Urban Legends from Space: The Biggest Myths About Space Demystified

Urban Legends from Space: The Biggest Myths About Space Demystified by Bob King dealt not only with debunking the myths, but also proving certain mysteries to be true. The book was divided into four subject headings: the Earth; the moon; Planets, Comets and Asteroids; and the Sun, Stars and Space. The classic myths were addressed, such as whether or not the Great Wall of China can be seen from space, and the big one that I am embarrassed my university-educated brother is convinced of: that the moon landings were all hoaxed. I agree with King when he wrote:

“I’m often surprised how quickly normally rational people will jump to the wildest conclusions to explain an ‘anomaly’ before considering a simpler, more likely explanation.”

King used science supplemented by diagrams and photos to prove or disprove his points and did it all in three or four pages for each myth. He did not give much space to the conspiracy theorists. I do not have a scientific background yet found his explanations easy to follow. Nevertheless I am the type of reader who tries to understand thoroughly what I am reading before I turn the page and there were at least two chapters I decided to reread because I felt I did not grasp the scientific theory the first time around. I learned about some far-out myths and had a chuckle at some chapter titles such as “We Found Bigfoot on Mars”, “The Earth is Flat”, “You Can Buy Land on the Moon”, “Black Holes Suck” and “Galaxies Are So Far Away They Might Not Even Be There Anymore”.

The advantage of a book like this is that the reader can race through it, always finding the time to squeeze in one more myth. The disadvantage, which I experienced each time I picked up the book, is subject headings notwithstanding, there was no sense of continuity among myths and I could only read a set number of pages at a time before I started to feel drowsy. That said, at 220 pages I still managed to finish this within four days.

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