WASHINGTON (Feb. 25, 2005)–National Geographic has a history with great exploration. From Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who first introduced the beauty beneath the waves to the world, to Edmund Hillary, who reached the highest place on Earth, to Børge Ousland, who skied solo across the poles, National Geographic has documented the greatest and most important adventurers of our time. In a tribute to those rare, remarkable and intrepid spirits who push themselves to the outer limits of human experience, National Geographic magazine has published a special collector’s edition, “EXPLORATION: 77 Best Pictures of Great Adventure.”
Capturing the joy, exhaustion and sometimes sheer terror of life on the edge, this special issue salutes great explorers from the past and presents the new generation of trailblazers who are scaling barriers and taking adventure to a new, gut-wrenching level. In every instance, these outstanding men and women meet at least one of the following criteria: The first. The only. The best.
Who are the best new adventurers, and where will exploration take us next? There’s conservationist Michael Fay, whose 2,000-mile trek through the heart of Africa inspired the creation of an entire national park system; oceanographer Bob Ballard, the discoverer of the Titanic, who this year will lead an expedition to “Lost City,” a hydrothermal vent field 2,600 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean; mountaineer Jimmy Chin, whose new dream expedition is to ski the Siachen Glacier unsupported; paleontologist Louise Leakey, whose work with fossils is uncovering new clues about the origins of mankind; and geologist Alexander Klimchouk, who one day hopes to see the bottom of a 8,200-foot cave in Turkey. From steaming jungles to ocean depth to treacherous arctic mountain faces, and everything bold in between, these explorers and many like them test the limits of human endurance and knowledge of our world.
Visitors to the special issue’s Web site at nationalgeographic.com/magazine/exploration can take the adventure further by registering to win a National Geographic Expeditions trip for two to the arctic archipelago of Svalbard, between Norway and the North Pole. The Web site also features photo galleries, quizzes and multimedia presentations, including exploring Mount Everest and learning about Sir Edmund Hillary’s passion for the Himalaya; building a virtual model of the Wright brothers’ “Flyer” and hearing Børge Ousland describe his addiction to arctic expeditions. Web visitors can also join an online forum on their favorite explorer and why people are driven to explore.
“EXPLORATION: 77 Best Pictures of Great Adventure” is available until April 25 on newsstands, in bookstores and through the magazine’s Web site for $9.95. It is National Geographic’s 10th special collector’s issue.