A Map of Tarzan and the Lost Empire
That time the ape-man found an entire Roman province in a hidden valley
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
Published in 1912, Tarzan of the Apes was the first of 24 adventure books written by Edgar Rice Burroughs featuring the son of a British lord and lady raised by Great Apes in Africa. The protagonist’s English name is John Clayton, his title Lord Greystoke – but he’s better known by is ape-name Tarzan (‘Whiteskin’).
Tarzan meets and falls in love with the American Jane, with whom he leaves the jungle. They marry, live in England, raise a son Jack (ape-name: Korak) and eventually return to Africa to escape the hypocrisy of civilisation.
In Burroughs’ 12th Tarzan book, Tarzan and the Lost Empire (1928), the ape-man comes across a lost Roman province located in a secluded canyon on the African coast. This map is taken from the back of that book. It shows the canyon, and describes some features of the province in elementary Latin:
Here is some trivia you might not have known about Tarzan:
The biologist Jane Goodall cited Tarzan as a major influence on her childhood and subsequent career choice. She felt she would have been a much better wife for Tarzan than Jane, and fulfilled her lifelong dream when she was able to live among the gorillas, just like Tarzan did.
In the 1950s and 1960s, there existed a thriving industry of bootleg Tarzan adventures in Israel, in which the would sometimes take Israel’s side in the fight against the Arabs, especially Nasser’s Egypt. A parallel batch of pirated Tarzan stories in 1950s Lebanon and Syria showed Tarzan taking the Arab side against the fiendish Israelis.
In all, the Internet Movie Database lists 88 Tarzan movies between 1918 and 1999. The most famous Tarzan actor must be Johnny Weissmüller, who played the role from 1932 to 1948.
The Californian town of Tarzana was named after the character, in honour of one-time resident E.R. Burroughs.
The March 1959 issue of Man’s Adventure featured a story titled The Man Who Really Was… Tarzan, which claimed that Tarzan’s character was based on the real-life William Charles Mildin, 14th Earl of Streatham. This Earl was supposed to have lived among the apes from age 11 to 26, returning to England in 1883. The article is generally thought to be a hoax.
Strange Maps #54
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The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.
- Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
- The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
- Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.
Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
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