The foundation of Atlas Obscura is contributed by intrepid users around the world, out exploring the places no one else is noticing, or delving into history that’s been all but forgotten. Here we are highlighting five of our favorite recent additions to the Atlas. Have a place we’ve missed? Create an account and become a part of our community.
AI PIOPPI PLAYGROUND
photograph by Oriol Ferrer Mesià
One man spent over 40 years handcrafting the Ai Pioppi Playground out in an Italian forest. Contributed by Atlas Obscura user viliusdidit, the enchanting amusement park is filled with complex rides, all off the grid and designed to blend into nature, such as swinging bridges and other kinetic wonders.
SARCOFAGI OF CARAJÍA
photograph by Gaston E.
Look closely at this assemblage of giants and you’ll see some are wearing human skulls. These are the Sarcophagi of Carajía in Peru’s Utcabamba Valley, contributed by Atlas Obscura user pnasrat. Standing eight feet tall, the mysterious sculptures date back to the 15th century and are burial vessels for human remains.
photograph by Victor Wong
The largest underground lake in Europe was never intended to be. In 1912 a detonation gone awry caused a gypsum mine beneath the Austrian town of Hinterbrühl to fill with water. Now the Seegrotte, added by Atlas Obscura user Quisquilia, is a subterranean attraction, inviting visitors to ride an eerie gold boat on its lake, which must be drained each day.
SOUTH POLE ICE TUNNELS
Amundsen-Scott Station, Antarctica
photograph by Devon Pike
Below the Amundsen-Scott Station at the South Pole is a network of tunnels carved into the ice. Introduced to us by Atlas Obscura user Devon Pike, who also added many great photographs of the labyrinth, the tunnels include shrines by the ice-stranded workers at the station, such as one featuring an unloved white sturgeon.
Saint John, Canada
photograph by Leonora Enking
Canada’s Bay of Fundy is home to some of the highest tides in the world, which are also incredibly powerful. The Reversing Falls of Saint John in the Bay, added by Atlas Obscura user Lore Keating, change direction due to these forces. So time your visit right and you may see a waterfall shifting back as if gravity is coming undone.
Thanks to our intrepid users for uncovering these wondrous places, and we look forward to more! Help us show how incredible and curious the world is by adding your own discoveries.