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

The Medieval Toilet Seat That Let You Poop With Friends

This latrine had room for three.
February 21, 2019
story
beach

Found: A 50-Year-Old Scientific Message, Stuffed in a Bottle

Thousands were cast into the waves in the 1960s, and one turned up in Texas decades later.
February 18, 2019
story
contentious demolitions

Archaeologists Dismantled a Maya Pyramid in Guatemala and Never Put It Back Together

They tore it down in the 1960s to solve the puzzle below.
February 14, 2019
story
contentious demolitions

During the Taiping Rebellion, a Stunning 15th-Century Pagoda Met Its Demise

Centuries after the Porcelain Tower was torn down, it was built up again—and this time, made of steel.
February 13, 2019
story
contentious demolitions

The German Church Smashed to Smithereens to Make Room for Coal

The town sat atop a trove of rock that was irresistible to fuel companies.
February 12, 2019
story
contentious demolitions

Mourners Once Held a Sidewalk Funeral for a Restaurant Named for a Hat

On Valentine’s Day 1994, protestors in Hollywood turned out to eulogize the Brown Derby.
February 11, 2019
story
king tut

Our Breath and Sweat Almost Ruined King Tut’s Tomb

But a new circulation system is making things better.
February 8, 2019
Gastro Obscura
story
cards

The Handy Playing Cards That Taught 17th-Century Cooks to Carve Meat Like a Pro

The decks suggested proper technique, and were a path to class mobility.
February 6, 2019
story
yosemite

For Sale: Old Photos of Huge Trees

These giants fascinated both conservationists and loggers.
February 4, 2019
story
moon trees

Whatever Happened to All the Moon Trees?

Sprouted from seeds that traveled to space in 1971, many haven't fared so well back on Earth.
February 1, 2019
story
totem poles

The Many, Many Layers of a Totem Pole Restoration Project

The American Museum of Natural History is conserving—and reconsidering—these monumental carvings.
January 30, 2019
story
weather

How Will Chicago's Birds Weather the Polar Vortex?

Here's how the region's avian residents will survive the cold snap.
January 30, 2019
story
winter

When Snakes and Scientists Battled to Predict the Coldest Chicago Winter on Record

In the early 20th century, meteorologists squared off with "weather sharps."
January 28, 2019
story
microbes

Your Water Heater Is an Extreme Environment

Microbes that thrive under the harshest conditions are making themselves right at home—in our homes.
January 25, 2019
story
construction

Revisiting Detroit's Black Bottom Neighborhood, Decades After Demolition

A new installation at the Detroit Public Library conjures a lost community.
January 24, 2019
story
scotland

It Turns Out That This 'Millennia-Old' Stone Circle Is Actually Only as Old as Millennials

It's a recent riff on an ancient Scottish tradition.
January 23, 2019
story
snow

A Century Ago, 3 People Met Their Deaths Gawking at the Frozen Niagara Falls

Stay off the ice bridge.
January 22, 2019
story
textiles

A Map of the World’s Mammals for People Who Liked to Wear Them

This 1917 chart was focused on fur for fashion.
January 21, 2019
story
shoes

The Crafty Historian Bringing Ancient Socks to Life

They look great with sandals.
January 17, 2019
story
chemistry

Found: A Very Old Periodic Table, Rolled Up in Storage

The science-y magic of tidying up.
January 17, 2019
Gastro Obscura
story
curry

For Sale: A Rather Unappetizing Coin Celebrating Berlin's Iconic Currywurst

The sausages are worth saluting, but look better in person.
January 16, 2019
story
map monday

It’s Not Easy to Map the 100 Largest Islands in the World

Things quickly get contentious.
January 14, 2019
story
whales

Whales Remix Each Other's Songs, Nearly 3,000 Miles Apart

Humpback whales separated by a continent can sound pretty similar.
January 11, 2019
story
military

Exploring a World War II Gun Battery That's Hiding in Plain Sight

It's just a short ferry ride from Portland, Maine, and it's really easy to miss.
January 10, 2019