Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »
  • member
    since
  • places
    I've been
  • places
    I want to go
  • places added
    to the atlas
  • places
    edited
The Week In... Robots!
story
week in

The Week In... Robots!

All the robot stories you may have missed over the past seven days.
November 17, 2017
The Lost Lingo of Depression-Era Taxi Dancers
story
dancing

The Lost Lingo of Depression-Era Taxi Dancers

In the 1920s and '30s, ticket-a-dance halls were full of "nickel-hoppers" and "fish."
November 15, 2017
The Sad Tale of the 'Flying Tailor'
story
eiffel tower

The Sad Tale of the 'Flying Tailor'

Franz Reichelt's devotion to developing a parachute suit led to his dramatic death.
November 14, 2017
Inside Connecticut's Secret Museum of Retro-Future Oddities
story
retrofuturistic

Inside Connecticut's Secret Museum of Retro-Future Oddities

Robots, rockets, and UFOs are all hiding in a quaint New England barn.
November 13, 2017
The Gibberish That Sparked One of the Internet's Oldest Unsolved Mysteries
story
computers

The Gibberish That Sparked One of the Internet's Oldest Unsolved Mysteries

More than 20 years later, the true meaning of the Markovian Parallax Denigrate remains elusive.
November 10, 2017
The Week In... Reptiles!
story
week in

The Week In... Reptiles!

All the reptile stories you may have missed over the past seven days.
November 10, 2017
The Long Legacy of Ireland's 'Night of the Big Wind'
story
storms

The Long Legacy of Ireland's 'Night of the Big Wind'

Before the Great Famine, the country experienced a storm that left a lasting mark.
November 09, 2017
You Can't Be Knighted in the U.S., But You Can Be Named a Sagamore of the Wabash
story
awards

You Can't Be Knighted in the U.S., But You Can Be Named a Sagamore of the Wabash

Or a Kentucky Colonel. Or a Nebraska Admiral. Or a Commodore of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
November 08, 2017
How the 'Rose Mary Stretch' Sold Watergate to the People
story
conspiracy theories

How the 'Rose Mary Stretch' Sold Watergate to the People

To believe the White House's story, Nixon's secretary would have had to have been a contortionist.
November 07, 2017
The Ghost Story Behind a Bucolic Catholic Retreat Center
story
catholic

The Ghost Story Behind a Bucolic Catholic Retreat Center

A brief, true history of West Virginia's Priest Field and "The Legend of the Wizard Clip."
November 07, 2017
Remembering, With Fondness, the 'Worst Orchestra in the World'
story
musicians

Remembering, With Fondness, the 'Worst Orchestra in the World'

In the 1970s, the Portsmouth Sinfonia became briefly famous for butchering classical music.
November 06, 2017
The Bamboo Flutes of Japan's 'Monks of Emptiness'
story
monks

The Bamboo Flutes of Japan's 'Monks of Emptiness'

The basket-masked komusō monks used music to meditate and created a distinctive art form.
November 03, 2017
The Long Travels of La Corriveau's Cage
story
artifacts

The Long Travels of La Corriveau's Cage

A grim artifact from Canada's past is helping return a folk tale to its rightful place in history.
November 02, 2017
Why Do People Paint Skeletons on Live Horses?
story
horses

Why Do People Paint Skeletons on Live Horses?

It's about education, not scares.
October 27, 2017
The U.S. Senate Has Been Using the Same Ivory Gavels for Over 200 Years
story
law

The U.S. Senate Has Been Using the Same Ivory Gavels for Over 200 Years

They only got a second one after Nixon broke the first.
October 26, 2017
Eugene Shoemaker Is Still the Only Man Buried on the Moon
story
burial places

Eugene Shoemaker Is Still the Only Man Buried on the Moon

For now, anyway.
October 24, 2017
The Doctor Who Fends Off Magpie Attacks With Children's Party Favors
story
inventions

The Doctor Who Fends Off Magpie Attacks With Children's Party Favors

It's magpie swooping season in Australia, and at least one man is sick of living in fear.
October 23, 2017
Why Is the World Always on the Back of a Turtle?
story
turtles

Why Is the World Always on the Back of a Turtle?

It's mythology all the way down.
October 20, 2017
Can Fake Coyotes Scare Off Sea Lions?
story
sea lions

Can Fake Coyotes Scare Off Sea Lions?

The city of Newport Beach, California, aims to find out.
October 19, 2017
Finally, We Get to Watch 16-Foot-Tall Robots Battle It Out in Real Life
story
robots

Finally, We Get to Watch 16-Foot-Tall Robots Battle It Out in Real Life

The waiting is the hardest part.
October 18, 2017
Inside the World of a Halloween Sound-Effects Artist
story
halloween

Inside the World of a Halloween Sound-Effects Artist

Spooky sound effects haven't changed much since we first began rattling chains and crunching leaves.
October 18, 2017
Scientists Think Adults' Baby Talk Voice Might Be Universal
story
science

Scientists Think Adults' Baby Talk Voice Might Be Universal

It's more than just a silly voice.
October 17, 2017
Vampires, Ghosts, and the 'Dark Shadows' Beauty Pageants of the Early 1970s
story
beauty

Vampires, Ghosts, and the 'Dark Shadows' Beauty Pageants of the Early 1970s

Ahem, my fangs are up here.
October 17, 2017
Celebrating Henry VIII's Love Affair With the Humble Recorder
story
henry viii

Celebrating Henry VIII's Love Affair With the Humble Recorder

The infamous king wrote original compositions for everyone's grade-school flute.
October 17, 2017