The World Turned Upside Down - Atlas Obscura Lists
Our new kids' book is on sale! Shop now.

The World Turned Upside Down

8 places that flip everyday objects on their heads.

The simplest way to turn an ordinary object into something preposterous is to flip it on its head, in the most literal sense. The word “preposterous” comes from the Latin praeposterus, “prae” meaning “before” and “posterous” meaning “coming behind.” In other words, something is preposterous when the rear part of it has been reversed, inverted, or appears contrary to the natural order of things.

Flipping something upside down adds an instant element of nonsense and even intrigue. It suggests things have gone topsy-turvy, not as they should be. Whether used to symbolize chaos or to add an air of whimsy to an otherwise mundane object, these odd inversions are delightful to behold. Here are eight places to visit if you want to flip the script on the right-side-up world.