Edward Malone was a journalist for the Daily Gazette. He loved and wanted to marry Gladys Hungerton. But she refused her proposal as she wanted to marry a man who had faced danger. To win her love, Edward approached his editor, McArdle, and asked him to send him on an adventurous mission.
McArdle sent him to interview Professor George Challenger, who was a luminous zoologist. The professor had recently returned from a study trip in South America. He claimed to have discovered living dinosaurs there. None believed him. Professor Challenger hated journalists, so Edward posed as a science student to interview him.
During the interview, Challenger soon discovered that Edward was a journalist. Nonetheless, Edward quickly gained his trust and Challenger told him an interesting story. On his trip to South America, he found a drawing of a dinosaur on a high plateau in a dying man’s bag. He found that plateau, but could not climb it. Nevertheless, he took a photograph of the dinosaur. When the dinosaur attacked him, he shot it and brought its bone back home. Edward believed what the Professor told him.
Challenger invited Edward to a conference at the Zoological Institute. The speaker lectured on the extinction of dinosaurs. But Challenger claimed that dinosaurs were still alive in South America. Everyone laughed at him. A committee was formed to be sent to South America to find out the truth. Professor Summerlee wanted to go in order to prove that Challenger was wrong. Lord John Roxton knew the Amazon forests well. Edward wanted to prove to Gladys that he was a man of adventure.
All the three set out for the journey. Challenger had given them the envelope and asked them to open it at a certain time of the day. When the three men reached Manaos, in Brazil, they were suddenly joined by Challenger. He had hired a boat and two Indian guides. All the three men agreed to his joining them because he was the only one who knew the way to the plateau.
Zamba, a native from the area, accompanied them. With his help and guidance, the men reached deep into the Amazon forests. They made their way first by boat, then in small canoes. Lastly, they covered the last part on foot. Finally, they reached the area just below the plateau.
One night, while they explored the plateau, they roasted an animal for their dinner. Suddenly, large Pterodactyls came down from the sky and took away the animal. Summerlee had to admit that Challenger was true. The two men became friends.
The men searched for many days for a way up to the cliffs. But they did not succeed. One day, looking for the way, they entered the cave. As soon as they entered the cave, big rocks fell on them. They were stuck.
Finally, Challenger found a solution. He asked Edward to cut down a tall tree on a height opposite the plateau. They used the tree as a bridge between the plateau and the peak. But as soon as they reached the other side, the tree fell into an abyss. They were stuck in the Lost World. Zamba was left at their camp to guard the belongings.
The next few days were horrifying. Edward and Summerlee were bitten by Pterodactyls. They fell ill for a short while. Their camp was taken over by an unknown creature. The men saw many kinds of dinosaurs. Some of the larger dinosaurs attacked and killed the smaller ones.
All the men decided that it was too dangerous to stay on the plateau. Summerlee was now adamant that their energy should be directed to find a way off the island. Before leaving, they decided to make a map of the area. Edward climbed up a tree. Among the trees he saw a face, half-ape, half-human, looking cruelly at him. But it suddenly disappeared
From the top of the tree, Edward saw a large lake at a distance. He named it Lake Gladys. That night, he went out for a walk alone to the lake. When he came back, a Tyrannosaurus chased him and he fell into a deep hole. Edward managed to climb out and returned safely to the camp. But his friends were not there at the camp.
At midnight, Roxton appeared, looking awful. He told Edward that ape-men captured their friends and some Indians. One of them was Motosawi. Edward recalled the face he saw in the tree. He and Roxton took their rifles, went to the village and shot some of the ape-men. They rescued their companions. They also helped the Indians defeat all the other ape-men in a battle.
The Indians were friendly to the men but they didn’t help them leave. They believed that the adventurers brought good luck for them. Soon, Motosawi visited them and gave them a piece of paper. It looked like a map that showed an exit through a cave. With the help of that map, they left the plateau and returned to the place where Zamba was waiting for them.
When they came back to London, the adventurers told their story in a conference at the Zoological Institute. Challenger opened a bag and a baby Pterodactyl came out. People were afraid and screamed loudly. The Pterodactyl got frightened and it flew out of the hall through an open window. Everybody cheered. They accepted Challenger’s story as true!
Edward visited Gladys and came to know that she was married to an ordinary clerk. Roxton announced that he was going to make another trip to the Lost World. Edward decided to go with him.