Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders

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Overview


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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761169086
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 09/20/2016
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 99,528
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


CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION ... ix

EUROPE

Great Britain and Ireland . . .  2
ENGLAND / IRELAND / NORTHERN IRELAND / SCOTLAND

Western Europe . . .  22
AUSTRIA / BELGIUM / FRANCE / GERMANY / GREECE / CYPRUS / ITALY / NETHERLANDS / PORTUGAL / SPAIN / SWITZERLAND

Eastern Europe . . . 74
BULGARIA / CROATIA / CZECH REPUBLIC / ESTONIA / HUNGARY / LATVIA / LITHUANIA / MACEDONIA / POLAND / ROMANIA / RUSSIA / SERBIA / SLOVAKIA / UKRAINE

Scandinavia . . . 99
DENMARK / FINLAND / ICELAND / NORWAY / SWEDEN 

ASIA

The Middle East . . . 114
IRAN / IRAQ / ISRAEL / PALESTINE / LEBANON / OMAN / QATAR / SYRIA / UNITED ARAB EMIRATES / YEMEN

South and Central Asia . . . 125
AFGHANISTAN / BANGLADESH / INDIA KAZAKHSTAN / KYRGYZSTAN / NEPAL / PAKISTAN / SRI LANKA / TURKEY / TURKMENISTAN

East Asia . . . 145
CHINA / HONG KONG / TAIWAN / JAPAN / NORTH KOREA / SOUTH KOREA

Southeast Asia . . . 168
BRUNEI / CAMBODIA / INDONESIA / LAOS / MALAYSIA / MYANMAR / PHILIPPINES / SINGAPORE / THAILAND / VIETNAM

AFRICA

North Africa . . . 186
EGYPT / MAURITANIA / MOROCCO / SUDAN / TUNISIA

West Africa . . .  196
BENIN / BURKINA FASO / CAMEROON / GABON / GHANA / MALI / NIGER / NIGERIA / SENEGAL / SIERRA LEONE / TOGO

Central Africa . . . 206
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC / CHAD / DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO / REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

East Africa . . .  208
ETHIOPIA / KENYA / SOUTH SUDAN / TANZANIA

Southern Africa . . . 213
ANGOLA / MALAWI / NAMIBIA / SOUTH AFRICA / SWAZILAND / ZAMBIA / ZIMBABWE

Islands of the Indian and South Atlantic Oceans . . . 220
MADAGASCAR / SEYCHELLES / SAINT HELENA, ASCENSION, AND TRISTAN DA CUNHA OCEANIA

Australia . . . 226

New Zealand . . . 240

Pacific Islands . . . 245
FIJI / MARSHALL ISLANDS / FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA / NAURU / PALAU / PAPUA NEW GUINEA / SAMOA / SOLOMON ISLANDS / VANUATU

CANADA

Western Canada . . . 256
ALBERTA / BRITISH COLUMBIA / MANITOBA / NORTHWEST TERRITORIES / NUNAVUT / SASKATCHEWAN / YUKON
Eastern Canada . . . .267
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR / NOVA SCOTIA / ONTARIO / PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND / QUEBEC 

USA

West Coast . . . 276
CALIFORNIA / OREGON / WASHINGTON

Four Corners and the Southwest . . . .296
ARIZONA / COLORADO / NEVADA / NEW MEXICO / TEXAS / UTAH

Great Plains . . . 311
IDAHO / KANSAS / MONTANA / NEBRASKA / NORTH DAKOTA / OKLAHOMA / SOUTH DAKOTA / WYOMING

The Midwest . . .  319
ILLINOIS / INDIANA / IOWA / MICHIGAN / MINNESOTA / MISSOURI / OHIO / WISCONSIN

The Southeast . . . 338
ALABAMA / ARKANSAS / FLORIDA / GEORGIA / KENTUCKY / LOUISIANA / MISSISSIPPI / NORTH CAROLINA / SOUTH CAROLINA / TENNESSEE / VIRGINIA

The Mid-Atlantic . . . 353
DELAWARE / MARYLAND / NEW JERSEY NEW YORK / PENNSYLVANIA / WASHINGTON, DC / WEST VIRGINIA

New England . . . 366
CONNECTICUT / MAINE / MASSACHUSETTS / NEW HAMPSHIRE / RHODE ISLAND / VERMONT

Alaska and Hawaii . . . 376

LATIN AMERICA

South America . . . .383
ARGENTINA / BOLIVIA / BRAZIL / CHILE / COLOMBIA / ECUADOR / PERU / URUGUAY / VENEZUELA

Mexico . . . 412

Central America . . .  420
BELIZE / COSTA RICA / EL SALVADOR / GUATEMALA / HONDURAS / NICARAGUA / PANAMA

Caribbean 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 . . . 443

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . 452
INDEX . . . 453
PHOTO CREDITS . . . 469

Customer Reviews

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Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
AndrewReadsBooks More than 1 year ago
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.
slugpuppy3 More than 1 year ago
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!!
HWMarie More than 1 year ago
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.
-L More than 1 year ago
This is such a good book!! It's super interesting.