Hey, welcome to discover.earth.
This web app has its origins in a pseudo-psychedelic experience that made me realise that there are radically different ways of seeing the world.
For an incredible few hours, everywhere I looked there was something with unfathomable complexity that I’d never noticed before.
Every leaf was a miracle, coordinating millions of cells in a delicate chemical mechanism more complex than anything we’ve ever engineered, despite being made out of just dirt and air.
On the ground a line of ants strolled past, like a miniature civilization going about its business right under my feet.
Above my head the atmosphere rolled over the city landscape like an endless ocean made out of gas.
I was raptured with wonder from every single aspect of the world. I later found a quote that resonated with me down to my bones:
“The proper response to reality is astonishment.”
– Terence McKenna
I was determined to understand this new perspective, and to build something that could approximate it day-to-day.
I’ve always loved science and saw it as one of our best gateways to understanding the universe. So I made the Big Ideas Network, a blog that simply explains the theories in science that reveal the most about our complex world.
I soon that it appealed to the rational, problem-solving part of my brain. It told people about the wonders of the cosmos, but it didn’t show them.
So I followed it up with Didn’t Know That Existed, a short blog about the hidden and incredible animals, places, and things that exist in our world. It tries to capture the sense of wonder that an old-time explorer might have felt when discovering some new animal or artifact unknown to his civilisation.
discover.earth became the feed that tied them together, and mixed them with content from across the internet through an app and community. Each day’s content is hand picked by a small team of moderators.
It should tick a lot of boxes in showing you the incredible wonder and mystery that’s hidden in our world, both under your feet and in places you’ve never been.
P.S. If you’re curious about the pseudo-psychedelic experience that started it all, check out the Japanese concepts Yūgen and Kenshō, Aldous Huxley’s Mind at Large, Stanislaf Grov’s Holotrophic State, and the essay The Last Messiah.
Love you guys.