Created with Sketch.
Overheard at National Geographic
23 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
The Next Generation's Champion of Chimps
How do you calculate the number of chimpanzees living in the forests of Nigeria? If you’re National Geographic Explorer Rachel Ashegbofe, you listen carefully. After discovering that Nigerian chimpanzees are a genetically distinct population, Rachel began searching for their nests to study them more closely. Now she’s teaching her community how to be good neighbors to humans’ closest genetic relative—and potentially save them from extinction. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.Want more?Did you know that chimpanzees hunt tortoises? Catch up on all there is to know about Pan Troglodytes through National Geographic’s chimpanzee fact sheet.Chimpanzee moms form strong bonds with their children. Take a look at some of the latest research on the social lives of chimpanzee mothers. And for subscribers:Travel back in time to Jane Goodall’s original 1963 article for National Geographic, just three years after she started her field research at Gombe Stream National Park. Or take a look at the entire National Geographic Magazine Archive. Also explore:Learn more about Rachel Ashegbofe’s work through the website for the South West/Niger Delta Forest Project.Jane Goodall continues to be a conservation icon and she even has a podcast of her own called The Jane Goodall Hopecast. You can listen to the first episode here. For Disney+ subscribers, you can also watch National Geographic’s 2017 documentary film Jane, which features rare footage of her chimpanzee work, and 2020 film The Hope, which focuses on her career as an environmental activist. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe today.
27 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
The Real-Life MacGyver in Nat Geo’s Basement
In the basement of National Geographic’s headquarters, there’s a lab holding a secret tech weapon: Tom O’Brien. As Nat Geo’s photo engineer, O’Brien adapts new technologies to capture sights and sounds previously never seen or heard before. O’Brien leads us on a tour of his lab as he designs and builds an underwater camera and shows us some of his favorite gadgets—including a camera lens that flew over Machu Picchu in a blimp, a remote camera he designed for the film Free Solo and a piece of gear known simply as the "funky bird train."For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheardWant more?See photographs mentioned in this episode, including wolves captured by a gnaw-proof camera, sage grouse as seen by the funky bird train, and a cheetah running in super slow motion. Want to see what goes on in Nat Geo’s photo engineering lab? Follow Tom O’Brien on Instagram @mechanicalphoto. And learn more about Tom’s predecessor, Kenji Yamaguchi, who held the job for more than 30 years.Also explore:On World Oceans Day, learn more about Jacques Cousteau, who pioneered scuba gear, brought the oceans to life, and jolted people into environmental activism. And hear more about beavers and how they shape the world on a previous Overheard episode, “March of the Beaver.”If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe today.
23 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
Giraffes on a Boat
It sounds like the start of a bad joke: How do you move eight giraffes—including a newborn calf—off an island in Africa’s Western Rift Valley? Answer: It isn’t easy, and it involves a boat, blindfolds, and earmuffs. We follow conservationist David O’Connor on an epic (and awkward) journey to save these endangered animals.For more information about this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard.Want more?To learn more about David O’Connor’s conservation work, check out his organization, Save Giraffes Now. You can also read up on how scientists are trying to prevent giraffes from going extinct. Subscribers can also see what the “giraft” looked like and read more about the giraffe rescue from Lake Baringo. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe today.
19 minutes | May 25, 2021
How Cicadas Become Flying Saltshakers of Death
After 17 years underground, so-called Brood X cicadas get a fleeting moment in the sun and commence their deafening buzz. But periodical cicadas can’t escape a silent killer: a fungus that eats them from the inside and forces them into a rabid mania. Follow National Geographic Explorer Matt Kasson as he tracks these “flying saltshakers of death,” and hear why scientists say cicadas should be respected, not feared—even if they do raise a ruckus in your backyard.For more information about this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.Want more? Trillions of cicadas appearing at once is a good thing, we promise. Learn more about how periodical cicadas do it.And see photos of annual cicadas from the National Geographic Photo Ark. Also, bring Brood X to your taste buds with recipes for cocktails, cupcakes, and other buggy treats.Also explore:Read on about the weird world of zombie cicadas. And track cicada emergences near you with Cicada Safari or other smartphone apps.If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe today.
27 minutes | May 18, 2021
A Reckoning in Tulsa
A Reckoning in TulsaA century ago, Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood was a vibrant Black community. One spring night in 1921 changed all that: a white mob rioted, murdering as many as 300 Black residents and destroying their family homes and thriving businesses. Archaeologists are working to uncover one of the worst—and virtually unknown—incidents of racial violence in American history, as efforts to locate the victims' unmarked graves continue. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.Want more?For more on the Tulsa Race Massacre, check out the cover story on the anniversary from writer Deneen Brown in the upcoming June issue of National Geographic. You can also find the Race Card, a project from journalist Michele Norris, to capture people’s thoughts on race in just six words.And poet Elizabeth Alexander will reflect on what it means to be Black and free in a country that undermines Black freedom.And for subscribers:Check out Tucker Toole’s piece on how Greenwood was destroyed by the Tulsa Race Massacre, in the May/June issue of National Geographic History magazine. And soon, you’ll also be able read a personal essay Tucker wrote about his ancestor J.B. Stradford on our website.Also explore:And check out Scott Ellsworth’s new book on the Tulsa Race Massacre called, The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice.Finally, stay tuned this summer for National Geographic’s documentary, Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer, which chronicles white supremacist terrorism and race riots that took place across the country in 1919, shortly before the Tulsa Race Massacre.
26 minutes | May 11, 2021
Camping on Sea Ice with Whale Hunters
Every spring Inupiaq hunters camp on the sea ice north of the Arctic Circle, in hopes of capturing a bowhead whale to share with their village. But as global warming accelerates ice melt, it threatens the tribe’s 4,000-year-old tradition. National Geographic photographer Kiliii Yuyan recounts the five years he spent documenting these whale hunters, including one harrowing experience when the sea ice groaned—and then collapsed underneath them.For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.Want more?Learn more about bowhead whales and hear their recordings of their wild sounds.And take a look at our in-depth coverage on the challenges facing polar bears in the Arctic.To see Kiliii’s stunning photography and short film about the Inupiaq people and their whale hunting traditions, Nat Geo subscribers can check them out in an online story, titled “Meet the Bowhead Whale Hunters of Northern Alaska.” You can also follow Kiliii on Instagram where you can see amazing portraits he’s taken of native people, wildlife and kayaks that he built himself.
24 minutes | May 4, 2021
The Battle for the Soul of Artificial Intelligence
With every breakthrough, computer scientists are pushing the boundaries of artificial intelligence (AI). We see it in everything from predictive text to facial recognition to mapping disease incidence. But increasingly machines show many of the same biases as humans, particularly with communities of color and vulnerable populations. In this episode, we learn how leading technologists are disrupting their own inventions to create a more humane AI. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. Want more?In 2020 widespread use of medical masks has created a new niche—face-mask recognition. The technology would help local governments enforce mask mandates, but is it worth it?Thanks to evolution, human faces are much more variable than other body parts. In the words of one researcher, “It's like evolving a name tag.”Most people have difficulty accurately recognizing strangers. But a few individuals—called super-recognizers—excel at the task. London police have employed some of these people to help find criminal suspects. And for subscribers: Artificial intelligence and robotics have been improving rapidly. Our cover story from September 2020 explores the latest robotic technology from around the world. In 1976 Isaac Asimov wrote an article for National Geographic predicting how humans might live in 2026. Also explore: Take a look at the documentary Coded Bias, featuring AI researcher Joy Buolamwini. The film explores Joy’s research on racial bias in facial recognition AI.Read the NIST report, co-authored by Patrick Grother and discussed in this episode.
3 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
Treat Your Brain: Season 6 of Overheard
Dive with killer whales to observe their surprising cultures. Venture into the world of artificial intelligence to see how scientists are teaching machines to recognize human diversity. Visit Nat Geo’s legendary tech lab where engineers have dreamed up super cameras to hunt for the Loch Ness monster, float above Machu Picchu and swim with Jacques Cousteau. Join us for curiously delightful conversations overheard at National Geographic headquarters. Hosted by Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs.
27 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
Bonus episode: The Secret Culture of Killer Whales
Scientists are discovering that killer whales, among the most social and intelligent of marine animals, have unique family structures and behaviors, passed from one generation to the next. National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry traveled the globe to document killer whale pods—where he found that diving with these special creatures can lead to strange and wonderful situations. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.Want more?All four episodes of the Disney+ original series, Secrets of the Whales, from National Geographic, streams Earth Day, April 22 on Disney+.Join National Geographic’s Earth Day Eve celebration on Wednesday, April 21st at 8:30 pm EST, with a star-studded lineup of environmentally conscious musical artists, including Willie Nelson, Maggie Rogers, Yo-Yo Ma, Ziggy Marley, streamed on NatGeo’s YouTube and NatGeo.com/EarthDayEveAlso explore:Learn about orca behavior in our magazine piece, including orca greeting ceremonies and dialects.And read about Brian Skerry’s 10,000 hours underwater and find out why orca whales do poorly in captivity.
28 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
The Secret of Musical Genius
Mozart wowed audiences as a child. The Beatles blew away Ed Sullivan. Beyonce hypnotized Super Bowl crowds. The world has been enthralled by those we call musical geniuses. But what defines a musical genius? And how does society recognize it? We probe these questions as we examine the life and career of Aretha Franklin, a transformational figure in American music, and the rise of a young prodigy, Keedron Bryant.For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.Want more?Watch the Genius: Aretha, a series about Aretha’s life, now streaming on Hulu. And check out the magazine piece about her and this journey through the career of the Queen of Soul. Immerse yourself in the genius of Aretha Franklin and her music with this playlist https://lnk.to/ArethaGenius!NGE. Available on Spotify and Apple Music.And of course, check out the song that made Keedron viral and the opera performance that cemented Aretha’s genius.
22 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
Legends of Kingfishers, Otters, and Red-Tailed Hawks
Photographer Charlie Hamilton James chronicles his days ditching high school to hide out by the river near his home in Bristol, England, to snap photos of brilliantly plumed kingfishers dive-bombing for fish—“delinquent behavior” that somehow led to a job making films for the BBC and eventually to National Geographic.For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.Want more?You can see some of Charlie’s stunning photos of vultures in this story about vulture poisoning in Kenya. Check out Charlie’s photographs of kingfisher’s in this article from the magazine “Blaze of Blue.”Also explore:Look through Charlie’s lens to get a glimpse into the lives of indigenous peoples of the Amazon. Charlie’s also photographed the urban animals that live alongside us: rats.
24 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
The Real Amazons
The Real AmazonsGreek myths tell tales of Amazons, fearsome women warriors who were the equals of men. Now archaeological discoveries and modern DNA analysis are uncovering reality: these women warriors existed. National Geographic History magazine Executive Editor Amy Briggs and historian Adrienne Mayor introduce us to the horse-riding, arrow-flinging women who fought like men—and were feared by them too.For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.Want more?Uncover the hidden meaning of Amazon names, hidden in ancient inscriptions. They include names like “Hot Flanks” and “Don’t Fail.” And for subscribers, read the full History Magazine cover story that Adrienne wrote about the Amazons. You can also see photographs of modern women warriors around the world through the eyes of photojournalist Lynsey Addario. Also explore: Adrienne has written a whole book on Amazons. It’s called The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World.
22 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
Deep Inside the First Wilderness
On assignment in the canyons of the Gila Wilderness, Nat Geo photographer Katie Orlinsky has a fireside chat with Overheard host Peter Gwin about telling stories through pictures. She chronicles how she found her way—from growing up in New York City to covering workers rights in rural Mexico and the world’s most grueling dogsled race in Alaska. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.Want more?Some of Katie's picture from this assignment can be seen on National Geographic's Instagram page,In her work on the Yukon Quest dog sled race, you can see what it looks like to cross 1,000 miles of Alaska on dog power.On Katie’s personal website, you can see more images, including from her time in Juárez.Also explore:And magazine subscribers can see Katie’s photos in our recent story about thawing permafrost. Sometimes that thaw creates pockets of methane under frozen lakes that scientists test by setting on fire. That story was also featured in our podcast episode about how beavers are changing the Arctic.
27 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
Unraveling a Mapmaker’s Dangerous Decision
For much of recorded history, maps have helped us define where we live and who we are. National Geographic writer Freddie Wilkinson shows us how one small line on a map led to a bitter conflict in another country, thousands of miles away.For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.Want more?Everyone knows Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, but exactly how tall is it? The science and politics behind finding that number is surprisingly complicated. A team from Nepal and China recently came up with a new official height.The world's second tallest mountain, K2, is only a few miles away from Hodgson's line and the Siachen glacier. Just a few months ago a team of 10 Nepalis completed the first winter climb of the mountain.The history of the Kashmir conflict is complicated. Here's a straightforward explainer of how it all started.Also explore:Magazine subscribers can read Freddie Wilkinson’s full article, including more details about Robert Hodgson’s life and our geography team's detailed maps of the Siachen glacier.
25 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
Why War Zones Need Science Too
It’s a jewel of biodiversity, the so-called Galápagos of the Indian Ocean, and might also hold traces of the earliest humans to leave Africa. No wonder scientists want to explore Socotra. But it’s also part of Yemen, a country enduring a horrific civil war. Meet the Nat Geo explorer with a track record of navigating the world’s most hostile hot spots who’s determined to probe the island—and empower its local scientists before it’s too late.For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.Want more?See Socotra’s wonders—including the dragon’s blood tree—through the eyes of National Geographic explorers. And check out human footprints preserved for more than 100,000 years, which could be the oldest signs of humans in Arabia. Also explore:Learn more about Yemen’s civil war. One Yemeni photographer explains why she looks for points of light in the darkness. And for subscribers, go inside the country’s health crisis and the life of violence and disease the war has brought to many civilians.Also, learn more about Ella Al-Shamahi’s new book, The Handshake: A Gripping History, and visit Horn Heritage, Sada Mire’s website preserving heritage in Somalia and the Horn of Africa.
39 minutes | Feb 12, 2021
Bonus Episode: In Conversation: Reframing Black History and Culture
For the past year, Overheard has explored the journeys of photographers and scientists who are focusing a new lens on history. National Geographic presents In Conversation, a special podcast episode featuring explorer Tara Roberts, computer scientist Gloria Washington, and photographer Ruddy Roye. Through their dynamic work across maritime archeology, artificial intelligence, and photojournalism, they’re determined to reimagine Black history.We begin with National Geographic Explorer and Storytelling Fellow Tara Roberts, who talks to Overheard’s Amy Briggs about documenting the efforts of Black scuba divers and archaeologists in their search for the lost wrecks of ships that carried enslaved Africans to the Americas.We’ll also hear from computer scientist Gloria Washington of Howard University. She speaks with guest host Brian Gutierrez about her work developing “emotional” artificial intelligence.And finally National Geographic Storytelling Fellow Ruddy Roye traces his photographic journey with Overheard’s Peter Gwin—and turns his lens on the racial and civil conflicts that defined 2020.For more stories like this one, visit National Geographic’s Race in America homepage, chronicling the human journey of racial, ethnic, and religious groups across the United States.
26 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
Mars Gets Ready for Its Close-up
Mars Gets Ready for Its Close-upMars has fascinated Earthlings for millennia, ever since we looked skyward and found the red planet. Through telescopes, probes, and robots, scientists have gazed at its red rocks, craters, and canyons—and the latest rover, Perseverance, is poised to tell them much more about the planet’s past and present as sophisticated new cameras search for signs of ancient life. Join National Geographic writer Nadia Drake, NASA engineer Christina Hernandez and Mars Perseverance Principal Investigator Jim Bell for a behind-the-scenes look at how Perseverance will expose Mars in ways we’ve never seen before. For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.Want More?Magazine subscribers can read this piece about the launch of the Perseverance rover and its scientific agenda. You can also read Nadia Drake’s explainer on the history of Mars exploration and play around with this interactive graphic of the red planet to learn about how it might have evolved over the last 3.8 billion years. Also explore: In a couple weeks, you can head to National Geographic’s instagram, where you can see our next augmented reality experience: traveling to Mars with the Perseverance rover.
26 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
Searching for the Himalaya’s Ghost Cats
Searching for the Himalaya’s Ghost CatsNational Geographic’s editor at large Peter Gwin travels to the Himalaya to join photographer and National Geographic explorer Prasenjeet Yadav on his search for snow leopards, one of the planet’s most elusive animals in one of its most forbidding landscapes. Himalayan communities have long regarded the snow leopards as threats to their livelihoods, but conservation efforts and tourism are changing the way people see them.For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.Want more? For Peter Gwin’s reporting on snow leopards in Kibber, National Geographic magazine subscribers can read his piece, “Himalaya Snow Leopards Are Finally Coming Into View.” And if you want to see photos that National Geographic explorer Prasenjeet Yadav has captured of snow leopards, head to his instagram page: @prasen.yadav. Also explore: For basic information on snow leopards, here’s National Geographic’s reference page on the species.Subscribers can also see beautiful illustrations that show how the snow leopard’s anatomy has adapted to the harsh Himalaya environment and read about how poaching is threatening the species in Asia.
3 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
Overheard Season 5: Bigger. Weirder. Beautiful-er.
Tracking snow leopards in the Himalaya. Looking for ancient microbial life on Mars. Uncovering the truth about Amazon warriors. Unraveling a mapmaker’s dangerous decision. Join us for curiously delightful conversations, overheard at National Geographic headquarters. Hosted by Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs.
24 minutes | Jan 21, 2021
Bonus Episode: Bicycles, Better Angels, and Biden
Since George Washington took the first presidential oath of office in 1789, inaugurations have been held during times of war and peace, prosperity and uncertainty, strong unity and deep division. How will history remember Joe Biden’s inauguration? National Geographic deployed a team of photographers and writers around the nation’s capital to document this historic moment. Editor-at-Large Peter Gwin was among them, and he and Amy Briggs, Executive Editor of National Geographic History, talk about how this day fits in with inaugurations of the past.For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheardWant more?You can see Nina Berman and David Guttenfelder’s photography in articles about the first “virtual” inauguration and the celebration that followed. And check out Louie Palu’s video of the January 6th insurrection on the Capitol.For more of their photography, you can follow Louie Palu, Nina Berman and David Guttenfelder on Instagram.Also explore:You can also listen to our interview with photographer Andrea Bruce for a reflection on what democracy means and explore dispatches from her project, Our Democracy.And for paid subscribers, read Amy Briggs’s article on past inaugural addresses, which highlights some wise words leaders used to unite us in troubled times. And learn about fraught presidential transitions in our nation’s history.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021