11 Reasons National Geographic Wins Instagram

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If you need some inspiration to break up the monotony of the day-to-day grind (who doesn’t?), we recommend filling your Instagram feed with National Geographic‘s stunning images.

Most of the breathtaking photos are posted with hearty and contextual descriptions, reminding you just how big and mysterious and full of awe our world is.

Enjoy some of our favorites from the National Geographic IG below.

1. Nature, duh

📽 by @renan_ozturk @camp4collective // Two rare atmospheric phenomena (The Northern Lights and a Moonbow) collide over Goðafoss in Northen Iceland. ~ There’s always a moment of curiosity (and panic) when I go to retrieve my time-lapse camera after leaving it out all night. Did the battery die? Did the exposure even work? Did a fox come and kick the camera over, and did I end up with a 6 hour time-lapse of the ground? I had left my camera on the edge of the waterfall and I thought it was toast when I picked it up, being super wet from all the mist and not turning on. But when I was finally able to scroll through the shots, I felt a little breathless. This landscape, the lights, the “moon”rainbow, starry skies. Pretty unreal. #northernlights #auroraborealis #moonbow #fomas @timkemple @kbish80 @nickwolcott #GalenVolckhausen

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2. Cities

Photography by @JohnStanmeyer • Beauty of Humanity ~ Millions of people inhabit the Indian city of Kolkata, making it one of the most vibrant, fascinating cities on earth. • Today is World Population Day, a day to reflect upon the brilliance of 7.3 billion fellow human beings. This day was founded in 1989 to increase people's awareness on important issues facing all of us. While it is easy to focus on the negative, it is also a time to reflect our fascinating diversity along with important matters such as gender equality, poverty, health and human rights. • All my best, @JohnStanmeyer • @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #india #kolkata #calcutta #streetscene #humanity #worldpopulationday #colors #love #beauty #beautiful #gratitude #explore #travel

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3. Humans

Photograph by @paulnicklen // @HaaKeaulana, daughter of Brian Keaulana and grand daughter of legendary Buffalo Keaulana carries a 50 pound boulder while running across the sea floor to train for surfing. Her father teaches surfers that they should train for a four wave hold down in case of a wipeout in big surf. At 13 second intervals between waves, that means about a minute of being held down. It is one thing to hold your breath in a swimming pool for a minute and it something completely different to swim down 30 feet, pick up a huge rock and then run as hard as you can for a minute. Thanks to her lineage, community and training, Ha’a is a true water woman from #Makaha. Hawaiians have saltwater running through their veins and epitomize what it means to be connected to the sea. Please #followme on @paulnicklen to see Ha’a towing three large guys while carrying the rock and running across the bottom. As I shot these moments, I was completely in awe and full of gratitude for being exposed to this beautiful part of the world and the people who live it everyday. How does the ocean inspire you? With @cristinamittermeier #natgeooceansday #worldoceansday #everydayisoceansday #gratitude #thejourney #ocean #sea #ohana #mahalo #beauty #naturelovers #nature #tbt

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4. Under the sea


5. Man-made marvels

Photo by Pete McBride @pedromcbride // India's legendary mausoleum, the Taj Mahal, looms on the south bank of the Yamuna River, a tributary to the Ganges, which winds 1500 miles across Northern India, draining the Himalaya and supporting 500 million people along its way. I’ve spent roughly five years traveling this river, trying to understand it and its lore. I can’t comprehend its mysteries fully, and probably never will. But @Mountainworld and I attempt to give some clarity to its tale in our new film “Holy (un)Holy River". It explores the complexity of this revered and reviled body of water that is sacred yet also extremely polluted. It is a river of song…and sadness. To see more of the Ganga upstream, follow @pedromcbride. #chasingrivers #ganges #picoftheday #photooftheday #India #himalaya #gratitude #tajmahal #agra

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6. Elephants

Photo by @FransLanting Every year when mangos come into fruit in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, one elephant family visits a favorite tree behind a safari lodge. When the reception area was expanded, the route to the tree was blocked. The lodge owners were told that the elephants would go elsewhere. But the elephants took their traditional path, straight through the new reception area, and still do. I produced this image on assignment for @natgeo and although it may look whimsical at first, it does highlight a profound problem. Elephant trails crisscross the African continent, and they intersect more and more with human infrastructure. Reconciling those competing needs is one of the big challenges wildlife managers face in Africa today. But at least in this case, elephants still have a right of way. Follow me @FransLanting for more images out of Africa. @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Elephant #Zambia #LuangwaValley #Africa #Safari #WildNet #WildAid #SaveTheElephants

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7. Monkey business




9. Wonder


10. Pandas


11. More pandas!

Video by @amivitale on assignment for @natgeo. Baby pandas Sen Sen and Xin Xin playing in a tree at the Gengda Giant Panda base that is part of the Wolong Natural Reserve and China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda. With their mothers busy eating 13-16 hours a day, panda cubs avoid predators by heading to the safest place they can find, the tops of trees. Read the @natgeo story in the August issue and online through the link in my profile. Follow @amivitale for more adorable pandas! @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #genda #wolong #sichuan #china #climatechange #conservation #natureisspeaking #savetheplanet #photooftheday #photojournalism #panda #pandas #babypanda #ipanda #giantpanda #pandacub #amivitale

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Photo by @amivitale on assignment for @natgeo. Seven-year-old giant panda Min Min had a baby girl at Bifengxia Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center in Sichuan Province, China. She is the largest cub born in 2015 and first-time mother Min Min is proving to be an excellent mother. A three-year labor of love is now LIVE on @natgeo and will be in the August magazine! Thanks to everyone who worked on this story and the incredible team in China who continue their work to protect these magical bears. Read the story and learn about the man behind so much progress: Papa Panda! Follow me @amivitale for more from my National Geographic story. @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #bifengxia #sichuan #china #climatechange #conservation #natureisspeaking #savetheplanet #photooftheday #photojournalism #panda #pandas #babypanda #ipanda #giantpanda #pandacub #amivitale #🐼

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Video by @amivitale. Ever wondered what a baby giant panda sounds like? Listen to these adorable, squeaky bundles from Bifengxia Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center in Sichuan Province, China. Did you know that adult pandas don’t roar like other bears, but bleat like goats or honk, growl and bark to communicate? My @natgeo story on giant pandas and China sending captive born pandas back to the wild will be out in the August magazine issue. Follow me @amivitale for adorable pandas and more. @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #bifengxia #sichuan #china #climatechange #conservation #natureisspeaking #savetheplanet #photooftheday #photojournalism #latergram #panda #pandas #babypanda #ipanda #giantpanda #pandacub #🐼 #amivitale

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What’s your favorite Instagram account to follow? Let us know over on the Eye Opener IG.