WEIRD NEWS

Happy Obscura Day! Who Wants To Play With This 3-Eyed Dog?

05/29/2015 10:24 am ET | Updated May 29, 2015
Courtesy of Atlas Obscura

Step right up! Step right up! Who wants to see the diseased brains of Connecticut?

Idaho's Craters of the Moon also awaits you, and if you're feeling naughty, we'll send you to Iowa's Squirrel Cage Jail -- where prisoners were once kept in mechanized, rotating animal pens, a fact that's as amazing as it is appalling.

The folks at Atlas Obscura are here to tell us that the world is teeming with under-appreciated, bizarre wonders -- miniature cities, books bound in human skin, a church built from human bones, and a forever-flaming, 328-foot hole in the ground better known as "The Gates Of Hell."

"We want people to recognize the world is more incredible than expected and that exploration can take place anywhere," Atlas Obscura's David Plotz tells us on this weeks Weird News podcast. "You don't have to be Richard Branson."

Plotz, of course, is a longtime writer and editor at Slate, and we love that he is co-host of the site's excellent Political Gabfest podcast, along with Emily Bazelon of the New York Times and Slate political chief correspondent John Dickerson, the new host of "Face the Nation."

Each week, the Political Gabfest hosts share their cocktail chatter. And if you visit any of these places, you'll have yours.

  • The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures
    Flickr.com/Cactusbillaz
    Tucson's Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures boasts more than 275 miniature houses and room boxes, including one of the oldest in-tact miniature kitchens in the United States, circa 1742.
  • Bunny Museum
    Courtesy of AvoidingRegret.com
    Candace Frazee and Steve Lubanski love bunnies and each other. They have amassed what Guinness World Records calls the largest collection of bunny memorabilia under one roof. The Bunny Museum, as their Pasadena, California, home is called, has more than 30,000 rabbit, bunny and hare figurines. There are also seven real rabbits in residence, according to AvoidingRegret.com.
  • FreakyButTrue Peculiarium
    Peculiarium.com
    The FreakyButTrue Peculiararium in Portland, Oregon, celebrates Obscura Day by holding a staring contest to see who can go the longest without blinking. Bad news for this sick puppy: The entry fee is $2 per eye.
  • Moulagenmuseum's Disfiguring Diseases In Wax
    Courtesy of AtlasObscura.com
    Looking for a truly bizarre exhibit? Few can hold a candle to Zurich's Moulagenmuseum, which has an extensive display of disfiguring diseases interpreted in wax. Cancer, leprosy, syphilis -- they've got 'em! Check out all the gross hands you'd be reluctant to shake.
  • Cushing Brain Collection
    Courtesy of AtlasObscura.com
    New Haven, Connecticut, is already known as a brain center thanks to Yale. The Cushing Brain Collection at the university's medical library makes it official. There are more than 400 jars of brains, many with bizarre-looking tumors.

Special thanks to our producer, Katelyn Bogucki, who makes us feel cool when we hang out with her. And to Jorge Corona, our editor.

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