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.
Elevated view of Chateau de Chillon on Lake Geneva.
Lake Geneva, Switzerland.
Gas fires light the sky as a heavily lit oil refinery glows at night.
Ras Tanurah, Saudi Arabia.
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.
The Indus River Valley in Ladakh near Leh.
Ladakh near Leh, India.
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.
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.
Bedouin women tend to morning chores while men drink coffee in tent.
Near Nadqan Well, Saudi Arabia.
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.
A river snakes across the tundra toward distant Mount Shishaldin.
Unimak Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
TASSILI-N-AJJER, SAHARA DESERT, SEFAR SITE, ALGERI A.
Giant volcanic stone moai on Easter Island.
Stone goliath casts shadow over Easter Islander and his horse.
Fruit stand overflows with citrus, pomegranates, eggplants and grapes.
The wind sculpts the dunes of the Sahara Desert in the Erg Bourarhet.
Dancers swing their hair at a festival in Muscat.
A Bedouin adds to footprints passing ancient sandstone sepulchers.
Madain Salih, Saudi Arabia.
A Ladakhi and pack donkeys pause cliffside on a Himalayan pass.
Himalayan Pass, Ladakh District, India.
Intricate mosaics cover the walls of the Friday Mosque.
AT SEA OFF KAMBARA ISLAND, FIJI ISLANDS (P.I.), KO RO SEA OF THE PACIFIC.
Man walks on hill above lakes with naturally formed dam of minerals.
Band-i-Amir, Hindu Kush Mountains, Afghanistan.
A girl peeks through cotton cords on a loom at a rug factory.
Veiled Bedouin woman peers through slit-eyed veil.
An aerial view of Shibam with its many mud-brick skyscrapers - some of which ar e centuries old.
SHIBAM, REPUBLIC OF YEMEN.
An Eskimo girl soars as men snap a walrus-hide trampoline.
People and cattle walk riverside path approaching provincial capital.
Men work on the strenuous task of straining gravel to find diamonds.
La Gran Sabana, Venezuela.
Young laborer at dye works holds red yarn with blue-stained hands.
Softly aglow, a jet-propelled diving saucer hovers over the sea floor.
Caribbean Sea, off Guadalupe.
Mighty cedars endure below the Lebanon mountain range.
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.
The Matterhorn and alpine huts seen from Zermatt.
The Matterhorn, Switzerland.
A cartload of oranges travels from a cooperative orchard to El Asnam.
Near El Asnam, Algeria.
Commuters crowd into a train station in the morning.
Smokehole brightens cavelike home where women cook near an open fire.
Sargaz, Wakhan Valley, Afghanistan.
At the South Pole, the sun moves in a perfect horizontal line.
Amundsen Scott Station, Antarctica.
Though women usually pull the plows, this man helps his blind wife.
RAS AL YIB, OMAN.
Giant sandstone rock formations border an ancient caravan route.
Caravaneers and camels stop to drink water at irrigation ditch.
Desert of Death, Afghanistan.
A corkscrew minaret dates back to the ninth-century.
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.
After a record dive, a bathyscaph swings on cables above a dock.
Apra Harbor, Guam.
Indigo dye colors the robe and hands of a Tuareg woman.
A zen abbot practices calligraphy in the Daitokuji Temple.
TASSILI-N-AJJER, SAHARA DESERT, ALGERIA.
People linger near ornately decorated mosque and pilgrimage site.
Muslims pray toward the shrine at Mecca five times a day.
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.
Verdant Swiss vista of the valley, village, falls, and mountain crags.
At night, the city lights and traffic show a flourishing metropolis.
Nomadic Bedouin men rest in the shade of a tent.
Nafud Desert, Arabian Peninsula.
A farmer plows his patch of land amid blooming almond trees.
Near Asni, Morocco.
Women sit in a modern chic boutique in Casablanca.
Daredevil water skiers ride a foamy wake through a rock tunnel.
Off St. George's Bay, Beirut, Lebanon.
BURSZTYNY COOPERATIVE, GDANSK, POLAND.
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.
A small propeller airplane flies past snowy Mount McKinley.
Near Mount McKinley, Alaska.
The Pyramids of Giza tower over a local farmer and his cattle.
Heat waves create mirage of floating mountains and land rover.
Children welcome a visitor in joyous French.
The Lekhwair oil field in Oman casts an eerie midnight glow.
DUNES NEAR LEHHWAIR OIL FIELDS, OMAN.
EL AFFROUN, WALAYAT PROVINCE, ALGERIA.
Scholars in library consult texts; manuscripts crowd bookshelves.
GHARDAIA, M'ZAB, ALGERIA.
Children in festive clothes stand in doorway of their home.
Al 'Ula, Saudi Arabia.
Farmer and oxen plow rice field cracked by dry-season heat.
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