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The Best New Wonders of July

Much of the Atlas Obscura is created by intrepid users around the world, out exploring the places no one else is noticing, or jumping into historical research that’s been all but forgotten. In appreciation, 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. 

KIPTOPEKE’S CONCRETE FLEET
Cape Charles, Virginia

article-imageBow of the SS Slater (photograph by Matt Flowers)

Decaying in Virginia is the Concrete Fleet, a weathered group of nine of the 24 concrete boats that the U.S. Maritime Commission contracted during World War II. Since 1948 they’ve been left to guard the Kiptopeke Beach, now worn through with holes. Atlas Obscura user Matt Flowers also added these gorgeous photographs of the rare retro-tech in all its decrepit glory.

VISCARDIGASSE
Munich, Germany

article-imageViscardigasse alley (photograph by David Holt)

We love reminders that even the most unassuming of places has a secret history if you know where to look.  Added by Atlas Obscura user jhavenhill, bronzed bricks curving through Viscardigasse alley subtly remember when the small thoroughfare was used to avoid giving the Nazi salute at a monument to Hitler in Munich.

BLUESPRING CAVERNS
Bedford, Indiana

article-imageNavigating the underground river at Bluespring Caverns (photograph by lahvak/Flickr user)

Discovering Bluespring Caverns in Indiana, added by Altas Obscura user baikinange, was a fascinating reminder that some of the world’s greatest wonders are beneath our feet. With 21 miles of caves, the longest underground river in the United States flows through this subterranean realm. But you won’t be along as you navigate it, for a whole thriving host of ghostly-hued. aquatic creatures live along its banks and in its waters. 

HUNDERTWASSER TOILETS
Kawakawa, New Zealand

article-imageHundertwasser Toilets (photograph by Eli Duke)

Austrian architect and artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser was renowned in his lifetime for his vibrant colors and organic forms, but we had no idea his last project was so humble. Added by Atlas Obscura user oliverkellow, these elaborate mosaic public toilets in the small town of Kawakawa in New Zealand opened in 1999, the same year Hundertwasser passed away.

PAINT MINES INTERPRETIVE PARK
Calhan, Colorado

article-imagePaint Mines at night (photograph by Dave Soldano)

While humans have constructed many wonders, in many ways we still can’t compete with the beauty of nature. From Atlas Obscura user larkspurtile we explored the Paint Mines Interpretive Park in Colorado, where the layers of pigment in the sand and clay have been used for 9,000 years by people to transfer some of the otherworldly color to pottery, art, and war paint. 

Thanks to our intrepid users for uncovering these wondrous places, and we look forward to more! Help us show that the world is still a place of mystery by adding your own discoveries