Tag archives for Expedition-Week

Sea Monster Cemetery

One hundred and fifty million years ago, what is now the Arctic tundra was completely submerged with water, and massive marine reptiles ruled our sparkling, tropical seas. The Earth was warm and lush, and the dinosaurs were apex land predators. Over time, land appeared, and glaciers spread over 60% of Svalbard’s archipelago. And here in…

Tigers in Africa

A hundred years ago, 100,000 tigers roamed their native range in Asia. There were nine subspecies of tigers (Bengal, Siberian, Indochinese, South Chinese, Caspian, Malayan, Sumatran, Bali and Javan). But today the wild tiger population is around 3,200 individuals – with only 1,000 being breeding females. Three subspecies are extinct, one is extinct in the wild,…

Bhutan Tiger Search

In the last century, the world has lost about 95% of its tigers. If the wild population continues to decline at this rate, this big cat species faces extinction in the wild by 2022. The tiger is an adaptive species, but it requires adequate territory and prey to survive. And they’re threatened by poaching, illegal…

Volcano Danger

The Volcano Devils – photographer and filmmakers Maurice and Katia Krafft – were individuals independent of faculty association and government funding. They were professionals passionate about documenting volcano activity, offering precious images that volcanologists around the world use as reference. In about twenty-three years of work, they witnessed 120 volcanic eruptions and filmed approximately 500 hours of…

Iceland’s Volcanoes

As the mid-Atlantic rift opened some 24 million years ago, magma began to pour out at the bottom of the ocean. It spread across the sea floor in what is now the north Atlantic Ocean. But it took millions of years for volcanoes to reach the surface. Iceland, with about 200 post-glacial volcanoes, is one…

One of the lesser-known and less savory aspects of Benjamin Franklin’s diplomatic career in France during the Revolutionary War was his role in organizing pirate attacks on British shipping. Lest you judge Franklin too harshly, it should be mentioned that in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, unleashing freelance maritime bandits–”privateers” was the more polite-sounding…

America’s Undercover Pirates

One year into the American Revolution, and the outlook is bleak. The British have taken New York. The Continental Army is in desperate need of supplies and manpower. And hundreds of elderly American men are captured while en route to Paris. Personal letters from these apprehended men reach Benjamin Franklin. They speak of starvation, freezing…

Mysterious Ghost Ship

While searching for a Swedish spy plane shot down by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, an expedition team stumbles upon another Baltic Sea mystery: a long-forgotten shipwreck. A faint, intact outline hints its made of wood, possibly from the 17th century. But why did it go under, and what happened to the crew?…

Forgotten Ancient City

In the second millennium, the Egyptians were a superpower, having existed for over a thousand years. But in the shadows of the pyramids, an ancient city has been lost in time, disappearing from historical record. Whatever happened to the ancient empire of Qatna? Qatna was once a major city located directly at Egypt’s northern border.…

Gladiator Bones

Gladiators were the celebrities of roman pop culture. Larger-than-life figures, they were fearless individuals, trained to kill. And it’s estimated that over one million gladiators died fighting in Roman Empire arenas. But who were these ultimate prize fighters? From ancient texts, we know gladiators practiced their skills with a rudes (wooden sword), and were often…

The Knights Templars’ were officially recognized in 1129. They were an order of warrior monks who took vows of poverty and chastity, answering only to the Pope. The Templars positioned their headquarters on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem – one of the most sacred pieces of land in history. Soon, the Templars’ power extended beyond…

Abominable Snowman Stake Out


A variation of the Yeti legend exists in a dozen different cultures across the globe. It’s a creature with many names – the Sasquatch of North America, the Almasty of Russia, the Yowie of Australia, the Abominable Snowman of Nepal – that shares the same wild, half-man, half-ape characteristics. The search for the Yeti began…

Do Cannibals Still Exist?

In 1987, scientists discovered a collection of discarded animal bones, dating back some 14,000 years. These bones displayed human-made marks where the meat had been cut from the bone. But scientists were shocked when they found human remains here too, showing the same tool markings – human flesh had also been stripped for consumption.Cannibalism – the…

If you missed last night’s Colbert Report, catch up here as Piers Gibbon discusses his experience while filming Eating with Cannibals. Be sure to tune in to Eating with Cannibals this Sunday at 9P et/pt… Piers will be live-tweeting during the premiere, so be sure to send your questions to @PiersGibbon on twitter.

Expedition Week starts this Sunday at 9P et/pt. Check out the full trailer for a sneak peak at the 13 premieres happening across seven nights!

Get excited, some really cool artifacts and prizes are available today. On your tiny Mission Expedition exploration, you may come across a National Geographic portable solar charger. Recharge your iPod, iPhone, GPS, digital camera, MP3 player and most cell phones with this portable powerhouse! Of course there are plenty of amazing DVDs along the way,…

Check out some of today’s artifacts to keep a look out for: Still up for grabs is a Tibetan chime of compassion and an ancient Roman coin necklace thanks to our friends at the Nat Geo Store. Also be on the lookout for an 1888 London Times newspaper that was one of the first to…

Mission Expedition is Here!

From now until April 9th, you can virtually get in line to drive a miniature robotic train through re-creations of four Expedition Week characters’ hometowns. Drive through Gladiator’s Colosseum, Cannibal’s Papa New-Guinea village, Jack the Ripper’s London circa 1888, and the Abominable Snowman’s Himalayas.  Along the way, if you’re lucky enough to spot an artifact,…

The Search for Jack the Ripper

London, 1888. The ‘Autumn of Terror.’ Over a three month period, five women were brutally mutilated by a killer known only as “Jack the Ripper.” It was a name birthed from a letter sent to the “Boss” of Central News Agency of that year – allegedly from the killer himself. It detailed his “grand work”…