Obscura Day 2017! Join our global celebration of exploration and discovery.
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Bryan Mound Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Streetcar Deck of the Detroit-Superior Bridge
Hank Williams's Gravesite
Sassi di Matera
DESTINATIONS IN THE ATLAS
BROWSE STORIES BY
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Fear of a White Lighter
Google Maps and the Non-Existing Pizza Joint
A Painting of a Crying Boy Was Blamed For a Series of Fires in the '80s
The Mystery Boom and the Bachelor Party in Michigan
Obscura Day 2017
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Antiquity in the Valley
Solstice Stained Glass Studio Tour
The Bearded Lady's Mystic Museum
Where We Travel
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Feb 22–Feb 26, 2017
Apr 26–Apr 30, 2017
Unlocking Berlin's Wunderkammer
May 25–May 29, 2017
Music and Medinas of Morocco
Jun 23–Jun 30, 2017
Hidden Venice with a Psycho-Mambo Twist
Jul 10–Jul 16, 2017
Obscura Day 2017
419.99 Mile Marker, Colorado
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Cracking the Secret Code of Car Names
How a jumble of numbers and letters came to convey fanciness, while cute names came to mean value.
April 07, 2017
'Miami English' and the Linguistic Oddness of South Florida
South Beach speech is like no other.
April 04, 2017
Why 40% of Vietnamese People Have the Same Last Name
Everyone knows a Nguyen, but how did that come to be?
March 28, 2017
What Makes This Special-Edition VW From the '90s Look So Cool?
According to the fashion industry, it's all about colorblocking and maximal minimalism.
March 09, 2017
'Da Kine,' Hawaii's Fantastically Flexible All-Purpose Noun
It means everything and nothing at the same time.
March 02, 2017
The Mystery and Occasional Poetry of, Uh, Filled Pauses
They are especially unusual in Japanese.
January 27, 2017
Why Do Canadians Say 'Eh'?
The story behind Canada’s most distinctive verbal tic.
January 10, 2017
Whether You Say Freakin', Friggin', Or Frickin' Depends On Where You’re From
F-word substitutes vary by region.
December 15, 2016
Are 'Semester Abroad Accents' Real or Fake?
That suspicious new London lilt may not be as put-on as it seems.
November 29, 2016
Why Justin Timberlake Sings 'May' Instead of 'Me'
Linguistics and vocal styling converge in this late '90s pop trend.
November 10, 2016
How A Fake British Accent Took Old Hollywood By Storm
The story behind the strange way Katharine Hepburn (and others) spoke.
October 27, 2016
Y’all, You’uns, Yinz, Youse: How Regional Dialects Are Fixing Standard English
The real enemy? "You guys."
October 13, 2016
Why Linguists are Fascinated by the American Jewish Accent
The linguistic field of prosody, the story of melody, pitch, and other hard-to-study verbal traits, is suddenly hot.
September 26, 2016
Why Northerners Think All Southerners Have One Accent
A small North Carolina island shows how different the Southern accent can be.
September 01, 2016
Is There a Place in America Where People Speak Without Accents?
Newscasters and Stephen Colbert seem to think so.
August 23, 2016
The Strange World of Japanese Hangover Cures
It's a $178 million industry, and no one knows if it works.
July 28, 2016
Meet Waterbod, the David Attenborough Of Instagram
You'll see L.A.'s animal kingdom in a whole new way.
July 21, 2016
How Dirt Houses Became Beloved By The Tiny House Movement
Meet the wondrous cob.
July 14, 2016
What Do You Call the Corner Store?
Bodega, deli, packie, offy, party store and more.
July 07, 2016
Why It's So Hard to Find, Let Alone Save, the World's Cutest Porpoise
The tiny mammal is facing imminent extinction after only being discovered in 1987.
July 06, 2016
I Asked Leading Entomologists: 'What’s The Smartest Bug In The World?'
Some insects can count, recognize human faces, even invent languages.
June 23, 2016
In A City Of Murals, The Simplest One Stands Out
The bright pink wall of this L.A. clothing store has become an Instagram icon.
June 16, 2016
What It's Like to Run a Fan Site For the Arguably Worst Team in NBA History
The Philadelphia 76ers have brought shame to the City of Brotherly Love.
June 09, 2016
What's Going On with the Way Canadians Say ‘About'?
It's not pronounced how you think it is.
June 01, 2016
Questions or Feedback?
Escape the Beaten Path.
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