Steve Smith's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »
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Places visited in Pompei, Italy
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Places visited in Viñales, Cuba
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Places visited in Gangneung, South Korea
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Places visited in Kathmandu, Nepal
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Places visited in Gyeongju, South Korea
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Places visited in Wuppertal, Germany
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Places visited in Yallabatharra, Australia
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The left-hand property (No. 22) is inhabited, but the right-hand one (No. 23) is only a façade.
London, England

Leinster Gardens False Facades

You'd never know the houses at 23-24 Leinster Gardens were fakes—until you see the train tracks on the other side.
51.5131, -0.1840
Killhope Wheel
County Durham, England

Killhope

An iconic waterwheel in the Pennine Hills marks the location of one of Britain’s most profitable lead mines.
54.7828, -2.2726
Oxford, England

Oxford Museum of Natural History

Home to the most complete dodo remains known - one head, and one foot.
51.7587, -1.2555
Oxford, England

Pitt Rivers Museum

Ancient Egyptian wigs, South American feather headresses, a bounty of anthropological artifacts in Oxford.
51.7590, -1.2564
The Observatory
Bristol, England

The Observatory & Camera Obscura

The Bristol Camera Obscura housed in an ancient windmill.
51.4566, -2.6265
Cardiff, Wales

The Arab Room at Cardiff Castle

A harem-inspired Moorish fantasy design in a Victorian-era Welsh castle.
51.4818, -3.1822
Cardiff, Wales

Animal Wall at Cardiff Castle

Recently restored menagerie of Victorian-era beasts.
51.4811, -3.1824
The Nails outside Bristol's Corn Exchange.
Bristol, England

The Nails

17th-century merchants in Bristol nailed their deals by placing money on these pedestals.
51.4545, -2.5936
The Golden Gal of Old Madison Square Garden
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Golden Gal of Old Madison Square Garden

Golden and naked, the figure that was once the highest point in New York is all that remains of the second Madison Square Garden.
39.9656, -75.1810
The Rocky Statue in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Rocky Statue

Yo, Adrian!
39.9650, -75.1792
The original Bicentennial Moon Tree - it died and was cut down in 2011
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia's Moon Tree

A clone-tree grows in Washington Square Park sprung from seeds that went to the Moon and back.
39.9476, -75.1518
"The Dream Garden" by Tiffany
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tiffany Glass Mural "The Dream Garden"

Mural made of 100,000 pieces of hand blown glass, and until recently, the largest glass mural in the US.
39.9478, -75.1512
Elfreth's Alley in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Elfreth's Alley

This charming colonial alleyway is one of the oldest continuously used residential streets in the U.S.
39.9528, -75.1424
Painted onto the side of the valley (Flickr/plαdys)
Viñales, Cuba

Viñales Mural de la Prehistoria

Neo-cave art on the macro scale.
22.6195, -83.7428
The roadside sign announcing the park.
Viñales, Cuba

Parque Prehistórico

Prehistoric history as seen through the lens of an outsider artist.
22.6170, -83.7118
Sunrise over Atitlán.
Guatemala

Lago de Atitlán

Central America's deepest lake is actually a volcanic caldera, surrounded by three volcanoes.
14.7000, -91.2000
Shark Ray Alley
Ambergris Caye, Belize

Shark Ray Alley

Because hell exists even in the most beautiful places in the world, this portion of a lovely Belize beach is infested with (harmless) sharks and rays.
18.0016, -87.9433
The Hieroglyphic Stairway.
Copán Ruinas, Honduras

Hieroglyphic Stairway of Copán

This staircase full of Mayan hieroglyphics is perhaps the largest single text in the world.
14.8373, -89.1415
Millers Point, Australia

Sydney Observatory

This historic observatory contains the world's oldest refracting lens telescope.
-33.8596, 151.2047
Chichen Itza, Mexico

El Caracol - The Observatory of Chichen Itza

No telescopes, no power, no gift shop—one of the world's oldest observatories takes astronomy back to basics.
20.6802, -88.5707
Cenote Zací
Valladolid, Mexico

Cenote Zací

If you can look past the nearby sewer pipes, this urban sinkhole grotto is a mini-paradise.
20.6911, -88.1972
The descent of the snake god.
Chichen Itza, Mexico

Pyramid of Kukulcan at Chich'en Itza

Every equinox this Mayan pyramid puts on a spooky ancient light show.
20.6816, -88.5677
Houses inside Park Güell designed by Gaudí
Barcelona, Spain

Park Güell

Gaudí's famously flamboyant architectural style is on full display in this sprawling park and garden.
41.4136, 2.1528
Ministry of Interior building, adorned with a steel sculpture of Che Guevara
Havana, Cuba

La Plaza de la Revolución

A focal point of the Cuban government, this city square features one of the most iconic images in the country.
23.1243, -82.3859