jessicahester1's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
Just Released! The second edition of our bestselling book.
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fatberg

What an Enormous Fatberg Can Tell Us About How Londoners Live

An "autopsy" on the congealed behemoth illuminates what people flush down the drain.
April 25, 2018
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scotland

What Is a Snow Tunnel?

Up in the Scottish Highlands, you can stand inside two seasons at once.
April 23, 2018
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stars

Behold the Stormy Beauty of Stars Forming

New images from the Hubble Space Telescope capture majestic billows of gas and dust.
April 20, 2018
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mistakes

A Researcher's Quest to Decode the Specimens on a Museum's Mystery Shelf

Sifting through the old, unlabeled, puzzling jars that fill a collection's junk drawer.
April 20, 2018
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darwin

A Digital Look at Darwin’s Trove of Prehistoric Fossils

London’s Natural History Museum is putting the naturalist’s haul of skulls, molars, and more online.
April 13, 2018
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seaweed

Turtles Have Led Us to Their Secret Seagrass Meadows

Some ecological good news, courtesy of some hungry shelled swimmers.
April 11, 2018
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activism

Step Inside a Sculpture Garden Made Entirely Out of Trash

Cat food cans, detergent containers, and thousands and thousands of plastic bottles.
April 10, 2018
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lightning

Cracking the Mystery of the Atmosphere's Dazzling Red and Blue 'Lightning'

Sprites, elves, and jets look like special effects, but they're electrical discharges.
April 9, 2018
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subways

The Man Sketching the Surprising Details of Every New York City Subway Station

He has spent 40 years chronicling overlooked mosaics, plaques, and other decorations. Only 362 stations to go.
April 6, 2018
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funeral cars

The Curious Afterlives of Hearses

When they no longer carry caskets, some of these vehicles end up in museums—or even pawn shops.
April 5, 2018
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survivalism

Can Octopuses Teach Us How to Hide?

Some researchers think their skin holds the key to ducking infrared cameras.
April 3, 2018
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everyday objects

Why the Sewer Is the Most Wondrous Everyday Invention

The votes are in, and the winner of Mundane Madness is right beneath your feet.
April 2, 2018
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trash

Exploring a Hidden Archive of New York City's Historic Trash

A museum's basement holds a trove of fascinating castoffs.
April 2, 2018
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everyday objects

Paper or Sewer: Which Is the More Wondrous Invention?

Mundane Madness, our search for the most overlooked everyday marvel, nears its conclusion.
March 30, 2018
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trash

No Matter What, Do Not Touch the Space Junk

You almost certainly won't encounter any pieces of the falling Chinese space station, but if you do—keep your distance.
March 30, 2018
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trash

Meet an Amateur Astronomer Tracking the Falling Chinese Space Station

Marco Langbroek spends a lot of time at his computer, following Tiangong-1's every move.
March 29, 2018
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manuscripts

Deciphering an Ancient Medical Text With the Help of X-Rays

It was hidden under an 11th-century manuscript full of hymns.
March 28, 2018
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fungus

Found: Fungus in NASA's Clean Rooms

Meteorites, meet Penicillium.
March 27, 2018
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map monday

The Cartographers Who Put Water Where It Didn't Belong

From a distance, European mapmakers documenting North America often perpetuated strategic myths of oceans, lakes, and rivers.
March 26, 2018
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everyday objects

Vote in the Final Four of Our Search for the Most Wondrous Everyday Inventions

Who will make the finals?
March 26, 2018
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plankton

DIY Tech Is Helping Scientists Keep Up With Marine Life

Marine biologists are engineering creative new ways to ride along with whales, bob with jellies, and drift with plankton.
March 23, 2018
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names

The Beautiful Complexity of Naming Every Living Thing

After two centuries of binomial nomenclature, scientists are nowhere close to running out of things to document.
March 22, 2018
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climate change

Where Will Palm Trees Grow in a Warming World?

As temperatures rise, fronds will fan out in unexpected places.
March 21, 2018
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everyday objects

Vote in Round 2 of Our Search for the Most Wondrous Everyday Inventions

The Elite 8 of easily overlooked marvels.
March 20, 2018