Michael Waters's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
Join us on an Atlas Obscura Trip in 2019 »
Gastro Obscura
story
health food

When the Dried Plum Lobby Tried to Make Pruneburgers Happen

The fastest way to end a prune surplus? Puree them into school lunches.
April 13, 2018
story
death

Death as Entertainment at the Paris Morgue

In the late 19th century, tourists flocked to see bodies and guess how they got there.
January 11, 2018
story
astrology

When Physicians Used Lunar Signs to Diagnose Patients

Meet the Zodiac Man.
August 07, 2017
Gastro Obscura
story
restaurants

The Woman Who Collected More Than 25,000 Menus

Her dream? To preserve the culinary history of the early 1900s.
August 04, 2017
story
italy

The Ancient Glass-Blowing Technique That Was Kept Secret for Centuries

For protection, Venetian glassmakers were banned from leaving the city.
August 04, 2017
story
paper

This Unusual 1948 PSA Depicts a World Without Paper

Get used to eating rice directly out of your pocket.
August 03, 2017
story
austria

The Mystery of a Beheaded Austrian Statue, Solved

Residents reported the missing head last Friday.
August 02, 2017
story
tourism

Looking at Famous Buildings Through Water Droplets

Serbian photographer Dusan Stojancevic offers a unique perspective on the world's most iconic structures.
August 02, 2017
story
houses

Why This Historic New Jersey House Is Selling for Just $10

There is a catch.
August 01, 2017
story
britain

The Early Gay Rights Manifesto That Lord Byron (Probably) Didn't Write

In the 19th century, the poem "Don Leon" argued for British Parliament to drop the death penalty for homosexuality.
July 31, 2017
Gastro Obscura
story
sculptures

Sculpting Star Trek Characters With Butter at the Iowa State Fair

Next up: Laura Ingalls Wilder.
July 31, 2017
story
color

The $30,000 Adult Coloring Book

It features illustrations from the creator of an Elton John album cover.
July 28, 2017
story
italian

How Clothing Made From Milk Became the Height of Fashion in Mussolini's Italy

"In the future, you’ll be able to choose between drinking a glass of milk and wearing one."
July 28, 2017
story
libraries

This Glow-In-The-Dark Library Was Designed to Mimic a Diamond

The National Library of Belarus glitters through the day and night.
July 27, 2017
story
black history

A Look Back at the Desegregation of the U.S. Military

On July 26, 1948, black leaders convinced President Truman to address discrimination in the armed services.
July 26, 2017
story
china

A Chinese Museum Is Offering Big Money to Whomever Can Decode This Ancient Script

The going rate is $15,000 per character.
July 25, 2017
story
hats

What Do You Call This Hat?

The strange case of the knit cap and its many, many regional names.
July 24, 2017
story
space

Watch a Swirly, Colorful NASA Vortex Test From the '70s

Wingtip vortices are pretty trippy.
July 24, 2017
story
clothing

The Artist Who Creates Portraits With a Clothing Iron

See a face in that tulle? It's not just you.
July 21, 2017
story
restaurants

The Anti-Waiter Sentiment That Made Automat Restaurants Go Mainstream

The "waiterless" restaurants that weren't.
July 21, 2017
story
civil war

Librarian Finds Live Civil-War Artillery Shells on Her First Day

But not even that could faze her.
July 21, 2017
story
bees

The Family That Lives With Bees

They've shared a home for 12 years.
July 20, 2017
story
video wonders

A Parthenon of Banned Books, Built at a Former Book-Burning Site

A replica of the Greek structure has been constructed out of forbidden titles.
July 19, 2017
story
lithuania

The 19th-Century Lithuanians Who Smuggled Books to Save Their Language

They banded together against book burnings to fight an empire.
July 19, 2017