I’ve been meaning to post more frequent book recommendations, and Alastair Bonnett’s Unruly Places has finally given me the push I needed! The book is a collection of short essays on strange, forgotten and mysterious places and spaces. Each is intriguing, but rather than serving as a tourist guide of locales you can–or would even want to–visit, the places more often provide a way of thinking differently about the world. Each location is covered in around five pages, making for an easy read, and leaving you with fascinating tidbits to share in conversation.
They’re also a great jumping-off point for further research, so I wanted to share a couple of the places that inspired me open up Google image search:
You might remember hearing about Sandy Island in the news a couple years back. First mapped in late 1700s, this small island off the coast of Australia remarkably remained on maps until 2012, when a surveying ship passed by and “undiscovered” it!
It’s likely that the island was simply a mirage that made it onto a succession of maps, surviving into the digital age, when the map data served as a building block for Google maps, among many others. That’s not to say that many people didn’t already have doubts, but Sandy Island’s long reign is a testament to the mysteries of the ocean.
Very far off the beaten tourist path is the “Archaeological Park of Sicilian Incompletion,” a crumbling collection of unfinished public projects in Giarre, Italy. The theatrical name was devised by an international artist’s collective, which envisions the modern ruins as “a kind of open-air museum,” going so far as to create a map and guidebook to the half-completed structures.