Synopses & Reviews
Enter a new dimension — the world as it is truly perceived by other animals — from the Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times bestselling author of I Contain Multitudes.
"A stunning achievement, steeped in science but suffused with magic." Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Gene
The Earth teems with sights and textures, sounds and vibrations, smells and tastes, electric and magnetic fields. But every kind of animal, including humans, is enclosed within its own unique sensory bubble, perceiving but a tiny sliver of our immense world.
In An Immense World, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist Ed Yong coaxes us beyond the confines of our own senses, allowing us to perceive the skeins of scent, waves of electromagnetism, and pulses of pressure that surround us. We encounter beetles that are drawn to fires, turtles that can track the Earth's magnetic fields, fish that fill rivers with electrical messages, and even humans who wield sonar like bats. We discover that a crocodile's scaly face is as sensitive as a lover's fingertips, that the eyes of a giant squid evolved to see sparkling whales, that plants thrum with the inaudible songs of courting bugs, and that even simple scallops have complex vision. We learn what bees see in flowers, what songbirds hear in their tunes, and what dogs smell on the street. We listen to stories of pivotal discoveries in the field, while looking ahead at the many mysteries that remain unsolved.
Funny, rigorous, and suffused with the joy of discovery, An Immense World takes us on what Marcel Proust called "the only true voyage…not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes."
"There is almost no writer I admire as much as I do Ed Yong. He's an extraordinary reporter and a writer of such grace that his work seems effortless. An Immense World is a journal of discovery and animal magic, and a sensory exploration that is a joy to read." Susan Orlean, author of On Animals
" An Immense World is an expansive, constantly revelatory exploration of the biosphere's sensorium, from the rigidly pheromonic behavioral programming of ants to the constant subsonic conversations of elephants. Ed Yong is my favorite contemporary science writer." William Gibson, author of Agency
"A powerful and immersive deep dive into the perceptual lives of other organisms — and a persuasive case for more empathy and understanding of the complexity, sophistication, and sheer riotous joy of the nonhuman world — it's an instant classic." Jeff VanderMeer, author of Authority
About the Author
Ed Yong is a Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer on the staff of The Atlantic, where he also won the George Polk Award for science reporting, among other honors. His first book, I Contain Multitudes, was a New York Times bestseller and won numerous awards. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, National Geographic, Wired, The New York Times, Scientific American, and more. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Liz Neeley, and their corgi, Typo.