125 Years of Stunning Photos from National Geographic Live


B.Anthony Stewart
New York, 1957
Hailed by a welcoming flotilla, the Mayflower II, a scale replica of the famous original, enters New York Harbor with all sails set to a spanking breeze. Although she has crossed the Atlantic Ocean as her forerunner did, entirely under canvas, a passing helicopter will soon backwind her, and she'll have to be towed the final few yards to her berth.
by Erin Balser
B. Anthony Stewart
California, 1965
Coming from the darkness of the Wawona Tunnel, tourists always scramble out of their cars to take in that first stupendous view of the Yosemite Valley. El Capitan soars in granite majesty to the left, distant Half Dome peeks over the shoulder of a rounded ridge, and to the right Bridalveil Fall tumbles in spray for 620 feet beneath Cathedral Rocks. 
by Erin Balser
Steve McCurry
Iraq, 1984.
Baghdad’s split-domed al-Shaheed Monument, or Martyr’s Memorial, an eternal flame blazing at its heart, ostensibly commemorates the Arab victory over the Persians at al-Qadisiyyah in A.D. 637. That was the battle Saddam Hussein invoked in 1980 before invading the modern Persia, Iran. Eight years later, when with the help from the West, the Arab Gulf States, and the liberal use of chemical weapons he ended the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88), the monument also came to honor the nearly half million Iraqis killed in that conflict (a million Iranian dead did not count) – all in vain, as not an inch of territory ultimately changed hands. 
by Erin Balser
Steve McCurry
Sri Lanka, 1995.
Perched on wooden stilts, Singhalese men fish for spotted herring in the monsoon-lashed surf pounding Sri Lanka’s south coast. When the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami crashed over these same beaches, it took the lives for 35,000 Singhalese with it. 
by Erin Balser
Paul Nicklen
Antarctica, 2012.
Leaving a contrail of air bubbles in its wake, an emperor penguin rockets through the water, gaining the needed momentum to launch itself clear of a hole in the Ross Sea pack ice. The birds are famous for their spectacular leaps – one thing that helps them elude leopard seals – but only recently has it been discovered that the air bubbles act like a lubricant, cutting excess drag and improving speed. 
by Erin Balser
by Erin Balser
 
 

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