gemmatarlach's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
THE GASTRO OBSCURA BOOK An eye-opening journey through the history, culture, and places of the culinary world. Just released! The Gastro Obscura book is here! Order Now
story
creepy from above

Is This a Scene From a Sci-Fi Horror Flick a Rare Atmospheric Phenomenon?

What looks like a ghostly blue hand creeping up on a spaceship is actually a special edition of one of nature’s greatest light shows.
October 26, 2021
story
forgery

Was René Descartes a Victim of Skull Blasting?

Centuries after the philosopher’s death, lingering controversy over his remains highlights a macabre practice of profiting from the dead.
October 25, 2021
story
dragons

The Historian of Hell and the Undead Takes on Dragons

Medieval expert Scott Bruce delves into the darker—and sometimes more hopeful—corners of human imagination.
October 20, 2021
story
creepy from above

Is This a Forest or Ghostly Hands From the Great Beyond?

Bad weather and dazzling white poplars helped create this spooky shot.
October 19, 2021
story
forgery

The Curious Case of Norway’s Disturbing Demon Wall

A respected conservator restoring a centuries-old church mural saw the devil in the details—and created a wholly imagined, diabolical scene.
October 13, 2021
story
creepy from above

Is This an Australian Salt Lake or a 'Beating Heart Laid Bare'?

Iron-rich springs generate intense color in a stark landscape that, from above, might be mistaken for a crime scene.
October 12, 2021
story
creepy from above

Is This an Erupting Volcano or the Eye of Sauron?

An award-winning image, taken via drone, captures the dreadful beauty of one of nature's violent shows of power.
October 4, 2021
story
poet

Meet the Afghan Kurdish Poet Who Finds a Sense of Place in the ‘Silences’

Born in Pakistan and raised in Michigan, Hajjar Baban’s roots come through in her words—and the spaces between them.
September 23, 2021
story
botany

To Imagine a 39-Million-Year-Old Forest, Start Small—Very Small

Decades of work has revealed a "megadiverse" ancient landscape in northern Peru that was destroyed in a volcanic eruption.
September 16, 2021
story
abstract wonder

What Do You See in This Spiral of Color and Light?

A researcher says her award-winning image of a swirling school of fish is also a metaphor for the oceans' health.
September 9, 2021
story
abstract wonder

An Australian Lake Returns to Life Amid Controversy and Hope

The revival of Lake Menindee is the latest chapter in a battle over water management, environmental protection, and indigenous rights.
August 31, 2021
story
abstract wonder

Ghostly Satellite Image Captures the Arctic ‘Losing Its Soul’

In the aftermath of an extreme melt event, what do scientists see in the Greenland Ice Sheet’s swirls of white, blue, and ominous gray?
August 27, 2021
Gastro Obscura
story
extinct eats

The Quest to Recreate a Lost and ‘Terrifying’ Medieval Mead

Bochet vanished for centuries, but meadmakers are bringing it back—at least in spirit.
August 12, 2021
story
jellyfish

See an Ordinary Jellyfish From an Extraordinary Perspective

An underwater photographer captured the stunning side of a barrel jelly, usually seen washed up on the beach as a pile of goo.
August 9, 2021
story
abstract wonder

The Curious Past and Uncertain Future of the Original 'Meander'

In southwestern Turkey, the winding Büyük Menderes River shaped human history. Now, it's humans who will carve its future course.
August 4, 2021
story
research

The ‘Swell’ Job of Sorting Out New Zealand’s Unusual Earthquake Patterns

Researchers braved storms and monstrous underwater mountains to learn why one region’s earth-shaking is so peculiar.
August 2, 2021
story
satellite

Sun Glint, Bane of Scientists, Has a Silver Lining

This beautiful, satiny optical phenomenon can wreck satellite imaging, but it can also reveal hidden aspects of our planet.
July 16, 2021
story
abstract wonder

This Nighttime Drone Shot of a Futuristic City Is Actually a Sea Urchin

Studying the animal’s nerve network may help scientists understand our own.
July 12, 2021
story
satellite

Why Does the Yukon Delta Always Look So Trippy?

The Alaskan delta, one of the world's largest, is a ‘mosaic’ environment best visualized with a psychedelic palette.
June 28, 2021
story
arctic

What’s Up With Alaska’s Wild, Wondrous, ‘Warm-Blooded’ Bumblebees?

Extreme environments offer them an unexpected paradise, and now researchers want to get a head count.
June 23, 2021
story
maori

Can the Māori Connection to Antarctica Help Safeguard the Continent’s Future?

Indigenous ties to the bottom of the world go back more than a millennium, and could point the way forward.
June 18, 2021
story
abstract wonder

In Iceland, Glacial Meltwater Creates a Stunning (and Small) Landscape

A photographer captured water's ability to carve out new paths in all their fractal glory.
June 15, 2021
Gastro Obscura
story
domestication

The Deep Roots of the Vegetable That ‘Took Over the World’

A study digs up the origin of the single species that gives us turnips, bok choy, broccoli rabe, and more.
June 11, 2021
story
abstract wonder

In Turkey's Taurus Mountains, Farms Look Like Modern Art

Despite challenging terrain, these narrow plots produce tons of grain, nuts, fruits, and flowers each year.
June 7, 2021