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National Geographic Photos & Videos on Instagram

@natgeo See full size profile   Experience the world through the eyes of National Geographic photographers.

2 hours ago

Photos by Babak Tafreshi @babaktafreshi | This is a close-up of the Red Sprite, a rarely captured phenomenon and an atmospheric puzzle. These large-scale electrical discharges occur in clusters above the troposphere, about 50 to 90 kilometers (31–56 miles) high. Sprites are colorless to the eye, just a patch of light flashing in the sky, but a sensitive camera reveals the true color and stunning details. Sprites are challenging to capture, as they only appear for only a fraction of a second and are much fainter than lightning. At midnight on May 2, I was at a Star Party, a stargazing program near the McDonald Observatory. With a massive active thunderstorm cloud on the horizon some 100 to 200 kilometers away and clear sky above it, I knew the conditions were ideal for seeing the sprite. The second camera shows the same sprite in a wider angle (swipe). Follow me @babaktafreshi for more of the world at night photography. #redsprites #atmospheric

7 hours ago

Photos by Anastasia Taylor-Lind @anastasiatl | The Game of Thrones finale aired last night. This is horsemaster Camilla Naprous, the woman who brought all the horses and riders to the HBO series and trained the actors for the last eight years. Camilla was 24 years old when she joined the show in the first season, and together with the stunt coordinator she designed and choreographed ambitious battle scenes that have since made TV history. I have been photographing Camilla, the Devil’s Horsemen stunt team, and their horses for over a decade. #hollywoodhorses #thedevilshorsemen #gameofthrones #GOT

9 hours ago

Photo by Pete Muller @pete_k_muller | The walrus disappears from the surface and, for a short time, the chaos of the hunt subsides. During this moment of quiet, the Chukchi hunters scan the water for some sign of the animal’s whereabouts. At midday, the light is bright and muted at once, making it difficult to discern where the water ends and the sky begins. Even when it’s calm, the water is daunting. It is dark and deep and cold—filled with both risk and potential. I think about falling in. But it is the key stabilizing element in this remote part of the world, offering sustenance and entertainment and beauty. It seems especially serene in this moment, floating calmly, as the hunters prepare to enact the age old saga of living and dying.

15 hours ago

Photo by Luca Locatelli @lucalocatelliphoto | Visitors can peer over Dubai from an observation deck at the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper at 2,717 feet (828 meters). Dubai aims for superlatives: it's now racing to become one of the planet’s most sustainable cities. The emirate will showcase its efforts as host of Expo 2020, also known as the world’s fair, a six-month exhibition with sustainability as one of its themes. A decade ago Dubai had one of the largest ecological footprints of any city in the world. By 2050 it wants to have the smallest. Can it get there? My work revolves around the making of the future, how our society transitions through new ways of living, and how technology is changing our approach to the environment and to our cities. Follow me @lucalocatelliphoto to find out more about the Dubai story I covered for @natgeo #Dubai #environment #skyline #architecture #city

18 hours ago

Photo by Matthieu Paley @paleyphoto I High in the Afghan Pamir mountains, two Kyrgyz girls walk up a frozen spring to fetch water and bring it back to their camp below. Behind the distant ridge lie Pakistan and China. This region is also called the Pamir knot, referring to the convergence of some of the world’s major mountain ranges, including the Tian Shan, Karakorum, Kunlun, Hindukush, and Pamir systems. For more of our natural world, please visit @paleyphoto #mountainworld #pamir #afghanistan #mountainculture

21 hours ago

Photo by Fritz Hoffmann @fritzphotos | A first-time jockey, 14-year-old Sonam Dargye nervously waits to be called to the 2000-meter speed race with horse Gyumei at the Maqu Gesar annual horse races in the Gannan Tibetan prefecture in Gansu, China. Sonam Dargye wears a picture of Gongthang Tsang, the living Buddha of the Labrang Monastery, on his chest. The Tibetan horse racing season is approaching. This week I'm posting pictures from races past, longing to be there myself. Please check out my feed at @fritzphotos #FritzHoffmann #MaquHorseRaces #MaquGrasslands #TibetanHorseFestival #Gannan

1 day ago

Photos by Lucas Foglia @lucasfogliaphoto | Each year in February and March, more than a million acres of almond orchards in the Central Valley burst into bloom, painting the region pastel pink and white. The area’s mild climate is ideal for cultivating almonds as well as many other crops. Honeybees are trucked in by the billions to pollinate the flowers.

1 day ago

Photos by Kirsten Luce @kirstenluce | A polar bear performs with trainer Yulia Denisenko in Kazan, Russia. This is a rare example of performing polar bears. The four bears are fitted with metal muzzles and their trainer holds a metal rod. Though controversial, it is not illegal in Russia for these bears to perform. Polar bears are a threatened species and a powerful symbol for conservation. For the June 2019 issue of National Geographic, writer @natashaldaly and I traveled the world to learn about wildlife tourism and the suffering that goes on behind the scenes. Our intention is not to shame tourists who have had these encounters but to arm our readers with information that will help them identify potentially abusive situations for animals. To learn more, read our story at and follow @world_animal_protection which works to raise awareness and help animals in the tourism industry.

1 day ago

Photo by Simon Norfolk @simonnorfolkstudio I With climate change standing as one of the most pressing issues facing our future, photography is increasingly used as a catalyst to elicit change. I just returned from a trip to Switzerland with Klaus Thymann of @projectpressure to photograph the Rhône Glacier, which is disappearing at a colossal rate. A small shop there carves an ice grotto in the glacier and charges tourists for the experience of stepping into the blue ice—so it's been worth their money to attempt to slow the glacier’s retreat. They've invested heavily in a special thermal blanket that has kept about 25 meters (82 feet of depth) of ice from disappearing, keeping the ice grotto intact. However, after a few harsh winters on the mountain, the blanket is starting to disintegrate. And unfortunately the method is not scaleable: we can't do this to all the world’s ice. The gesture is as forlorn and doomed as the glacier itself. So with heavy lament, we now know that this glacier, which has existed for millennia, will disappear within the lifetime of children born today. This image is part of a series dedicated to raising environmental awareness through photography. For more, follow @simonnorfolkstudio @projectpressure #glaciers #simonnorfolk #rhoneglacier #Switzerland #climatechange

1 day ago

Photo by Maddie McGarvey @maddiemcgarvey | When a dike on a coal ash pond ruptured at the Kingston Fossil Plant in Kingston, Tennessee, in December 2008, it spilled far more toxic ash than Deepwater Horizon spilled oil. Workers who cleaned up the huge spill in Tennessee are still suffering—and dying. More than 900 workers cleaned up the coal ash spill at the Kingston plant, which is operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority; more than 200 have sued Jacobs Engineering, the cleanup contractor. Thirty-six workers have died from brain cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, and other diseases. Sixty-three years after it opened, ten years after the disastrous spill, the Kingston Fossil Plant is still burning 14,000 tons of coal a day—and producing about 1,400 tons of coal ash. A wooden cross at the site of the Kingston spill honors the cleanup workers. Photographed recently on assignment for @natgeo. For more photos from this story, follow me @maddiemcgarvey.