81 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 itunesu_sunset

    • Science
    • 4.4 • 783 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 in 2022: Weekly Adventures Ahead

    Overheard in 2022: Weekly Adventures Ahead

    In 2022, we’ll journey into the Amazon to solve the mystery of a boiling river, to the South Pacific to search for the legendary aviator Amelia Earhart, and to K2, the world’s second-highest mountain, where a team of Nepalis has rewritten mountaineering history. 
    We’ll also venture into some of the world’s most isolated forests with an engineer who turns old cell phones into poacher-tracking devices. And we’ll join a team of climbers and scientists searching for rare frog species that have evolved on cliffs rising out of Guyana’s cloud forests.
    Our weekly show begins Jan. 18, hosted by Peter Gwin, Amy Briggs, and the editors and producers of Overheard.

    • 2 min
    Capturing the Year in an Instant

    Capturing the Year in an Instant

    We’ll sift through 2021 with Whitney Johnson, National Geographic’s director of visuals and immersive experiences, as she works on the “Year in Pictures” special issue and shares what makes an unforgettable image. And we’ll talk with photographers who documented the COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of California wildfires among other key moments of the year.
    For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. 
    Want more?
    Lynsey Addario followed around a group of women firefighters this summer. Meet them in our article. And check out writer Alejandra Borunda’s piece on how land managers are using new strategies to help control wildfires.
    Also explore:
    To see Muhammad Fadli’s photos, take a look at our article on COVID-19 in Indonesia.
    For subscribers: 
    See how we summed up 2021 in the “Year in Pictures.” It hits newsstands December 15.
    Take a look at Muhammad Fadli’s work in a 2020 article that showed how the pandemic affected communities all over the world.  
    Learn the backstory of eight National Geographic photos that made an impact, including the image of the Peruvian shepherd.
    Plus, read about our famous wall of photos at headquarters in an essay I wrote for our photography newsletter.
    If you like what you hear and you want to support more content like this, please rate and review us in your podcast app AND consider a National Geographic subscription. That’s the best way to support Overheard. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe. 

    • 28 min
    Descendants of Cahokia

    Descendants of Cahokia

    How did people create Cahokia, an ancient American Indian metropolis near present-day St. Louis? And why did they abandon it? Archaeologists are piecing together the answers—but Cahokia’s story isn’t finished yet. Hear how an Osage anthropologist is protecting the remaining burial mounds and sacred shrines so the descendants of Cahokia’s founders can keep its legacy alive.
    For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard.

    Want more?
    Learn more about Cahokia—and see depictions of America’s first city, as well as artifacts left behind—in National Geographic History.

    See more stunning finds that unlock our deepest history in the new book Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World. Subscribers can read more about the two centuries of excavation on six continents that give voice to humanity’s forgotten past.

    Also explore:
    Why did people abandon Cahokia? New research rules out a theory that environmental degradation led to its demise and shows the limits of using a modern, Western lens to study the ancient city.

    Learn more about Picture Cave—the Osage “womb of the universe”—in the book Picture Cave: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Mississippian Cosmos by Carol Diaz-Granados and Jim Duncan.

    Osage photographer Ryan RedCorn has a message about American Indian culture: “The state of things is not in decline.”

    Grisly discoveries of unmarked graves at U.S. and Canadian boarding schools have forced a reckoning over government-funded programs that were designed to strip Native American children of their language and culture—and even their names.

    If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe today.

    • 30 min
    Kenya's Wildlife Warriors

    Kenya's Wildlife Warriors

    In the heart of the Serengeti, hippos bathe and hyenas snatch food from hungry lions. National Geographic Explorer of the Year Paula Kahumbu brings this world to life in her documentary series Wildlife Warriors, a nature show made by Kenyans for Kenyans. Host Peter Gwin meets up with Paula in the Serengeti to learn how she became an unlikely TV star, and why it’s up to local wildlife warriors—not foreign scientists or tourists—to preserve Africa’s wild landscapes.
    For more info on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard
    Want more?
    See the Serengeti like never before in the December 2021 issue of National Geographic. Along with heart-stopping wildlife photos, subscribers can go inside the planet’s largest animal migration: the perilous 400-mile circuit of the wildebeest.
    Subscribers can also meet a Maasai spiritual leader who protects a remote mountain forest, and read Paula Kahumbu’s essay on the future of African conservation.
    Don’t miss Welcome to Earth, a Disney+ original series from National Geographic, where Will Smith is led on an epic adventure around the world to explore Earth’s greatest wonders, including the Serengeti. All six episodes stream December 8th, only on Disney+.
    Also explore:
    Watch episodes of Wildlife Warriors on its YouTube channel, WildlifeWarriorsTV.
    Learn more about the wildlife that makes the Serengeti irreplaceable. African elephants are “ecosystem engineers” who shape their own habitat. Hippopotamuses spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in water—that’s why their name comes from the Greek for “river horse.”
    If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe today.

    • 28 min
    The Gateway to Secret Underwater Worlds

    The Gateway to Secret Underwater Worlds

    When Jacques Cousteau was young, an accident sent him on a path that led him to invent scuba, opening up the underwater world to humans. Today, explorers David Doubilet and Laurent Ballesta follow in his footsteps, making discoveries on their own amazing and sometimes terrifying adventures.
    For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard. 
    Want more?
    Learn more about Jacques Cousteau. From National Geographic Documentary Films, Becoming Cousteau is now streaming on Disney+.
    See more of Laurent Ballesta’s photographs, including an image he took of a grouper mating frenzy that recently won him the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award from the London Natural History Museum. 
    Also explore: 
    David Doubilet has been taking photos for Nat Geo for decades. If you want a list of his greatest hits, check out our article “32 Astonishing Photos of A Career Spent Underwater.” 
    And check out his new book out this month with some spectacular underwater images. It’s called “Two Worlds: Above and Below the Sea.”
    For subscribers: 
    For Nat Geo subscribers, you can also read about the time Laurent and a small crew of explorers spent 28 days living underwater in the Mediterranean Sea.  
    If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please rate and review us in your podcast app and consider a National Geographic subscription. That’s the best way to support Overheard. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe.

    • 30 min
    Ancient Orchestra

    Ancient Orchestra

    Sound on! From conch shells to bone flutes, humans have been making musical instruments for tens of thousands of years. What did prehistoric music sound like? Follow us on a journey to find the oldest musical instruments and combine them into one big orchestra of human history.

    For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard 

    Want More?

    A conch is more than just a musical instrument. A mollusk lives in that shell, and it’s a staple food in the Bahamas—so much so that overfishing is threatening their existence, but a few simple solutions may solve the problem.

    The oldest musical instrument was once thought to be a cave bear bone flute made by Neanderthals, but recent evidence suggests that the holes were made by animals rather than tools.

    More information about each instrument

    The organization First Sounds found and brought to life the recordings of Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville. For more information about that project, please visit www.firstsounds.org.

    Bettina Joy de Guzman travels the world, composing and performing music on ancient instruments. You can read more about her work on her website: www.bettinajoydeguzman.com

    More information about the bells of Bronze Age China can be found at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art. A virtual version of their collection can be viewed here: https://asia.si.edu/exhibition/resound-ancient-bells-of-china/
    (Credit: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; gift of Arthur M. Sackler, S1987.4-9)

    The conch shell sounds you heard were research recordings of the approximately 3,000-year-old Titanostrombus galeatus conch shell horn—excavated in 2018 by John Rick and team from the UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site Chavín de Huántar, in Perú—from a 2019 acoustics and performance study by Miriam Kolar, Riemann Ramírez Rodríguez, Ricardo Guerrero de Luna Rueda, Obert Silva Espinoza, and Ronald San Miguel Fernández. Recordings were made at the Centro Internacional de Investigación, Conservación y Restauración de Chavín (CIICR) in the Museo Nacional Chavín as research conducted within the Programa de Investigación Arqueológica y Conservación Chavín de Huántar (PIACCdH). Site music archaeology and archaeoacoustics research information can be found on the Chavín de Huántar Archaeological Acoustics project website: https://ccrma.stanford.edu/groups/chavin/pututus.html.

    National Geographic Explorer Jahawi Bertolli is collecting the sounds of rock gongs from all over the African continent. More information about his rock project can be found here: www.jahawi.com/first-rock

    Flutist Anna Potengowski specializes in recreating the sounds of ancient flutes. You can hear more of her work here: open.spotify.com/artist/4a9uIQ2g8A5BIDN1VExUZq

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
783 Ratings

783 Ratings

Grate122 ,

Way to overproduced

I know editing a podcast isn’t fun

But the free stock music and way to many sound effects is too much

cadette70 ,

Good for the whole family

I like a podcast that I can share with anyone including young folks. Journalism is good. Tone is light but well focused on the information —not a lot of tangential banter. And Peter Gwin’s voice is just SO nice!

Bokuto2 ,

Love it

I don’t have much to say but the fact that it’s a great podcast. Amazing stories and nice vibe.

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