Atlas Obscura

New wonders and curiosities added to the Atlas.

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Walt Kelly Studio in Waycross, Georgia

Visitors who successfully avoid Albert Alligator’s ravenous jaws while venturing into the recesses of Georgia’s famous swamp can pay homage to Walt Kelly and his cartoon creation Pogo at the Okefenokee Swamp Park. Inside the park’s Serpentarium, next to displays of live and stuffed bog beasties is Kelly's studio, where quagmire satire made history. ...

The Sandwich Scandal at the Heart of the World’s Greatest Golfing Event

As a veteran sports journalist, Scott Michaux has attended Super Bowls, World Series, NCAA tournaments, and just about every golf tournament under the sun. “The Masters is the best presented event in the history of sports,” he says. “You can’t argue that.” The Masters is one of the four major professional golf championships, where the world's top...

The Carnivore Paradise That Keeps Changing the Story of Human Evolution

To visit Dmanisi, one of the most important sites in the story of human evolution, head south and then west from the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, along a narrow highway crowded with delivery trucks. After an hour, turn onto a road that runs through ever-smaller villages. There, sheep clog the way, ignoring the shepherds, who cross the pavement back...

Epiphyte Tree in Mansfield, Connecticut

An epiphyte is any plant that lives on another plant rather than in the soil. A wide variety of unrelated flora has adapted to an epiphytic lifestyle, including ferns, cacti, and orchids. Epiphytes are common in warmer parts of the world, such as Florida and Central America, but they are relatively rare in cooler climates. However, horticulturalists...

Boston Hotel Buckminster in Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Hotel Buckminster was constructed in 1897. At the time, it was the largest building in Kenmore Square. Between 1919 and 1950, the building was the site of three notable historical events, covering sports, radio, and jazz. In 1919, the hotel was the site of a meeting between Joseph "Sport" Sullivan, a gambler, and Arnold "Chick" Gandil the...

May 18th National Cemetery in Gwangju, South Korea

Between May 18th and May 27 thof 1980, a large uprising against the martial law government of South Korea exploded in the city of Gwangju. The military violently repressed the demonstration and, while the number of victims is disputed, it is argued that up to 2,000 people died in the uprising. The Gwangju Uprising, also known as May 18th Democratic...

National Comedy Hall of Fame & Museum in Holiday, Florida

In the 1970s, the Library of Congress decided to take comedy seriously and begin efforts to record and preserve its history. They selected a young producer by the name of Tony Belmont to record interviews and gather material from as many great comedians as possible. In 1987, Belmont and comedians Steve Allen and Morey Amsterdam wanted to continue...

The Puzzling Provenance of Historic Hebrew Type

A few decades ago, Richard Rockford was about to buy some vintage wooden typefaces from an American antique dealer when the seller pulled open one last drawer. It was where he kept a shoebox-worth of non-English letters orphaned from their original alphabets, hoping someone might eventually adopt them. “He was like, ‘Oh and here’s some foreign type,’”...

In Thailand, Traditional Cannabis Cuisine Is Back on the Menu

For a restaurant serving what was until recently a Class 5 narcotic substance, the clientele appeared older than one might expect: a couple of extended families, including grandma and grandpa; a woman having a quiet lunch with a man who appeared to be her father; a low-key middle-aged couple. Even the decor—cheesy knick knacks, thick curtains, antimacassars,...

Behold Brine Shrimp, the Livestock of Utah’s Great Salt Lake

When Kyle Stone tries to explain his work, he sometimes compares it to keeping track of cows in a field. His job is to make sure there are enough cows in the pasture to keep it from getting overgrown, but not too many, so there’s enough grass to go around. Except his cows are tiny aquatic creatures called brine shrimp, they eat algae instead of grass,...

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