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Lofoten Islands, Norway

Northern Europe and the British Isles

Explore the region's history, culture and natural wonders

A close-up of blooming blossoms captures their stunning detail.

Behold 15 Beautiful Photos of Cherry Blossoms in Bloom

These 15 picture-perfect cherry blossom images from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest are pretty in pink.

In this village, monks-in-training wearing brightly colored garments carry shoulder yokes through fields of rice.

Take a Trip to Thailand With These Smithsonian Photo Contest Images

See what makes this country so captivating, from picturesque rice paddies to striking cityscapes

A bright spot for sake is in America. In 2022, according to the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association, the U.S. was the No. 1 export market in terms of volume and second market in value for sake. 

An American-Made Sake Movement Is Underway

In the last decade, a truly homegrown effort has bubbled up in the United States

Imagine dragons—or go for a dive in the Pacific Ocean and keep an eye out for this astonishing two-inch sea slug known as Goniobranchus sp. 1.

Dive Into the Exotic World of Nudibranchs, the Spectacular Slugs of the Sea

Psychedelic hedgehogs, purple pineapples, living strawberries—these tiny creatures show off their big personalities off the Australian coast

The mountain range is beloved for its challenging rock climbing and unusually varied terrain, from grassland and forest to rugged alpine rises.

Climbing Malawi’s Island in the Sky

A steep, lush massif—the country's highest peak at 10,000 feet—beckons adventurers

As one of the first female-only programs of its kind in Tanzania, Exodus Travels Foundation provides intensive three-week training sessions for local women who want to obtain their guide license through its Mountain Lioness Scholarship.

Five Programs Paving the Way for Gender Equality Worldwide

Around the globe, teams of women are taking on traditionally male-dominated roles

2,500 years after it was built, the Parthenon is still among the first places tourists go when they arrive in Athens.

The Thrills of Rediscovering Ancient Greece While Touring Modern Athens

The Mediterranean capital city savors its connections to antiquity—while reappraising its past

A reveler enjoys a playful and colorful water war in the streets of Jodhpur during the Holi festival.

Celebrate Holi With These 15 Vibrant Photos

Observed around the world, the Hindu Festival of Colors welcomes spring

Greens, yellows, blues, browns and more warm hues merge to paint a colorful landscape of pastures in Ireland.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With a Photographic, Virtual Tour of Ireland

Here’s your lucky chance to see 15 images of the Emerald Isle from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

Religious lore suggests that God showed Patrick the entrance to purgatory, where the Irish could witness the consequences of not embracing Christianity with their own eyes.

St. Patrick Opened a Portal to Purgatory on This Little-Known Irish Island

Medieval pilgrims flocked to the site for spiritual purification

The International Cryonics Museum’s mission is to educate people of all walks of life about the hard science of cryonic human preservation.

The World's First Cryonics Museum Finds a Perfect Home in Estes Park, Colorado

The town’s historic hotel magnifies its mastery of the macabre with a chilling new attraction

The parade in Navalmoral de la Mata starts in the afternoon but lasts well over three hours, ushering revelers into the dusk.

These Festive Photos Capture How the World Celebrates Carnival, From Rome to Rio de Janeiro

See shots of “the world’s biggest party” from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

By the end of the 2000s, via ferratas had begun pushing westward, with a handful of routes. Here, a child crosses a ravine on a slackline near Lake Tahoe, California.

Via Ferratas Are Finally Catching On in the United States

With origins in Europe, the assisted climbing routes are springing up at luxury resorts and on private land this side of the Atlantic

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How to Separate Fact From Myth in the Extraordinary Story of Sojourner Truth

Two historians tell us why the pioneering 19th-century feminist, suffragist and abolitionist’s legacy has so frequently been misrepresented

The city’s classic sign, 25 feet tall, was designed by commercial artist Betty Willis in 1959.

How the Dazzling Las Vegas Strip Rose Up From the Desert

The story behind the glitzy stretch of highway that became the destination for America’s most sublime—and most sordid—aspirations

Two polar bears paused from their play to nuzzle noses, which is the equivalent of a kiss for some species.

Celebrate Valentine's Day With Heartwarming Snapshots of True Love

These 15 photos capture affection that goes beyond candy and flowers

The “Studentenkuss,” or Student Kiss, is a praline nougat on a waffle wafer covered in dark chocolate, about the size of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

How This German Chocolate Shop Created a Sweet Way for Young Admirers to Pass Love Notes

For more than 150 years, Heidelberg locals and tourists have enjoyed the "Studentenkuss," or Student Kiss—a praline nougat on a waffle wafer covered in dark chocolate

Gijon, an Aaron program that Cohen debuted in 2007, created jungle-like scenes—distinct from the figures created by the previous version of the software, Aaron KCAT.

The First A.I.-Generated Art Dates Back to the 1970s

A new show at the Whitney showcases the visionary who devised the art world’s first artificial intelligence

In 18th-century Venice, Carnival masks created a temporary feeling of equality between the ruling class and the lower classes.

A Brief History of How Carnival Is Celebrated Around the World

Here’s how Venice, Rio de Janeiro, Trinidad and Tobago, New Orleans, and Quebec City mark the pre-Lenten season

Photo of the day

Thousands of colour-dyed sheets of cloth are spread across a field for drying after they have been dyed using the Indonesian batik process. It is cheaper and more sustainable to dry them out in sunlight. Fabrics Drying