An Immense World

An Immense World

How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us (THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER)


Brought to you by Penguin.

'Wonderful, mind-broadening... a journey to alternative realities as extraordinary as any you'll find in science fiction' - The Times, Book of the Week

Humans have three or four colour-detecting cones in their retinas. Mantis shrimp have 16. In fact, their eyes seem to have more in common with satellite technology than with biological vision as we currently understand it. They have evolved to track movement with an acuity no other species can match by processing raw information; they may not 'see', in the human sense, at all.

Marine molluscs called chitons have eyes which are made of stone. Scorpions appear to see with their entire bodies. It isn't only vision that differs from species to species - some animals also have senses we lack entirely. Knifefish navigate by electrical charge.

An Immense World will take us on an insider's tour of the natural world by describing the biology, physics and chemistry animals use to perceive it. We may lack some of their senses, but our own super-sense lies in our ability to understand theirs. And in the face of the largest extinction event since the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, our only hope of saving other species is bound up with our ability to see what they see, and feel what they feel.

© Ed Yong 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022


  • Standing out even during a recent golden age of nature writing, Ed Yong dazzles with a deeply considered exploration of the many modes of sensory perception that life has evolved to navigate the world, written with exhilarating freshness
    Winner of 2023 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction

About the author

Ed Yong

Ed Yong is a Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist who reports for The Atlantic. His work has also featured in National Geographic, the New Yorker, Wired, Nature, New Scientist, Scientific American, and many other publications. His first book, I Contain Multitudes, was a New York Times bestseller, and was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Prize. Ed's TED talk on mind-controlling parasites has been watched by over 1.5 million people.

You can find him on Twitter at @edyong209

Ed Yong's first book, I Contain Multitudes, about the amazing partnerships between microbes and animals, was shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize and the Wellcome Book Prize. It was a New York Times bestseller. He is a science writer on the staff of The Atlantic, where he won the Pulitzer Prize in explanatory journalism for his coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the George Polk Award for science reporting, among other honours. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, National Geographic, Wired, The New York Times, Scientific American, and more. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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