Nature and landscape


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Deep in the woods, shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, is an ages-old tradition in Japan. Photo by National Geographic

Essay/
Wellbeing
The healing power of nature

The idea that immersing yourself in forests and nature has a healing effect is far more than just folk wisdom

Rebecca Lawton

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 2013. Photo by Jerome Sessini/Magnum

Essay/
Ecology and environmental sciences
The African Anthropocene

The Anthropocene feels different depending on where you are – too often, the ‘we’ of the world is white and Western

Gabrielle Hecht

Moai on Rapa Nui. Photo by Stefan Boness/Panos

Essay/
Rituals and celebrations
The love of stuff

The problem with our society is not that it values material things too much but that it doesn’t value them enough

Nick Thorpe

An injured cow, hanging in the transport net of a helicopter, is airlifted from a mountainous meadow in Riemenstalden, Switzerland. Photo Urs Flueeler/AP/PA

Essay/
Animals and humans
Cows might fly

When the land is all filled up, it’s time to get creative with it, as small countries like Switzerland already know

Veronique Greenwood

The Harbinger of Autumn (1922) by Paul Klee, watercolour and graphite. Photo courtesy Yale University Art Gallery

Essay/
Language and linguistics
The say of the land

Is language produced by the mind? Romantic theory has it otherwise: words emerge from the cosmos, expressing its soul

Mark Vernon

Antarctic Beeches (Nothofagus moorei) in temperate rainforest, Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia. Photo by Minden Pictures/National Geographic

Essay/
Nature and landscape
Rooted

What if, rather than mere props in the background of our lives, trees embody the history of all life on Earth?

Dalia Nassar & Margaret M Barbour

Wittgenstein’s restored hut at Skjolden, Norway. All photos courtesy Jon Bolstad and © Wittgenstein Initiative except where noted

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
Secular pilgrimage

Visiting Wittgenstein’s home evokes the philosopher’s serious, ascetic mind (no doubt he would disapprove its restoration)

Julian Baggini

Photo by Gordon  Wiltsie/National Geographic 

Essay/
Sports and games
Rules of ascent

For mountaineers, it’s not enough to get to the top – it must be done a certain way. But why is the harder way better?

Paul Sagar

Where the wild things are; a grizzly bear sleeps in Katmai National Park in Alaska, USA. Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic

Essay/
Bioethics
Earth is not a garden

Some of the world’s most powerful conservationists are giving up on wilderness. They are making a big mistake

Brandon Keim

Mount Fox and Mount Dawson from Asulkan Pass, Selkirk mountain range, British Columbia (1902). Courtesy Library of Congress

Essay/
History of science
How to make mountains

In living memory, geologists believed that the Earth was slowly shrivelling, little guessing how vibrantly alive it truly is

Marcia Bjornerud

Wild geese in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York City, USA, 2017. Photo by Rebecca Norris Webb from the book Brooklyn, the City Within with Alex Webb/Magnum Photos

Essay/
Nature and landscape
A place of silence

Our cities are filled by the hubbub of human-made noise. Where shall we find the quietness we need to nurture our spirit?

Liam Heneghan