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In theory, extremes are rarities. At any given moment, there can only be one of each superlative—smallest, tallest, fastest, farthest, deepest, darkest, brightest—but, as the saying goes, records are meant to be broken. The indivisible atom was split. Infinity has been proven to come in many sizes and shapes. An extreme is a record of limit, but also a series, a narrative of revision. It is never singular, a datum. As psychonaut Terence McKenna was fond of saying, “the bigger you build the bonfire, the more darkness is revealed.”

Issue X of Territory is about these dualities and trade-offs. The pleasures and dangers of discovery. The exhilaration and violence of things being stretched beyond their limits. The surprise of learning how much life flourishes in even the most inhospitable conditions and the realization that the differences of this life—blindness in cave-dwellers, the toxic stomachs of scavengers—are evidence that extremes come with a price. It’s lonely at the top. But doctor, I am Pagliacci.

Consider these extremities and the unmapped territories beyond: the abyssopelagic zone, the Amazon, Atacama Desert, bathymetry, big data, Challenger Deep and the Mariana Trench, Craig Breedlove, The Dead Sea, Death Valley, deep space and time, durational art, epic poetry, epsilon (ε), the exosphere, extratone, extremism, extremities, extremophiles, Felix Baumgartner & Alan Eustace, the G.O.A.T., The Great Chilean Earthquake of 1960, The Guinness Book of World Records, heat waves, horror vacui, In the Realms of the Unreal, local and global extrema, Logistics (2012), Mount Everest, the Mount Tambora eruption of 1815, the North and South poles, The Omega Point, plenums and vacuums, Robert Wadlow & Zeng Jinlian, satiety, senior superlatives, sensory deprivation, static apnea, stylites, Tierra del Fuego, tomes, trace elements, transfinitude, ultramarathons, Victoria (2015), Vostok Station, Wilt Chamberlain, The X Games, xeriscaping, the Yangzi-Huai River floods of 1931, zeniths & nadirs.

Issue X will be published in April 2019. To learn how to contribute, read our submissions guidelines.