Wonder is everywhere. That’s why, every other week, Atlas Obscura drags you down some of the rabbit holes we encounter as we search for our unusual stories. We highlight surprising finds, great writing, and inspiring stories from some of our favorite publications.

For Sale: Shark Jaw, Tiger Claw, Fish Maw

by Marina Wang, Hakai Magazine

In Thailand, the endangered bowmouth guitarfish is hunted for its thorns, which are turned into rings and bracelets believed to have protective properties. According to researchers, this previously undocumented trade is one of countless instances of wildlife trafficking on social media sites, a “global Grand Bazaar” for vendors selling illegal wildlife products, from rhino horns to tiger claws.

Inside the Biggest Art Fraud in History

by Jordan Michael Smith, Smithsonian Magazine

Norval Morrisseau was known as Picasso of the North, one of the first Indigenous painters to earn national acclaim in Canada and a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Now, 15 years after his death, investigators have discovered Morrisseau was also a victim in the biggest art fraud in history.

The Remote Island Where Giant Tortoises Clear Runways for Albatrosses

by Kevin Gepford, BBC

On the island of Española in the Galápagos, off the coast of Ecuador, a once-dwindling tortoise population is again shaping the ecosystem. A single tortoise can eat hundreds pounds of vegetation a year, and their appetite clears the nesting grounds for the critically endangered waved albatross, which breeds almost exclusively on the island and, with a wingspan that can reach more than six feet across, require open space to take off and land.

4,000-Year-Old Lipstick Unearthed in Iran

by Adam Schrader, Artnet

When the Halil River in southeastern Iran flooded in 2001, numerous artifacts were dislodged from nearby graveyards. Among them was an intricately carved stone vial that contained a fine, purple powder. Researchers now believe it to be one of the oldest examples of lipstick ever discovered, dating to between 1936 and 1678 B.C.

A Tornado Swept Away Her Grandparents’ Photo

by Sydney Page, Washington Post

In 2008, a deadly tornado tore through the town of Parkersburg in central Iowa. Like many local residents, Hope Tomkins lost nearly everything, including a prized possession: a photo of her grandparents on their wedding day in 1942. Now, 16 years later, the photo has found its way back to her.

Ancient Ceramic Snake Discovered in Taiwan

by Daniel Cassady, ArtNews

Archaeologists working in the sand dunes northeast of New Taipei City in Taiwan have uncovered a 4,000-year-old ceramic snake—depicting a type of cobra native to the island—that may have originally been the handle to a ceramic pot used in ancient rituals.

Contents of Charles Darwin’s Entire Personal Library Revealed for First Time

by Mark Brown, The Guardian

Charles Darwin’s home in Downe, England, was famously filled with books. Today, approximately 1,500 of the titles he collected remain at Down House and at the University of Cambridge. But a new project, Darwin Online, has now reconstructed a list of what is believed to be Darwin’s entire library: 13,000 items in more than a half-dozen languages covering topics from biology to religion to travel.

Museum Honoring Mississippi Bluesman John Hurt Is Destroyed in a Fire

by Neda Ulaby, National Public Radio

A sharecropper’s shack filled with artifacts of the life of legendary blues musician John Hurt was one of the last sites commemorating Avalon, Mississippi’s history as a formerly all-Black town. A fire destroyed the museum and all of the memorabilia in it, but dedicated blues fans can still make a pilgrimage to Hurt’s grave, hidden in a forested cemetery on a hilltop in his hometown.