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  • Photo by @kiliiiyuyan / Beluga whales are trapped by chunks of young sea ice broken apart by wind. They remained in this small open area for several days until the young ice dispersed. Yugu Ningeok, from the Alaskan village of Utqiagvik, remembers touching one when he was a child. “I lay quiet on the ice and hundreds passed by." Follow me @kiliiiyuyan for more about the human relationship to wildlife. #alaska #whale #arcti
  • Photo by @celestesloman / This is a self-portrait taken with my youngest brother Schuyler on Block Island, Rhode Island, where we quarantined together for part of the COVID-19 pandemic. Block Island has a small community and no hospital on the island itself, so the community has taken measures to protect its aging population from COVID-19. Schuyler is currently a junior in college and is unsure if he will be able to go back to school amid the uncertainty and changes that have occurred during the pandemic.
  • Photo by Robbie Shone @shonephoto / Underground in Slovenia, the main Grand Canyon-like passage of Škocjanske jama, a deep gorge that has been carved out over hundreds of thousands of years as the Reka River made its way to sea.
  • Photo by David Guttenfelder @dguttenfelder / Young Choi takes a photo of her dog Winston in front of the security fence and National Guard vehicles guarding the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Choi lives in D.C. and routinely walks her dog or bikes the same area. "The sad thing is that we don't know when or if it will ever be normal again," she said.
  • Photo by @johnstanmeyer / Roads leading to the Capitol Building have been blocked by the National Guard and other law enforcement in Washington, D.C., days before the Inauguration.
  • Photo by @tamaramerino_photography / Self-portrait submerged in water. There are good days and there are days that are not so good. There are moments that overwhelm me with anxiety, uncertainty, and despair. There are moments when I dream as if I am awake in strange worlds, and when the night comes, I cannot fall asleep. I don't know what is really going on outside my four concrete walls anymore, other than what I can see on a cold glass screen, without a human’s heat, without an animal’s smell. Santiago, Chile, was in strict lockdown for over 145 days, so this photo explores the connection between myself and nature, highlighting the role of the environment in society’s collective well-being and what we stand to lose when that connection ruptures. This photo is part of my series “Quarantine Diary” that documents my life during the pandemic. Follow me on @tamaramerino_photography for more. #coronavirus #covid19 #lockdown
  • Photo by Muhammed Muheisen @mmuheisen / A couple years ago, I spent time on the world’s only floating animal sanctuary, in Amsterdam. De Poezenboot, Dutch for “the catboat,” hosts around 50 stray and abandoned cats, 17 of which are permanent residents that have lived on the boat for several years. Day after day, you become part of their environment; you're just another big cat to them. This is Kasumi, one of the permanent residents. For more photos and videos from different parts of the world, follow me @mmuheisen and @mmuheisenpublic. #muhammedmuheisen #Amsterdam #Netherlands #cat
  • Photo by David Guttenfelder @dguttenfelder / Mark Weissner fires a handgun at the 5 Star Firearms firing range in Zion, Illinois. Weissner, who manages the range, said the lanes are popular and packed daily. There was a run on firearms and ammunition immediately after violence broke out in neighboring Kenosha, Wisconsin, at the end of August: “Our inventory started out at around 500 firearms. We were all of a sudden down to six. It looked like we’d been robbed.” Demand has continued through the fall and winter, he said. A majority of buyers now, he noted, are first-time gun owners not of any one race or gender. “People who you would never expect to be armed are armed,” he said. Follow along with me as I drive to Washington, D.C., from my home in Minneapolis, stopping along the way to photograph this moment in the U.S.
  • Photo by David Guttenfelder @dguttenfelder / Happy faces are painted on the sides of a family’s sheds in Zion, Illinois. Follow along with me as I drive to Washington, D.C., from my home in Minneapolis, stopping along the way to photograph this moment in the U.S.
  • Photo by David Guttenfelder @dguttenfelder / A defaced campaign sign for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, marked with communist flags, stands on a snowy farm field along a highway between the small Wisconsin towns of Gilman and Jump River. Follow along with me as I drive to Washington, D.C., from my home in Minneapolis, stopping along the way to photograph this moment in the U.S.
  • Photos by @amivitale / Excited to share the news that two northern white rhino embryos were created in December! This development by the @biorescue_project brings us one step closer to saving the species from extinction. Right now, only two northern white rhinos remain in the world, Najin and Fatu, which reside at @OlPejeta Conservancy in northern Kenya. Much needed attention has been focused on the plight of wildlife and the impacts of humanity's greed, but there are many reasons for hope too: the work being done by the indigenous communities on the front lines, the work of conservationists and scientists like those at @biorescue_project, and the generosity of donors who make all of this possible. Dedicated people are key to saving these magnificent animals and habitats; it's important to channel all our energy, awareness, and financial support toward those dedicating their lives to changing the course we are on. It's hard work. Heartbreaking setbacks come with the territory, but we must not lose track of the incremental gains and the uplifting successes. Learn more about how you can support this ambitious plan to save these magnificent creatures by following @amivitale @biorescue_project and @olpejeta. @leibnizizw #Avantea , @kenyawildlifeservice @safariparkdvurkralove @tunajibu @bmbf.bund @leibnizgemeinschaft @ministry_of_tourism_and_sports @thephotosociety @nikonusa #kenya #NorthernWhiteRhinos #rhinos #saverhinos
  • A window to the universe. The rotating Earth turns our view of the galaxy as science photographer @babaktafreshi spent a cold and magical starry night at an altitude of 4,500 meters (15000 ft) in the Altiplano, on the border of Chile and Bolivia. The slightly frozen water reflects the rising Milky Way in the time-lapse video, made for the Borderless Sky documentary series (for Arte & ZDF) about the World at Night project, a long-term effort by Babak and international team of photographers to reconnect us with the wonders of the night sky and the value of preserving the natural night environment. Learn more @twanight and @babaktafreshi.
  • Photo by Matthieu Paley @paleyphoto / Highway food, U.S.A. A few years ago, I crossed the U.S. by car. There wasn’t a lot of food diversity along the way—mainly fast-food chains offering large portions but not many healthy choices on the menu. According to a recent Harvard study, close to half of the U.S. population is projected to be obese by 2030. It is currently one of the biggest health hazards we are facing, and no country is escaping it. Childhood obesity worldwide has tripled in the past 40 years. It left me wondering: What mechanisms of the food industry have created this growing unhealthy environment? For more cultural insights into our world, follow @paleyphoto. #emptycalories #junkfood #obesity
  • Photos by @babaktafreshi / I'm often asked whether my images of the night sky show what we can see with the naked eye. In some cases they come close, and in others, like this one, the scene is far beyond our limits (I used an astrophotography camera to reveal the large, faint nebulae). Swipe to see a comparison of what you might have seen on this May night in the Canary Islands. While the colors disappear, under a natural moonless night sky like this, far from light pollution, the Milky Way is still spectacular, especially between April and October—and even better in the tropics and Southern Hemisphere. Although the galaxy is prominent to the naked eye, we are almost colorblind at dark, except where there are strong sources of light, such as brighter stars or intense aurora. The camera’s long exposure reveals these hidden but true colors. There is a physical explanation for every color in this image. The camera also reveals many more background stars that we can see, but still you're able to see more than a thousand! On my website babaktafreshi.com/darksky learn where to find a dark place near you. #twanight #darksky #astrophotography #milkyway
  • Photo by Anastasia Taylor-Lind @anastasiatl / A man weeps beside a bloodied stretcher outside the emergency department of the Republican Medical Centre in Stepanakert on November 4, 2020. The war in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia lasted for six weeks and ended on November 10, 2020, with a Russian-mediated peace deal that left Azerbaijan retaining territory gained during that war and regaining control of districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh that Armenia had captured in the 1990s. This was the first conflict to start during the pandemic, and the overlap of the two crises was deadly. Rates of COVID-19 infection, which had been low, spiralled out of control when the fighting began. I worked together with writer Kristen Chick, and our reporting is published in @natgeo. This project was supported by the National Geographic Society's Emergency Fund for Journalists. @insidenatgeo #nagornokarabakh