When I was a child way back in the 1970s, I remember one of the things I looked forward to (other than my weekly copy of the Beano comic) was my father's monthly copy of the National Geographic magazine (now known as just National Geographic). It always stood out and caught my attention among the plethora of publications that graced our family home.
As a small childit is fair to say I could not always understand or properly digest the content of the magazine, as it appeared to be for the most part aimed at adults - although there were indeed some articles I recall that were of interest to me. Those tended to be about animals; the more exotic and rare the better.
One thing that always caught my attention in every issue was the exceptional quality of the photography. This played a large part in me developing a lifelong interest in photography and indeed my childhood aspirations to become a National Geographic photographer (needless to say this unfortunately never transpired). After growing up and leaving the family home, other than occasional brief looks through the often well out-of-date magazines in various doctors waiting rooms, I never really gave the magazine much thought. I was pleasantly surprised when my partner decided to get a years' subscription to this wonderful magazine.
When the first issue - July 2016 - popped through the letterbox I couldn't wait to get settled down and have a right good read through what seemed to be an old friend that had came back into my life after a long absence. I was not to be disappointed.
The magazine was of exceptionally good quality and had not lost any of its lustre unlike a good few other magazines which, through time, seem to have lost a bit of both. I was more than happy to see that the magazine still excelled when it came to the quality of its numerous articles. More of an interest to me, the quality of the photography appears to have gotten better, perhaps due to the advance of the digital age or as National Geographic historically accepts only the top quality work from some of the best photographers in the world.
The article that was most interesting to me (considering my aforementioned interest in rare and exotic animals) was titled 'The Great White Mystery', concerning the plight of the Great White shark. A bumper 16 page feature of fascinating information coupled with what can only be described as outstanding photographs, it showed me that although we know a fair bit about this magnificent creature of the deep we still have an awful lot to learn.
This piece centres round Erik Vances experience of swimming with Great White sharks and his time spent with biologist Greg Skomal, whose theory is that these sharks congregate in “hubs” or territories. Skomal has been tagging Great Whites for more than 20 years and is still learning about these magnificent creatures; it is still not known how many of these sharks there are and it could well be that they are hanging over the abyss of extinction. Perhaps they need to be afraid of us more than we are of them.
Overleaf, an article on the trade in shark fins and the effect it is having on many species of shark. This leaves you asking the question - who are the monsters? For my money it is certainly not the sharks. To summarise I shall be continuing to read National Geographic in the future as I have discovered - after a long absence - this magazine has lost none of its former glory and continues to deliver the excellent content that I remember from so long ago.
Discover the next installment of creatures of the deep, the jungle and sky plus natural history, ecology and the wider world (plus more Great White Sharks & National Geographic) with a subscription to National Geographic magazine.
This is a guest post via the magazine.co.uk blogger network.