Sarah Durn's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
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twins

The Psychology Behind Why Identical Twins Inspire Fascination—and Fear

A history of othering, experimentation, and mystery.
November 22, 2022
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warrior queens

The Untold Story of Henrietta Maria, England’s Warrior Queen

The “she generalissimo” nearly won the English Civil War for her husband, King Charles I.
November 17, 2022
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she was there

The Secret History of Female and Nonbinary Occultists

A new book examines how supernatural beliefs have often offered a voice, visibility, and vulnerabilities.
October 25, 2022
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fairies

The Haunting True Story of Bridget Cleary’s “Changeling” Murder

There's more to this 19th-century crime than the dark side of fairy lore.
October 21, 2022
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ice castles

The Time a Russian Empress Built an Ice Palace and Forced Her Jester To Get Married In It

Cruel joke, power move, or both?
October 4, 2022
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subculture

Meet the Meteorite Hunters Who Rush In When Space Rocks Crash to Earth

For this community of “space cowboys,” entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts, a fireball streaming across the sky offers big risks and bigger rewards—and new tech is heating up the competition.
September 29, 2022
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otters

In Prehistoric Ethiopia, Otters Were as Big as Lions

But they didn’t eat our ancestors—probably.
September 21, 2022
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family

Remembering the 'Ice Widows' of a Doomed Antarctic Expedition

For more than a century, their stories were ignored—until now.
September 15, 2022
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queens

The Mughal Women Who Wouldn’t Stay in the Harem

From musket-wielding empress Nur Jahan to writer Gulbadan Begum, meet the influential women of the early-modern Muslim empire.
August 31, 2022
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q&a

Meet the Woman Who Made a Historic Swim in Shark-Infested Waters

Lauren Tischendorf is the first woman to complete the grueling 20-mile swim around Lord Howe Island in Australia.
August 9, 2022
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she was there

Mary Edwards Walker and the Queer Suffragists Who Changed History

They wore pants, advocated for free love, and refused to back down.
July 20, 2022
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warrior queens

Did Khutulun and Other Warrior Women Actually Fight in the Mongol Army?

From wielding lethal bows to commanding troops, the female soldiers of the Central Asian steppe were formidable foes.
July 12, 2022
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jewels

Could This Be The End of a Historic New Hampshire Rockhound Paradise?

When Ruggles Mine went up for auction, mineral collectors feared it would never reopen to the public. After a last-minute reprieve, its future is still uncertain.
July 1, 2022
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snorkeling

To Rediscover a Rare Cave Crayfish in Alabama, Grab a Snorkel

Thought for decades to be extinct, the tiny animal has stayed hidden in a former subterranean speakeasy.
June 17, 2022
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tree

For Sale: A Grand Old President (That Happens To Be a Tree)

Up to 1,200 years old, the stately 'Seven Sisters' Oak has held the title for more than half a century.
June 9, 2022
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queens

The Women Who Ran Genghis Khan’s Empire

From fighting in the army to managing the kingdom, women were key players in every aspect of the Mongol Empire.
May 26, 2022
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lost

6 Unexpected Treasures Found in Curious Places

From a Nazi code machine found at the bottom of a bay to a vintage Babe Ruth card hidden in a piano.
May 20, 2022
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vikings

Uncovering the Secrets of a Forgotten Viking Town

The remnants of Borgund were buried in the dirt for centuries and then sat in museum storage for decades.
May 12, 2022
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hollywood

A Once-Lost Dress from 'The Wizard of Oz' Goes to Auction—Maybe

Dorothy wore the disputed blue-and-white frock when she faced down the Wicked Witch.
May 6, 2022
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codes

7 Puzzles That Perplexed People for Centuries

From the secrets of Venice’s codebreakers to China’s intricately carved puzzle balls, these historical ciphers will inspire your curiosity.
May 3, 2022
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she was there

The Real Women Behind Art’s Masterpieces

History’s best-known muses were artists in their own right.
April 29, 2022
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rainforest

Monkeys Love Their Alcohol

But proving the “drunken monkey” hypothesis has been an exhausting—and messy—endeavor.
April 21, 2022
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archive

Saving the Sounds of the Early 20th Century

Some recordings in the New York Public Library’s wax cylinder collection haven’t been heard in generations—until now.
April 14, 2022
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astronauts

For Sale: Moon Dust Collected by Neil Armstrong

NASA accidentally sold it, tried to take it back, lost it in a court battle—and now you can own it.
April 8, 2022