Ashawnta's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
Our new kids' book is on sale! Shop now.
story
classical music

Tracing the Frenetic Movements of a London Symphony Conductor

Using 12 cameras and data visualization, this project animated Sir Simon Rattle's baton flicks at 120 frames per second.
January 02, 2018
story
telescopes

A Star Photographer On Chasing the Hidden Beauty of the Universe

For over 20 years, Dr. Travis Rector has been documenting elusive cosmic matter.
December 29, 2017
story
fire

The Artist Who Paints With Fire

Steven Spazuk's flame-powered technique is inspired by 1930s Surrealists.
December 27, 2017
story
keith haring

'Rappin' Max Robot,' the First Hip-Hop Comic Book

With the help of Keith Haring, Eric Orr created the four-issue series in 1986.
December 19, 2017
story
south

An Unpublished Work by Zora Neale Hurston Is Set for Release in 2018

"Barracoon" tells the story of the last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade.
December 19, 2017
story
barbara hepworth

The Seaside-Inspired Artwork of Barbara Hepworth

Watch the influential Modernist sculptor at work in this 1953 documentary.
December 18, 2017
story
jazz

Dig This Look at the History of Jazz Slang

From alligator to zoot suit, jazz musicians speak about the language of the scene.
December 15, 2017
story
artificial intelligence

The Sweetest Sounds of 2017

From lost languages to rediscovered songs to music made by robots, the year certainly won't go quietly.
December 14, 2017
story
astronauts

Remembering the Groundbreaking Life of the First Black Astronaut

Robert Lawrence Jr.'s accomplishments are finally being recognized.
December 11, 2017
story
music history

The Selenophone, a Short-Lived, Highly Flammable Sound-Recording System

In an exhibit honoring the work of conductor Arturo Toscanini, there's an odd slice of recording technology.
December 08, 2017
story
paleontology

The One-Minute Life Stories of Some Fascinating Extinct Species

What looking at animals from the past can tell us about our world now.
December 08, 2017
story
porcelain

A 19th-Century Chinese Hat Stand Spent 50 Years in Disguise as a Welsh Lamp

Chinese-porcelain expert Ivy Chan tells the story of a fancy incognito furnishing.
December 05, 2017
story
chemistry

Beautiful Chemistry, Viewed at High Speed

Watch as chemical reactions become works of art.
December 01, 2017
story
music history

A Dentist-Turned-Horticulturalist Made a Record Just for Plants

Dr. George Milstein believed that all plants needed to grow was water, sunlight, nutrients, and a swinging-Sixties soundtrack.
November 30, 2017
story
language

The Rhythmic Art of Stick Pounding

Music educator Melanie DeMore is keeping this traditional communication method alive.
November 27, 2017
story
ski

Meet the Artist Mapping Ski Slopes Around the World

James Niehues' hand-painted maps have been guiding skiers for 30 years.
November 24, 2017
Gastro Obscura
story
food art

A Fake-Food Maker on the Art of Creating Inedible Meals

For 60 years, this Japanese craftsman has been making silicone dinners that look good enough to eat.
November 21, 2017
story
jim henson

Jim Henson Wanted to Free Us From Paperwork

In his short film from 1967, the famed Muppet-maker welcomes workers to a paper-free future.
November 17, 2017
story
charles eames

A Short Eames Film Shows Our Place in the Universe

Made in 1977, Powers of Ten explores the world, both from great heights and microscopically close.
November 13, 2017
story
rufus harley

Meet Rufus Harley, the First Jazz Bagpiper

Jazz met the Highlands when Harley met the bagpipes.
November 10, 2017
story
music history

The Revolution Was Televised, Thanks to This 25-Pound Video Rig

In the 1970s, the Portapak gave a voice to outsiders and changed media forever.
November 03, 2017
story
78rpm

Digitizing the Boston Public Library's Forgotten Record Collection

It will take years, but all 200,000 pieces of vinyl discovered in a basement will one day be available to the public.
October 24, 2017
story
wurlitzer

In Brooklyn, a Rare Concert Organ Takes a (Hopefully Temporary) Bow

Long Island University's 1928 Wurlitzer will go quiet for at least the next two years.
October 24, 2017
story
buried alive

History's Best Strategies for Avoiding Being Buried Alive

These ingenious 19th-century techniques aimed to make sure dead really meant dead.
October 10, 2017