Friday, March 8, 2013

It is 125 years old this year. It is National Geographic. Yes, I remember the yellow trimmed picture magazines of my youth where it was my first glimpse of a bare naked chest of a woman. It was also my glimpse into adventure and the vast parts of the world. All I knew at the time were the blocks of houses on my way to school. There is a National Geographic channel devoted to video adventures although there are a few unusual red neck reality shows there too.
Advancements in exploration have gone high teck and with new types of surveillance technology available in this century it is estimated that more artifacts of the past will be able to be discovered more easily. In Mongolia today there are explorers that are still looking for the lost Tomb of the ancient conqueror Genghis Khan. He was born called Temujin and was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his demise. He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of northeast Asia.
It is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. There are places there that have not even been walked upon in 800 years. Now explorers have tools that have never been available before. Now, to decide where to look for the tomb there is social media. Yes, on Facebook and other media sites arm chair explorers can join in the search . Detailed satellite images are posted on line and you can help in the research of the origins of the pinpointed place.
Geologists may suggest where something man made may be hidden. They don’t even know what the tomb even looks like. Once a possible place has been decided upon they go there on horseback and survey the site. The Mongolian government does not allow digging at archaeological sites. They now use technology instead of shovels there. Things like Ground Penetrating Radar and small remote controlled air craft are used to survey the selected areas. The images are analyzed in a 3 D environment in labs in the University of California in San Diego.
There are many Explorers who are funded by National Geographic to continue their explorations. People like Lucy Cooke, Kenny Broad, Barrington Irving, Kakani Katija, Daniel Raven Ellison, Sylvia Earle, Paul Salopek, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Sarah McNair-Landry, Annie Griffiths, Aziz Abu Sarah, and Enric Sala. People think of National Geographic as just a magazine or a TV channel but exploration is what has always defined the society.
Founders including Alexander Graham Bell started the National Geographic Society 125 years ago. Since then they have funded more than 10,000 scientific research projects throughout the years. We need this organization because they fund risky projects where success is not guaranteed; that is the nature of exploration and so what if it failed; at least the effort was made to unveil the secrets of our past.
The 21st Century should be the greatest stage of exploration in the history of mankind because now they are using DNA testing to map the history of the human race from it’s origins in East Africa. The answer to the question of how all the different races evolved could be answered with this new research tool. Samples of people’s DNA are presently being taken from people from all over the world in an effort to find clues and to map where and when our ancestors traveled.
Genetic markers are being studied which are tiny changes found in your DNA sequence. When you share something, you have found an ancestor of yours. They have found 9 races in the world that are ancestral source populations that are being mixed together to find the people we see today. When you think National Geographic you don’t think of DNA sampling but studying gene geography is interesting too.

No comments:

Post a Comment