Put 125 Years of Nat Geo’s Best Photos on Your Coffee Table

700 pages of "Wow," from cave paintings to Ibizan foam parties

November 20, 2017 9:00 am

You can fly around the world pretty quickly in 2017 — especially if you’ve got the coin.

For those of us who’d rather peruse it from the comfort of our sofas, though, there’s Around the World in 125 Years, a new series of books from Taschen released in partnership with National Geographic.

Taschen masterfully edited these books from Nat Geo’s enormous archives. So far, there are two volumes: Europe and Asia Oceania.

The images are stunning, spanning the sands of space and time from the Lascaux cave paintings to latter-day Ibiza’s frothy foam parties. Also included: babushka-wrapped heads in Russia’s Volgograd marketplace, the ruins of Petra, people hurling their naked bodies at one another at a Japanese festival, rows of worshipers in Jakarta’s Istiqlal Mosque and a polychromatic spiritual ceremony in Papua New Guinea.

around the world 125 years (6 images)

The photography, which evolves from black-and-white to autochrome to Kodachrome to digital, evokes Joseph Campbell’s teachings on the universality of myth-building, insofar as it serves as a living document of humanity’s collective need to communicate, unite and seek out answers regarding why we’re here.

Then, you can also just appreciate the books for their pictures, which are spread across 700+ XL pages.

You might need to think about a bigger coffee table while you’re at it.

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