Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders Hardcover – September 20, 2016
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Also Available from Atlas Obscura
Buckle up for a surprising new adventure, every day of the year.
Capturing the awe-inspiring spirit of the #1 bestselling book and viral website, the Atlas Obscura Page-A-Day Calendar features hundreds of unexpected discoveries: natural wonders, like New Zealand’s Slope Point, where Antarctic wind swirls trees into a mass of tightly tangled branches. Legendary sites, like Germany’s Unicorn Cave, containing prehistoric skeletons thought to be unicorns from the 16th century. Eccentric events, like Michigan’s Humongous Fungus Fest, featuring a 37-acre colony of mushrooms—one of the largest and oldest organisms in the world. Packed with full-color photographs and memorable facts, it’s a year of curiosity, intrigue, and wanderlust.
The world’s most weird-but-true locations, captured in twelve brilliant travel posters.
Experience a year of wonder in twelve travel posters featuring bizarre-but-real locations and surprising natural phenomena from around the globe, from Atlas Obscura, the brand synonymous with adventure. One month you’re in Tashirojima, the Japanese island where cats outnumber people, another you’re in Brazil’s Amazon basin—in the world’s longest river—where surfers face 12-foot walls of turbulent waves. Bursting with surprising facts and discoveries, and brought to life through luminous illustrations from Sam Chivers, it’s a year of enchantment to feed the insatiable curiosity of any global citizen. A great gift for the curious explorer and armchair traveler.
“Fair warning: It's addictive.” —NPR, “Cosmos & Culture”
“In this gorgeous collection, the celebrated Atlas Obscura website is condensed into 480 pages of awe-inspiring destinations. For lovers of history and exploration, the striking color photographs will spark immediate wanderlust.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Odds are you won’t get past three pages without being amazed at something truly strange that you didn’t know existed.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Richly illustrated, delightfully strange, this compendium of off-beat destinations should spark many adventures, both terrestrial and imaginary.” —Boston Globe
“This book is PACKED with wonderful, amazing, fascinating places all around the world. This is the perfect gift for the person who thinks they’ve done it all and seen it all because this shows that there’s so much more in the world to explore. It’s a wonderful, wonderful coffee table book.” —NBC, “TODAY”
“A perfect tome for the armchair explorer and the actual traveler alike.” —Austin American Statesman
“The most addictive book of the year.” —Colin McEnroe, WNPR
“Whether describing a Canadian museum that showcases world history through shoes, a pet-casket company that will also sell you a unit for your severed limb, a Greek snake festival, or a place in the Canary Islands where inhabitants communicate through whistling, the authors have compiled an enthralling range of oddities. Featuring full-color illustrations, this hefty and gorgeously produced tome will be eagerly pored over by readers of many ages and fans of the original website.”—Booklist (Starred Review)
“If this compendium of the weirdest, wackiest, and most wonderful destinations on the planet doesn't fill you with insatiable wanderlust, then you need to check your pulse.” —mental_floss
“This is the fun way, a deep dive (sometimes literally) into places you’d never find otherwise, the weird and wild wonders of the world.” —WIRED
“The book is for people who prefer to live like locals when they travel, seek out new cultures on vacation, or just prefer the weirdness of history to traditional by-the-book experiences. Even if you can’t travel, Atlas Obscura is a window into places you’d otherwise never know existed.” —lifehacker
“A travel guide for the most adventurous of tourists . . . a wonderful browse [for] armchair travelers who enjoyed Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York and Frank Warren’s PostSecret.” —Library Journal
“I thought I had seen most of the interesting bits of the world. Atlas Obscura showed me that I was wrong.It's the kind of book that makes you want to pack in your workaday life and head out to places you'd never have dreamed of going, to see things you could not even have imagined. A joy to read and to reread.”
—NEIL GAIMAN, author of Sandman and American Gods
“Atlas Obscura is a joyful antidote to the creeping suspicion that travel these days is little more than a homogenized corporate shopping opportunity.Here are hundreds of surprising, perplexing, mind-blowing, inspiring reasons to travel a day longer and farther off the path. . . . Bestest travel guide ever.”
—MARY ROACH, author of Stiff and Gulp
“Atlas Obscura may be the only thing that can still inspire me to leave my apartment. . . . This resource is essential for exploring the world and engaging adventure with wit and style (often from the comfort of my bed).”
—LENA DUNHAM, creator of Girls and author of Not That Kind of Girl
“My favorite travel guide! Never start a trip without knowing where a haunted hotel or a mouth of hell is!”
—GUILLERMO DEL TORO, filmmaker, Pan’s Labyrinth
“What a strange and wonderful book! It is as curious and surprising as Saddam Hussein’s very own Blood Qur’an—written in his own blood—which I would never have known about had I not read the amazing Atlas Obscura.”
—JON RONSON, author of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed
“This book is as curious and enthralling as the world it covers. Each page reveals some hidden realm—a realm that is frightening, or funny, or magical, or simply mad, but that always leaves the reader in wonder.”
—DAVID GRANN, author of The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
“Your peregrine falcon needs a small talon trim? Go straight to the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. . . . Be grateful when visiting the Karni Mata Rat Temple if one of the 20,000 venerated rodents runs across your bare foot—it is considered good luck. . . . You won’t be able to enter the 20-years-in-the-making and still abandoned tallest hotel in the world. It does not matter. Wherever you look around Pyongyang, North Korea, the 105-story skyscraper silently towers over all. . . . Life is short. Our planet is filled with curiosities and marvels . . . and this wondrous book is your guide!”
—PHILIPPE PETIT, high-wire artist and explorer
About the Author
- Item Weight : 3.22 pounds
- Hardcover : 480 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0761169083
- ISBN-13 : 978-0761169086
- Dimensions : 10.5 x 7 x 1.9 inches
- Publisher : Workman Publishing Company (September 20, 2016)
- Reading level : 8 and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #17,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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WOW! What an amazing book! I follow Atlas Obscura on Facebook, and they're one of my favorites. I had heard mention of a book and decided to check it out when I was holiday shopping this year. Man, am I glad I did! Look. First off, this thing is the size of an encyclopedia. This isn't some little piddly magazine-sized thing that you can read in one sitting. Oh HECK no. I'm looking forward to digesting this one in small spurts over a long period of time. It's heavy and packed full of never-before-seen info. I guarantee it!
There's a terrific table of contents in front to guide you where you might want to go, but I kind of prefer the "surprise me" method of just opening it up. The book is visually stunning - the pages and photos are crisp and clear. The writing is awesome. It's so easy to lose yourself in here: If there's a "look inside" option, I recommend you do so now. I'll wait!
The binding is heavy-duty. This book is built to last. If you're thinking about ordering it, order it. And if you're thinking about ordering it for a gift, go ahead and order two because once you peek, you're going to want one of your own. If I know you like I know I know you, then we both know I'm right.
If this review even helped you a fraction of an iota, please give it a thumbs-up. I love reviewing in my spare time, so it's really nice to know someone is out there, considering my advice. Thanks, friend! And don't forget your book!
I read a short description of the book in the travel section of the SF Chronicle a few weeks ago, and made the purchase based on that. Well, that combined with my sister verifying that her son might actually appreciate this book!
There are many hundreds of places and things described over about 450 pages, with most including a photo, and the balance a drawing. I think the only things without a graphic are the short, “Also in or near…” entries. Those graphics add interest and tend to draw you in, encouraging you to read the piece about whatever is depicted graphically.
The book must weigh something like 2 pounds – just guessing – meaning you might not be likely to pack it in your suitcase. However, it’s easy enough to take digital photos of any entries you may want to have easy access to on a trip. It’s printed on heavy paper, and I like that the pages are a pleasing, very light buff color, much nicer than stark white. Point being, it’s aesthetically a very nicely put together book.
Because I bought this as a gift, I've looked through it closely but have not read it cover to cover. The entries seem to be written for a variety of readers and travelers, but certainly far from the lowest common denominator. It’s not a typical travel book! I don’t find every entry to be about a fascinating item, but a great many are, and possibly none whatsoever are dull. Even things that might not seem of particular interest based on the heading end up proving to be interesting when you get into the text. That said, there are items about things I have no interest in seeing, e.g., “Lake Monsters of the USA,” but there don’t seem to be many of that sort of thing included. As with "Lake Monsters," even if you (or a recipient) aren't likely to visit many of the places described, I think for many curious people this would make for an interesting read even without the travel element.
It's not a perfect book, and I don't think any one book can be perfect for all readers, but I do think it's very good and I can easily recommend it for anyone who might be potentially interested. Given the quality of the contents and of the physical item itself, I am very pleased with the price. Easy 5 stars and recommendation!
I pre-ordered this because I was already a huge fan of the website and decided to support the project. I figured at the very least I'd have a gift ready for the holidays. But I am absolutely keeping this for myself, and will probably buy another copy for one of my family members soon. The book inspires you to venture out and explore, and reminds you that even in this era of Google Earth and Twitter there is plenty of mystery left out there that's waiting to be stumbled upon.
Top reviews from other countries
Earlier this year I started visiting the website Atlas Obscura which is a rich wonder of strange and wonderful places from across the globe, places that are abandoned, overlooked or just plane dangerous. This book brings together some of the best.
Split in to the different areas of the world, this beautiful book (quick note here I did get approved for a NetGalley copy but it looked so nice I treated myself to a physical hardback which is lovely to look at) takes us on tour through some of the most dangerous countries in the world (North Korea, Syria Iraq) via Europe and the US and everywhere in between, it takes us across grass bridges in Peru, to voodoo museums in New Orleans, abandoned islands in Japan and closer to my own home a bridge in Scotland that has the highest rate of dog suicides.
This is an exquisite book that shows the more interesting part of the world that those mainstream guidebooks don't go near, which is a shame as some of these places deserve a visit.
I been very fortunate and have visited well over 70 countries; but have visited 1, just 1, of the places covered by the book.
It is beautifully presented, and shows, what a big diverse, and fascinating world there out there to explore
I guess my only criticism is some regions get move coverage than others, with some getting barely anything at all, despite having plenty of possible locations. That said, the book is already pretty big.