News/Blog & Recent Events - George Kourounis

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Aug 09 2022 - Canadian Geographic Travel Article
The article I wrote for Canadian Geographic Travel about my recent Egypt adventure is now online. Read it here.
This trip was part of a partnership between Canadian Geographic Adventures and Exodus Travels.

Canadian Geographic Travel

Aug 08 2022 - Filming For A New Project
Today I found myself back in another TV studio, filming some material for a new project. It is still in the early development stages, so I can't really divulge a lot of information about it quite yet, but hopefully soon.
It was good to work with a producer that I hadn't seen in quite a few years.


Aug 03 2022 - Tornado-warned storms spread across Ontario
I was out chasing the storms that roared through Harriston, Listowel, & Fergus Ontario. There was a tornado warning and very strong rotation.


July 24 2022 - Storms Near Alma, Ontario
A series of storms swept across parts of Ontario and Quebec today, including one tornado-warned storm that I was chasing near the town of Alma, northeast of Fergus.
Reports of possible tornadoes are being investigated.


June 30 2022 - Strange Evidence on Science Channel
TV Alert.. The other Science Channel show that I apear on has brand new episodes that start airing tonight! Yep, I'm a regular on 2 different Science Channel shows.

An all-new season of STRANGE EVIDENCE premieres tonight!
Thursday, June 30 at 9pm ET/PT on Science Channel.


June 22 2022 - What On Earth? Season 8 on Science Channel
Watch for me as a brand new season of “What On Earth?” starts airing tonight at 9:00 on Science Channel.
This is season 8 of Science Channel’s most-watched show!! (some listings show it as season 10 since some of the seasons were split into halves) and I’ve completely lost count of how many episodes I’ve contributed to over the years. The program showcases strange or unusual places on our planet as seen from above via satellite or aerial imagery, then a series of experts examine the images to comment on what it coul
d be.

What On Earth? Season 8 on Science Channel

June 20 2022 - Darvaza Gas Crater Conference
Back in January, the president of Turkmenistan announced that he wanted to extinguish the flaming Darvaza gas crater in order to extract the natural gas. In an interesting turn of events, I have officially been invited by the government to be a part of that conversation and I’ll be giving a presentation on my experience there and my suggestions for the future of the “Doorway To Hell”.

The conference is this Thursday “Reducing environmental emissions during hydrocarbon developments and prospects of managing the Darvaza gas crater”. It is an honour to be asked to contribute my voice to this discussion.

Darvaza Gas Crater Conference

May 25 2022 - Come Join Me On An Exodus Travels Adventure
Here are TWO upcoming opportunities to come join me on amazing adventure trips with Exodus Travels.
Treasures Of Jordan: Oct 28 - Nov 08 2022
We'll see the ancient sites including the iconic Petra, and we'll venture deep into the desert at Wadi Rum.

Borneo Wildlife Discoverer: Jan 22 - Feb 05 2023
We'll explore some of the amazing natural places in Malaysian Borneo including Deer Cave & of course we'll get to see & photograph the orangutans!

Check out the links for more details. I'm super-excited to visit these places myself.

Come Join Me On An Exodus Travels Adventure

May 21 2022 - Fierce Derecho Storm Rips Through Ontario
The line of potent storms really cranked up around Detroit and didn’t let up until around Quebec City, that’s almost 1000 km!

This specific type of storm system, known as a derecho, are uncommon but they do happen here in Canada, and when they do, the damage is almost certainly going to be widespread like what we saw on Saturday. With derechos, the swath of wind damage extends at least 400 miles (about 650 kilometers), is at least 60 miles (about 100 km) wide, includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) along most of its length, and also includes several, well-separated 75 mph (121 km/h) or greater gusts.

A well-defined cold front crashing in from the west was the trigger that initiated this severe weather event that affected millions in the most densely populated part of the country. Some of the effects of the derecho included:
Hundreds of thousands were left without power.
Countless trees downed.
A boat with about 20 people on it was capsized in Lake Ontario.
Unfortunately several fatalities have been reported so far due to falling trees.
Toronto recorded its strongest ever May wind gust at Pearson Airport (120 km/h).
Kitchener/Waterloo recorded a wind gust of 131 km/h.
The storm triggered a tornado warning in Quebec.

Some of the heaviest damage was in Uxbridge, Ontario where investigators will be sent out to determine if it was caused by straight-line winds or a tornado.
The winds produced by these derechos can be so intense that they are often mistaken for a tornado crashing through, however, sometimes there are areas of embedded rotation within the line of storms that can indeed produce tornadoes that are wrapped un in the rain and hail, making them nearly impossible to see.

This was an historic event for Ontario that many will never forget. There were ample warnings in place issued by Environment Canada, but with such a widespread, damaging event happening on a long weekend, it was inevitable that there was going to be significant impacts.

Fierce Derecho Storm Rips Through Ontario

April 30 2022 - We're All Gonna Dies (Even Jay Baruchel)
Streaming now on Crave TV in Canada: "We're All Gonna Die (Even Jay Baruchel) is a new 6-part TV series that takes a humorous & informative look at different ways that humans could possibly go extinct. The show is hosted by actor/comedian Jay Baruchel and I appear in episode 5 which is all about supervolcanoes. Jay sends me to Japan to study an undersea caldera that has the potential for a catastrophic eruption. This was filmed way back in March of 2020, just as the global pandemic was ramping up.

We're All Gonna Dies (Even Jay Baruchel)

April 24 2022 - Explorers Club Annual Gala Dinner
Last night was The Explorers Club annual dinner and it was a great one! The first since 2019. There were of course, the usual exotic appetizers which included ants, scorpions, cockroaches, tarantulas and more. A great awesome evening in a room filled with some of the world’s leading explorers, scientists, astronauts, conservationist, and more.
The master of ceremonies for The Explorers Club annual dinner this year was Josh Gates, host of Expedition Unknown on Discovery Channel. We are both now part an exclusive group who have served as emcee of this event. (I was the MC in 2011 and 2018).
Perhaps we should team up for some grand adventure?
I am exhausted this morning. I got back to my hotel at 5AM after several after-parties. Zzzzzz



April 22 2022 - Headed To New York
The bad news: my Uber got rear-ended pretty hard this morning.
The good news: I’m fine and the accident happened 5 minutes from the airport, so I just walked it from there.

There’s always some drama when I head to The Explorers Club annual gala dinner weekend in New York.
In 2018, I got stuck in a freak blizzard in New Jersey and had to sleep in my car.


April 11 2022 - Tom Dolan
I recently found out that my friend Tom Dolan passed away on April 7th at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, Ca. at age 61. He had double lung transplant surgery last June, and despite the valiant efforts of his team of doctors, he lost his battle.
I knew Tom from The Explorers Club and in 2019 we worked together chasing tornadoes along with his brother Donald and Jade Vajna for his "Tornado Visualization and Doppler Radar Analysis Project". We even carried one of the club's historic flags (#114) on that project,
Tom was unreasonably generous, kind, and friendly. He had a unique perspective on studying severe weather, and I endeavoured to learn as much as I could from him in our limited time together.
My most sincere condolences to Tom's wife Kathy, and the entire Dolan family. They are the nicest people you could ever meet and I can't imagine the grief they are experiencing right now. It is however comforting to know that the world was always a better place whenever Tom was around, and he
Photo: In front of a rotating wall cloud underneath a tornado warned storm in the Texas Panhandle, near the town of Stinnet with Explorers Club flag #114. May 7th, 2019.
L-R: Donald Dolan, George Kourounis, Tom Dolan. Photo by Jade Vajna.


April 10 2022 - Tampa, Florida
After only being home for a few days after my Egypt trip, I'm now in Tampa, Florida for a few days.
I'm here to do some filming at NBC affiliate station WFLA-TV studios. It is to promote a bunch of travel destinations for Exodus Travels. I'll be talking about:
- Egypt of course. I just got back from there, and I'll be sharing some of my personal experiences there.
- Turkey. Exodus is currently running a contest where winners can join me on an adventure in Cappadocia region of Turkey this fall.
- Premium Collection. This is Exodus' new line of trips that have all the quality of their highly rated trips, with the added extras of unique, premium accommodations, exceptional included experiences, and award-winning named leaders.
It's been a while since the last time I was in Florida. I must sya, the weather was pretty awesome, and the sunsets were spectacular.



April 07 2022 - Back From Egypt
I had such a great time in Egypt.
From the Pyramids of Giza to Alexandria, to the temples of Abu Simbel, Luxor, Karnak and more... To cruising down the Nile River... What an experience. It really felt like travelling back in time. I think my 2 favourite highlights were crawling around inside the great pyramid, and seeing King Tutankhamun's tomb & mummy.
It was a solid packed 2 weeks, filled with as many of the sights of Egypt that we could fit in.
This recent trip was the inaugural trip of the newly launched Canadian Geographic Adventures. It was an honour to act as an official travel ambassador for them. If you enjoyed the photos and stories that you saw from that trip with Exodus Travels, keep an eye out for more opportunities to travel with me, as well as other amazing trips accompanied by other Royal Canadian Geographical Society travel ambassadors.
Many more photos can be seen here.

Egypt 2022

Egypt 2022

March 23 2022 - Headed To Egypt
I depart tomorrow on my latest adventure... The frist big international one in 2 years! I'm hosting a partnered trip with Exodus Travels and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. As a travel ambassador, I'll be sharing my stories of exotic expeditions, giving photo & camera advice & tips and sharing highlights of the adventure on social media.
We start in Cairo, then up to Alexandria, then take a train to Aswan in the south, and then cruise down the nile to Luxor. It is going to be amazing, I'm super-excited about this!

Egypt Map

March 22 2022 - The Explorers Journal
Looks like I made the cover of the latest issue of The Explorers Journal. Look closely and you’ll see me, just to the right of the biggest flame (inside the Darvaza crater, Turkmenistan). I also contribute an article about that expedition for this issue, whose theme is “Fire & Ice”.

Photo by: Robin Brooks

The Explorers Journal

March 19 17 2022 - Cottage Life TV - Mysteries From Above
I am featured heavily in the new 10 part investigative series "Mysteries From Above" which explores remote, hard-to-reach locations as drones explore strange geological occurrences, unique man-made structures, curious creatures and lost civilizations.
The world broadcast premiere airs Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life.

Mysteries From Above

Feb 23 2022 - Ice Climbing in the Elora Gorge
Today was spent ice climbing in Elora, Ontario in the Elora Gorge. A big shout out to Frederick Schuett and everyone at One Axe Pursuits for setting us up. Frederick was my rope rigger for the big Darvaza, Turkmenistan fire pit expedition back in 2013.
It's been a while since the last time I was ice climbing. It was great fun, and conditions were very good today.
We were filming some material for a potential project that is being pitched. I can't say anything about it right now.



Feb 17 2022 - Boston Globe Article
I get quoted in a new Boston Globe article in the travel section. "Why travel the old-fashioned way when you can go with a celebrity?"
It talks about the trend of having high profile people on special featured tours who are able to enhance the experience for the travellers with their unique insights. This is something I've done many times, most frequently with Exodus Travels, but with others as well.

Boston Globe Article

Feb 07 2022 - WGN Chicago
I did a live interview with WGN TV Chicago today, talking about a many of my different expeditions around the world. We talked about volcanoes, the Naica Crystal Cave, and of course, chasing storms.

WGN Chicago

Feb 03 2022 - Canadian Geographic Photos Of The Year Competition
It was great fun and a real honour to judge the finalists in the “Weather, Seasons & Sky” category. ALL the photos I saw were great and it was not an easy task. Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to everyone who submitted photos.

Check out the

Canadian Geographic Photos Of The Year Competition

Jan 31 2022 - Niagara Falls - Rainbow & Ice
I was in Niagara Falls for a TV shoot with The Weather Network and we finished early enough to leave some time to go visit the falls. It was a clear, cold, sunny day, so I knew the conditions were likely going to be spectacular.
The low sun made an excellent rainbow in the mist, and it was cold enough that the mist was freezing to every surface incuding: lamp posts, stairs, and railings, making for a beautiful winter scene. I highly suggest visiting Niagara Falls in the winter. It is absolutely gorgeous, and there are very few tourists. It's really the best time to go there.

Niagara Falls - Rainbow & Ice

Niagara Falls - Rainbow & Ice

Jan 31 2022 - Vertical Wind Tunnel Filming
Learning to fly… well, more like hover… For a few seconds at a time. Trying to float in the middle of a vertical stream of wind that’s blowing at 120 mph (193 km/h) is not easy at all, especially when trying to look *somewhat* graceful for the TV cameras. We were filming for a "Science Behind The Weather" segment for The Weather Network.
BTW, that’s equal to a category 3 hurricane!
Many thanks to Niagara Freefall for helping us out today. It was a blast.

Vertical Wind Tunnel Filming

Jan 29 2022 - Icy Cold Lake Ontario
It was a very cold morning (-18C with a wind chill of -24C) but if you were willing to brave the cold, the steamy sunrise on Lake Ontario today was spectacular.
I have a few favourite spots around the lakeshore where I like to go whenever I'm expecting extreme or photogenic conditions.
While it was very cold, there was less steam on the water than I'd expected there to be, but the sunrise was amazing, and the waves crashing against the rocks, illuminated by the orange light was beautiful.



Jan 28 2022 - Busy Week Filming
It’s been a busy week. 4 full days of filming for 3 different TV shows, for 2 different networks.
Season 8 of What On Earth? for Science Channel
Season 6 of Strange Evidecne, also for Science Channel
Season 1 of Mysteries From Above for Crave TV
A lot of research goes into each of these shoots, and to film 4 days of them back to back was mentally exhausting, but very rewarding.
Look for these programs to be broadcast later this year.



Jan 17 2022 - Toronto Blizzard
This snowstorm really overperformed overnight here in Toronto. As of 7AM I was measuring between 30-35CM of snow in my yard, with lots of drifting too, and it’s still going to keep coming down for a while!
Update - The city of Toronto is now officially under a very rare blizzard warning! Stay home.
Update - I just measured 46cm on top of my BBQ. I had to go get a longer ruler! 9:30 AM.


Jan 16 2022 - Darvaza News Coverage
It’s been a busy week!
Ever since the president of Turkmenistan proposed to extinguish the “Gateway To Hell” I’ve been inundated with interview requests from BBC, NPR CTV, Atlas Obscura, Sky News, and many more. Here’s a collage of about 340 different international news sites where I’ve turned up this week.

Darvaza _News_Mosaic

Jan 12 2022 - Goodbye, Old Friend
Earlier this week I had said my final goodbye to an old friend. My trusty 1999 Honda CR-V with over 500,000 km on it was finally towed away and donated to charity.

Goodbye, Old Friend

Jan 10 2022 - "Doorway To Hell" To Close?
The news out of Turkmenistan has certainly caught the world’s attention! (The president has declared that he wants to close the “Doorway To Hell”, a pit of burning methane that’s been on fire for about 5 decades).

I’ve been getting lots of interview requests and I seem to have turned up on at least 50 international news sites in the past 24 hours (that I’ve counted so far). Link to
BBC article.

I’m happy to comment on my experiences there, particularly my 2013 expedition to be the first to ever go to the bottom, gathering soil samples. It’s one of the things I’m best known for and whenever the crater makes the news, I inevitably get asked to comment.

"Doorway To Hell" To Close?

Dec 31 2021 - Explorers Club Canadian Chapter
After serving my maximum of 2 consecutive terms, the time for me to step down as the Canadian Chapter Chair of The Explorers Club has come.
The past 4 years have been wonderful and challenging. I've made so many great friends, helped connect scientists and other explorers, and seen incredible innovation & accomplishments from so many talented people.
On Jan 1st, the position will be taken over by the very capable Jett Britnell. It is comforting to know that the future of the Canadian Chapter is in good hands. Thank you Jett for taking the helm.
I wish to thank all the other volunteers I've worked with over the past 4 years for their service. It's been an absolute joy to have shared this journey with you. I have every intention to continue working closely with the club and chapter in the future.

Explorers CLub - Canadian Chapter

An Archive of Previous Year's News Items Can Be Found Here




















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