After years of drought and depopulation, many parts of the Great Plains meet the historic definition of frontier territory: an area with no more than six people per square mile. Nebraska, 2004.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jim Richardson / National Geographic CreativeLink
Hunting down groceries in poorly stocked markets, like this butcher shop in central Havana, is a daily challenge. Cubans receive ration books that secure staples like rice, beans, and oil at low prices. But itÕs not enough to live on.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paolo Pellegrin / Magnum PhotosLink
Noor Nisa, about 18, was pregnant; her water had just broken. Her husband, whose first wife had died during childbirth, was determined to get her to the hospital in Faizabad, a four-hour drive from their village in Afghanistan's Badakhshan Province. His borrowed car broke down, so he went to find another vehicle. I ended up taking Noor Nisa, her mother and her husband to the hospital, where she delivered a baby girl. My interpreter, who is a doctor, and I were on a mission to photograph maternal health and mortality issues, only to find the entire story waiting for us along a dusty road. 2010.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Lynsey Addario / VIILink
Miners eat lunch from a communal bowl in the mining town of Pluto in Ituri Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They work here to extract rock and sand from a large pit which has taken over a year to excavate. The miners are made up of many different people from all over Congo who come to seek their fortune.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Marcus Bleasdale / VIILink
A Bushman and his family tracked game across the Kalahari dunes in South Africa. 1996
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chris Johns / National Geographic CreativeLink
Churchgate Railway Station in Mumbai. 2010
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Randy Olson / National Geographic CreativeLink
A man at the Giza pyramids in Egypt, eager to sell rides to foreigners on his elaborately adorned camels, shows a photo of better days for his business.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Alex Majoli / Magnum PhotosLink
Mountaineers traverse a ridge in the Swiss Alps. The sport of mountaineering began in earnest in the Alps after Alfred Willis climbed the Wetterhorn in 1854. Campo Tencia, Switzerland, 1920s.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jean Gaberell / National GeographicLink
An Eskimo man models a space age-looking parka fashioned of walrus intestine, which is impermeable to water. Nome, Alaska, 1900.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Carl L. Lomen / National GeographicLink
Instead of cars carrying workers, Nepal has workers carrying cars on the trail from Katmandu. Automobiles, stripped of wheels and bumpers, are shoulder-borne to and from the capital and only Nepalese city with modern roads. This old German-made Mercedes is going to India as a trade-in on a shiny American model. Nepal, 1948.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Volkmar K. Wentzel / National GeographicLink
A cowgirl dropped a nickel in a parking meter to hitch her pony. El Paso, Texas, 1939.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Marden / National GeographicLink
Early one morning I was driving past a row of abandoned workers' houses north of Lehi, Ark. in 2010 when I spotted a pair of women's shoes on a porch. In a Lucite box, covered in ruby red glitter, they glowed like broken glass.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Eugene Richards / Magnum PhotosLink
Injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq, Staff. Sgt. Jason Welsh suffered a broken neck, a head injury and, worst of all, survivorÕs guilt. Three comrades died in the blast. Charlottsville, VA. 2006.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: James Nachtwey / VIILink
Jordan Spencer, 18, left, of Grand Prairie, Texas identifies herself as black and biracial; Celeste Seda, 26, of Brooklyn, New York identifies herself as Dominican and Korean.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Martin Schoeller / AUGUST ImageLink
A southern elephant seal barks loudly as it breaks the waterÕs surface. The largest of all seals at up to 8,800 pounds, it gets its name from having a truck-like snout. Point Henry, Victoria, Australia, 2004.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jason Edwards / National Geographic CreativeLink
Cubs of the Simba East pride: too young to kill but old enough to crave meat. Adult females, and sometimes males, do the hunting. Zebras and wildebeests rank high as chosen prey in the rainy season. Tanzania.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Nichols / National Geographic CreativeLink
Its image mirrored in icy water, a polar bear travels submergedÑa tactic often used to surprise prey. Scientists fear global warming could drive bears to extinction sometime this century. Canada, 2004.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Nicklen / National Geographic CreativeLink
"I expected this leopard seal to flee with her catch, a live penguin chick, but she dropped it on my camera,Ó says Nicklen. Since these aggressive mammals eat whatever they find in the variable ice pack, scientists track their diets to gauge changes caused by global warming. Antarctica, 2006.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Nicklen / National Geographic CreativeLink
A five-month-old mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) reacts to a visitor near a bushmeat market in Malabo, a city on Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea. This animal was brought over from mainland Africa, most likely as an infant. Once fully grown, many such pets are sold into the bushmeat trade and consumed as food. Though this country has laws on the books stating that taking primates from the wild is illegal, poaching continues to be rampant both in Equatorial Guinea and many other African nations. Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, 2008.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Joel Sartore / National Geographic CreativeLink
Steve McCurryÕs iconic photograph of a young Afghan girl in a Pakistan refugee camp appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazineÕs June 1985 issue and became the most famous cover image in the magazineÕs history. Pakistan, 1984.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Steve McCurry / National Geographic CreativeLink
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