E-magazine available Feb. 1 on iTunes
Writers and photographers are available for interviews Jan. 15-Feb. 14 (see specifics below).
- In UNDER PARIS, writer Neil Shea and photographer Stephen Alvarez explore the depths of Paris’ underground, home to catacombs and thriving nightclubs and galleries. Shea and Alvarez are available for interviews.
- A key step to securing peace in Afghanistan will be to wean the country’s farmers off growing the poppies that perpetuate the national economy’s opium addiction. Robert Draper and David Guttenfelder report in OPIUM WARS. Draper and Guttenfelder are available for interviews.
- Carl Zimmer and Robert Clark analyze the long, curious and extravagant evolution of bird feathers in FEATHER EVOLUTION. Zimmer and Clark are available for interviews.
- Sunken ships, old subway cars and vintage battle tanks provide artificial reef habitats for coral and fish, creating economic benefit and increasing habitat, while jeopardizing fish and the natural habitat. Stephen Harrigan and David Doubilet explore these undersea gardens in FROM RELICS TO REEFS. Harrigan and Doubilet are available for interviews.
- China’s snub-nosed monkey’s quirky face and luxurious coat protect it from the cold, but other dangers still loom. Cyril Ruoso photographs the unique species in THE MONKEY WHO WENT INTO THE COLD.
UNDER PARIS (cover story), by Neil Shea, photographed by Stephen Alvarez (Page 104) “Paris has a deeper and stranger connection to its underground than almost any city, and that underground is one of the richest,” writes Neil Shea. He is referring to the hundreds of miles of tunnels that make up some of the oldest and densest subway and sewer networks in the world; canals and reservoirs; crypts and bank vaults; wine cellars transformed into nightclubs and galleries; and old limestone quarries. Shea and photographer Stephen Alvarez explore the depths of Paris’ underground, from the cataphiles who roam the tunnels for a sense of freedom, to the catacombs that house the remains of some six million Parisians.
OPIUM WARS, by Robert Draper, photographed by David Guttenfelder (Page 58) Writer Robert Draper and photographer David Guttenfelder embed themselves in a different kind of Afghanistan war: the war on opium. The country, 85 percent of whose citizens are farmers, is caught between dueling revenue streams: One flows from Western aid, in the hopes that the country will renounce the Taliban, and the other from opium trafficking supported by the Taliban, which uses the proceeds to fund attacks on Western troops. While eradication efforts are making some headway against poppies, corruption, desperate farmers and Taliban influence continue to feed the national economy’s addiction to opium.
FEATHER EVOLUTION, by Carl Zimmer, photographed by Robert Clark, art by Xing Lida (Page 32) The evolution of bird feathers has been long, curious and extravagant. While feathers were once thought to have evolved with the evolution of flight, it seems now that a bird’s flight was made possible by a whole string of exaptations among dinosaur ancestors that stretch across millions of years, long before flight arose. Carl Zimmer considers the other reasons feathers may have evolved if not for flight, including insulation and as a means of attracting the opposite sex. Photographer Robert Clark captures one of nature’s greatest marvels, one that we so often take for granted.
FROM RELICS TO REEFS, by Stephen Harrigan, photographed by David Doubilet (Page 84) Sunken ships, vintage battle tanks, old subway cars and even human burials have transformed into artificial reefs, attracting endless fish and potentially nurturing coral growth. Journalist Stephen Harrigan considers the dilemma of such reefs, which provide economic benefit and increase habitat but are prime targets for overfishing and potentially hazardous to the waters. David Doubilet photographs these undersea gardens.
THE MONKEY WHO WENT INTO THE COLD, by Jennifer S. Holland, photographed by Cyril Ruoso (Page 126) The golden snub-nosed monkey’s heavy coat and perhaps even its strikingly peculiar face have helped it survive the high-altitude, icy rivers, and long winters of central China’s Qin Ling Mountains. The primate is one of five related species — remnants of once widespread populations whose ranges were limited by climate change after the last ice age. Photographer Cyril Ruoso captures the social behaviors of a species that still faces threats of logging, human settlement and hunters seeking meat, bones for medicinal use, and luxurious fur.
February’s Department section looks at what’s in a surname; the trafficking of wild animals such as the pangolin and brush-tailed porcupine; a shortage in the world’s helium supply; and the gold rush relics on a sunken ship. Details can be found at blogs.ngm.com.
National Geographic magazine has a long tradition of combining on-the-ground reporting with award-winning photography to inform people about life on our planet. It has won 11 National Magazine Awards in the past four years: for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Essays and two inaugural Digital Media Awards for Best Photography and Best Community in 2010; for Photojournalism in 2009; for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Reporting in 2008; and for General Excellence and Photography in 2007.
The magazine is the official journal of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational and scientific organizations. Published in English and 32 local-language editions, the magazine has a global circulation of around 8 million. It is sent each month to National Geographic members and is available on newsstands for $5.99 a copy. Single copies can be ordered by calling (800) NGS-LINE, also the number to call for membership in the Society.