40 episodes

Come dive into one of the curiously delightful conversations overheard at National Geographic’s headquarters, as we follow explorers, photographers, and scientists to the edges of our big, weird, beautiful world. Hosted by Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs.

Overheard at National Geographic National Geographic

    • Natural Sciences
    • 3.5 • 4 Ratings

Come dive into one of the curiously delightful conversations overheard at National Geographic’s headquarters, as we follow explorers, photographers, and scientists to the edges of our big, weird, beautiful world. Hosted by Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs.

    Overheard Season 5: Bigger. Weirder. Beautiful-er.

    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.

    • 2 min
    Bonus Episode: Bicycles, Better Angels, and Biden

    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/overheard
    Want 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.

    • 24 min
    A Traveling Circus and its Great Escape

    A Traveling Circus and its Great Escape

    Decades of daring acrobatics, spectacular motorcycle stunts, and mind-blowing magic tricks couldn’t prepare Central America’s oldest-running circus for its most challenging feat yet—how to get home during a pandemic. Photographer and National Geographic Explorer Tomas Ayuso encountered the Segovia Brothers Circus stranded in Honduras amid the coronavirus lockdown, and then chronicled the performers’ rollercoaster journey back to their native Guatemala–and the surprising circus fan who ultimately came to the rescue.
    For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard
    Want more?
    If you’d like to read the magazine article that inspired this episode, you can find that in our show notes. There, you’ll find another story from Tomas Ayuso – it’s about the impact that coronavirus has had on migrant families applying for asylum in the United States.
    Also explore:
    If you’d like to read more circus coverage from National Geographic, check out our story about traditional tightrope walking in remote Russian villages. 
    And for paid subscribers:
    Check out a recent National Geographic Magazine feature on COVID-19. It takes the work of photographers in five countries and compiles it all into one photo essay about how the pandemic became a painful shared experience around the globe.

    • 28 min
    An Accidental Case of the Blues

    An Accidental Case of the Blues

    Pigments color the world all around us, but where do those colors come from? Historically, they’ve come from crushed sea snails, beetles, and even ground-up mummies. But new pigments are still being discovered in unexpected places, and for researcher Mas Subramanian, a new color came, well, out of the blue. Overheard’s Amy Briggs ventured into the National Geographic photo studio to see the new color—the first blue pigment of its kind discovered since Thomas Jefferson was president.
    For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard
    Want more?
    Read about how underwater cave explorers discovered a 11,000 year old pigment mine in Mexico and what it might tell us about the people who lived there.
    The names of colors are usually fanciful, but mummy brown is a surprisingly accurate description of this macabre pigment. 
    This episode is all about color, and so we have two colorful photo galleries for you to dive into: Photos through the eyes of the color blind, and the 12 different kinds of rainbows defined by science.
    Also explore:
    Check out the pigment collection and Harvard’s Art museum. 
    Read more about Mas Subramanian’s research at Oregon State University.
    And for paid subscribers:
    In this episode, Amy Briggs went into the Nat Geo studio to see our staff photographers hard at work photographing YInMn blue and other pigments. Take a look at our magazine feature to see the final product.
    The Phonician empire was shaped by the production of Tyrion purple, a pigment with its weight in gold which was made by boiling the mucus glands of thousands of sea snails.

    • 23 min
    Introducing: Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller

    Introducing: Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller

    Today we share an episode of a new podcast series called Trafficked, hosted by National Geographic Channel’s Mariana van Zeller. The series pulls back the curtain on the people operating trafficking rings and shadow economies. In this episode, Mariana sits down with country rapper Struggle Jennings. An outlaw country rapper—and the grandson of country music legend Waylon Jennings— he once got busted for trying to purchase a big load of oxycontin in a Walmart parking lot in Memphis, Tennessee. Mariana and Jennings discuss the day he got busted, his life leading up to it, and the toll it took. This episode features some strong language and drug references, so if your kids are around, you might want to check out another one of our episodes.  
    The Trafficked TV series is available now on National Geographic, and new episodes air Wednesdays.

    • 34 min
    The Trouble with America’s Captive Tigers

    The Trouble with America’s Captive Tigers

    Less than 4,000 tigers live in the wild, but experts say there may be more than 10,000 captive in the U.S., where ownership of big cats is largely unregulated. Overheard’s Peter Gwin talks with National Geographic Channel's Mariana van Zeller about her investigation into tiger trafficking and how wildlife tourism encourages a cycle of breeding and mistreatment.
    For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard
    Want more?
    For Mariana van Zeller’s reporting on tiger tourism and trafficking around the world, tune into National Geographic’s series Trafficked. 
    Learn about what the Netflix series Tiger King left out about captive tigers and how visitors of roadside zoos can pose health risks to big cats. And check out how some of the series’ characters, like Doc Antle and Jeff Lowe, have been penalized for their treatment of wild animals. 
    Also explore:
    Listen to our previous episode about the hidden costs of wildlife tourism. 
    And for paid subscribers:
    Read “Captive tigers in the U.S. outnumber those in the wild. It’s a problem,” the National Geographic magazine story that looked into why there are thousands of big cats in the U.S.

    • 29 min

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