, a sign that she’s pregnant.
One theory holds that in Nahuatl, the word “Mexico” comes from three words that mean “in the center of the moon”—and Mary is standing in the center of a black crescent moon. An affidavit from several decades later says that the spill left only a vague mark like a water stain. In a small room in the back of the church Badr mingled with Coptic Christians praying there, lit candle after candle, bowed, and prayed to an icon of Mary on the wall that was claimed to have once wept tears of oil. Bernadette was canonized on December 8, 1933.) The nearby Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, its stones worn by millions of feet, is where the Virgin is said to have commanded Bernadette to scoop up the mud with her hands to make a spring gurgle from the damp soil. They had come for the annual pilgrimage of militaries (from 35 nations this year) to celebrate peace.
Because hers was the only battalion whose soldiers had crucial counterintelligence and interrogation expertise, she oversaw the soldiers’ deployment to five countries, and she sent a group to Guantanamo Bay to set up facilities for POWs.
Her only recreation was to hike the mountain trails, where she encountered little shrines to Mary. After marrying a Green Beret, she signed up with the Army full-time and worked in counterintelligence. Much less of the ocean is covered by ice, and much more of that ice is thinner, seasonal ice rather than thick, old floes.
Meteorologists erected masts carrying instruments to collect weather data and measure greenhouse gases. Certain populations of polar bears, walruses, and caribou have suffered significant declines.
The maximum ice extent in winter, usually reached in March, also is declining, though at a slower rate; its average thickness has decreased by half. For marine mammals such as the polar bear, Pacific walrus, and ringed seal, the loss of hundreds of thousands of square miles of sea ice has already been devastating. Within the next 15 years it may no longer contain enough for animals such as sea snails and Alaska king crabs to construct and maintain their calcium-carbonate shells. It becomes a lazier, more sinuous river, with large meanders that extend far to the south and north.
The vessel by that point had spent 111 days in the ice, tethered to different floes for several weeks at a time—logging altogether some 4,000 nautical miles across the Arctic.
But whereas the Earth’s core is convecting—that is, dynamic, giving rise to plate tectonics, volcanic activity, and a magnetic field—the moon’s is thought to be stagnant. This would legalize a two-thirds pint—an amount some are calling a schooner based on a similar-size Australian pour.
By last year all but about 200 adults had disappeared from Little Salt Creek—more victims of urban sprawl and habitat loss, though natural flooding dilutes the salt seeps that feed the marsh.
Spotted cats are typical of closed environments like forests; plain-coated ones tend to inhabit open spaces. The arachnid’s claws aren’t even big enough to penetrate our skin, says James Cokendolpher, a research scientist at the Museum of Texas Tech University who helped document the species. Other snails have transparent shells or body parts that glow when protruding, but not this one.
Interpreting what a word means is automatic, so overriding “fish” with “pig,” say, likely takes a split second. Daphnia’s genome responds to environmental triggers, including predators, and spurs the growth of helmets and spikes for self-defense—in just one generation. After viewing dozens of images of the same landscape in similar conditions, unfortunately even the most special places lost impact and uniqueness. She inspired the creation of many great works of art and architecture (Michelangelo’s “Pieta,” Notre Dame Cathedral), as well as poetry, liturgy, and music (Monteverdi’s Vespers for the Blessed Virgin).
Of the 2,000 apparitions reported since then, Miracle Hunter cites a mere 28 as approved by local bishops, who are the first to decide whether “seers” seem plausible.
Borne on the shoulders of an angel who, some say, has native features, she dominates both light and darkness. In 1921 Luciano Perez Carpio, who worked in an office of Mexico’s president tasked with weakening the grip of religion, placed a bomb in a bouquet of flowers below the image.
Badr said she talks to Mary about her life and that Mary has answered her several times by showing her visions in dreams that later came true. Mary’s since 1964, told me that often Muslim women who want to get pregnant come to his church to pray. That miraculous water is the source for baths that attract thousands daily in wheelchairs, and thousands more on foot, to pray for cures. For the rest of their lives, all these quietly brave men and women and those who support them must contend with debilitating injuries suffered sometimes during multiple deployments.
The ship’s steel hull shuddered and screeched as it plowed through floating chunks of jagged ice. Isolated and in near darkness, we began our wayward drift and our month-long shift in the ice desert. Biologists searched for ice algae, which look like dirt and live on the underside of the ice and in the channels of trapped brine left after newly formed sea ice expels salt.
Because the meanders advance slowly across the map, whatever weather they enfold persists for a long time. Polar bears had crossed its path, sometimes pausing to play with the scientists’ strange-looking electronic instruments. Brits drink some 23 million pints of beer a day, but sales have dropped 19 percent over the past six years, and 25 pubs close in an average week, says the BBPA’s Neil Williams. Like many other cave-dwelling pseudoscorpions, this beast could fit on a fingernail—fully stretched, it’s about half an inch long. Its opaque yellow shell scatters green light (pictured, in study simulation) produced by tightly packed cells on the snail’s body.
Brian Pomper, whose Innovation Alliance repre­­sents small companies seeking new patents, hopes it happens soon. Named for the psychologist who described the phenomenon, the Stroop doesn’t affect everyone—like those who can’t read the words in the first place.
And as a voracious filter feeder, Daphnia reacts swiftly to chemical cues, adapting itself to toxins.
It also allowed Your Shot to create assignments and curate stories from them with the help of National Geographic photojournalists serving as guest editors, "and that has really taken off within the community," Corcoran said. As a universal symbol of maternal love, as well as of suffering and sacrifice, Mary is often the touchstone of our longing for meaning, a more accessible link to the supernatural than formal church teachings. And she is the spiritual confidante of billions of people, no matter how isolated or forgotten. Volunteers push les malades, the sick, in blue buggies in endless, snaking lines along Lourdes’s narrow streets, flanked by dozens of religious curio shops. In a few weeks, after the returning sun cast aside the cloak of polar night and began filtering through the melting floe, the scientists would watch the ecosystem awaken.
Sea-ice coverage has always fluctuated naturally, but there’s little doubt among scientists that man-made greenhouse gases are now accelerating its decline. During the past two winters the wavier pattern allowed Arctic air and extreme snow to beset New England and drought to linger over California. Storms had bulldozed huge blocks of ice high against the ship, elevating it above the surface.
Every few feet Spreen stopped and plunged the depth gauge into the snowpack until it beeped to indicate that the measurement was complete. The more time a cat spends in trees and is active at night, for instance, the more elaborately marked its coat is likely to be.
Slender hairs help it sense air movements, and chemical receptors on the tips of its legs and pincers help it identify any creatures it encounters. Deheyn believes it may be the shell’s specific crystalline and protein structure that enables it to spread the light so effectively.
On June 29, 2001, nearly 20 years after Alphonsine had first reported her apparition, Rwanda’s Bishop Augustin Misago and the Vatican declared that, yes, the Virgin Mary had appeared at Kibeho. As part of a multi-zoo study, she’s been feeding her two gorillas, Bebac and Mokolo, a trial menu meant to mimic the largely vegetarian one eaten in the wild. But many of them were outstanding, and therefore in this blog post we decided to share landmark moments that for this reason were not eligible for the published story.
Korean researchers have linked extreme winters in East Asia to air-circulation changes caused specifically by ice loss in the Barents-Kara Sea.
Over the next couple of years the 68 scientists involved will be hunkered in their warm labs, making sense of all the data they gathered.
Heavy on leafy greens, the new diet is also modeled after a heart-healthy human one, says Less. Some of the most beautiful optical phenomena, like rainbows, glories, and fog bows, are also a result of water droplets in the air.
The glyph of a four-petaled flower in the center of her rose-colored tunic supposedly means that she is the god bearer.



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