This magazine caught my eye on the newsstand this week and appealed to me immediately. First, the cover has a picture of the moai (statues) on the hill that approaches Rano Rarako Crater on Easter Island where I visited just over two years ago as a volunteer working with archaeologist Sonia Cardinali. Second, the cover indicated that it would be “unearthing” ancient civilizations, something in which I’ve developed quite an interest. In small print down beside the bar code, it says this is a “reissue of a National Geographic Favourite”. I couldn’t wait to get home and begin looking through it.
Civilizations is the first section in this book filled with gorgeous photos. From Palenque’s Maya temples, to Stonehenge, the Nasca lines, Genghis Khan’s tomb to Easter Island (Rapa Nui), and more, the photos are only the beginning. What is the meaning of the Carnac Stones? How did the ancient Egyptians build the Great Pyramid? Who were the Tarim Mummies? What is known is here; what is unknown is admitted. But all of it is immensely interesting. The first 25 greatest mysteries are all to do with ancient civilizations.
The second section is to do with Religion, Myth, and the Supernatural. Fifteen questions from what happened to the ten lost tribes of Israel to where is the holy grail, to how old is the shroud of Turin. Questions of the supernatural about UFOs, the Roswell incident, and the Bermuda Triangle. There is something for everyone in this section.
The next 21 questions have to do with the Living World have to do with mysteries of animal life, animals beneath the sea, and human questions about phantom limbs, dreams, hiccups, cancer, aging, and the afterlife.
From here, the book examines questions about Natural Forces: earthquakes, dark matter, cosmic rays, Earth’s hum, rogue waves, and the Eye of the Sahara to name a few. Have you ever considered that time travel may be possible? Or have you imagined what might be causing that annoying hum in New Mexico? Then this section will interest you for sure.
The last 14 questions are about Vanishings. Are you curious about what happened to the City of Helike or Atlantis? What about the crew of the Mary Celeste? Did the Grand Duchess Anastasia escape the fate of the rest of her family? Will we ever find out what happened to Amelia Earhart? Or the lighthouse keepers of Eilean Mor? So many mysterious, unexplained disappearances!
There is a theory about the growth of world knowledge. During the 20th century, it changed from linear to exponential growth.
Buckminster Fuller created the “Knowledge Doubling Curve”; he noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today things are not as simple as different types of knowledge have different rates of growth. For example, nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every two years and clinical knowledge every 18 months. But on average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. According to IBM, the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours.
But there are still questions remaining that have yet to be revealed. Enjoy this extremely colourful and informative edition released by Time, Inc. * * * * *