Magazine article Geographical

The World's Great Wonders: How They Were Made and Why They Are Amazing

Magazine article Geographical

The World's Great Wonders: How They Were Made and Why They Are Amazing

Article excerpt

THE WORLD'S GREAT WONDERS: How They were Made and Why They are Amazing

by Jheni Osman

Lonely Planet, hb, 19.99 [pounds sterling]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

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 Sky walk 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. …

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