A year ago NASA researches flying over Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier noticed a massive rift in the ice running for 18 miles across part of the glacier’s floating tongue. On a more recent flyover, they’ve recorded a second rift and noted that the original open further. When the rift finally reaches all the way across the ice, the glacier will calve and fall into the sea creating an enormous iceberg in Pine Island Bay. In the past, large icebergs have calved off Pine Island Glacier, but this will be the largest in decades and will leave the front of the glacier farther back than any other time in the recent past.
Google Maps Street View has long allowed users to zoom down to street-level to see close-ups of city storefronts and suburban homes. The images are shot by car-mounted cameras that Google employees have driven over millions of miles of roads across the U.S. Together with The Catlin Seaview Survey, Google developed an undersea Street View camera capable of offering an intimate look at these ecosystems—as if one’s swimming above and among them while snorkeling or Scuba diving.
While this is the first time undersea images have been made available on Google Maps, it’s not the first time Google has let us glimpse beneath the sea. A couple years ago they added an Ocean layer to Google Earth. That project was spearheaded by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle, and created using many photos and videos from Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic.
Google Maps ‘Reef View’ offers an easy way for armchair adventurers to explore the planet’s beautiful, remote places. And hopefully as more people see these delicate reefs, more of them will advocate for their preservation and protection.
The southern glaciers of Greenland are a bellwether. Just two years ago another colossal berg broke free from the same glacier, and scientists say that in data collected over 150 years they’ve never seen anything like it.
The staff at the Galápagos National Park has announced that the tortoise Lonesome George has died. George had become an emblem of the Galápagos Islands and a symbol of wildlife conservation worldwide. He was the last known survivor of Pinta Island in Galápagos, and his passing marks the extinction of the subspecies. In the decades we’ve been sharing the wonder of Galápagos with our guests, thousands of them have seen and photographed George on Santa Cruz Island, learning of his plight. His death is a sad day for our staff, especially those who have worked in Galápagos for years. The important work and tremendous successes of the Galápagos National Park Service in repopulating other islands continues.
Find out why Baja California & the Sea of Cortez need to go on your must-visit list during our free webinar on Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm ET. Register here—it’s free!
Join National Geographic photographer Ralph Lee Hopkins, and naturalist Alberto Montaudon, and learn all about the place Jacques Cousteau called a “living aquarium.” Its islands are designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to an impressive variety of marine mammals and birds. Our 30 years of experience exploring this “best-kept-secret” region guarantees you intoxicating encounters-leaping dolphins, gray whale mothers nurturing their calves, seabirds en masse, and snorkeling with sea lions.
It may sound like a startling discovery, but it turns out that researches have known since 1914 that the mysterious moai sculptures on Easter Island rest on torsos. Many of the heads are buried up to their necks—especially in many iconic photos of the island—so a common misconception is that the statues are only gigantic heads. More recent excavations have shown the underground many of moai torsos are carved with petroglyphs.
Guests aboard National Geographic Sea Lion in Southeast Alaska had an extremely rare sighting yesterday—a glacier bear. These bluish-grey bears are a morph of the black bear and are usually only found in the northern potion of Northeast Alaska. These bears are so uncommon that our Tlingit cultural interpreter, a native of this area and on board for this portion of the journey, said it was only the second she’d ever seen in her life.
Two days ago in Alaska our undersea specialist Justin Hofman suited up for a dive. Instead of taking his conventional video camera and mask, he used our new full-face mask, complete with a comm link back the ship, and a new tethered camera capable of streaming live video directly to the monitors in our lounge. Our guests gathered in the ship’s bow and for the first time, they saw the undersea live while our specialist narrated just what they were looking at.