Obscura Day 2015 has arrived!
We've been working diligently at Atlas Obscura for months, compiling unique and wondrous locations around the world and dreaming up unusual events in a widespread call for our readers to unite on a single, glorious day in an international celebration of curiosity and discovery. That day is finally here, and thousands of people across the globe have signed up to participate in 150+ Obscura Day events taking place in more than 35 states and 30 countries. From seeking out the lost Oracle of Dionysus in Bulgaria to tracking the hidden waterways of the the world's longest cave, learning falconry in the desert of Southern California to attending an intimate concert inside a Norwegian mausoleum, this year's lineup of Obscura Day events is sure to inspire your sense of wonder.
Follow our adventures through out the day and share your own with us as well—the more we explore, the more we uncover a world full of incredible things just waiting to be discovered, be they across an ocean or around the corner! Check back all day as we update this post with your adventures.Read More
This is an example of a VZ58 rifle, which Irish paramilitaries were supplied with. (Photo: Wikimedia)
In February 1992, Protestant paramilitaries killed 5 people in betting shop in Belfast. The VZ58 rifle later connected to those murders was also linked to two killings in 1988. The people who committed these murders were never found, but the weapons has been—it was sitting in the Imperial War Museum, the BBC reports.Read More
The Boll Weevil Monument in Enterprise, Alabama (Photo: Library of Congress)
In Enterprise, Alabama, there is a statue unlike any other in the entire world: A 13-foot woman in Grecian-style robes holding up . . . a giant bug. The Boll Weevil Monument reigns as the only monument to an agricultural pest on Earth, for obvious reasons. Why would anyone want to honor a blight? Especially one that destroyed thousands of farms throughout the Americas?
The Alabama Historical Association marker for the Boll Weevil Monument, with the Monument in the background to the right. (Photo: TampAGS/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 3.0)Read More
(Photo: Boston Public Library/Flickr)
So you want to marry a ghost.
In some societies, it's possible—with a few caveats. Posthumous marriage—that is, nuptials in which one or both members of the couple are dead—is an established practice in China, Japan, Sudan, France, and even the United States, among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The procedural and legal nuances of each approach vary wildly between cultures, but here is an overview of how to tie the knot with someone who isn't quite alive.
China: Skewed Sex Ratios and Grave Robbery
Although Chinese dating and marriage practices are slowly changing under the influence of technology and online dating, traditional, family-oriented values still rule. Matchmaking, via meddling parents and/or a marriage broker, is big business. To be female and unmarried at 30 is to be a “leftover woman.”
'Soapsuds', ringl + pit (Photo: © 2015 Estate of Horacio Coppola/Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art, New York)
The photographers Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola met at Germany’s rigorous Bauhaus school in 1932, a year before the avant-garde architecture and design institution was pressured into closing by the Nazis. After the influential movement was dissolved, the young couple moved to London, and then on to Coppola’s homeland of Argentina. This was the beginning of a fruitful artistic partnership that lasted until they divorced in 1943. The newlyweds weren’t in Buenos Aires very long before they decided to put on Argentina’s first modernist photography exhibition. Coppola shot moody, sometimes surreal, images of streetscapes in the Argentine capital, while Stern created stylishly witty photo collages, and shot striking portraits of writers like Pablo Neruda and Jorge Luis Borges.
The first major exhibition of the works of Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola is currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It includes more than 300 of their works, starting with their individual artistic careers in the 1920s and continuing through to the 1950s. Below, a selection of the pair’s glamorous modernist photographs.
'Photomontage for Madí, Ramos Mejía, Argentina', 1946–47, Grete Stern (Photo: © 2015 Estate of Horacio Coppola/ Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art, New York)Read More