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Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, Ella Morton
anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, centre right, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, cosmic microwave background, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, double helix, East Village, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, horn antenna, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index card, Jacques de Vaucanson, Kowloon Walled City, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mutually assured destruction, phenotype, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Tunguska event, urban sprawl, Vesna Vulović, wikimedia commons, working poor
Chun’an, 95 miles (153 km) southwest of Hangzhou. Dive season is April to October, with best visibility from April to June. For equipment and companions, contact Big Blue, a dive facility in Shanghai that organizes group trips to Qiandao Lake. 29.615849 118.990803 HONG KONG Kowloon Walled City Park KOWLOON CITY, KOWLOON From 1945 to 1993, the tiny, windowless apartments of Kowloon Walled City were stacked 15 stories high, the buildings crammed together into a concrete cube. Crooked stairways wound their way down to narrow alleys lined with dirt and reeking of sour garbage. Sunrise and sunset were irrelevant—constant darkness shrouded the city’s labyrinthine passages, hiding misdeeds and enabling squalor.
With a peak of 33,000 inhabitants, or 111,450 per square mile, the city-within-a-city was one of the most densely populated areas in history. In 1987, the Hong Kong government finally decided to demolish Kowloon Walled City and replace it with a park. The enclave was torn down in 1994, revealing several relics from the original garrison, such as cannons and parts of the wall. These artifacts, as well as a scale model of the old, overstuffed village, are now on display at Kowloon Walled City Park, a collection of gardens that is as tranquil as the city was chaotic. Tung Tsing Road, Kowloon City. The park is a 15-minute walk from the Lok Fu Hong Kong MTR station. 22.33213 114.190329 A scale model of the dense, dangerous (and now demolished) walled city of Kowloon.
Peters, 20 Ruins of the MV Plassey, 14 Sacred City of Caral-Supe, 405 Santa Claus, 297 Sewell, 397 Spreepark, 45 Steetley Magnesite, 5 Steinart Hall, 372 Suakin, 194 Sunken City, 281 Umatilla Chemical Depot, 292 Uranium City, 264 Val-Jalbert Ghost Town, 274 Varosha Beach Resort, 51 White City Ruins, 281 see also Lost Cities and Towns SCIENCE MUSEUMS AND EXPERIMENTS Alchemy Museum, 78 American Computer Museum, 313 Birthplace of Tesla Museum and Memorial Center, 77 Boomeria, 287 California Science Center, 281 Centennial Bulb, 286 Dymaxion Chronofile, 279 Edison’s Last Breath, 328 Electronic Museum, 80 Ether Dome, 372 Gottfried Knoche’s Mummy Lab, 411 Griffith Observatory’s Tesla Coil, 281 Hessdalen AMS, 107 Holmdel Horn Antenna, 356 IceCube Research Station, 447 Instituto Butantan, 394 Integratron, 279 Mapimí Silent Zone, 417 Marconi National Historic Site, 268 Mark I, 372 Moore Lab of Zoology, 281 Musée des Arts et Métiers, 37 Nikola Tesla Museum, 94 Phone Booth on a Roof, 322 Pitch Drop Experiment, 232 Quiet Zone, 366 Reed College Research Reactor, 291 Sound Garden, 294 Wilhelm Reich Museum, 370 World’s Quietest Room, 329 SELF-BUILT CASTLES Bishop Castle, 298 Cano’s Castle, 299 Château Laroche, 333 Coral Castle, 299 Don Justo’s Self-Built Cathedral, 68 Moussa Castle, 120 Mystery Castle, 299 Palais Idéal, 38 Rubel Castle, 299 Solomon’s Castle, 299 Taródi Vár Castle, 80 Tower of Eben-Ezer, 30 STRANGE ARCHITECTURE Abita Mystery House, 346 Abuja Airplane House, 203 Amargosa Opera House and Hotel, 284–285 Arcosanti, 297 Arctic architecture, 262–263 Ateneo Grand Splendid, 383 Atomium, 30 Aurora Ice Museum, 377 Binoculars Building, 281 Blackfriars Playhouse, 351 Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 281 Bok Tower Gardens, 342 Boswell Embalming Bottle House, 260 Boulders of Monsanto, 66 Bridge to Nowhere, 243 Britannia Panopticon Music Hall, 20 Bruno Weber Skulpturenpark, 72 Carriolu Miniature Village, 40 Chan, 405 Chand Baori Stepwell, 132 Cigar Band House, 65 Clown Motel, 300 Concrete Parthenon, 351 Dans le Noir, 37 Discovery Hut, 447 Drottningholms Palace Theater, 110 Dunmore Pineapple, 20 Free Spirit Spheres, 259 Gbadolite, 207 Gold Pyramid House, 322 Greatstone Sound Mirrors, 8 Hobbiton, 240 House of Balls, 329 House of Evgeny Smolik, 92 House of Plastic Bottles, 386 House on the Rock, 334 Igloolik Research Station, 263 Infinite Corridor (MIThenge), 372 Karl Junker House, 45 Kowloon Walled City Park, 151 Kremsmunster Observatory, 25 Kruševo Makedonium, 83 Kyaiktiyo Balancing Pagoda, 177 Loretto Chapel Stairs, 305 Lumilinna Snow Castle, 102 Magic Mountain Hotel, 397 Maison Picassiette, 33 McElroy Octagon House, 287 Mini Taj Mahal, 128 Minimundus, 25 Mistake House, 321 La Mona, 418 Moonhole, 442 Mudhif Houses, 116 Nakasuk School, 263 Naucalpan, 417 New Lucky Restaurant, 132 Newgrange Mound, 15 Nördlingen, 41 Painted Village, 85 Palacio Barolo, 385 Paper House, 373 Passetto di Borgo, 58 Ponte City Apartments, 216 Pope Leo’s Bathroom, 57 President’s Room, 118 Quinta da Regaliera, 67 Radio City Music Hall’s Secret Apartment, 359 Rundetårn, 100 Ryugyong Hotel, 164–165 Salar de Uyuni, 388 Sam Kee Building, 258 Santa’s Workshop, 104 727 Fuselage Home, 421 Shackleton’s Hut, 449 Skellig Michael, 15 Solar Power Towers, 70 Solomon’s Castle, 299 Stiltsville, 340 Swallow’s Nest, 98 Tash Rabat, 137 Teatro Amazonas, 395 Tower of Eben-Ezer, 30 Trick Fountains of Hellbrunn Palace, 28 Upside-Down House, 83 Venetian Palace Diorama, 372 Watts Tower, 281 Wilson’s Stone Igloo, 447 Winchester Mystery House, 279 Wishbones of McSorley’s Old Ale House, 359 Wuppertal Suspension Railway, 46 see also Pyramids; Self-built Castles, Towers, and Homes STRANGE FLORA AND FAUNA Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, 123 Adak National Forest, 378 African Dream Root, 393 Archie the Giant Squid, 12–13 blue-ringed octopus, 228 box jellyfish, 228 Chocolate Hills, 178 coastal taipan, 229 Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat, 273 Colossal Squid, 244 Dzanga Bai, 206 eye worm, 154 Firefly Squid of Toyama Bay, 156–157 Franklin Park Zoo Bear Pens, 372 Grant Museum of Zoology, 10 Guinea worms, 154 gympie gympie, 229 hemlock, 4 Huachuma, 392 Huberta the Hippo, 216 Iboga, 393 Impaled Stork, 47 Jellyfish Lake, 248 Jigokudani Park, 160 Knight’s Spider Web Farm, 375 lake monsters, 368–369 Litchfield Termite Mounds, 234 loa loa, 154 Maasai Ostrich Farm, 210 Manú National Park, 405 Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, 417 Musk Ox Farm, 377 Narcisse Snake Orgy, 261 Pablo Escobar’s Hippos, 399 Pangolin Rehabilitation Center, 169 Pitcher Plants of Kinabalu, 176 Rat King, 38 Sacred Crocodile Pond, 199 Salvia divinorum, 392 Seneca White Deer, 360 Skunk Ape Research Headquarters, 341 Sloth Sanctuary, 422 Socotra Island, 124 stonefish, 228 Swimming Pigs, 426 Sydney funnel-web spider, 229 Synchronized Fireflies of Kampung Kuantan, 176 tapeworms, 154 Thousand-Year Rose, 44 Three-Century Labyrinth, 65 Tortoises of Aldabra, 222 Ueno Zoo Escaped Animal Drill, 155 University of Florida Bat Houses, 340 Vallée de Mai, 221 Victoria Amazonica, 395 Wallabies of Lambay, 17 Wichita Mountains Buffalo Herd, 317 Zoological Museum at Vietnam National University, 184 Zoological Museum (Bologna), 52 Zoological Museum (Cluj-Napoca), 86 see also Trees STRANGE TOWNS AND CITIES Auroville, 132 Castellfollit de la Roca, 70 Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, 402 Colonia Tovar, 410 Darra Adam Khel, 140 Dwarf Empire, 146 Fordlândia, 395 Fucking, Austria, 25 Ganvie, 196 Garbage City, 188 Giethoorn, 64 Hallstatt, 150 Kampong Ayer, 168 Kijong-dong, 163 Kingdom of Women, 146 Nova Cidade de Kilamba, 213 Oyotunji African Village, 350 PhinDeli Town, 318 Setenil de las Bodegas, 70 Villa Baviera, 397 Vulcan, 257 Walled City of Shibam, 124 Whittier, Alaska, 377 SUPERNATURAL Badlands Guardian, 258 Betty and Barney Hill Archive, 374 Cassadaga, 342 Child-Eater of Bern, 73 Devil’s Footprint, 41 Devils’ Museum, 83 Devil’s Tramping Ground, 348 Fairy Circles, 215 Gurdon Light, 339 Hook & Ladder 8, 359 International Cryptozoology Museum, 367 Lily Dale Assembly, 360 Marree Man, 234 Mary King’s Close, 20 Mumtaz Begum, 140 Musée de la Magic, 37 Museo de las Brujas, 70 Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, 7 Oregon Vortex, 289 Robert the Doll, 342 TAXIDERMY Agriculture Museum of Budapest, 81 August von Spiess Museum of Hunting, 87 Deyrolle Taxidermy, 34 Grip the Raven, 364 TEMPLES, CHURCHES, AND MONASTERIES Angelus Temple, 281 Astronomical Clock of Besançon Cathedral, 33 Beer Bottle Temple, 183 Cao Dai Holy See, 184 Cathedral of Junk, 308 Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 281 Chained Books of Hereford Cathedral, 5 Chapel Oak, 33 Chapel of the Snows, 447 Chicago Temple, 320 Church of St.
Idoru by William Gibson
Gibson William Idoru Idoru William Gibson Idoru Thanks Sogho Ishii, the Japanese director, introduced me to Kowloon Walled City via the photographs of Ryuji Miyamoto. It was Ishiisan's idea that we should make a science fiction movie there. We never did, but the Walled City continued to haunt me, though I knew no more about it than I could gather from Miyamoto's stunning images, which eventually provided most of the texture for the Bridge in my novel Virtual Light. Architect Ken Vineberg drew my attention to an article about the Walled City in Architectural Revieu~, where I first learned of City of Darkness, the splendid record assembled by Greg Girard and Ian Lambrot (Watermark, London, 1993).