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Hidden Compass is an award-winning publication that’s turning nerds — like journalists, scientists, artists, and explorers — into rock stars.

We’re breaking trail by marshaling the masses. Our readers meet our authors head-on, and can directly support every journalist’s work of discovery via crowdfunding.

The stories told here are for those who want to be immersed in new landscapes and challenged by nuanced ideas. They are for individuals who yearn to explore the frontiers of human knowledge.

Explore the Latest Issue

Autumn 2020

Under the Surface

A Note From the Editors

At every turn, truth and wonder await us in the depths. Each entry point, whether strategic or unexpected, is an invitation to explore. Pushing past the veneers on top — and peeling back the layers below — uncovers strata of possibility. In the autumn 2020 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you stories that delve under…

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Painting of rangeomorphs An imagined diver’s light illuminates a sea of rangeomorphs on the floor of the primordial ocean. Painting by Henry Sharpe.
Painting: Henry Sharpe
Painting of rangeomorphs An imagined diver’s light illuminates a sea of rangeomorphs on the floor of the primordial ocean. Painting by Henry Sharpe.
Painting: Henry Sharpe
Autumn 2020

Under the Surface

A Note from the Editors

At every turn, truth and wonder await us in the depths. Each entry point, whether strategic or unexpected, is an invitation to explore. Pushing past the veneers on top — and peeling back the layers below — uncovers strata of possibility.

In the autumn 2020 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you stories that delve under the surface.

In this issue’s photo feature, Lola Akinmade Åkerström finds herself Draped in Reverence as she respectfully navigates the line between cultural appreciation and appropriation. Her Portrait of global connection lifts the veil on a tapestry of cultures, from the Sámi of Sweden to the Yoruba of Nigeria.

Janna Brancolini plunges into the Mediterranean and through millennia of intrigue on a Quest to bring the origins of underwater archaeology into the light. Honor and the Sea follows in the wake of a tenacious woman who made waves excavating an ancient shipwreck off the coast of Sicily.

Out of Desolation, onetime Navy sailor Lance Garland discovered an unlikely guide through the wilderness. Our Time Travel feature follows the dual paths of Jack Kerouac — and 13 years of the author’s own twisting journey — to a new outlook on identity.

The Medusa of Time lures Daniel Hudon to the edge of Newfoundland, where he scans a primordial stone expanse imprinted with strange relics of a distant era. As he walks on ground once buried beneath an ancient sea — brought to life in illustrations by Henry Sharpe — Hudon ponders how the Human and Nature dynamic fits into life through the eons.

Finally, in our Chasing Demons feature, Jenna Scatena examines her role in The Age of Conquest — an era of travel defined by listicles and selfies, consumption and over-tourism. In this moment of global pause, she illuminates a brighter way forward.

As always, we extend our deepest gratitude to our readers, who share our vision of powerful storytelling, and to our contributors, who bring us stories from the frontiers of exploration.

Until the next voyage,

Katie Knorovsky, Managing Editor

Sabine Bergmann and Sivani Babu, Hidden Compass Co-Founders

Buckaroo Portrait, Photo by: Kim F. Stone

Find your story.

Choose a Theme to Explore
Journey alongside characters in pursuit of elusive truths. Travel through extreme landscapes, to the far reaches of the planet, and into the unknown.
Get to know extraordinary characters from around the world — individuals, cultures, places, creatures, and even objects.
Investigate the relationship between humankind and the planet. Come face-to-face with Nature as an unpredictable danger, a wise teacher, and a precarious organism.
Delve into the dark and difficult aspects of a place, even when the darkness exists only in the narrator. Investigative pieces, historical exposés, and tales of narrators immersed in danger.
Inhabit the past, present, and future of a place. Unearth layers of ancient legends and traditions; probe the transient nature of the current moment; and venture out into prediction, peril, and possibility.

Photo: Dr. Gilad Fiskus

Photo: Sivani Babu

Photo: Kim F. Stone

Photo: Sivani Babu

Photo: Sugato Mukherjee

Photo: Geraint Rowland

Find your story.

Choose a Theme to Explore

Photo: Sivani Babu

01

Quest

Journey alongside characters in pursuit of elusive truths. Travel through extreme landscapes, to the far reaches of the planet, and into the unknown.

Photo: Sivani Babu

Buckaroo Portrait, Photo by: Kim F. Stone

Get to know extraordinary characters from around the world — individuals, cultures, places, creatures, and even objects.

Photo: Kim F. Stone

Investigate the relationship between humankind and the planet. Come face-to-face with Nature as an unpredictable danger, a wise teacher, and a precarious organism.

Photo: Sivani Babu

Delve into the dark and difficult aspects of a place, even when the darkness exists only in the narrator. Investigative pieces, historical exposés, and tales of narrators immersed in danger.

Photo: Sugato Mukherjee

Inhabit the past, present, and future of a place. Unearth layers of ancient legends and traditions; probe the transient nature of the current moment; and venture out into prediction, peril, and possibility.

Photo: Geraint Rowland

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