Shipwrecks, the 'Poison Cauldron' and 4 Other Incredible Underwater-Themed Events - Atlas Obscura
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Shipwrecks, the ‘Poison Cauldron’ and 4 Other Incredible Underwater-Themed Events

Landlubbers, these aren’t for you.

(Photo: Courtesy of Adel Souto)

Tired of the terrestrial lifestyle? We here at Atlas Obscura have just the cure. For Underwater Week, we’ve compiled a list of upcoming water-themed events taking place around the country. From forays into the remains of shipwrecks to voyages into industrial wastelands, there’s no shortage of extraordinary aquatic adventure. They’re listed here in order of soonest to farthest into the future, so dive right in and get exploring!

1. Obscura Society SF: Sutro Baths and Shipwrecks

San Francisco, California

July 30

(Photo: Courtesy of Annetta Black)

Join the San Francisco Obscura Society for an exciting exploration into the ruins of the Sutro Baths and of three shipwrecks nearby. Traverse through tunnels, climb to a historic Sky Tram overlook, and catch one-of-a-kind glimpses of wreckage of the freighters Ohioan, Frank Buck, and Lyman Stewart in all their ravaged glory.

2. Obscura Society LA: Sunken Ship Hike

Palos Verdes Estates, California

July 31

(Photo: Courtesy of Erin Johnson)

Come explore the ruins of a 1961 shipwreck off the coast of Palos Verdes Estates in California. How exactly it ended up there on its way from Portland to Algiers is a mystery, but it left a half-mile stretch of wreckage, from the smallest bits and scraps to a large chunk of the ship that to this day hasn’t been washed away.

3. Obscura Society NY: Dead Horse Bay Excursion

Brooklyn, New York

August 6

(Photo: Courtesy of Hannah Frishberg)

Named for the bones that was up on its shores, Dead Horse Bay is a living relic of days past in which actual boiled horse bones from the carcasses of New York City’s many horses were dumped into the bay. Led by Underwater New York, this excursion through the beaches littered with bones, vintage bottles, and toys will explore the area’s rich history. 

4. Obscura Society IL: A Land-Based Exploration of the Chicago River’s North Branch

Chicago, Illinois

August 6

(Photo: Courtesy of Loren Rozewski

Join us in Chicago for a walking tour of the North Branch of the Chicago River, a hidden wonder unbeknownst to many tourists and native Chicagoans. You’ll learn about how the river played a role in the history of European exploration, how it played a role in Chicago’s sewage system, and the state of the river today and the wildlife it supports.

5. Obscura Society NY: The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek

Brooklyn, New York

August 21

Photo courtesy of Mitch Waxman

DUKBO, or “Down Under the Kosciuszko Bridge” in North Brooklyn, isn’t called the “Poison Cauldron” without good reason. Visit the waste transfer and petroleum districts that are found along Newtown Creek, see the site of the Greenpoint Oil Spill, and take a trip into Greenpoint’s industrial past while surrounded by current machinery and vehicles working around and at the Kosciuszko reconstruction project.

6. Obscura Society SF: Ichthyology Collections Tour

San Francisco, California

(July 13)

(Photo: Courtesy of California Academy of Sciences)

This special tour of the California Academy of Sciences’ Department of Icthyology is an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the rich and extensive collection of fish the department hosts as a reference guide for scientists all around the world. The collections aren’t often available for public viewing, so it’s a rare opportunity to get a peek at undersea life.