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  • May 7, 2015

Instagram Spotlight: Celebrating One Billion Likes

Author
Melody Rowell

Last week, the @NatGeo Instagram feed surpassed one billion total “likes.” To celebrate, we sought out some of the most liked pictures contributed by our photographers since the account’s debut on March 23, 2012. Some patterns emerged: You love dramatic landscapes and making eye contact with exotic animals. In fact, the Most Popular Animal award goes to the panda—which has appeared in five of the fourteen most popular ‘grams.

Ahead, beloved dispatches from Steve Winter, David Doubilet, Michael Yamashita, Beverly Joubert, John Stanmeyer, Drew Rush, Ami Vitale, and Andy Bardon.

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Look into these eyes! Stop the demand and the killing can too. There are only 3200 tigers left in the wild! We need to fight for the right of tigers to live – peacefully and without being killed. —Steve Winter

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A clownfish plays hide and seek within its host anemone in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea. The anemone is absolute white because it lost its symbiotic algae when water temperatures became too warm, causing a coral bleaching event. —David Doubilet

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Visitors surrounded by a winter wonderland at Five Color Lake in Jiuzhaigou National Park. —Michael Yamashita

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Harp seal pups seek shelter from the relentless February and March winds that scour the sea ice covering the Gulf of St. Lawrence. —David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes

When the rains come to the Maasai Mara the plains erupt in huge amounts of life. Elephants spread out under a rain-filled sky; a prism of light reflecting the joy that they no doubt feel at the rejuvenation of the earth. —Beverly Joubert

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A lion’s mane jellyfish hunts in the cold, rich waters of Newfoundland’s Bonne Bay fjord. Lion’s manes are the largest species of jellyfish and prefer cold waters. —David Doubilet

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Mount Bromo (foreground) and Mount Semeru, simultaneously erupting as the earliest touches of dawn mix with the light from a setting full moon during the sacred Kasada ceremony in the spectacular Tengger Caldera, located in East Java, Indonesia. —John Stanmeyer

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Researchers use winter months as the prime time for tracking and locating one of North America’s most elusive predators. In this case researchers are excited to find newborn [cougars] at the site of a suspected den. Once checked to determine sex, weight and overall health the kittens are returned to their den, researchers armed with knowledge that will help establish population estimates in a given area. —Drew Rush

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Here, for you, a spotted deer, also known as a chital, in the mist of Chitwan National Forest, Nepal. This really was my dream expedition visiting endangered animals in 7 countries. —Ami Vitale

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A shooting star high above the Tien Shan mountains of Kazakhstan. —Andy Bardon

And now, presenting the most liked photo from the @NatGeo Instagram feed, as of today:

A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

Nín hǎo! I just arrived in China and I’m looking forward to a month of panda-monium while I am on assignment. This photo was taken at the panda breeding center in Bifengxia Panda Base in Ya’an, Sichuan, managed by the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda. —Ami Vitale

For 127 years, National Geographic has striven to show you the world and all that’s in it. With each tap of that little heart, you affirm our mission. We’re grateful to our photographers for their amazing work and to our followers for their passion and support.

What’s not to like?

There are 25 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. Gustavo
    May 17, 2015

    Wonderful Life !!!

  2. gwen
    May 17, 2015

    I love pandas!!!

  3. Debra Holman
    May 13, 2015

    Nat Geo also makes my day! These photos literally take my breath away. I love that the photos bring attention to important issues of our earth and all the inhabitants.

  4. Leo Davis
    May 10, 2015

    You reaffirm my theory that perfection is possible. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jade
    May 10, 2015

    Nat Geo the photos you upload to Instagram make my day! Thank you so much.

  6. Kim Brashear
    May 10, 2015

    This is why I nearly break into applause once a month at the post office.♥ Thanks for the digital trip around the world every 30 days !

  7. laura
    May 10, 2015

    Absolutely 1beautiful n stunning n we appreciate everything you do

  8. Debbie Meny
    May 10, 2015

    I have always enjoyed these pictures, they are breathtaking.

  9. laura
    May 10, 2015

    Absolutely beautiful n stunning n we appreciate everything you do

  10. frederick cordeiro
    May 9, 2015

    Nat Geog.. Thank you… you bring out the best mother nature has to offer. And at high risk sometimes… Bless you guys ,your photographers and your follower supporters ..Awesome work!!!

  11. Serine Seet
    May 9, 2015

    Thanks for showing the lifes of the world. Without u guys alot of wonders will be missed. Thanks again for the hard work and danger encountered

  12. Maria Ruiz
    May 8, 2015

    National Geographic in magazine or digital best pictures ever! Thank you

  13. adejoke aj
    May 8, 2015

    Four years ago I discovered I love reading pictures. I imagine myself in those places. I wonder what else the planet has to offer that we are yet to discover. Thank you for bringing us these beautiful pictures. Ps keep up the good work.

  14. Thelma Wright
    May 8, 2015

    I started “reading pictures” in Nat. Geo. Magazines over 70 years ago. I’m still fascinated by them. Thank you for this post.

  15. Virginia Nesbitt
    May 8, 2015

    I Love your pictures and enjoy photography. Too.

  16. Davidescu Hedviga
    May 8, 2015

    Wonderful work,Thanks to all

  17. Anjana sarkar
    May 8, 2015

    Amazing photos to show to human beings that we are not the mightiest to belong to this planet.so protect and share them and this beautiful world.

  18. Fadia
    May 8, 2015

    beautiful work , thank you for sharing

  19. margaret rintoul
    May 7, 2015

    the photos simply make me feel happy to be alive.

  20. claudia loya
    May 7, 2015

    Super Fabulosas.

  21. Cecilia fonseca
    May 7, 2015

    Congratulations and THANK YOU for showing us year in ayear out the beauty that is the planet we live in may we have more of this for many more centuries and hopefully we continuous beautiful pictures

  22. liberal avenger
    May 7, 2015

    Meh, panda bears too cute, lutz

  23. cindy
    May 7, 2015

    #AWESOME #CONGRATS I Heart NatGEO

  24. Kelly Maclennen
    May 7, 2015

    Superb photo’s! Always ignites my smouldering desire to see wildlife if their natual habitat..

  25. Mark Smith
    May 7, 2015

    Beautiful work; a joy to veiw

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