Blog Profile / Atlas Obscura

Filed Under:Lifestyle / Travel
Posts on Regator:15593
Posts / Week:34.8
Archived Since:June 22, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Putting Ancient Recipes on the Plate

Today the bread is crisped black as charcoal, and run through with cracks. A baker had kneaded and shaped the squat, round loaf, known as a panis quadratus, and slid it into an oven one day in A.D. 79, in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. Show More Summary

An Anthropologist Explains Why We Want to Eat Tide Pods

It started as a joke. Tide Pods, the internet agreed, look delicious. After all, the packets of laundry soap come in bright rainbow shades. Their film is shiny, and the pods are round, almost dumpling-like. Despite their unnatural coloring and eerie perfection, they look good enough to eat. Show More Summary

Vajont Dam in Longarone, Italy

At the time it was built, the Vajont Dam was the tallest in the world. Constructed in the late 1950s to boost Italy’s postwar economy, the roughly 850-foot-tall structure was an impressive feat of engineering. But its initial glory took...Show More Summary

The Painstaking Process Behind Those Wild WWI Naval Paint Jobs

There were plenty of new, sometimes bizarre opportunities for camouflage in World War I: searchlights disguised as shrubbery, lookouts concealed as trees, and the Women's Reserve Camouflage Corps dressed in suits that blended seamlessly into the landscape. Show More Summary

Jazz and Classical Pianists Use Their Brains Differently

You’ve probably heard a friend describe him or herself as “left-brained” or “right-brained.” Left-brained and right-brained are popular classifications, like Type-A or Type-B, for people who identify as a creative or logical thinker....Show More Summary

World's Largest Air-Insulated Van de Graaff Generator in Boston, Massachusetts

A fascinating feature at the Boston Museum of Science gives audiences an up-close look at energy in action. Two pillars topped with enormous, hollow aluminium orbs flash an almost sinister glow, making them seem better suited to a mad scientist’s lair. Show More Summary

Found: New Hope for an Endangered Desert Flower

Ackaringa Hills, a smattering of mesas part of South Australia's outback known as the Painted Desert—for the red, brown and yellow bands of its formations—is home to many rare plant species as well as the perentie, Australia's largest...Show More Summary

Snow Cream

Many American Southerners have fond childhood memories of snow. The sight of falling flakes meant a rare day of sledding, snowball fights, and building snowmen in the otherwise warm climate. It also meant their mothers or grandmothers...Show More Summary

World's Fastest Pop Machine in Lerna, Illinois

Sitting outside an old welding shop, surrounded by dozens of lawn mowers, is a faded orange soda machine with an unexpected claim to fame. Though it looks like the weathered grandparent of newer, snazzier snack machines, it’ll serveShow More Summary

Ludbreg's 'Center of the World' in Ludbreg, Croatia

For the people of a small Croatian town, the world really does revolve around them. At least, that's what their town's nickname as the "Center of the World" will have them believe. Ludbreg earned its moniker after a 19th-century Swiss doctor who, while playing around with a map, decided to draw concentric circles with the town as its center. Show More Summary

Wishlist: A Compelling Appreciation of Old-School Hard Work

Cræft : An Inquiry Into the Origins and True Meaning of Traditional Crafts $17.67, Amazon In his mid-twenties, Alexander Langlands did what many listless and overconfident urbanites dream about: He beat a path to a remote cottage and took up stewardship of the land. Show More Summary

Hijron ka Khanqah in New Delhi, India

Hidden behind a green gate wedged within a row of bustling businesses is a spiritual sanctuary. There, rows of simple tombs protrude from the earth, weathered with age. They lie before an ornate, green-and-white checkered structure, lined up as queueing to pay their respects. Show More Summary

Ben E. Clement Mineral Museum in Marion, Kentucky

A rock lover's dream, this little-known museum is home to thousands of glittering specimens, many coming from the Illinois-Kentucky Fluorspar Mining district, which is renowned for its unique minerals. The mineral museum includes one...Show More Summary

Southern Italians Are Tussling Over Tomatoes

The Twitter page "Italians Mad at Food" displays an incensed comment by one Riccardo Mallardo as its background. "It looks like I'm taking food too seriously," he writes, "but in reality it's you not taking it seriously enough." Italians...Show More Summary


It's a Saturday night in Seoul, and seafood lovers are prowling the stalls of the bustling, brightly lit Noryangjin Fish Market looking for dinner. Some might settle on sannakji, a traditional Korean dish, and take a bag of small, fresh octopus to the restaurants upstairs. Show More Summary

Workhouse Prison Museum in Lorton, Virginia

Located just south of Washington, D.C., this former workhouse prison by the Occoquan River was opened in 1910, commissioned by President Theodore Roosevelt to be more humane than its contemporary prisons. Yet the most notable chapter...Show More Summary

The Power of Circles in Food and Drink

Perhaps you went out for dinner this week. If you did, you undoubtedly remember what you ate. But do you remember the shape of the plate? Are you telling friends that it was round or square? A plate’s shape might be a subliminal factor in your eating experience, but it’s a significant one. Show More Summary

Swizzle Sticks

The verb "to swizzle" is simply defined as "to stir (a drink) with a swizzle stick." But what is a swizzle stick, exactly? Some might imagine a plastic cocktail stirrer topped with figures of exotic flora or fauna, while others think of a polished wooden stick encrusted with colored rock sugar. But those are mere imposters. Show More Summary

Why Brigham Young University Had a Secret Coca-Cola Vending Machine

There’s a joke in the Mormon community that requires a bit of translation for outsiders. Here goes: “How do you tell the difference between a good Mormon and a bad Mormon?” The answer? “By the temperature of their caffeine.” It’s often claimed that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prohibits their members from consuming caffeine. Show More Summary

Tankardstown Engine House in Bunmahon, Ireland

Ireland is known for its stunning coastlines, where craggy cliffs dip into the wind-whipped waters far below. The Copper Coast, which wraps around County Waterford, offers a particularly fascinating blend of geological beauty and mining...Show More Summary

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