When I was about to send my university applications, I was still deciding between science and journalism. I’ve followed the scientific path thinking that I can always shift to writing later, but it wouldn’t be possible the other way around. And I’ve always liked research too much to leave. Luckily, research, travelling and writing go pretty well together. All are about curiosity, exploring the world and sharing the observations.
Yesterday, I spotted The Lost World on my bookshelf and it made me think – has it become one of my favourite books because I’ve always secretly longed for an adventure or has the book contributed to me constantly having itchy feet? Probably both.
The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a science fiction taking place in the Victorian era at a place where the time stopped millions of years ago. It’s an adventurous journey of a young journalist (Edward Malone), an eccentric palaeontologist (Professor Challenger), an old sceptical scientist (Professor Summerlee) and a fearless hunter (Lord John Roxton).
They set on a journey to the wilderness of South America to find a world that miraculously survived isolated and is still inhabited by prehistoric animals and savages. As if just going to the jungle wasn’t exciting enough! I’ve realized that it’s since reading The Lost World that going to the Amazonian rainforest is on my bucket list.
I study woolly mammoths and very often I get questions about cloning a mammoth. People are really eager to resurrect creatures that they have only heard about. I’m not surprised that Doyle wanted to bring back the prehistoric world too. And the full cinema two weeks ago during the screening of Jurassic World proves that a hundred years after the publication of The Lost World, not much has changed.
“…for it is only when a man goes out into the world with the thought that there are heroisms all around him, and with the desire all alive in his heart to follow any which may come within sight of him, that he breaks away as I did from the life he knows, and ventures forth into the wonderful mystic twilight land where lie the great adventures and the great rewards.”
Have you read The Lost World or any other story that inspired you to travel and add a place to your bucket list?
Photos from: http://www.archive.org/details/lostworldbeingac00doylrich