49 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
    • 4.2 • 8.8K 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.

    The Secret of Musical Genius

    The Secret of Musical Genius

    Mozart wowed audiences as a child. The Beatles blew away Ed Sullivan. Beyonce hypnotized Super Bowl crowds. The world has been enthralled by those we call musical geniuses. But what defines a musical genius? And how does society recognize it? We probe these questions as we examine the life and career of Aretha Franklin, a transformational figure in American music, and the rise of a young prodigy, Keedron Bryant.
    For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.
    Want more?
    Watch the Genius: Aretha, a series about Aretha’s life, now streaming on Hulu. And check out the magazine piece about her and this journey through the career of the Queen of Soul. 
    Immerse yourself in the genius of Aretha Franklin and her music with this playlist https://lnk.to/ArethaGenius!NGE. Available on Spotify and Apple Music.
    And of course, check out the song that made Keedron viral and the opera performance that cemented Aretha’s genius.

    • 31 min
    Legends of Kingfishers, Otters, and Red-Tailed Hawks

    Legends of Kingfishers, Otters, and Red-Tailed Hawks

    Photographer Charlie Hamilton James chronicles his days ditching high school to hide out by the river near his home in Bristol, England, to snap photos of brilliantly plumed kingfishers dive-bombing for fish—“delinquent behavior” that somehow led to a job making films for the BBC and eventually to National Geographic.
    For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.
    Want more?
    You can see some of Charlie’s stunning photos of vultures in this story about vulture poisoning in Kenya.
     Check out Charlie’s photographs of kingfisher’s in this article from the magazine “Blaze of Blue.”
    Also explore:
    Look through Charlie’s lens to get a glimpse into the lives of indigenous peoples of the Amazon.
     Charlie’s also photographed the urban animals that live alongside us: rats.

    • 24 min
    The Real Amazons

    The Real Amazons

    Greek myths tell tales of Amazons, fearsome women warriors who were the equals of men. Now archaeological discoveries and modern DNA analysis are uncovering reality: these women warriors existed. National Geographic History magazine Executive Editor Amy Briggs and historian Adrienne Mayor introduce us to the horse-riding, arrow-flinging women who fought like men—and were feared by them too.
    For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.

    Want more?
    Uncover the hidden meaning of Amazon names, hidden in ancient inscriptions. They include names like “Hot Flanks” and “Don’t Fail.” 
     And for subscribers, read the full History Magazine cover story that Adrienne wrote about the Amazons. You can also see photographs of modern women warriors around the world through the eyes of photojournalist Lynsey Addario.  

    Also explore: 
    Adrienne has written a whole book on Amazons. It’s called The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World. 

    • 27 min
    Deep Inside the First Wilderness

    Deep Inside the First Wilderness

    On assignment in the canyons of the Gila Wilderness, Nat Geo photographer Katie Orlinsky has a fireside chat with Overheard host Peter Gwin about telling stories through pictures. She chronicles how she found her way—from growing up in New York City to covering workers rights in rural Mexico and the world’s most grueling dogsled race in Alaska. 
    For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.
    Want more?
    Some of Katie's picture from this assignment can be seen on National Geographic's Instagram page,
    In her work on the Yukon Quest dog sled race, you can see what it looks like to cross 1,000 miles of Alaska on dog power.
    On Katie’s personal website, you can see more images, including from her time in Juárez.
    Also explore:
    And magazine subscribers can see Katie’s photos in our recent story about thawing permafrost. Sometimes that thaw creates pockets of methane under frozen lakes that scientists test by setting on fire. That story was also featured in our podcast episode about how beavers are changing the Arctic.

    • 24 min
    Unraveling a Mapmaker’s Dangerous Decision

    Unraveling a Mapmaker’s Dangerous Decision

    For much of recorded history, maps have helped us define where we live and who we are. National Geographic writer Freddie Wilkinson shows us how one small line on a map led to a bitter conflict in another country, thousands of miles away.
    For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.
    Want more?
    Everyone knows Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, but exactly how tall is it? The science and politics behind finding that number is surprisingly complicated. A team from Nepal and China recently came up with a new official height.
    The world's second tallest mountain, K2, is only a few miles away from Hodgson's line and the Siachen glacier. Just a few months ago a team of 10 Nepalis completed the first winter climb of the mountain.
    The history of the Kashmir conflict is complicated. Here's a straightforward explainer of how it all started.
    Also explore:
    Magazine subscribers can read Freddie Wilkinson’s full article, including more details about Robert Hodgson’s life and our geography team's detailed maps of the Siachen glacier.
      

    • 29 min
    Why War Zones Need Science Too

    Why War Zones Need Science Too

    It’s a jewel of biodiversity, the so-called Galápagos of the Indian Ocean, and might also hold traces of the earliest humans to leave Africa. No wonder scientists want to explore Socotra. But it’s also part of Yemen, a country enduring a horrific civil war. Meet the Nat Geo explorer with a track record of navigating the world’s most hostile hot spots who’s determined to probe the island—and empower its local scientists before it’s too late.
    For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.
    Want more?
    See Socotra’s wonders—including the dragon’s blood tree—through the eyes of National Geographic explorers. And check out human footprints preserved for more than 100,000 years, which could be the oldest signs of humans in Arabia. 
    Also explore:
    Learn more about Yemen’s civil war. One Yemeni photographer explains why she looks for points of light in the darkness. And for subscribers, go inside the country’s health crisis and the life of violence and disease the war has brought to many civilians.
    Also, learn more about Ella Al-Shamahi’s new book, The Handshake: A Gripping History, and visit Horn Heritage, Sada Mire’s website preserving heritage in Somalia and the Horn of Africa.   

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
8.8K Ratings

8.8K Ratings

Sunnycreek ,

Great listening!

Interesting stories about NatGeo's hands-on research and escapades

sgwoc ,

Love this podcast!

I love hearing the voices, sounds and banter with more detail about the stories they publish. One more way they help me see the world.

MT02 ,

Great Behind the Scenes Podcast

I really enjoy this podcast about the people behind the National Geographic stories. Peter Gwin has a great podcast voice and I specially love the sound effects/ audio capture at the scene, for example the one with the vultures feeding on the carcass.

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