Jacques Cousteau gestures at his latest underwater research vessel.
THOMAS J. ABERCROMBIE/National Geographic Creative
Thousands of pilgrims circle the Kaaba.
Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA.
Algerians call their capital Algiers, the White.
Thousands of pilgrims circle the Kaaba in illuminated view at night.
Sidewalk traffic yields to sheep in the bustling capital city.
Twenty walleye pike fish (Stizostedion vitreum vitreum), frozen solid, kiss the snow.
Mille Lacs, Minnesota.
A Nunamiut boy in a fur-trimmed parka holds a mask of caribou hide.
Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska.
Gas fires light the sky as a heavily lit oil refinery glows at night.
Ras Tanurah, Saudi Arabia.
Elevated view of Chateau de Chillon on Lake Geneva.
Lake Geneva, Switzerland.
Close-up of the hands of an Egyptian farmer harvesting wheat with a serrated si ckle.
FORTY-FIVE KILOMETERS SOUTH OF ASYUT, IN THE NILE VALLEY, EGYPT.
Men pray on rugs or read Korans beneath limestone columns and arches.
Medina, Saudi Arabia.
Zermatt village with the Matterhorn in the background.
Close-up of the brown muddy hand of a potter as he spins a clay pot on his whee l.
EL DEIR VILLAGE, EGYPT.
Explorers wave victoriously from a bathyscaph after a seven-mile dive.
Marianna Trench, Pacific Ocean, near Guam.
Arab walking on a large sand dune.
EMPTY QUARTER, SAUDI ARABIA.
View of the giant statue of Buddha at Bamian. It has since been destroyed by the Taliban.
A woman leads her sheep past Lamayuru Gompa and its hilltop village.
Lamayuru Gompa, Ladakh, India.
A traditional Japanese pagoda stands amid modern high rises.
Bedouin women tend to morning chores while men drink coffee in tent.
Near Nadqan Well, Saudi Arabia.
An island of iron serves as a Pan American Petroleum oil rig.
Cook Inlet, Gulf of Alaska, Pacific Ocean.
A keyhole arch frames the minaret of Al Berdain Mosque.
Stone survivors of a lost culture stare across a volcanic landscape.
Easter Island, Polynesia, Pacific Islands.
Close view of a turbaned Tuareg man.
NEAR HIRAFOK, ALGERIA.
TASSILI-N-AJJER, SAHARA DESERT, SEFAR SITE, ALGERI A.
A river snakes across the tundra toward distant Mount Shishaldin.
Unimak Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
Giant volcanic stone moai on Easter Island.
Stone goliath casts shadow over Easter Islander and his horse.
The wind sculpts the dunes of the Sahara Desert in the Erg Bourarhet.
Fruit stand overflows with citrus, pomegranates, eggplants and grapes.
A Bedouin adds to footprints passing ancient sandstone sepulchers.
Madain Salih, Saudi Arabia.
Dancers swing their hair at a festival in Muscat.
AT SEA OFF KAMBARA ISLAND, FIJI ISLANDS (P.I.), KO RO SEA OF THE PACIFIC.
A Ladakhi and pack donkeys pause cliffside on a Himalayan pass.
Himalayan Pass, Ladakh District, India.
A girl peeks through cotton cords on a loom at a rug factory.
Intricate mosaics cover the walls of the Friday Mosque.
Man walks on hill above lakes with naturally formed dam of minerals.
Band-i-Amir, Hindu Kush Mountains, Afghanistan.
An aerial view of Shibam with its many mud-brick skyscrapers - some of which ar e centuries old.
SHIBAM, REPUBLIC OF YEMEN.
Veiled Bedouin woman peers through slit-eyed veil.
An Eskimo girl soars as men snap a walrus-hide trampoline.
People and cattle walk riverside path approaching provincial capital.
Softly aglow, a jet-propelled diving saucer hovers over the sea floor.
Caribbean Sea, off Guadalupe.
Young laborer at dye works holds red yarn with blue-stained hands.
Men work on the strenuous task of straining gravel to find diamonds.
La Gran Sabana, Venezuela.
Mighty cedars endure below the Lebanon mountain range.
Commuters crowd into a train station in the morning.
An aircraft carrier executes a tight turn at sea.
USS Enterprise, Atlantic Ocean.
At home in a hammock, a mother, father, and child rest at day's end.
Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela.
A cartload of oranges travels from a cooperative orchard to El Asnam.
Near El Asnam, Algeria.
At the South Pole, the sun moves in a perfect horizontal line.
Amundsen Scott Station, Antarctica.
Giant sandstone rock formations border an ancient caravan route.
Smokehole brightens cavelike home where women cook near an open fire.
Sargaz, Wakhan Valley, Afghanistan.
A zen abbot practices calligraphy in the Daitokuji Temple.
Though women usually pull the plows, this man helps his blind wife.
RAS AL YIB, OMAN.
A corkscrew minaret dates back to the ninth-century.
Caravaneers and camels stop to drink water at irrigation ditch.
Desert of Death, Afghanistan.
After a record dive, a bathyscaph swings on cables above a dock.
Apra Harbor, Guam.
TASSILI-N-AJJER, SAHARA DESERT, ALGERIA.
Near granite cliffs, Indians drag a canoe up rain-swollen rapids.
Churun River, Venezuela.
Herders round up sheep in a field dotted with massive statues.
Colorful flags fly at a rice farm to celebrate Children's Day.
Muslims pray toward the shrine at Mecca five times a day.
People linger near ornately decorated mosque and pilgrimage site.
Indigo dye colors the robe and hands of a Tuareg woman.
Thousands of pilgrims fill Arafat plain at twilight on road to Mecca.
Plain of Arafat, Saudi Arabia.
Hide tanners stand calf-deep in dye vats.
A nest of three sieves rides the head of a diamond miner.
At night, the city lights and traffic show a flourishing metropolis.
A small propeller airplane flies past snowy Mount McKinley.
Near Mount McKinley, Alaska.
Verdant Swiss vista of the valley, village, falls, and mountain crags.
Nomadic Bedouin men rest in the shade of a tent.
Nafud Desert, Arabian Peninsula.
Women sit in a modern chic boutique in Casablanca.
A farmer plows his patch of land amid blooming almond trees.
Near Asni, Morocco.
BURSZTYNY COOPERATIVE, GDANSK, POLAND.
Daredevil water skiers ride a foamy wake through a rock tunnel.
Off St. George's Bay, Beirut, Lebanon.
The Pyramids of Giza tower over a local farmer and his cattle.
Heat waves create mirage of floating mountains and land rover.
The Lekhwair oil field in Oman casts an eerie midnight glow.
DUNES NEAR LEHHWAIR OIL FIELDS, OMAN.
Men on a Zodiac paddle towards their bathyscaph submarine.
Marianna Trench, near Guam, Pacific Ocean.
Photographer Tom Abercrombie meets with Saudi men over coffee.
Empty Quarter, Saudi Arabia.
Scholars in library consult texts; manuscripts crowd bookshelves.
EL AFFROUN, WALAYAT PROVINCE, ALGERIA.
Children welcome a visitor in joyous French.
GHARDAIA, M'ZAB, ALGERIA.
Farmer and oxen plow rice field cracked by dry-season heat.
Children in festive clothes stand in doorway of their home.
Al 'Ula, Saudi Arabia.
A space-age diving saucer perches on the seafloor.
Bedouin with scimitar rides ornately garbed horse in royal horse show.
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