Obscura Day 2012

Obscura Day is right around the corner, and although there’s a lot going on, all over the world, for a lot of you there may not be an organized event in your hometown. You can change that.

We hereby challenge you to grab your friends and family and head out on Saturday and explore something awesome, odd, or overlooked near you. You can, of course, use the Atlas to find some good ideas, but this is also your chance to go out and discover something on your own and add it to the Atlas.

Furthermore, take tons of photos and report back to us on whether we should add your adventure to the official 2013 Obscura Day roster.

There are a lot of good ideas for easy Obscura Day excursions, but here are some starting points:

Quirky Local Museums: Most towns have some weird collection gathering dust in a small museum or converted garage, mostly ignored and overlooked. Grab your friends, go visit the model railroad club and make their day with a group visit. Atlas Obscura: Wonder Cabinets | Medical MuseumsUnique Collections| Hunting & Taxidermy Museums |Crime & Punishment Museums

Urban Exploration & Overland Adventure: Whether where you live is more likely to come with castles or wild west ghost towns, there are a lot of options for exploring weird old abandoned places, local ruins, and historic structures. To be clear, we are not suggesting anyone trespass or do anything stupid or dangerous on Obscura Day, but it is a pretty terrific opportunity to drive over to that creepy old fortress or old jail and take a peek around. Atlas Obscura:Ghost Towns

Natural History Collections: Call your local museum’s visitor services and see if you can arrange a special introduction, a short history of one of the collections, or a peek at the archives on Obscura Day. That’s how we do it. If they aren’t up to it, do the homework yourself and play tour guide to your friends. Atlas Obscura:Natural History Collections

Outsider Art, Eccentric Architecture & Odd Gardens: Modern castles, shell grottoes, labyrinths and poison gardens are all out there waiting to be explored. Hit the interwebs and find an intriguing option near you. Atlas Obscura: Eccentric Homes | Follies & Grottoes | Outsider Art Mazes

Natural Wonders: Get outside and explore the beauty and strangeness of nature, from petrified forests A good starting place here in the US is the fantastic web resources of the National Parks Service, Atlas Obscura: Bioluminescent Spots | Curious Caves | Wonders of Salt | Fascinating Fauna | Extraodinary Flora | Geological Oddities | Anomolous Islands | Martian Landscapes | Fiery Wonders | Watery Wonders

Observatories and Science Centers: There are a LOT of observatories out there, and a lot of them have fascinating histories as well as opportunities to gaze into the heavens. Atlas Obscura: Strange Science Museums | Instruments of Science | Retro Tech

So get out there and explore. Take TONS of photos and then tell us all about it.

The 2012 Obscura Day Flickr Pool is just waiting for your adventures.