16 Best of 2016

Choosing the best Hakai Magazine stories always leads to great debates at our editorial meetings. We don’t all agree on what “best” means, but we do agree these are all great stories and should not be missed. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did! Fine print: no one was hurt in the making of this list. Not this year anyway.


Et Tu, Ocean?

The role of the sea in melting the Arctic.


The Race for Arctic Oil

Oil companies have always looked north for vast oil fields, and they won’t stop any time soon.


The Whale Dying on the Mountain

As the Comox Glacier disappears so does part of the local culture.


No Wool, No Vikings

The fleece that launched 1,000 ships.


Southern Sugarcane Revival

Sugarcane on Sapelo Island was once tended by slaves. Now it might sustain their descendants and help keep Geechee culture alive.

Photo Essay

The Micro Monsters Beneath Your Beach Blanket

Little things live big lives between grains of sand. 


The Secret History of Bioluminescence

Illuminating maps during war, guiding planes to safety, making genes and proteins visible—organisms get their glow on to help humans.


Evicted by Climate Change

Government regulations forced the Yup’ik to give up their semi-nomadic existence. Now, as the land around them vanishes, they’re puzzling through...


Twilight for the Sawfish

In West Africa, the sawfish was once a source of cultural pride and power. What happens to traditional African cultures as it disappears? 

Photo Essay

The Secret World of Bog

Photos of a lesser-known ecosystem, from British Columbia’s outer coast.


A Sunken Bridge the Size of a Continent

A remote Arctic land may hold a vital missing chapter from human history. The only problem? It disappeared at the end of the last ice age.


Slime, Shorebirds, and a Scientific Mystery

Could the survival of millions of migrating shorebirds depend on the preservation of humble marine biofilm?

Article - Short

Scientists Discover an Underwater Pollinator

A first of its kind, this marine plant is pollinated by zooplankton and invertebrates. 


The 6,000-Year-Old Village

Traditional knowledge meets Western science on the central coast of British Columbia. 


The Questionable Science of Vancouver’s Port Expansion

A flawed environmental impact assessment may have consequences for the western sandpiper.


The Clam That Sank a Thousand Ships

These infamous clams are invading new areas, buoyed by climate change and the 2011 tsunami in Japan.