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National Geographic Magazine
May 2021
Secrets of the Whales
by Chris Welch
In the Cook Islands, a humpback cow and calf are joined by two males. Thanks to unprecedented new studies, the social dynamics of whales are reaching new levels of understanding.
Photograph by Brian Skerry

We're learning that some groups of whales and dolphins have their own dialects, diets and routines – cultural differences once thought to be unique to humans. 

With extraordinary photography of behaviour rarely captured before, journey inside the underwater communities of whales. From beluga to orca, sperm whales to humpbacks, this globe-spanning story documents the quest to decode the intelligence of the world's largest mammals.

The May edition of National Geographic magazine is the Oceans Issue. Also this month: 

Saving coral scientists are scrambling to save our most endangered reefs
Beneath the Mediterranean 28 days in a diving bell beneath a sea travelled for millenia
Robert Ballard A life of discovery beneath the waves, from Titanic to Earhart


The scars of mining
Yo-Yo Ma
Wandering rocks


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Robert Ballard | Mediterranean dives | Mining | Whale culture | Saving coral | Moving giraffes
Photograph by National Geographic Photographers


Six of the best adventure tours in inland Spain, from lynx-spotting to lavender festivals

Stray from the coast and delve into the country's heartland, where a raft of natural, cultural and active experiences await.

The pastis of Provence: the revival of the aniseed apertif

In the south of France, in and around the city of Marseille, a new generation of artisanal distillers are breathing fresh life — and flavours — into the region’s beloved aniseed aperitif.

How to spend a weekend in Anglesey, Wales

With unspoilt beaches and dramatic ruins, Wales’ largest island packs a punch. But delve deeper and discover a flourishing food scene at the heart of the country’s gourmet revolution.

Ceviche: the surprising history Peru's raw fish dish

While it’s a fairly recent arrival in UK restaurants, this  Peruvian raw fish dish dates back millennia — and has more  variations than you might expect.

Britain’s songbirds are in decline — here’s how travellers can help

Songbirds have long been intertwined with Britain’s natural and cultural landscape. With spring in full swing, we celebrate the birds that serenade our streets and countryside, and take a look at the ways we can help to boost their dwindling numbers.

Meet the people keeping Venice's traditions alive, from glassblowers to winemakers

Discover the city’s long-held culinary and artisan traditions, doggedly preserved by a cast of characters, from vineyard-owners to glassblowers, even as overtourism threatens to eclipse ancient ways of life on the lagoon.



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