By any measure, 2017 was a rough year for much of the planet—catastrophic natural disasters, devastating acts of violence, disturbing revelations, political maelstroms. Maintaining one’s sense of wonder about the world was no easy task over the last 12 months. But awe-inspiring events did in fact occur this year, even if they took place in the shadow of more depressing headlines. These stories include extraordinary discoveries, unbelievable new records, thrilling breakthroughs, remarkable images, and stunning acts of bravery, determination, and kindness.
Today Atlas Obscura is launching The Year in Wonder, a series dedicated to surprising, hopeful stories that may have fallen through the cracks of what, for many of us, has been a chaotic time. Through the end of December, our editorial team will be revisiting moments from 2017 that have helped us remember, even on the darkest days, that so much about our world is still astonishing. We cordially invite you to follow along—and even more than that, we could use your help.
Did something truly wondrous happen to you or someone you know in 2017? Did something unexpected and inspiring occur in your community that you think more people should know about? Tell us about it below. Later in the month, we’ll select the best “Stories of Wonder” and share them on the site. Let’s all help each other not lose sight of the wondrous side of the world as we buckle up for 2018.