It's time to get off the beaten path. Inspiring equal parts wonder and wanderlust, Atlas Obscura celebrates over 700 of the strangest and most curious places in the world. Talk about a bucket list: here are natural wonders—the dazzling glowworm caves in New Zealand, or a baobob tree in South Africa that's so large it has a pub inside where 15 people can drink comfortably. Architectural marvels, including the M.C. Escher-like stepwells in India. Mind-boggling events, like the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain, where men dressed as devils literally vault over rows of squirming infants. Not to mention the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Virginia, Turkmenistan's 40-year hole of fire called the Gates of Hell, a graveyard for decommissioned ships on the coast of Bangladesh, eccentric bone museums in Italy, or a weather-forecasting invention that was powered by leeches, still on display in Devon, England. Created by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton, ATLAS OBSCURA revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden and the mysterious. Every page expands our sense of how strange and marvelous the world really is. And with its compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, surprising charts, maps for every region of the world, it is a book to enter anywhere, and will be as appealing to the armchair traveler as the die-hard adventurer. Anyone can be a tourist. ATLAS OBSCURA is for the explorer.
|Publisher:||Workman Publishing Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||7.00(w) x 10.60(h) x 1.90(d)|
About the Author
Joshua Foer is the cofounder and chairman of Atlas Obscura. He is also the author of Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, a bestseller published in 33 languages, and a forthcoming book about the world's last hunter-gatherers.
Dylan Thuras is the cofounder and creative director of Atlas Obscura.
Ella Morton is a New Zealand-born, Australian-raised, Brooklyn-based writer, focusing on overlooked aspects of history and culture. After covering consumer technology at CNET she hosted Rocketboom NYC, a web show about New York’s quirkier people and places. Her most popular interview was a chat with Cookie Monster on the set of Sesame Street. Ella was associate editor at AtlasObscura.com, where she wrote about such topics as tobacco smoke enemas, Victorian streaming music services, and the etiquette of marrying a ghost.
Table of Contents
CONTENTSINTRODUCTION ... ixEUROPEGreat Britain and Ireland . . . 2 ENGLAND / IRELAND / NORTHERN IRELAND / SCOTLANDWestern Europe . . . 22 AUSTRIA / BELGIUM / FRANCE / GERMANY / GREECE / CYPRUS / ITALY / NETHERLANDS / PORTUGAL / SPAIN / SWITZERLANDEastern Europe . . . 74 BULGARIA / CROATIA / CZECH REPUBLIC / ESTONIA / HUNGARY / LATVIA / LITHUANIA / MACEDONIA / POLAND / ROMANIA / RUSSIA / SERBIA / SLOVAKIA / UKRAINEScandinavia . . . 99 DENMARK / FINLAND / ICELAND / NORWAY / SWEDEN ASIAThe Middle East . . . 114 IRAN / IRAQ / ISRAEL / PALESTINE / LEBANON / OMAN / QATAR / SYRIA / UNITED ARAB EMIRATES / YEMENSouth and Central Asia . . . 125 AFGHANISTAN / BANGLADESH / INDIA KAZAKHSTAN / KYRGYZSTAN / NEPAL / PAKISTAN / SRI LANKA / TURKEY / TURKMENISTANEast Asia . . . 145 CHINA / HONG KONG / TAIWAN / JAPAN / NORTH KOREA / SOUTH KOREASoutheast Asia . . . 168 BRUNEI / CAMBODIA / INDONESIA / LAOS / MALAYSIA / MYANMAR / PHILIPPINES / SINGAPORE / THAILAND / VIETNAMAFRICANorth Africa . . . 186 EGYPT / MAURITANIA / MOROCCO / SUDAN / TUNISIAWest Africa . . . 196 BENIN / BURKINA FASO / CAMEROON / GABON / GHANA / MALI / NIGER / NIGERIA / SENEGAL / SIERRA LEONE / TOGOCentral Africa . . . 206 CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC / CHAD / DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO / REPUBLIC OF THE CONGOEast Africa . . . 208 ETHIOPIA / KENYA / SOUTH SUDAN / TANZANIASouthern Africa . . . 213 ANGOLA / MALAWI / NAMIBIA / SOUTH AFRICA / SWAZILAND / ZAMBIA / ZIMBABWEIslands of the Indian and South Atlantic Oceans . . . 220 MADAGASCAR / SEYCHELLES / SAINT HELENA, ASCENSION, AND TRISTAN DA CUNHA OCEANIAAustralia . . . 226New Zealand . . . 240Pacific Islands . . . 245 FIJI / MARSHALL ISLANDS / FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA / NAURU / PALAU / PAPUA NEW GUINEA / SAMOA / SOLOMON ISLANDS / VANUATUCANADAWestern Canada . . . 256 ALBERTA / BRITISH COLUMBIA / MANITOBA / NORTHWEST TERRITORIES / NUNAVUT / SASKATCHEWAN / YUKONEastern Canada . . . .267 NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR / NOVA SCOTIA / ONTARIO / PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND / QUEBEC USA West Coast . . . 276 CALIFORNIA / OREGON / WASHINGTONFour Corners and the Southwest . . . .296 ARIZONA / COLORADO / NEVADA / NEW MEXICO / TEXAS / UTAHGreat Plains . . . 311 IDAHO / KANSAS / MONTANA / NEBRASKA / NORTH DAKOTA / OKLAHOMA / SOUTH DAKOTA / WYOMINGThe Midwest . . . 319 ILLINOIS / INDIANA / IOWA / MICHIGAN / MINNESOTA / MISSOURI / OHIO / WISCONSINThe Southeast . . . 338 ALABAMA / ARKANSAS / FLORIDA / GEORGIA / KENTUCKY / LOUISIANA / MISSISSIPPI / NORTH CAROLINA / SOUTH CAROLINA / TENNESSEE / VIRGINIAThe Mid-Atlantic . . . 353 DELAWARE / MARYLAND / NEW JERSEY NEW YORK / PENNSYLVANIA / WASHINGTON, DC / WEST VIRGINIANew England . . . 366 CONNECTICUT / MAINE / MASSACHUSETTS / NEW HAMPSHIRE / RHODE ISLAND / VERMONTAlaska and Hawaii . . . 376LATIN AMERICA South America . . . .383 ARGENTINA / BOLIVIA / BRAZIL / CHILE / COLOMBIA / ECUADOR / PERU / URUGUAY / VENEZUELAMexico . . . 412Central America . . . 420 BELIZE / COSTA RICA / EL SALVADOR / GUATEMALA / HONDURAS / NICARAGUA / PANAMACaribbean Islands . . . 426 BAHAMAS / BERMUDA / CAYMAN ISLANDS / CUBA / DOMINICA / DOMINICAN REPUBLIC / GRENADA / HAITI / JAMAICA / MARTINIQUE / MONTSERRAT / PUERTO RICO / ST. KITTS AND NEVIS / ST. MAARTEN / TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO / ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES ANTARCTICA . . . 443ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . 452INDEX . . . 453PHOTO CREDITS . . . 469
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
First off, a confession. I didn't read the whole book. Normally I'd hold off on a review, but due to the unique structure of this book I feel comfortable giving my review without completing it. Atlas Obscura is a guide to the stranger things in the world. Organized geographically, it traces historical artifacts, quirky art, and cultural remains. The goal is to expose a side of the world that is normally invisible to both tourists and locals alike. The resulting book is a bit of a geographic Wunderkammer. As a reader, I found myself struggling often with this book. The writing is engaging and easy to follow, but for every fascinating entry that makes me want to learn more, there are a handful of entries that could not be less interesting. I realize that this is inevitable with a book fo this sort - everyone is fascinated by different things. But because the book is organized by the geographical location of entries rather than their content, it's hard to easily navigate to those items which are of greatest interest. For a reader attempting a cover-to-cover read, the effect is that you trudge through a lot of dull material to get to the good stuff. Perhaps more concerning, the accuracy of some entries is questionable. While some claims are presented with adequate skepticism (e.g., a rock which is supposedly home to fairies), other items are presented as wholesale truths despite considerable external discussion about their veracity (e.g., necropants). I feel that ultimately this would make for a good coffee table book - something to pick up, flip to a random page, and start a conversation with. It's definitely not well suited for a "normal" read, nor as a travel atlas or an unusual encyclopedia. I've spent a fair amount of time on the Atlas Obscura website, and have greatly enjoyed appearances on podcasts and youtube channels, but the book just doesn't capture my curiosity in the same way.
Great book! Perfect for reading and for coffee table or guest room placement. Chock full of short articles on every unusual location and subject under the sun. LOTS of pictures and illustrations!!
First things first, I love the Atlas Obscura website. I've wanted a copy of the book for a while and I finally ordered it and I'm so happy! A lot of people don't like the book because it's not organized in the same way the website is, but personally I don't really think it's meant to be a cover-to-cover read. It's organized geographically, so it's easy to find the interesting things in your home region, and it's also super helpful when you're looking at travelling somewhere, because you can quickly look up that area. In that sense, I think that as opposed to being meant to be a cover-to-cover read, it's organized more like a guide, which I think is great. The only issue I have is that my copy came with a "Barnes and Noble exclusive" sticker on the dust jacket, and when I tried to remove that sticker, it ripped the dust jacket. That was super disappointing, as I didn't want a sticker on the book for display purposes and now I can't display it beautifully like I had intended because of the rip. I would suggest not putting stickers on dust jackets in the future.
This is such a good book!! It's super interesting.