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National Geographic presents: Earth Explorers

Explorer of the Week: December 12

Explorer: Molly Hornbuckle

Location: Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Central Highlands, Tasmania (AUS)

Of the many creatures I encountered on my visit to Australia, wombats were by far the most intriguing (and adorable) that my friends and I came across. Not only do their pouches face backwards giving you a view of the cute little babies inside, but they poop in cubes… I repeat, THEIR POOP IS CUBED. Now, I’m not completely clear on the science behind this -- and I’m not sure if science is clear on it either -- but the most common hypothesis I can find is that it serves as a territorial mark for their burrows. They tend to live in hilly locales, so cubed poop is a must to keep it from rolling down into other wombats’ territory.

Adventure Science Center note: After Molly submitted her entry, National Geographic published an article about just this!

I explore to discover new places, new cultures, new creatures, and new adventures. There’s so much to see on this pale blue dot we call home, and I want to experience it all. (Or as much as a I humanly can!)  

October 13, 2018 – January 6, 2019

Let your imagination run wild as you embark on an epic adventure! Step into the shoes of a National Geographic explorer as you take a journey to the wildest places on Earth. In this highly interactive exhibition you can discover the amazing animals and plants thriving in the most extreme environments. Through six immersive environments, you'll learn more about explorers who have risked life and limb to discover new places, help protect them for future generations, and discover new realms of scientific inquiry. Plus, you'll gain insights into the important roles that technology, innovation, and ingenuity play in making and documenting explorers' discoveries.

The Environments:


Embark on your grand adventure at Base Camp! Climb aboard an off-road vehicle used by filmmakers and scientists in the field with video monitors that show you actual footage captured by explorers in the ecosystems featured in the exhibit.

CHILL: The Polar Regions

Experience life on ice in Earth's extreme polar regions! Enter an interactive Arctic cabin and learn what scientists need to survive harsh conditions while studying polar bears and other Arctic life. In the Antarctic section, you can learn about penguins and other species native to this polar region.

DIVE: The Oceans

Can you handle life under pressure? Inside a replica deep-sea submersible, you can take a dive to study undersea life—and dive even further and discover thermal vents and bizarre creatures dwelling miles beneath the ocean’s surface. Learn about great white sharks and their hunting habits through a dorsal-mounted “Crittercam.”

TREK: The Rainforests

Step into the "outdoor" lab to get to studying! Hang out in a prep tent for a fun, self-guided discovery about life in the tropical rain forests—the wet, wild, and wonderful ecosystem that provides much of the air we breathe, safeguards Earth’s incredible biodiversity and may well hold the key to new life-saving remedies. 

CLIMB: Mountains & Caves

Descend closer to the Earth’s core and ascend to its highest peaks! In this section, you can climb a mountain and learn about the animals that make their homes there, and explore a crystal cave featuring glowing crystals. 

SOAR: The Savannah

Soar above the African savannah on a simulated hot air balloon ride! Get a birds-eye view on how ecologists use aerial surveys to study and document animal migrations. You can also learn about the tracking methods used by scientists and work through a puzzle matching animals to their scat.

National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers is produced by GES Events in partnership with National Geographic.

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