Roads less traveled
New book explores the world’s hidden wonders
BY JOSHUA FOER
THINK ABOUT THE last time you felt a
sense of wonder—that sensation when the
world suddenly and unexpectedly reveals
itself to be stranger, more surprising and
more incredible than you had ever realized.
In 2009, Dylan Thuras and I launched a
atlasobscura.com, with the goal of
cataloging all of the curious and out-of-the-
way places in the world that evoke that sense
of wonder in us. Over the last seven years,
thousands of people have joined our collab-
orative project and expanded our sense of
what is possible in the world. Who would
have guessed there was a museum of famous
noses in Sweden, or a house made entirely of
newspaper outside of Boston, or an everlast-
ing lightning storm in Venezuela that rages
almost nonstop? Our book, Atlas Obscura: An
Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden
Wonders, represents the very best of what our
global community has unearthed.
Though the book may have the trappings
of a travel guide, it is, in truth, something else.
Dylan, Ella Morton and I envision Atlas
Obscura as a cabinet of curiosities that is
meant to inspire “wonderlust” as much as
wanderlust. In fact, many of the places in the
book are so out-of-the-way, so treacherously
situated or (in at least one case) so deep
beneath the surface, that few readers will ever
visit them. But here they are, sharing this
marvelously strange planet with us. C
Joshua Foer is a science journalist.
The Krusevo Makedonium
in Macedonia is dedicated to
the 1903 Ilinden uprising.
Beer Bottle Temple in Thailand’s Sisaket Province.
GETTY IMAGES / PATRIC AVENTURIER GAMMA-RAPHO
Members will find Atlas Obscura
(Item #1097389, available now)
in most Costco warehouses.