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A 13-year-old golden eagle huntress in Mongolia

"To see her with the eagle was amazing. She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it." The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practising falconers. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country's only apprentice huntress. Photographer Asher Svidensky spent days trekking with the youngsters on horseback.
posted by DiesIrae on Apr 15, 2014 - 35 comments

First and last refuge

We can't create Jurassic Park era (yet) but there is a place on Earth lost to time, a modern proxy of the Pleistocene (35,000 to 12,000 years ago). Other than the mammoth and a few other species, the flora and fauna remain largely unchanged, even the climate is similar to the last ice age (cold and dry). There are wild horses, reindeer, saiga antelopes, argali sheep, wolverines and snow leopards. The Altai and Sayan mountains of western Mongolia and southern Russia (map)... [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Mar 8, 2014 - 2 comments

Thanksgiving in Mongolia

Thanksgiving in Mongolia. Ariel Levy writes a harrowing, heartbreaking story of her late pregnancy loss, adventure, and grieving.
posted by c'mon sea legs on Nov 11, 2013 - 21 comments

Mongolian Eagle Hunters

The Last of the Mongolian Eagle Hunters. "In remote Mongolia, a few men continue the dying tradition of training golden eagles to hunt. Australian photographer Palani Mohan describes his project to document what remains of this centuries-old culture." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Feb 17, 2013 - 11 comments

Roy Chapman Andrews, adventurer.

[Roy Chapman] Andrews is best remembered for the series of dramatic expeditions he led to the Gobi of Mongolia (shorter films: 1, 2) from 1922 to 1930. Andrews took a team of scientists into previously unexplored parts of the desert using some of the region’s first automobiles with extra supplies transported by camel caravan. Andrews – for whom adventure and narrow escapes from death were a staple of exploring – is said to have served as inspiration for the Hollywood character “Indiana Jones.” Andrews’s expeditions to the Gobi remain significant for, among other discoveries, their finds of the first nests of dinosaur eggs, new species of dinosaurs, and the fossils of early mammals that co-existed with dinosaurs. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Feb 17, 2013 - 8 comments

United States of America v. One Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton

"One thing I was wondering is if any of these paleontologists you’ve talked to have given their argument of why paleontology is important." Fossils are "just basically rocks," he said. "It's not like antiquities, where it's somebody's heritage and culture and all that."
Bones of Contention: A Florida man's curious trade in Mongolian dinosaurs. [previously]
posted by brundlefly on Feb 4, 2013 - 18 comments

"The sale of this next lot will be contingent on a satisfactory resolution of a court proceeding dealing with this matter."

On May 20th, the fossil remains of a Tarbosaurus (aka, Tyrannosaurus bataar) were sold for $1,052,500. The auction was carried out despite objections from the President of Mongolia and a court order. The problem? The remains may have been poached.
posted by brundlefly on May 22, 2012 - 20 comments

11 days across Mongolia in 4 minutes

"Experience the roadlessness, the bandits, the breakdowns, the yaks, and the camels, without ever having to figure out how to steer and shift a right-driving mini-car through some of the remotest land on the planet. And see it out the windshield just like we did." Drive across Mongolia in four minutes. [via]
posted by quin on Feb 28, 2012 - 6 comments

a 300 million year old fossilized forest discovered

Photographs of an almost perfectly preserved 298 million year-old fossilized forest discovered under a coal mine in China [pdf] (In Wuda, Inner Mongolia). [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Feb 22, 2012 - 27 comments

The Nomad's Ger

A time-lapse video of a Mongolian family assembling a yurt near the Russian border.
posted by gman on Jan 29, 2012 - 22 comments

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree

Chinese archeologists have mapped the layout of Shangdu (better known as Xanadu), after large scale excavations that included the use of GIS in remote sensing and aerial archeology. The capital, located in Inner Mongolia, was built in 1256 under the command of Kublai Khan, the first emperor of Yuan Dynasty, who was enthroned there four years later. It became a summer resort after the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) moved its capital to Ta-tu or Dadu (built by the same architect, located in present-day Beijing) in 1276, and was destroyed during a peasant war at the end of the dynasty. The regional government has submitted an application for World Cultural Heritage status for the site to UNESCO, currently under review. Xanadu has captured the imagination of the West ever since Marco Polo first extolled its beauties in his Books of the Marvels of the World, subsequently immortalized by Coleridge in a poem fuelled by opium fevered dreams. Other recently discovered Yuan Dynasty artifacts include a priceless porcelain vase as well as a sunken ship - part of an invading Mongol armada - off the coast of Japan.
posted by infini on Dec 3, 2011 - 24 comments

Photos and video of Mongolian nomads

mongolia! This summer, a pair of teenage photographers visited Mongolia and took Polaroids of Mongolian nomads, for the nomads to keep. This video shows them with their snapshots. [more inside]
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike on Sep 20, 2011 - 25 comments

The Monsterous Master Of Mystical Language

in 1976, surrealist icon Salvador Dali starred and directed in the fake documentary/travelogue Impressions de la haute Mongolie - Impressions of Upper Mongolia - about his quest to find a rare hallucinogenic mushroom. It was intended as a tribute to the late Raymond Roussel. It is available on Youtube in 5 parts. 1 - 2 -3 - 4 - 5 (70 min)
posted by The Whelk on Sep 3, 2011 - 25 comments

Finding the Edge

Google Translated from nub1an's livejournal Some stunning wilderness-travelogue photography from Russian trekker and (self-described-)amateur photographer "nub1an" (Ilya Kondrashov). Untranslated link.
posted by J0 on Apr 26, 2011 - 10 comments

The Far Right in Mongolia

The Guardian and Time write about the rise of neo-Nazi groups in Mongolia. The view (or at least a view) from Ulan Bator. Pertinent images from the Guardian and from Time's photographer here and here respectively.
posted by Dim Siawns on Aug 3, 2010 - 24 comments

bankers with a herd mentality?

Sodnomdarjaa Khaltarkhuu never expected to be a metaphor for the far-reaching impacts of the financial downturn.
posted by Pants! on Apr 20, 2009 - 5 comments

Requiem for the steppenwolf

The Berkutchi is a falconer who hunts with the Golden Eagle [more inside]
posted by hortense on Apr 8, 2009 - 19 comments

Mongolian Overtones

In Mongolia, overtone singing (or hoomei, as it's known locally) is mainly a guy thing, but there are exceptions to the rule, for example, the Hoomei Women's Group. More commonly though, women who want to sing do so in an exquisite, soaring style like this and this. Sometimes the men do the hoomei thing while the women do that soaring thing. Then there are those lovely choral arrangements. And then there are those rare moments when the YouTube poster's description of a clip just hits the nail square on the head, as with this one: amazing. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 29, 2008 - 23 comments

Cheers, Big Ears!

The first known film of the long-eared jerboa, an endangered Mongolian rodent with legs like a kangaroo, was released today by the owners of London Zoo. Previously
posted by chuckdarwin on Dec 10, 2007 - 29 comments

Travel the world; use less carbon, see the sights. Don't forget the penguin.

9000 miles by ferry, train, bus, bicycle, horse, foot and car. In a bid to reduce his carbon footprint, Joseph Tame swapped 11 hours in a plane from Japan to England for a month-long adventure across Eurasia. Along the way he has a Chinese Imperial Guard hold a penguin, stays in a Mongolian Yurt, experiences a "road" trip or two, misses some trains, and befriends a chipmunk.
posted by Freaky on Oct 15, 2007 - 25 comments

"...as a Russian and Chinese-led alliance created to counter US hegemony"

The Shanhai Cooperative Organization. [wiki] When Moscow and Beijing engineered the creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) six years ago, I am not sure if they foresaw its emergence as an important actor in the international order. Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia, currently observers, are lobbying hard to get accepted into this club. The US request for membership was rejected two years ago.
posted by delmoi on Aug 23, 2007 - 14 comments

Lessons from Training Camp Genghis Khan

A mere 800 years ago, the Mongol Empire was a lot bigger than you might imagine. Now a different Empire unites a lot of different states, and it's not working out to everyone's benefit. To elaborate, America is rich, we are poor. It’s not fair, they have to share. This is the first among many lessons from Training Camp Genghis Khan, a school for "rookie offshore programmers."

Lesson five: Never say “I do not know”. Accept all assignments – one of two things will happen – either you’ll figure out how to complete the assignment, or it’ll get cancelled. Indeed.
posted by cloudscratcher on Jan 1, 2007 - 27 comments

Let's Develop Our Mongolia!

TV5 is the first Mongolian TV station to broadcast over the internet. They offer a wide range of shows on contemporary Mongolian life and culture.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 5, 2006 - 17 comments

Mummy.

Scientists in Mongolia have found the mummy of a Scythian warrior. This article about the find contains an excellent photo gallery of what exactly they dug up. Other things people have dug up in the past include the famous Mr. Ötzi (only twice as old as the others) and Ms. Altai Princess, who has lately been causing some trouble.
posted by thirteenkiller on Aug 26, 2006 - 13 comments

Border guards nicked our fizzy cola bottles! Gits!

"Have entered industrial wasteland - unbelievable hell-hole. Clocked 4000miles! Border guards nicked our fizzy cola bottles! Gits! Roads r not good."

Two weeks ago 159 crap cars set off from London, England for Ulan Bataar, Mongolia. A journey spanning 8,000 miles, 2 deserts, 5 mountain ranges, on roads ranging from bad to non-existent. All this with no support crew and in a car you swapped for a bag of crisps. Stir in the odd party in far-flung parts of the globe, dodgy border crossings, and the occasional bribe and you have an inkling of the Mongol Rally.

Sound too safe for you? Maybe racing a rickshaw across the Indian subcontinent for a spot of tea is more your speed.
Two great charity events brought to you by the Institute of Adventure Research
posted by woj on Aug 3, 2006 - 38 comments

Hi mom!

Iwan.com has lots of nice photos of interesting places and people and an inoffensive site layout.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred on Dec 1, 2005 - 21 comments

Together at last!

Together at last! Joy Division and Mongolian throat singing.
posted by Damienmce on Jul 5, 2005 - 28 comments

golf & goofs

Thanks to Andre Tolme, now you will know that the capital of Mongolia is Ulaanbaatar, and that a par of 11,880 is possible. (Bonus golf link: Tundra Golf!)
posted by of strange foe on Jul 30, 2004 - 8 comments

An American in Mongolia

An American in Mongolia. A new breed of American soldier—call him the soldier-diplomat—has come into being since the end of the Cold War. Meet the colonel who was our man in Mongolia, an officer who probably wielded more local influence than many Mongol rulers of yore.
posted by kablam on Feb 20, 2004 - 7 comments

Genghis Khan

Modern Mongolia: Reclaiming Genghis Khan. How views of the Mongol leader have altered with political changes throughout history: Manchurian domination, Communism and democracy. After the transition from Communism to democracy in Mongolia, interest in Genghis Khan seems to have enjoyed something of a comeback. More on the artistic legacy of the Mongols across Asia in this online exhibit; or take a look at the Great Mongol Shahnama, or Book of Kings.
Related :- a potted history of Mongolian Buddhism.
posted by plep on Dec 15, 2003 - 7 comments

Jorlon khaan bain ve?

Jorlon khaan bain ve? The first stop in Oissubke's trip around the online world is the beautiful land of Mongolia. Take a moment to leave the America-centric (not that there's anything wrong with that!) Web and see what the internet looks like from someone else's eyes... I've tried to pick sites that provide unique and interesting insights into the Mongolian internet, not just whatever Google coughed up for "Mongolia". Unless this post particularly annoys people, I'll plan to continue my journey with Liechtenstein in a few days.
posted by oissubke on Oct 21, 2002 - 28 comments

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