In the southern portion of China there is an expansive karst landscape, formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. The region is home to the South China Karst UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is actually seven different notable features, as well as the visually impressive Moon Hill, some of China's supercaves, and Xiaozhai Tiankeng, the world's deepest sinkhole. You can climb Moon Hill, but it's best to plan ahead. You can also explore China's great caves, but it is necessary to explore between October-November and February-March to avoid the monsoon seasons, and getting down Xiaozhai Tiankeng requires a lot of gear. You can read more about the Tiankengs (giant dolines or sinkholes) in the karst of China (PDF).
To get you ready for Independence Day, National Geographic has provided some useful tips for photographing fireworks, complete with a pretty gallery.
"FOUND is a curated collection of photography from the National Geographic archives. In honor of our 125th anniversary, we are showcasing photographs that reveal cultures and moments of the past. Many of these photos have never been published and are rarely seen by the public."
An updated gallery of National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry's last roll of Kodachrome film. [more inside]
Astana, the new capital of Kazakhstan, is brash and grandiose—and wildly attractive to young strivers seeking success. [more inside]
"We come up with two new mysteries for every one that we solve," he [Schmidt] says. Still, he has already drawn some conclusions. "Twenty years ago everyone believed civilization was driven by ecological forces," Schmidt says. "I think what we are learning is that civilization is a product of the human mind." - Charles C. Mann writes about Göbekli Tepe for National Geographic.
If you see a hundred jellies, keep going. If you see a thousand jellies, keep going. If you see a million jellies, stop - you're there.
Head some 500 miles (800 km) east of the Philippines or 2,000 miles (3,200 km) south of Tokyo, and you'll find Palau, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean. Amongst the Rock Islands of Palau is a vaguely Y-shaped uninhabited island, called Mecherchar or Eil Malk, which includes a number of marine lakes. One of the more astounding lakes is Ongeim'l Tketau or Jellyfish Lake, home to millions of jellyfish that make daily migrations, tracking the sun. [more inside]
National Geographic has digitized all of Jane Goodall's articles for the publication from the past five decades. They've also added a galley of photographs documenting her extraordinary work with chimps.
The 20-day Expedition Titanic will use remotely operated submersibles to complete an unprecedented archaeological analysis of the two- by three-mile (three- by five-kilometer) debris field, including Titanic's two halves. The ship's bow and stern separated before sinking and now lie a third of a mile (half a kilometer) apart. [more inside]
Ten thousand tourists have tramped above the spot where the latest find has just been made. Other archeologists, looking for the needle entrance to the royal tomb of Tutankhamen in the limestone haystack of el Qorn, came within a few feet of where, after sixteen years of labor, the late Lord Carnarvon and Mr. Howard Carter found their reward. National Geographic republished the photos (flash gallery) and the text of the 1923 account of the opening of the tomb of King Tutankhamun. [more inside]
In Sizing Up Sperm, people dressed in all white literally act out the role of sperm in the race to become one with the egg, running through valleys, squeezing through spirals, battling Leukocytes and much more. The results are stunning and the program airs this Sunday, March 14 on National Geographic. It just so happens that Slate also got in on the ejaculation meme, and delivered an article on a story of sperm donors and DNA tracing in Are Sperm Donors Really Anonymous Anymore? [via] [more inside]
On Solidarity, Community Spirit And Going Meerkat-Mad: They're cute, they're smart; they're funny, they're sociable; they're even considered the epitome of cooperative living. In fact, they could probably teach MetaFilter a lesson or two. In their September issue, National Geographic has gone stark, raving meerkat-bonkers - and not a moment too soon either. We're talking new desktops here, no mistake..[Flash needed for first link - definitely worth waiting for it to load - Real or WindowsMedia for some other on-site features.]