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Features
February 2005

Browse our online feature highlights, from writers’ and photographers’ behind-the-scenes field adventures to printable maps and multimedia showstoppers. Every feature includes a Web-exclusive photo gallery, a full resource listing, and much more.


Empty Quarter Thumbnail Empty Quarter

Spilling across four Arab nations, the world's largest sand desert has been defined as much by Bedouin tradition as by geography. Now oil and politics are changing the definition.

MAP Download a printable, high-resolution map of the author and photographer's route through this Texas-size desert.

MULTIMEDIA VIDEO Strap into photographer George Steinmetz's and assistant Alain Arnoux's ultralights for a bird's-eye view of the Sands.

SIGHTS & SOUNDS Experience a journey across the world's largest sand sea and meet the Bedouin, its legendary inhabitants.

Steuben Wreck Thumbnail Steuben: A Wreck Revealed

It took 20 minutes for the German liner Steuben to sink with 4,500 souls after Russian torpedoes split its hull in 1945. It took 60 years to find the ship's remains in the Baltic Sea.

MAP Download a printable, high-resolution map of the Steuben's route to disaster.

MULTIMEDIA VIDEO Dive into the Baltic deep to explore Steuben's haunting wreckage, while photographer Christoph Gerigk describes the perilous expedition.

Bollywood Thumbnail Lights, Camera, India—Bollywood

For sheer pizzazz—and number of pictures produced—India's over-the-top film industry, known as Bollywood, easily out-hollywoods Hollywood.

MULTIMEDIA VIDEO Throw yourself into Veer-Zaara, Bollywood's latest celluloid love story, as seen in this movie trailer.  Then listen to samplings from the soundtrack.

FORUM What is the attraction of Bollywood's music-laced films? And could the recently released big-screen tale of two lovers from India and Pakistan have an impact on relations between the enemy nations? Enter>>

MULTIMEDIA Follow photographer Bill Allard through the exploits of India's film world.

ONLINE EXTRA Learn about Lollywood, Pakistan's not-so-stellar movie industry, from a Pakistani who grew up with it.


Great Gray Owls Thumbnail Great Gray Owls

Winged lords of northern forests, the big raptors fly noiselessly, hunt in light and dark, and can hear a field mouse stir under the snow.

MAP Download a printable, high-resolution map of the great gray owls' range.

WALLPAPER Invite this great gray owl to spread its wings as desktop wallpaper.

FLASHBACK to the 1920s when an owl, complete with spinning head and glowing eyes, drew ice-cream customers from a Los Angeles roadside.

Salton Sea Thumbnail Eccentric Salton Sea

Celebrities used to trail their toes in the brine, but few people dare take a dip today. The good fortune of California's offbeat inland sea may finally be evaporating.

MAP Download a printable, high-resolution map of the Salton Sea's water flow.

FINAL EDIT Rescued from the cutting-room floor is this month's Final Edit, an image of dying palm trees lining the Salton Sea's salty shores.

Syrian Royal Tomb Thumbnail Bronze Age 'Cult'—Syrian Royal Tomb

Beneath a palace in Syria, archaeologists have found evidence that ancient kings once dined with the dead.

MAP Download a printable, high-resolution map of trade routes converging at ancient Qatna.

FORUM How has the ancient practice of kispum, sharing meals between the living and the dead, influenced modern religion? Enter>>


ZipUSA: 19886 Thumbnail ZipUSA: 19886

There are people in Wilmington, Delaware, who want to give you all the credit you deserve—and maybe more.

NOMINATE your own wonderful, weird, or wacky choices for this magazine series. Enter>>

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