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Atlas Obscura is the definitive guide to the world's wondrous and curious places.

In an age where everything seems to have been explored and there is nothing new to be found, we celebrate a different way of looking at the world. If you're searching for miniature cities, glass flowers, books bound in human skin, gigantic flaming holes in the ground, bone churches, balancing pagodas, or homes built entirely out of paper, the Atlas Obscura is where you'll find them.

Entries by Atlas Obscura

Roadside Dinosaur Parks

(3) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 6:43 PM

Kitschy dinosaur parks are about as abundant around the world as the thunder lizards themselves once were. Largely an American phenomenon, it seems as though there was a period of post-Depression boom times when any enterprising amateur with concrete, free time, and a child's guide to...

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Penis Parks and Bone Stones

(2) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 12:52 PM

Many people go outdoors to take in the scenery. At a number of parks across the world that scenery is, well,penises. Since the dawn of time, humans have honored the male reproductive organ in sculpture, imagery, and legend. Whether its a garden devoted to handmade likenesses,...

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Animal Automata

(2) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 12:35 AM

Robots might seem futuristic but working mechanical miracles have been around much longer than many people might think. Clockwork automatons have been being built for hundreds of years, but the subject of their design was often animal instead of human. Clicking gears and spinning flywheels have brought to...

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Drowned Towers

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 7:35 PM

When towns thrive, their spires and towers stand proudly as the symbols of success. But when these town become completely submerged, these towers are often the only part of the city that remain visible, flooded reminders that all humanities great achievements will one day vanish. All...

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Real Life Dragon Bones

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 10:33 AM

Even the most literal of biblical scholars would be unlikely to believe that dragons really existed, despite their appearance in the Bible. However in a smattering of medieval churches across Europe, relics from the saintly tradition of dragon slaying still hang from the walls or rest behind lush...

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Kitty Collectors and Cat Museums

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 9:08 PM

If the Internet has served only one purpose in the world, it is most definitely to prove that people love cats. But well before we were sharing endless videos of our beloved mousers being grumpy, playing keyboard, or even hiding in boxes, feline fanatics the world over had...

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Ho, Ho, Homeless: Abandoned Santa Parks

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2013 | 4:52 PM

There's still 43 shopping days until Christmas, but at abandoned Santa parks across the world, the holidays are long since over. The tradition of the Christmas-y theme park can be seen the world over as purveyors of amusements attempt to turn the most popular holiday in...

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The Heroes of Taxidermy

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 2:53 PM

Everyone is proud of their kitschy work of taxidermy. Picked up at a quirky antique shop, or bluntly ordered online, stuffed animals have become all the rage, but few collectors of such curiosities have the honor of knowing that their deceased beast was a true hero in life....

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Visit A Jail, Particle Accelerator Or Paranormal Museum On Obscura Day (PHOTOS)

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2012 | 8:00 AM

For the third year running Atlas Obscura has organized Obscura Day all over the world coming up on April 28th. We're throwing down from New York to New Zealand and have a bunch of events and adventures lined up, including a Retrofuture party in...

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Beautiful And Imposing Mosques Of The World

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2011 | 4:15 PM

Europe's great churches were built centuries ago and the great monuments of Judaism are almost invariably antique, but massive, eye-catching Mosques have bloomed all over the world during the last several decades thanks to funding provided by the oil rich and royal. These magnificent structures praise God with their architectural...

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Beautiful And Imposing Mosques Of The World

(63) Comments | Posted November 30, 2011 | 7:49 AM

Europe's great churches were built centuries ago and the great monuments of Judaism are almost invariably antique, but massive, eye-catching Mosques have bloomed all over the world during the last several decades thanks to funding provided by the oil rich and royal. These magnificent structures praise God with their architectural...

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Exciting Adventures For The Urban Explorer (PHOTOS)

(4) Comments | Posted November 21, 2011 | 7:55 AM

Not all adventures occur in the wilderness and not all wildernesses are born wild. Cities around the world host secret spaces ripe for exploration by eager travelers looking to get a new perspective on development and its discontents. Cities, it turns out, are from from monolithic. These urban adventures offer...

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New Delhi's Last Magicians Colony

(2) Comments | Posted November 4, 2011 | 8:39 AM

Atlas Obscura is driven by a community of likeminded people, inspired by curiosity, and imbued with a feeling that the world is undiscovered, full of whimsical, wondrous places. Every once in awhile, in our ongoing pursuit of strange and amazing places, people and stories, we come across something...

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A Capuchin Crypt Full Of Well-Preserved Old Friars

(12) Comments | Posted October 30, 2011 | 11:31 AM

Established in the 16th century by friars as an outgrowth of their original cemetery, the Capuchin crypts were originally dug in 1599 to hold the mummified body of fellow monk, Silvestro of Gubbio. Originally intended for other dead friars, a strange tradition emerged over the ensuing centuries as...

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Japan's Self-Mummified Monks Age Gracefully (PHOTOS)

(33) Comments | Posted October 23, 2011 | 11:28 AM

For three years, the priests would eat a special diet consisting only of nuts and seeds, while taking part in a regimen of rigorous physical activity that stripped them of their body fat. They then ate only bark and roots for another three years and began drinking a poisonous tea...

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A Haunted Island Protected By Dolls (PHOTOS)

(32) Comments | Posted October 18, 2011 | 9:59 AM

When faced with terrifying visions of a long-dead child, should one:

A) Get the hell out of dodge.

B) Seek the source of the specter's discontent.

C) Decorate your little island home with hundreds of dismembered heads, legs, and arms of baby dolls.

Surprisingly, Don Julian Santana of the Isla...

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Kicking Off Halloween Season With A Visit To An Austrian Ossuary

(5) Comments | Posted October 5, 2011 | 8:55 AM

Ah October: shorter days, longer nights and an endless parade of "spooky" ghost stories accompanied by photos of the local cemetery with the fog machine turned up. We call bullshit.

We think we can do a hell of a lot better with the real horrors of the world, so we've...

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Gardens of Death and Other Horticultural Marvels (PHOTOS)

(15) Comments | Posted September 30, 2011 | 8:34 AM

Extraordinary flora and fauna abound in our round-up of the globe's most unusual gardens, greenhouses and Arctic Doomsday seed vaults.

The Atlas Obscura recently organized a trip to the gnarled remains of the Jardin d'Agronomie Tropicale in Paris for Obscura Day 2011. The site boasts a beautiful and overgrown expanse...

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