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A hippo crosses a rural road near Doradal, Colombia. Experts say that left unchecked the hippo population could grow to 1,400 by 2040.

Pablo Escobar’s Abandoned Hippos Are Wreaking Havoc in the Colombian Jungle

Decades ago, the drug baron smuggled the beasts into South America for his private menagerie. They’ve been multiplying ever since. Now officials are taking extreme measures to counter the problem

A girl runs through sprinkles of water to cool off on a hot summer day.

See 15 Stunning Scenes of Summer

These highlights from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest will remind you of everything you love about the season

In order to build ships strong and technically savvy enough to traverse through some of the most remote and challenging landscapes on Earth, several cruise companies borrowed designs from other parts of the shipping industry.

How a New Line of Expedition Ships Is Turning the Tides on Polar Seas

High-tech features are making treacherous ocean passages feel tame

More than just a place to eat, many French country bistros offer lodgings and sell local produce. But the transactions of greatest value are the social ones, in which locals come together over a meal or a drink to discuss everything from pressing politics to idle gossip. 

Will the Bistro Save France's Rural Villages?

Because these social hubs are the glue holding communities together, a growing movement seeks to protect them on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list

New Orleans’ first Gay Pride Parade was held in 1980, and the tradition continues today. 

Celebrate Pride Month With 15 Photos of LGBTQ Joy

These images from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest capture vibrant parades and festivals around the world

Jennifer Stewart and her burro Sheba tackle the 9-mile pack burro race in Georgetown, Colorado, in 2019.

For 75 Years, Runners Have Raced in Colorado Tethered to Donkeys

Harkening back to mining days, the sport has human-donkey teams navigating challenging mountain courses

Rickwood Field is the oldest ballpark in the United States.

Everyone Should Know About Rickwood Field, the Alabama Park Where Baseball Legends Made History

The sport's greatest figures played ball in the Deep South amid the racism and bigotry that would later make Birmingham the center of the civil rights movement

Aspen, Colorado gets around 300 days of sunshine per year.

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2024

From a bluegrass capital in Virginia to a laid-back surf town in Hawaii, these spots are beckoning to tourists this year

A decades-old embargo on cars and other goods meant Cubans had to refurbish vehicles built in the 1950s or before, turning Cuba into a classic car haven.

Get Your Motor Running With These Cool Cars

See 15 awesome automobiles from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

The northern lights appear near Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Canada, on May 11, 2024.

Missed the Auroras in May? Here’s How to See Them Next Time

Three veteran aurora chasers and a NASA scientist share everything you need to know to check these dazzling displays off your bucket list

Zongzi are dumplings made from sticky glutinous rice wrapped neatly in a bamboo leaf and filled with umami-rich ingredients, like marinated pork, shiitake mushrooms, peanuts and beans.

How Zongzi Became the Must-Eat Food During the Dragon Boat Festival

A festive recipe to ward off sea monsters remains a staple of one of China’s biggest cultural events

Otters in the Aleutian Archipelago, the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak Island are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

You Ought to See These Otters

View 15 outstanding otter images from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

Pasquino is the most famous of Rome's six talking statues.

Rome's Talking Statues Have Served as Sites of Dissent for Centuries

Beginning in the Renaissance, locals affixed verses protesting various societal ills to six sculptures scattered across the Italian city

Bao Li, a 2-year-old male panda, is the son of Bao Bao, who was born at the Zoo in 2013.

Giant Pandas Are Coming Back to Washington, D.C.

A pair of the bears will arrive at the Smithsonian's National Zoo by the end of 2024

A sea turtle enters the waters of the Galápagos Islands to join divers who are exploring its home.

Celebrate World Turtle Day With 15 Photographs of the Delightful Reptiles

These shots from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo contest show why turtles are so terrific

The Travelers’ Tour Through the United States featured a map of the then-24 states.

What America's First Board Game Tells Us About the Aspirations of a Young Nation

Released in 1822, the Travelers’ Tour Through the United States took players on a cross-country adventure

Four lionesses enjoy a drink at a watering hole after a recent rain.

Get a Taste of South Africa Through These 15 Photos of Stunning Wildlife and Vibrant Communities

From desert landscapes to glittering beaches, see what this country has to offer

About 75 percent of Americans are expected to travel by car this summer. Taking the scenic route along such roadways as Highway 101, seen above in Del Mar, California, can make the trip even more worthwhile.

Seven of the Most Beautiful Roads in the United States

From Alaska to Florida, these serene and exhilarating stretches beg you to take the scenic route

The city gate of Ariassos, one of several ancient cities connected by the Pisidia Heritage Trail in the Taurus Mountains.

Hike Through Ancient Roman and Biblical History in Turkey’s Rugged Mountains

In southern Turkey, an extensive new trail network spirits trekkers to Pisidia, home to many lost treasures and a true crossroads of civilizations

This 2014 acrylic painting by Taralee Guild captures the glistening promise of a 1960s Airstream at Pismo Beach, California.

How the Airstream Hit the Open Road

This space-age sensation kicked the American road trip into high gear

Photo of the day

An attender of the Pride Parade. Walking In My Shoes