South Asia

The record-breaking stingray was caught by a local fisherman.

Good News

Stingray Found in Cambodia Sets Record for World’s Largest Freshwater Fish

The enormous fish is 13 feet long and weighs 661 pounds

The tooth from Laos thought to belong to a Denisovan girl

Ancient Molar Found in Laos Could Help Fill in a Gap in Human History

Researchers believe the tooth belongs to a Denisovan girl, making it the first fossil evidence of these hominins in Southeast Asia

A female Bornean orangutan carrying her son in Central Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia.

Orangutan's Vocabularies Are Shaped by Socializing With Others, Just Like Humans

A new study reveals apes have distinct and flexible 'vocal personalities,' opposed to a fixed repertoire of calls

The second most common species the researchers identified was the silky shark, a vulnerable species that is in decline worldwide. 

Endangered Shark Meat Might Be Hiding in Your Pet's Food

Researchers found about one third of animal feed samples taken in Singapore contained shark DNA

Locals call this crocodile "buaya kalung ban," which means "crocodile with a tire necklace."

Crocodile With a Tire Stuck Around Its Neck Is Finally Freed After Six Years

In Indonesia, a local bird catcher trapped the large reptile and sawed off the trash because he didn’t want to watch the animal suffer

The Srivijaya Empire was known for its wealth and dominance of maritime trade routes.

Cool Finds

Indonesian Divers Discover Treasures From Enigmatic 'Island of Gold'

Archaeological evidence of the Srivijaya Empire is limited, but recent finds made along the Musi River may shed light on the mysterious civilization

The cave paintings are located in the Aravalli mountain range in northwestern India.

Cool Finds

These Millennia-Old Cave Paintings May Be Among India's Oldest

Locals have known about the artworks for generations, but government archaeologists only began documenting them this summer

Group portrait of three Chinese children, each holding an American flag and a Chinese flag, in a room in Chicago, 1929

Innovation for Good

Illinois Becomes First State to Mandate Teaching Asian American History

The move arrives amid a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes across the country

Separate Working Things I, vegetable color, dry pigment, watercolor and tea on walk paper, 1993-1995. The painting borrows archetypal images of romantic love.

The Reinvention of the Art of the Miniature

Putting a new spin on traditional themes, an artist revitalizes a once-popular form of painting

Smithsonian ecologist Andy Boyce reported the rediscovery and photographed the elusive Bornean subspecies of the Rajah scops owl, Otus brookii brookii, in the mountainous forests of Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia.

Rare Owl With Bright Orange Eyes Seen for the First Time in More Than 125 Years

The elusive Bornean Rajah scops owl is inspiring scientists and researchers after its brief rediscovery

At its height in the 13th century, Angkor boasted a population of around 700,000 to 900,000.

Thirteenth-Century Angkor Was Home to More People Than Modern Boston

New research tracks the famed southeast Asian city's growth over hundreds of years

The yazh's design is based on detailed descriptions of the ancient instrument.

Listen to the First Song Ever Recorded on This Ancient, Harp-Like Instrument

Tharun Sekar, a luthier based in southern India, has painstakingly recreated the long-lost yazh

A 300-thread count sari woven out of a hybrid Dhaka muslin thread

How Modern Researchers Are Trying to Recreate a Long-Lost Fabric

Dhaka muslin was immensely popular for millennia, but the secrets of its creation faded from memory by the early 20th century

During World War II, the United States government incarcerated some 120,000 Japanese Americans, including the Uno family spotlighted in the documentary series.

Education During Coronavirus

Watch 150 Years of Asian American History Unfold in This Documentary

The five-part PBS series chronicles the community's story through archival footage, interviews

These Cambodian cultural heritage artifacts, once held in the collection of controversial collector Douglas Latchford, will soon be returned to their home country. From left to right: Ardhanarishvara, a half-male, half-female deity from the Angkor period, 10th century; a bronze boat prow from the late 12th century; and a bronze male deity from the 11th-century Angkor period

Collection of Antiquities Dealer Accused of Looting Will Return to Cambodia

The $50 million trove represents one of the most significant repositories of Cambodian cultural heritage outside of the country

New analysis of the fossilized tooth plaque of 16 ancient Mediterraneans reveals that they consumed foods imported from Asia—like turmeric and banana, pictured—a thousand years earlier than researchers previously thought.

Ancient Mediterranean People Ate Bananas and Turmeric From Asia 3,700 Years Ago

Fossilized tooth plaque reveals a diverse and exotic palette reflected in the region's modern cuisine

Litter, much of it plastic, dots a beach in Santa Monica, CA, the morning after a beach cleanup.

New Research

The U.S. Is the World's Number One Source of Plastic Waste

In 2016, the average American produced 286 pounds of plastic waste, the highest rate per capita of any country on Earth

This diagram shows the different kinds of animal bones used to make the 48,000-year-old tools.

Cool Finds

Evidence of Early Bow-and-Arrow Hunting Discovered in Sri Lanka

If confirmed, the 48,000-year-old find will be the oldest known instance of bowhunting outside of Africa

Ecologist and Smithsonian associate Aung Myo Chit soothes an elephant in Myanmar after it was fitted with a collar.

Planet Positive

Researchers Are Learning How Asian Elephants Think—in Order to Save Them

As the pachyderms increasingly clash with farmers and villagers over disappearing land, scientists study the way the animals' minds work

This concretion, recovered from the Hoi An shipwreck, alludes to the fate of artifacts left underwater.

Who Owns the Art Recovered From Shipwrecks?

A thought-provoking exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco draws on artifacts from two centuries-old shipwrecks

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