Blog Profile / Atlas Obscura

Filed Under:Lifestyle / Travel
Posts on Regator:13211
Posts / Week:31.3
Archived Since:June 22, 2009

Blog Post Archive

To Fix a California Dam, Engineers Are Putting a Giant Scale Model to the Test

It was a Sunday evening in February when residents of three counties in Northern California were ordered to evacuate their homes in the Feather River Basin. After heavy rainstorms doused the region, the Oroville Reservoir was at capacity, and excess water was sent out over the primary spillway and down the Feather River. Show More Summary

The Great Spring in Boston, Massachusetts

After the Puritans of England landed on the shores of Massachusetts in 1630, they had quite a hard time settling into their new home. They originally set up base in the area that is now Charlestown, but the poor water quality there led...Show More Summary

How a Group of '70s Radicals Tried (and Failed) to Invade Disneyland

Disneyland operates every day of the year, from 8:00 a.m. until midnight. The almost-always open gates are a point of pride for the theme park. It took a presidential assassination to force the park to close early for the first time in history in 1963. Show More Summary

The Trent Aegir in West Stockwith, England

The tidal bore (or large wave) on the River Severn in England is famous, but fewer people know of the Trent Aegir, the tidal bore on the River Trent that causes a wave that can rise up to five feet high and flows upstream. It's one of...Show More Summary

The Kampong in Miami, Florida

The National Tropical Botanical Garden consists of five gardens, but all are located in Hawaii, except one: The Kampong. Miami, the only major American city with a tropical monsoon climate, is the home of this remarkably beautiful horticultural...Show More Summary

The Memorial Honoring the Robot That Drowned Itself

On Monday, Steve, a bumbling robot rent-a-cop made headlines when he accidentally drowned himself in a fountain, to the delight of internet citizens. Now, Steve's got his own memorial, located, appropriately, on his former charging pad. This is the memorial for Steve the drowned security robot outside our office on his charging pad. Show More Summary

There's a Cheddar Theft Mystery in England

The Yeovil Show is an annual fair in southwest England that, if you're American, is a whole lot like one of the county fairs that happen every year across the United States. There are sheep, and dog agility contests, and a hot air balloon, and food, lots of food. Show More Summary

A Sea Cave in Indonesia Contains a 5,000-Year Record of Tsunamis

Earthquakes are incredibly capricious. New data, from a cave in Indonesia, confirm that, even in hindsight, we can't know with any precision when they'll happen, how strong they'll be, or what kind of tsunami they may produce. A team...Show More Summary

Loyalist St. Andrews in Saint Andrews, Canada

When the United States of America became independent from British rule, many were ecstatic. That "many" did not include the colonists who remained loyal to the British Crown. Finding themselves on the losing side of the war, these Loyalists felt out of place and unwelcome in the newly founded union, and looked for a place of refuge. Show More Summary

The 60-Mile 'Hail Scar' Left by a South Dakota Storm

Since the Middle Ages, farmers have wanted to prevent hail from falling on their fields. It's no minor problem—the storm-generated ice clumps cause hundreds of millions of dollars in crop damage every year. It was thought in medieval...Show More Summary

The 19th-Century Lithuanians Who Smuggled Books to Save Their Language

In 1899, a pair of smugglers were crossing the border between Lithuania and East Prussia. Clutching their packs, they lay on a bank along the Prussian part of the river Šešupe, and for hours they studied the movements of the guards on the other side. Show More Summary

A Kid Found a 1.2-Million-Year-Old Stegomastodon Fossil By Tripping Over It

Jude Sparks wasn’t looking for fossils; he was running around with his brothers on a desert walk. He wasn’t looking where he was going. He tripped. He had fallen over the fossilized bones of a creature that died at least 1.2 millionShow More Summary

A Parthenon of Banned Books, Built at a Former Book-Burning Site

In Kassel, Germany, the art exhibition documenta 14 is displaying a replica of the Greek Parthenon made of steel, plastic sheeting, and over 100,000 banned books. The Parthenon of Books, as the work is known, is built behind the Fridericianum museum, where Nazis burned some 2,000 books as part of their "Campaign against the Un-German Spirit" in 1933. Show More Summary

Yellowstone's Zone of Death in Yellowstone National Park, Idaho

The 50-square-mile stretch of Yellowstone National Park that spills over Idaho’s border is a legal no-man’s land. It’s an isolated spot, one devoid of roads or any permanent human inhabitants. It’s also missing legislation to prevent...Show More Summary

National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in Chicago, Illinois

From Rocky Marciano to Vince Lombardi to Joe DiMaggio, Italian Americans have left a lasting impact on American sports, and one museum in Chicago’s Little Italy commemorates the greatest of the greatest. At what must be one of the world’s...Show More Summary

Casselman River Bridge in Grantsville, Maryland

The builder of this lovely 19th century stone arch bridge expected it to fall at the opening ceremony. Instead, it has lasted more than 200 years. The Casselman River Bridge stands in Garrett County, Maryland, but its large arch and beautiful stone construction make it look like a medieval masterpiece. Show More Summary

The Cassidy Trail in Panguitch, Utah

Red Canyon in Utah's Dixie National Forest is dotted with gorgeous rock formations. The giant rocks jut out from the ground to form unique shapes due to a combination of frost, rain, and erosion from wind-blown grit. Pine trees growShow More Summary

The Abstract Beauty of One of the World's Harshest Climates

Humans are not built to withstand extreme heat: sunburn, heatstroke, dehydration. All indications are that heatwaves, of the kind that recently grounded flights in Arizona, damaged fisheries off Tasmania, and resulted in the highest temperature ever recorded, in Iran, are going to become more intense and frequent. Show More Summary

Mysterious, Yellow, Sponge-Like Globs Are Fouling French Beaches

Recently, on France's western coast, thousands of sponge-like balls have been appearing, strewn across 18 miles of beaches, from Boulogne-sur-Mer to Le Touquet. And no one seems to know where they are coming from. The balls, which are...Show More Summary

This Moving Light Fixture Mimics a Blooming Flower

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has on permanent display a light fixture that mimics a blooming plant. The installation, called Shylight, was designed in collaboration with artists and scientists in order to capture the process of nyctinasty—a circadian reaction to darkness that certain species of flowers (such as tulips and poppies) experience. Show More Summary

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