Ancient trilobites had eyes made of crystals

Fun fact: trilobites were able to see thanks to eyes made of calcite instead of soft tissue. YouTuber Thunderf00t shows off a cool fossil and explains the phenomenon. Read the rest

See 130 years of National Geographic covers in two minutes

For more than a century, National Geographic has continued to "believe in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world." I still want to believe.

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Watch this undersea vehicle's close encounter with a shimmering purple jellyfish

EV Nautilus shared a spectacular unplanned find during a recent live filming of a sampling expedition: a pink and purple Halitrephes maasi jelly that looks like a firework. Read the rest

Why Is Blue So Rare In Nature?

Blue as a pigment in nature is incredibly rare. Most animals with blue coloration achieve it through microscopic structures in their skin, fur, or feathers. This helpful explainer delves into the details. Read the rest

Photo of murmuration of starlings looks like a giant starling

Photographer Daniel Biber caught some spectacular sunset images showing murmurations of starlings. In the most remarkable of these, the murmuration itself looked like a starling. Read the rest

This handy site catalogs monumental trees from around the world

Looking for a monumental tree for a photo or just to enjoy in person? Check out Monumental Trees, a compendium of over 31,000 impressive trees, like this live oak in Virginia. Read the rest

National Geographic's Nature Photographer of the Year 2017 contest winners

Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan risked crocodiles and other dangers to snap this stunning image of an orangutan, named National Geographic's top nature photo for 2017. Read the rest

Scientist finds shimmering blue moths last seen in 1887

A Polish entomologist has observed and recorded footage of a bee-like moth called the Oriental blue clearwing. Read the rest

Gorgeous high-def footage from Rocky Mountain National Park

More Than Just Parks is a wonderful channel that showcases the incredible natural beauty of America's national parks. Their latest video celebrates Rocky Mountain National Park. Read the rest

These woodpeckers are so weird scientists thought they were communists

Acorn woodpeckers create acorn granaries that hold tens of thousands of acorns. Scientists are especially interested in their living arrangements, once described by Cold War ornithologists as communism. Read the rest

Trees "sucking" on things

Trees Sucking on Things is my new favorite subreddit. It's dedicated to trees that have grown around unusual objects, thereby giving the impression of "sucking" on them. Pictured here is an example from getyerhandoffit. Read the rest

Cool short documentary on gear for filming bioluminescence

This neat short film explains the specialized split-beam camera Martin Dorhn developed to film bioluminescent animals without disturbing them. As the information comes through the lens, it's split so one camera captures infrared and the other captures the bioluminescence. Read the rest

This border collie is busy saving New Zealand's endangered parrots

A doggo named Ajax has been specially trained to sniff out the kea, an endangered bird endemic to New Zealand. Watch this charming short as they roam the mountainous South Island. Read the rest

Last-ditch plan to save 30 remaining vaquitas, earth's tiniest porpoises

Vaquita CPR is the international effort to save the "pandas of the sea," critically endangered and super-cute vaquitas, the earth's smallest species of porpoises. Only 30 are believed to live in their range in the northern Gulf of California. Read the rest

Ship exhaust makes ocean lightning more common and intense in shipping lanes

The American Geophysical Union reports that a long-term study of major shipping lanes indicates that ship exhaust is dramatically altering lightning patterns. It's not clear what the long-term effects might be. Read the rest

Hear Radiohead and Hans Zimmer's collaboration "(Ocean) Bloom"

In collaboration with Hans Zimmer, Radiohead reworked their track "Bloom" from The King of Limbs into an epic orchestral number that seems just perfect for its intended use, in the soundtrack for Sir David Attenborough's new BBC documentary Blue Planet II. According to Thom Yorke, "Bloom" was originally inspired by the first Blue Planet series in 2001.

"It sort of seeped into my subconscious. I found myself dreaming of these creatures quite a lot," Yorke says in the below behind-the-scenes clip about the making of the new track.

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Track weekly lava changes at a volcano with this helicopter diary

Mick Kalber of Paradise Helicopters takes tourists and photographers up over Pu'u 'O'o's lava lake and other remarkable lava flows each week. For those of us who can go up each week with him, he shares a weekly diary of his favorite moments. Read the rest

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