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Elmer's Fountain in Mullan, Idaho

Nestled in a forested grove on the south side of Interstate 90 are three brightly painted, folk art water fountains. The site is called Elmer’s Fountain in honor of Elmer Almquist, the fountains' designer and builder. Almquist was a local miner, welder, and former Allied Silver Lead mining company president.  The three vertical water fountains were...

Colorado Winter Wonderland

It’s no secret that Colorado is among the most beautiful places in North America. It’s home to more than 600 mountains higher than 13,000 feet in elevation, over 20 ski resorts, over 400 breweries, and is one of the most geologically diverse areas in the western United States. In the winter months, Colorado is transformed into a snowy Eden that offers...

A Mysterious Cézanne Portrait Was Hiding Under the Layers of a Still Life

Last spring, the Cincinnati Art Museum held a special exhibition showcasing works by five young French artists, who, in the 1860s, used the still life genre to experiment with new painting techniques. One of those artists was famed Post-Impressionist Paul Cézanne, and the exhibition included Still Life With Bread and Eggs, one of his earliest masterpieces...

Baramotichi Vihir in Kondhavli, India

Stepwells were once common across Western India and can still be found in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Rajasthan, among others. A few miles north of Satara, lies an 18th-century stepwell near a village called Limb. It was built by Virubai Bhosale between 1719 and 1724. Its water supplied the surrounding farms and mango plantations for generations.  ...

Strawberry Studios in Stockport, England

South of Manchester, in the post-industrial town of Stockport, are what remains of Strawberry Studios, a bonafide U.K. musical mecca. Some of the most significant creations in U.K. music history were recorded in this unassuming building between 1967 and 1993. Eric Stewart of the Mindbenders and the 10cc and band manager Peter Tattersall opened Strawberry...

The Alternative Groundhogs Vying for Punxsutawney Phil's Weather Forecasting Job

He has been variously described as “Orphie The Magnanimous,” a “reclusive oracle,” and a “world-renowned prognosticator,” offering a second opinion on the coming of spring every February 2. Just don’t call him an “alternative groundhog.” And definitely don’t call him a taxidermied, mounted groundhog wearing a tiny top hat and the occasional bowtie—although...

Japanese Sword Museum in Tokyo, Japan

Katana, or samurai swords as they are often referred to, are not only weapons of the past but also considered the pinnacle of Japanese art and craftsmanship, as well as a symbol of worship and authority.  However, this ancient weapon gradually lost its place in Japanese society once modernization began and the long age of the samurai came to an end....

Podcast: Freud Museum London

Listen and subscribe on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all major podcast apps. In this episode of The Atlas Obscura Podcast, we visit a famous piece of furniture: Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic couch, which is preserved in his final office in London. Our podcast is an audio guide to the world’s wondrous, awe-inspiring, strange places....

Arboretum Mustila in Kouvola, Finland

Established over 120 years ago, the Mustila Arboretum is the oldest and, at 120 hectares, most extensive botanical garden in Finland. It is famous for its rhododendrons and azaleas, both of which burst into bloom each June. But in this arboretum, there’s much more to see than trees and plants. Next to the café situated in an old granary stands a chained...

Battle of Alton Bullet Holes in Alton, England

On December 13, 1643, a little more than a year into the English Civil War, St. Lawrence’s church in Alton became a makeshift fortress and battleground. During the Battle of Alton, Parliamentary forces marched upon the town and its overwhelmed Royalist defenders were forced to retreat to the parish church of St Lawrence. With no time to further barricade...

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