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‘Atlas Obscura’ Travel Book Reveals the World’s Hidden Wonders

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Deyrolle Taxidermy (Paul Léger)
Deyrolle Taxidermy (Paul Léger)

 

A new travel book, titled Atlas Obscura, introduces readers to travel destinations well off the beaten paths of commercial tourism.

Written by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton, the book isn’t a conventional travel guide so much as a catalog of discovery, wonder, and exploration, bringing 600 of the world’s most unusual curiosities to life with rock-solid travel reporting and lots of full-color photographs.

(Atlast Obscura)
(Atlast Obscura)

 

The Atlas Obscura team didn’t just focus on the usual assortment of temples, cathedrals, and touristy ruins; they dug deep, visiting all seven continents to find what has been kept secret by remote location, obscure subject matter, or simply lack of prior attention.
One of the more fascinating places featured in the book is the Park of Monsters, a 400-year-old Italian park filled with 20 stone monster sculptures commissioned by Pier Francesco Orsini.

(Alamy Stock Photo/REDA & CO)
(Alamy Stock Photo/REDA & CO)

 

There’s also the Waitomo Glowworm Caves in New Zealand, whose walls are illuminated by the eerie glow of Arachnocampa luminosa glowworms, which can only be found in that location.

(Martin Rietze)
(Martin Rietze)

 

One of the scariest entries in the book is the Door to Hell, in Turkmenistan. The site is a collapsed natural gas field that was purposely set on fire by geologists in 1971 to contain the crater’s methane gas output; it has burned continuously ever since.

(Alamy Stock Photo/Tim Whitby)
(Tim Whitby/Alamy Stock Photo)

To read about these and many more of the world’s hidden wonders, order a copy of Atlas Obscura online — it retails for $35.