A version of this article originally appeared in the book 100 Parks, 5000 Ideas. Tourists might think of parks as a place to get a nature fix—picnics, hiking, sweeping views, and babbling streams—and while that’s definitely the case, they safeguard plenty of cultural resources, too. Here are 10 parks across the United States and Canada…

One Friday in September, Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg set herself up outside the Swedish Parliament with handmade signs and a message: Climate change is here, it’s threatening the future, and the grown-ups in charge aren’t taking it seriously—so now I, Greta, will go on strike for the climate. Someone had to do something about it,…

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When a cougar takes down a mighty elk, it may look like the end of a life. But it’s actually a beginning for hundreds of other species. Even though these big cats can top out at well over 100 pounds, they can’t even come close to finishing all the meat on a 700-pound elk. And…

Martin Riese doesn’t sip water—he slurps it. But only after swirling it around in stemmed glassware, sniffing it, and examining it with his every sense. If the liquid in his glass were another shade, any shade at all, onlookers might guess he’s a trained sommelier tasting wine—and they’d be half right. Riese is a water…

This article was created in partnership with the National Geographic Society. What is to be done with the swelling flood of plastic waste, if we don’t want to see it snagged in tree branches, floating in ocean gyres, or clogging the stomachs of seabirds and whales? Plastic production is expected to double in the next…

Framed by its mighty Cliffs of Moher, the Burren region of western Ireland is a wonder of lunar landscapes, megalithic monuments, and beautiful botany. The 205-square-mile UNESCO Global Geopark is one of the only places in the world where arctic, alpine, and Mediterranean plants grow side by side. The name “Burren” derives from the Irish…

The limestone cave of Liang Bua, on the Indonesian island of Flores, is widely known as the hobbit cave, the site where the surprisingly tiny and enormously controversial extinct human relative Homo floresiensis was discovered. But to the scientists who excavate there, the site is known as something else entirely: the rat cave. “The first…