National Geographic : 2009 May
INSIDE GEOGRAPHIC PEOPLE BEHIND THE STORIES ■ Tom Mueller The subject of this issue's "Ice Baby" is Lyuba, a frozen, month-old mammoth found in Siberia. One theory holds that she got stuck in mud, sank out of sight, and stayed entombed for about 40,000 years. The story's author, seasoned writer Mueller, says he saw how that scenario might have played out. "One evening," he says, "a DNA expert on our expedition washing dinner dishes in the Yuribey River became mired in the quicksand-like bank---and was slowly sinking. It took a chain of four people to get her out. The mud made a loud pop as it reluctantly released her, though it claimed her shoes." ■ McKenzie Funk As the Arctic ice cap melts and the race for resources beneath it heats up, journalist Funk warmed to his work. Writing this issue's "Arctic Landgrab," he spent a mostly comfortable month on an icebreaker, enjoying movie nights, bingo games, and Internet access. However, he says, certain maritime traditions---such as the hazing of sailors new to the Arctic---remain firmly in place. "In the old days you'd be tossed overboard. These days you get blindfolded, dumped in tanks of mustard and coffee grounds, and hosed down." There was some good news: "At the end I got a certificate. I'll never have to endure that again." PHOTOS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT : FRANCIS LATREILLE; MICHAEL MELFORD; AARON HUEY Mammoth Find After a Siberian reindeer herder and his sons stumbled on a frozen mammoth calf some 40,000 years old, it was stolen, sold to a shop owner, then recov- ered by scientists, who set out to learn how the ancient baby lived and died. A model (above) helps tell the story in Waking the Baby Mammoth, airing on National Geographic Channel; check local listings. What long-frozen secrets will be revealed? COLLECTOR'S EDITION Fueling a Revolution Energy for Tomorrow may be a potent weapon in the battle to convert climate change skeptics. Compelling articles by author and environmentalist Bill McKibben tell what will hap- pen if nothing is done: Polar ice will continue melting, seas will rise, cities will drown, and life on Earth will be nothing like it is today. The hopeful news is that it's not too late to change Earth's fate, if we employ large-scale efforts like solar and wind power and take small steps like installing energy-efficient lightbulbs. The special issue is available on newsstands March 31 ($10.99).