Best of -- 2011.01.05 - Atlas Obscura
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Best of – 2011.01.05

You know it’s our favorite thing in the world to receive new submissions for wondrous places around the world… right? Make our day: add a curious place to the Atlas!

SIDI BOULFDAIL - Gourzim, Morocco 

Sidi Boulfdail - Gourzim, Morocco - Atlas Obscura Best of Entries

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Somewhere south of Gourizim is the tiny fishing post of the village of Sidi Bouldfail. While not on many maps - and largely without an Internet presence - the post can be recognized by the large government gate visible from the road. The post consists of a cluster of pastel fisherman’s shacks stacked upon each other and a modest boat launch, but it’s a nice place to stop and take in the smell of fish guts and brine. The smell, pungent and inescapable, forces memories of Melville or other 19th century seaside settings.

Complete Atlas Obscura entry on Sidi Boulfdail in Morocco

 

GREAT TRAIN GRAVEYARD - Uyuni, Bolivia

Train Graveyard - Uyuni Bolivia - Derelict Trains Rusting - Atlas Obscura

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Filled with hollowed out bodies that have completely rusted over and other remains, the Great Train Graveyard can be found on the otherside deserted outskirts of Uyuni, a small trading region high in the Andean plain. Long known as an important transportation hub in South America, Uyuni connects several mayor cities. In the early 19th century, big plans were made to build an even bigger network of trains, but the project was abandoned because of a combination of technical difficulties and tension with neighboring countries. The trains and other equipment were left to rust and fade out of memory.

Complete Atlas Obscura entry on Bolivia’s Great Train Graveyard

  

MOUNT THOR - Baffin Island, Canada

Mount Thor - Baffin Island Canada - Atlas Obscura Best of Blog - Mountains

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Sweeping glaciers and polar sea ice meet at the jagged granite of Mount Thor, a mountain with an elevation of nearly 5,500 feet located in Auyuittuq National Park. Mount Thor features the world’s greatest purely vertical drop at 1,250 feet, with an average angle of 105 degrees. This features makes the site popular with climbers, despite its remoteness. The world record for the longest rappel was set on Mount Thor in 2006 by an American team. A 26-year-old Canadian Park Ranger rappelled with the team, but tragically fell to his death at the base of the mountain.

Complete Atlas Obscura entry for Mount Thor on Baffin Island 

 

FROZEN CLEVELAND LIGHTHOUSE - Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Cleveland Frozen Lighthouse - Ohio Lake Eerie - Iced Over Lighthouse

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There’s a ligthhouse in Cleveland, Ohio, that is placed so close to Lake Erie that a wonderful weather phenomena is taking place. During the winter of 2010, the lighthouse was sprayed so many times with water from the lake that it froze into a giant sculpture designed and built by Mother Nature. The ice built up layer by layer. Completely encased in ice, the lighthouse drew visitors from all over the state and was featured in several national newspapers. The ice has brought more attention to the lighthouse than it has seen in decades; it hasn’t been occupied since 1965.

Complete Atlas Obscura entry on Cleveland’s Frozen Lighthouse

  

WEST VIRGINIA STATE PENITENTIARY - Moundsville, West Virginia, United States 

West Virginia State Penitentiary - Moundsville, WV - Atlas Obscura Best of

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Established in 1866, the West Virginia State Penitentiary continued housing inmates until 1995. At the time of its closing, 653 inmates were housed and guarded by a staff of 32 employees. Beyond your average beatings and shankings, this pen has a pretty bloody undercurrent running through its history. For example, Charles Manson once petitioned to be relocated to the Penitentiary. His hand-written letter remains on display in the electric chair area. Over the years, 93 men from the pen were executed for their crimes: 83 by hanging and 9 by electrocution.

Complete Atlas Obscura entry on the former West Virginia State Penitentiary