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.
ROYSE CITY FUTURO HOUSE
Royse City, Texas
photograph by amboy
Finnish architect Matti Suuronen had a dream of affordable prefab housing that could roam from beach to mountain, and since he was designing this in the 1960s, his dream home looked like a UFO. Unfortunately with the oil crisis of the 1970s making plastic expensive, and maybe people not ready for extraterrestrial living, less than 100 Futuro Houses were built, and now less than 50 survive. One Futuro House in Royse City, Texas, added with great photographs by Atlas Obscura user amboy, has been left to retrofuture ruin as if it crash landed and its aliens moved on.
LEVON’S DIVINE UNDERGROUND
photograph by littleham
In 1985, Levon Arakelyan’s wife asked for a potato cellar, and he spent until his death in 2008 constructing a labyrinth of caves instead. Levon’s Divine Underground in Arinj, Aremenia, added with subterranean photographs by littleham, stretches 70 feet beneath the house above with stunning halls and interlaced rooms embedded with small shrines.
FAIRY POST OFFICE
photograph by Mallory Pickett
When the Fairy Post Office, added with whimsical photographs by Mallory Pickett, was placed in a hollow of a tree in a park in Orinda, California, in 2013, its creators expected the tiny letter depot to be an ephemeral installation. Instead, the miniature post office expanded, with visitors adding trinkets and wall maps, and exchanging letters with fairies and field mice.
VAN GOGH BICYCLE PATH
courtesy Studio Roosegaarde
Added by Thom101, the Van Gogh Bicycle Path unveiled this month in Eindhoven in the Netherlands is a swirling tribute to Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.” Designed by Daan Roosegaarde as part of a greater project to make glow-in-the-dark infrastructure a reality, its thousands of stones take in sun during the day and emit it as a celestial pattern to guide bikers at night.
WRIGHT COMPANY FACTORY
photograph by mdw
When an automobile plant was torn down in Dayton, Ohio, the oldest aircraft factory in the world was revealed impressively intact. Added by Atlas Obscura user mdw, the Wright Company Factory was constructed by the famed Wright Brothers in 1910, then forgotten for 80 years. Now it’s being restored by the National Aviation Heritage Alliance and the National Parks.
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.