Exotica, Curiosa, Crankery, Hoaxes, Cultural & Intellectual Arcana:
Selected Web Guide & Bibliography

Compiled by Ralph Dumain

Brain Pickings – An inventory of the meaningful life by Maria Popova

The Public Domain Review

Athanasius, Underground

From India to the Planet Mars (1900) by Théodore Flournoy

Lost libraries by Claire Preston

Musaeum Clausum by Thomas Browne (1684)

The Mysteries of Nature and Art by Julie Gardham

Stories of a Hollow Earth by Peter Fitting

Paradise Found, the Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole – a Study of the Primitive World by William Fairfield Warren (1885)

Trüth, beaüty, and Volapük by Arika Okrent

Ernst Haeckel and the Unity of Culture by Mario A. Di Gregorio

France in the Year 2000

Aspiring to a Higher Plane by Ian Stewart

On Benjamin’s Public (Oeuvre) by Anca Pusca

Paul Collins: The Literary Detective

The Literary Detective (blog)

Weekend Stubble (old blog, superseded)

Boing Boing

The Athanasius Kircher Society: "all things wondrous, curious, and esoteric" by Mark Frauenfelder, February 9, 2006

The Athanasius Kircher Society Resurfaces

Athanasius Kircher Society YouTube videos

Athanasius Kircher - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kircherianum Virtuale

Atlas Obscura | Curious and Wondrous Travel Destinations

Wunderkammern [dead link]

Kunst- und Wunderkammern, Kunstkammer, Wunderkammer

wwwunderkammer by Carla Gannis | Sedition

Cabinet of Wonders

Leibniz’s Funny Thought
Jonathan Gray, 30 August, 2009

For Christ's Sake, Who'll Help Me Out of this Skin!?
Justin E. H. Smith, 3 Quarks Daily, June 23, 2008

The Museum of Interesting Things

Secret Speakeasy

Curious Expeditions

Museum of Hoaxes

Res Obscura (Blog)

Oddity Central

LILEKS (James) :: Institute of Official Cheer

The Museum Of Jurassic Technology

American Visionary Art Museum

The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA)

The Best in Heritage
(Annual survey of awarded museum, heritage and conservation projects)

Museum of Broken Relationships

The Ueless Web


Afrofuturism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Socialism and Democracy, # 42 (Volume 20, No. 3): Socialism And Social Critique In Science Fiction [Science fiction + Afrofuturism]

Flying Saucers Are Real! The US Navy, Unidentified Flying Objects, and the National Security State by Robert P. Horstemeier

Fictional country - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Forgeries Bibliography by Douglas Adams

Faking Literature: the Bibliography by Ken Ruthven (Jacket 17 — June 2002 | # 17)

Faking Literature (pp. 1-24) by Ken Ruthven

Fakery, The Imaginary Museum (blog), October 24, 2009

Two Discoveries, by Kevin O'Neill, MOSTLY (NOT) ON MCSWEENEY'S! blog, July 21, 2009

Interesting for bibliophiles, connoisseurs of curiosa, fans of Jorge Luis Borges (with a quote from R. Dumain on Borges)

The Hall of Ma'at
(Weighing the Evidence for Alternative History)

Internet Sacred Text Archive

Earth Mysteries

Symzonia; Voyage of Discovery (1820) by Adam Seaborn

The UFO Files


From India to the Planet Mars (1900) by Théodore Flournoy; tr. Daniel B. Vermilye

Utopia and Dystopia

John C. Symmes' Hollow Earth Writings

The Hollow Earth: Fact or Fiction? (illustration) @ Symzonia.com

Mundus Subterraneus (blog)
A bibliography of literature on the Hollow Earth, subterr, anean worlds, worlds beyond the poles, the Secret World, the centre of the Earth, the earth's interior, the hollow globe, Symzonia, Geo-Kosmos and the cellular kosmology.

Etidorhpa and Symzonia on Josh Reeves Show (audio)

The Hollow Earth (blog)

The Symzonia Review

Magonia Archive (UFO lore. 99 issues: 1970-2009)

Flournoy’s Complaint by Terry Castle, with response by Sonu Shamdasani
London Review of Books, Vol. 18 No. 10 · 23 May 1996, pp. 3-7

Speaking Martian by Daniel Rosenberg
Cabinet, Issue 1, Invented Languages, Winter 2000/01

The New Psalmanazar (blog)


The Great Moon Hoax of 1835 By R. J. Brown

The 1835 Great Moon Hoax (Odd History) (video)

Moon Walk 1835: Was Neil Armstrong Really the First Man on the Moon? by Richard Adams Locke, edited by C. W. Tazewell

Changing The Times the Alternate History eZine

Ramblings and Musings (blog)


Playing History

Playing With Technology in History
April 29-30, 2010, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada


Voynich Manuscript Mailing List

On this site:

To breake a little wind, poem by Sir Thomas More

Beyond Deduction and Induction: Towards Perfect Truth According to Edgar Allen Poe

Definition of ’Pataphysics by Alfred Jarry

Richard Wright’s Outsider, Negroes & Flying Saucers

Passport to Magonia (Contents & Preface, 1969) by Jacques Vallee

Surrationalism (on blog)

Alfred Jarry’s “How to Construct a Time Machine”: A Web Guide

Edward Page Mitchell (1852-1927), Science Fiction Pioneer: Time Travel, Hegel, and More

Eugène Mouton: 19th Century Science Fiction Pioneer

Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau: El anacronópete — The First Time Machine

«Le maître du temps» par Giuseppe Lipparini

Science Humor & Parody: Select Bibliography

Science Fiction & Utopia Research Resources: A Selective Work in Progress

Mathematical Fiction & Related Works: A Guide

Martin Gardner, Mathematical Games, & the Fourth Dimension

Black Music & the American Surrealists: A Bibliography

Jorge Luis Borges: Selected Study Materials on the Web

Philosophical and Universal Languages, 1600-1800, and Related Themes: Selected Bibliography

Intellectual Life in Society, Conventional and Unconventional: A Bibliography in Progress

External Links (various)

My blogs:

Reason & Society

Jacques Vallee
Martin Gardner


Patafiziko (’Pataphysics)
Paul Collins


Borges, Jorge Luis. The Book of Imaginary Beings, with Margarita Guerrero; rev., enl., and translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni in collaboration with the author. New York: Dutton, 1969.

______________. The Book of Imaginary Beings, with Margarita Guerrero; translated by Andrew Hurley; illustrated by Peter Sís. New York: Viking, 2005.

Bourke, John G. The Portable Scatalog: Excerpts from Scatalogic Rites of All Nations, a Dissertation upon the Employment of Excrementitious Remedial Agents in Religion, Therapeutics, Divination, Witchcraft, Love-Philters, etc., in All Parts of the Globe; edited and with an introduction by Louis P. Kaplan; foreword by Sigmund Freud. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1994.

Bourke, Captain John G. Scatalogic Rites of All Nations: a Dissertation upon the Employment of Excrementitious Remedial Agents in Religion, Therapeutics, Divination, Witchcraft, Love-Philters, etc., in All Parts of the Globe: Based upon Original Notes and Personal Observation, and upon Compilation from One Thousand Authorities. Washington, DC: W. H. Lowdermilk & Co., 1891.

Law and Ordure: Scatalogic Rites of All Nations (1891) by Hunter Dukes (The Public Domain Review).

Collins, Paul. Banvard's Folly: Tales of Renowned Obscurity, Famous Anonymity, and Rotten Luck. New York: Picador USA, 2001. Publisher description.

Fritze, Ronald H. Invented Knowledge: False History, Fake Science and Pseudo-religions. London: Reaktion Books, 2009.

Gardner, Martin. Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science. New York, Dover Publications, 1957. (Revised & expanded edition of In the Name of Science, 1952.)

Henry, Victor. Antinomies linguistiques (Le langage martien). Paris: Félix Alcan, 1896. Downloadable.

Manguel, Alberto; Guadalupi, Gianni. The Dictionary of Imaginary Places, illustrated by Graham Greenfield,with additional illustrations by Eric Beddows, maps and charts by James Cook. Newly updated and expanded. New York: Harcourt Brace, 2000.

Poe, Edgar Allan. The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Harold Beaver. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1976. See also Beyond Deduction and Induction: Towards Perfect Truth According to Edgar Allan Poe.

Ruthven, K. K. Faking Literature. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Stableford, Brian The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places, illustrations by Jeff White. New York: Wonderland Press, 1999.

Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence, edited by Etzel Cardeña, Steven Jay Lynn, & Stanley Krippner. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2000.

Yaguello, Marina. Lunatic Lovers of Language: Imaginary Languages and Their Inventors; translated by Catherine Slater. (Fous du langage) London: Athlone Press; Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1991.


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Uploaded 18 November 2010
Last update 9 March 2024
Previous update 4 June 2023

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