jessicahester1's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
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pollution

Brooklyn's Putrid, Beloved Gowanus Canal Has Been a Horror for Centuries

A new $1.5 billion cleanup effort is underway, targeting its "black mayonnaise" of pollutants.
January 14, 2021
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orchids

Meet the World's Least-Charismatic Orchid

This newly described species has been dubbed "the ugliest."
December 31, 2020
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underground railroad

The Mystery of Harriet Tubman's Family Cabin

In Maryland, archaeologists are racing rising waters to find traces of the past.
December 21, 2020
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coral reefs

How Do Stressed-Out Corals Smell?

The answer could help researchers detect bleaching events before they happen.
December 11, 2020
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sewers

We Shouldn’t Have Been Surprised to Find a Sculpture of Hermes in a Sewer

Filthy infrastructure has long been a site of artistry and civic pride.
December 4, 2020
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50 states of wonder

Thanks for Joining Our Tour of All 50 States of Wonder!

It's not too late to explore the weird and wonderful all over America.
November 16, 2020
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auctions

The Fossils That Get Away (From Scientists)

A high-profile T. rex sale is a reminder that paleontologists get stressed when fossils vanish into private hands.
November 13, 2020
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crime

How to Give Stolen Artifacts Back to Historic Sites

Penitent pilferers can—and should—return their finds.
October 22, 2020
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canada

How Japanese Canadians Survived Internment and Dispossession

A new exhibit traces the experiences of seven narrators before, during, and after World War II.
October 16, 2020
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minerals

The Spectacular Science of the Great Lakes' Glowing Rocks

Under UV light, some of them look downright magical.
October 13, 2020
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abstract wonder

Behold, the Great Salt Lake's Wonderfully Colorful Salt Pans, From Space

Everything looks cool from the International Space Station.
October 9, 2020
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tourism

The Art of Digging a Buried Building Out of Maine's Desert Dunes

The Spring House had been hidden for decades.
October 8, 2020
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pandemic

For Wildlife, Disposable PPE Is Far From Protective

It may take years—even decades—to understand the impact of disposable masks and gloves on the environment.
October 2, 2020
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letters

How a Team of Calligraphers Brought Jane Austen's Fictional Letters to Life

You can now hold Mr. Darcy's dispatches in your hands.
September 23, 2020
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pigeons

Fresh Concrete Turns Paw Prints and Bird Tracks Into Urban Fossils

Even a fleeting visit can leave an impression when conditions are right.
September 18, 2020
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fires

How Does an Archaeologist Keep Heritage Sites Safe From Wildfires?

It involves Twitter, maps, dozer lines, and luck.
September 16, 2020
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lichen

When Prehistoric Lacewings Disguised Themselves as Middle-Jurassic Lichens

Researchers recently found evidence of some very, very old camouflage.
September 10, 2020
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wildlife

To Protect a Recreated Native Village, California Firefighters Fought Fire With Fire

A slow, careful burn insulated Kule Loklo against a fearsome wildfire.
September 4, 2020
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cure-alls

A 1500s ‘Miracle Cure’ Made From Trees Probably Didn't Cure Syphilis

A new exhibit at the Newberry library touches on the history of guaiacum treatments.
September 2, 2020
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biology

The Delicate Art of Identifying Bats By Their Penis Bones

They're roughly the size of a hyphen—which makes them extremely easy to lose.
August 27, 2020
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lightning

The Electrifying Science of Jellyfish Sprites, Explained

Here's why it sometimes looks like red tentacles are dangling in the sky.
August 25, 2020
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50 states of wonder

Tell Us About the Most Wondrous Things in Your State

As part of our "50 States of Wonder" project, we want to know what is surprising, astonishing, or wonderfully weird about where you live.
August 21, 2020
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beach

New York's Favorite Trash-Strewn Beach Is a Wee Bit Radioactive

The National Park Service has closed a portion of Dead Horse Bay.
August 20, 2020
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tardigrades

Get Lost in a Corn Maze That Looks Like a Microscopic 'Water Bear'

Here's what it takes to transform a field of corn into a truly enormous tardigrade.
August 12, 2020