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The Seven Most-Read National Geographic Voices Posts of 2015

In case you missed them, South Africa’s famous “flying” sharks, Texas floods that washed “river monsters” onto the land, a video that caught a chameleon changing color, and a “sharkano” revealed by deep-sea cameras were among the most popular posts on National Geographic Voices in 2015.   1. Ten Photos of Great White Sharks to Take Your...

In case you missed them, South Africa’s famous “flying” sharks, Texas floods that washed “river monsters” onto the land, a video that caught a chameleon changing color, and a “sharkano” revealed by deep-sea cameras were among the most popular posts on National Geographic Voices in 2015.


1. Ten Photos of Great White Sharks to Take Your Breath Away

Photographing great white sharks for 20 years gives Chris and Monique Fallows front row seats on the amazing behavior and secrets of formidable predators few people see. In this post they share ten of their favorite images of great whites and describe the electric moment when each was made, when conditions came together for a photographic capture of an awesome predator.

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2. Flood Carries River Monsters Onto the Land

The powerful rains that hit Texas and the surrounding region last month led to more than two dozen human deaths, and were a reminder of how little we are able to resist nature’s wild side when unleashed.

Geologically speaking, sediment deposition was what I expected to find here—however, the floodwaters brought in more than just mud …

(Photo by Andrés Ruzo)
Living fossils like the gar are a reminder that our buildings and byways are a very recent arrival to this ancient landscape. (Photo by Andrés Ruzo)

A number of juvenile longnose gar were stuck in the fences near the Trinity, likely trying to return to the main river after feeding in the flooded areas. It was a bittersweet sight, as their untimely death allowed me to observe their impressive, armorlike scales and mouths full of sharp teeth. Certain Native American groups used gar scales as arrowheads, and even as protective breastplates. (Learn all about Monster Fish around the world.)

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3. Short Film Showcase: What Has Four Legs, Four Eyes, and Will Blow Your Mind?

This short from WB Production features the work of artist Johannes Stoetter. At first glance you might see a chameleon walking along a branch, but look closely as it begins to change before your eyes. I spoke with Stoetter about his art and how he went about making this piece.

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Zimbabwe’s most well-known and much-photographed black-maned lion, affectionately named Cecil, was killed by sport hunters just outside the nation’s premier wildlife park, Hwange, last week.

Wildlife enthusiasts say Cecil, possibly Hwanges’s largest lion, was a favorite among visitors to the park as he was relaxed around safari vehicles.

Conservationists are concerned that the killing of the 13-year-old big cat may leave as many as a dozen cubs vulnerable to infanticide by males that assume leadership of his prides. Males commonly kill the cubs of ousted pride leaders so that they may sire their offspring with the females they inherit.

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5. Deep-Sea Cameras Reveal ‘Sharkcano’

6. So You Want to Fly an FPV Racing Mini Quadcopter?

Posted by Kike Calvo of Photographer; Expert at National Geographic Expeditions on May 25, 2015


This post is the latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, which profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography, that Kike learns about during his travels.

Chances are that over the last few months you have come across the increasingly popular videos of people flying mini-copters that evoke scenes of Star Wars . If this reference doesn’t ring a bell, I suggest checking out the epic Return of the Jedi speeder bike race and you will know what I am talking about.

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7. Hunting Lions for Fun

In the wake of Cecil the lion’s killing in Zimbabwe we are seeing real conversations about hunting: its viability and its ethics.

It has opened some tough discussions, like if we should all boycott Zimbabwe, or whether lion hunting is in any shape or form a viable conservation tool.

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12418031_10153900711084116_8462971761216697621_nDavid Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.

He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.

Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

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About National Geographic Society

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Meet the Author

Author Photo David Max Braun
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn