National Geographic

Pirates Sink Ocean Science

Djibouti City, Djibouti, 11°34'03'' N, 43°09'33'' E

During 32 years of fieldwork in the deserts of Ethiopia, Tim White, the eminent American paleoanthropologist, has brazened through every conceivable obstacle to his research into human origins.

Flash floods have marooned his vehicles in hip-deep pools of mud. Grazing wars between nomads have blocked access to promising fossil beds. And campfire visits by snakes and tarantulas are so routine they rank as minor nuisances.

Yet nothing has stymied White’s pursuit of knowledge—or thwarted his scientific ambitions—like the hard-eyed men in flip-flop sandals who, valuing doubloons above Darwin, set sail hundreds of miles away in skiffs stocked with machine guns and rope ladders: Somali pirates.

Read the full story on National Geographic News

There are 6 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. Eddie Patton
    May 9, 2013

    Efforts to get the updated posts by Paul are getting nowhere. How bout some cooperation Nat Geo.

    • Paul Salopek
      May 14, 2013

      Eddie—because these dispatches are sporadic, not daily, the emailed updates are sent out to subscribers only once every two weeks or so. If you want to get immediate updates as the stories appear, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed in the lower right of the Web page. Hope this helps.

  2. genevieve struble
    May 29, 2013

    you are so cool for duing this

  3. philip kinney
    May 29, 2013

    extremely interesting journey–what all has Paul been innoculated for!

    • Paul Salopek
      August 3, 2013

      Everything but stupidity. No recourse for that.

  4. Antonio
    June 5, 2013

    Even here, science and the “long term” get shortchanged. Few comments on a subject that has fundamental importance. I will post to my FB and Google+ pages. Too little.

Add Your Comments

All fields required.

Related Posts

Honey, I’m Dead

In the Caucasus, a Bronze Age site hints at embalming with honey.

Three years ago, on the banks of the Alazani River in the former Soviet republic ...

A Milestone for the Walk

Thanks to a Knight Foundation grant, the Out of Eden Walk Web sites will be merged.

As many readers know, one of the unique storytelling features of the Out of Eden ...

Walking Tbilisi, Georgia

Discover Landmarks of a Historic Crossroads of the Caucasus

A storied crossroads between Asia and Europe, between Islam and Christianity, between covetous empires muscling ...

Ghost of the Vine

In Georgia, science probes the roots of winemaking.

Meet Maka Kozhara: a wine expert. Young, intelligent, friendly. Kozhara sits in an immense cellar ...

Caravan Stop

Heat—political and solar—blocks a walk across the world.

Nodar says: Stop. Stopping is good, he says. Why? Because life is short, and only ...