Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

THE WORLD’S GREAT WONDERS: How They were Made and Why They are Amazing by Jheni Osman

  • Written by  Mick Herron
  • Published in Books
THE WORLD’S GREAT WONDERS: How They were Made and Why They are Amazing by Jheni Osman
01 Jun
2014
There’s a school of thought that suggests that understanding how something came to be robs it of its wonder, the same way that a magic trick, once explained, ceases to impress

But for those of us with an enquiring mind, the ‘how this was done’ approach is a fascinating one, and Jheni Osman’s guide to the world’s great wonders, natural and otherwise, is full of pleasures.

Here, you’ll learn not only how the Skywalk over the Grand Canyon was built, but also how to make the Grand Canyon itself, should you have the time and resources at your disposal – alongside the information that three and a half Empire State Buildings could stand upright in the canyon at its deepest point, and that the Canyon itself would be ‘merely a small tributary’ in Mars’s Valles Marineris system.

Back on a human scale, Osman reveals that Stonehenge was constructed over a 1,500-year period, which puts Crossrail into perspective, and that the Great Pyramid of Giza, contrary to popular belief, was probably constructed by skilled labourers rather than slaves – a theory based on analysis of local living arrangements and ancient graffiti.

Much of what Osman shows us in The World’s Great Wonders underlines how strange and beautiful our planet is. A photograph of hot air balloons over Cappadocia is otherworldly, and a map of Peru’s Nazca lines – huge geoglyphs in the shapes of plants and animals, each made up of a single continuous line, created in the Nazca desert more than 1,000 years ago – pays testament to humanity’s inextinguishable desire to celebrate life.

This urge to create and participate in beauty is evident on every page, whether it’s explaining why divers travel the globe to explore the Great Blue Hole off the coast of Belize, or revealing how many elephants were involved in the construction of Angkor Wat. A book of wonders, indeed.

THE WORLD’S GREAT WONDERS: How They were Made and Why They are Amazing by Jheni Osman, Lonely Planet, £19.99

Subscribe and Save!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter today and get a FREE eBook collection!

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Books

by Rory O’Grady • The Conrad Press • £18.99 (hardback)

Books

by Penny Johnson • Melville House • £25 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Monisha Rajesh • Bloomsbury • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Jon Mathieu • Polity Press • £19.99 (hardback)

Books

by Matthieu Auzanneau • Chelsea Green Publishing • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Nancy Campbell • Scribnern • £14.99 (hardback)

Exhibitions

Paris is home to Europe’s largest science museum. Its latest…

Books

by Richard Wrangham • Profile Books  • £25 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Yasha Levine • Icon Books • £14.99 (paperback)

Books

by Matthew Carr • Hurst • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Seamus O’Brien • Kew Publishing • £40 (hardback)

Books

by Simon Jenkins • Viking • £25 (hardback)

Films

A harrowing and honest portrayal of the working life of…

Films

One man’s recreation of an epic 1930s survival experience deep…

Books

by Tom Harper • The British Library • £30 (hardback)

Books

by Susan Schulten • The British Library • £30 (hardback)

Books

by Ben & Marina Fogle • William Collins • £20 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Tim Flannery • Allen Lane • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Keith Wilson • £40 (hardback)