Nature News

Bug smuggling is big business

Special agent Ryan Bessey was in his office at the New Jersey branch of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in Galloway, on September 23, 2015, when he took a call from a colleague in the intelligence unit. The analyst told him that French customs officers had seized 115 emperor scorpions in two shipments from…

India’s first lunar lander falls silent just before touchdown

An Indian spacecraft’s unprecedented attempt to make a soft, controlled landing in the moon’s south polar region has ended in excruciating silence: Shortly before touchdown, the robotic lander Vikram—part of the Chandrayaan-2 mission—fell out of contact with mission control. The Indian Space Research Organization, India’s space agency, says that the spacecraft stopped communicating with Earth…

Stroll America’s most walkable cities

There’s nothing like the freedom and spontaneity of exploring a city entirely on foot. You stumble upon places the tour guides skip, meet locals along the way, and enjoy the scents and sounds you’d miss from inside a car. (Explore the cities of the future.) Many U.S. cities are quite walkable, especially those built before…

How tampons and pads became so unsustainable

This article was created in partnership with the National Geographic Society. Plastic pervades modern life, and menstruation is no exception. Since the middle of the 20th century, many tampons and menstrual pads have contained somewhere between a little and a lot of plastic in their basic design—sometimes for reasons that “improve” the design, but often…

Dreaming of sustainability in a material world

Not so long ago, fashion-savvy consumers shopped by the season, waiting for new collections to arrive before refreshing their closets. Now, retailers push cheap, trend-driven clothes all year round. Fast fashion means that consumers can buy heaps of clothes on impulse, then toss them out and buy some more. One billion new items of clothing…

See Neptune at its best and more top stargazing in September

As nights begin to lengthen across the northern hemisphere, skywatchers are able to spend more time under the stars while temperatures are still pleasant. From ghostly celestial glows to neighboring worlds, an amazing cosmic treasure trove awaits. Mark your September calendar and gaze skyward on the next clear night! Mars solar conjunction—September 2 View Images…

Auroras may light up the night sky this Labor Day weekend

Just as menacing Hurricane Dorian is wreaking havoc in the Atlantic Ocean, an incoming solar tempest may trigger colorful displays of northern lights over the next few nights. Auroras could easily spill across the United States to places like Washington, Minnesota, and New York and even in more southerly states. This past week, a monster-sized…

Discovering hope on the range

National Geographic photojournalist Ami Vitale’s quest to discover places where people are deeply connected to the natural world, has taken her around the globe. Yet, it’s also an unexpected story close to home, Vitale’s first-ever United States’ assignment—2014’s “Growing Up in Big Sky” profile of Montana ranch kids—that holds a special place in her heart.…