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This 1,700 Year Old Egg Never Broke—And Now It’s Further Stunning Scientists

They still can’t fully crack the mystery. About 50 miles northwest of London sits a very old wishing well. Romans used to toss objects into the water here, offering items to the gods for good luck....

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Swiss Maps Are Full of Hidden Secrets

Find the Easter eggs—or the naked lady. Swiss humor. Now there’s two words you don’t often see together. In fact, Google Trends lists zero occurrences of the phrase between 2004 and now. Even “German...

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The Atlas Obscura Crossword: Don't Get Wrecked

Atlas Obscura's weekly crossword comes to us from creator Laura Braunstein, an academic librarian who lives in New Hampshire. She has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, and AV...

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The Best Clues to Life on Mars Could Be in These Idaho Fossils

Well-preserved ancient plants and other finds at the Clarkia fossil beds hint at what kind of evidence any Martian life may have left behind. This story was originally published on The Conversation. It...

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Ancient Egyptians Celebrated the Feast of Drunkenness with Blood-Red Beer

One of history's earliest mixed drinks was made to appease a ferocious goddess. THIS ARTICLE IS ADAPTED FROM THE FEBRUARY 24, 2024, EDITION OF GASTRO OBSCURA’S FAVORITE THINGS NEWSLETTER. YOU CAN SIGN...

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Podcast: Hints of Home

Listeners share places that instantly made them feel at home, from Parisian streets to an ancient Egyptian temple. Listen and subscribe on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all major podcast apps....

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Immerse Yourself in Colorado's Charming Small Towns

Marvel at crisp blue skies, snow-capped hills, bustling breweries, and sparkling landscapes. Marvel at crisp blue skies, snow-capped hills, bustling breweries, and sparkling landscapes.

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Baby Sea Stars Are Voracious Predators That Might Just Save an Ecosystem

Along the Pacific Coast, fast and furious sunflower sea stars are vicious hunters as adults—and they're even hungrier when young. Along the northern Pacific coast, bright orange, blue, green, and pink...

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A False Volcano Emergency Created This Stunning Abandoned Village

Welcome to the ghost town of a modern Vesuvius that never happened. The oldest inhabited part of Pozzuoli, a town just west of Naples, looks like a typical picturesque Italian village ready to be taken...

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Podcast: Jerry’s Hat Museum

A worship of over 16,000 hats… plus 32,000 pens and pencils. Listen and subscribe on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all major podcast apps. In this episode of The Atlas Obscura Podcast, we...

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Surprise! You Own a Long-Lost Cemetery

Families across the U.S. are finding each other through a forgotten, historically Black graveyard. It was a regular December day in Los Osos, California when Levi Henry received a meeting invitation...

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It's Lent. Do You Know Where Your Fish Fry Is?

Across the country, communities are mapping out where to get their seasonal fish fix. When I ask Ron Faiola if he’s planning on going out to eat this Friday, he laughs. “I don't go out during Lent,...

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How One of Science's Biggest Errors Persisted for 1,500 Years

Ptolemy's compendium, later known as the Almagest, dominated Western astronomy for 15 centuries. It was also wrong, and it took the fall of an empire to fix it. A basic understanding of the solar...

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The Forgotten Women Who Shaped the Roman Empire

From a first-century poet to a Roman consul’s wife. In Atlas Obscura’s Q&A series She Was There, we talk to female scholars who are writing long-forgotten women back into history. If you spent time...

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The Mystery of Monsieur de New York, Celebrity Hangman

Considered an artist of the gallows, his true identity is shrouded in myth and hyperbole.  In 1881, a mysterious story ran in the National Police Gazette, a salacious saloon and barbershop tabloid that...

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Podcast: Black History in Plain Sight with Places Editors Jonathan and Michelle

From an Atlantic City boardwalk to a Black taxidermist's near-ubiquitous work at Chicago's Field Museum. Listen and subscribe on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all major podcast apps. For...

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It’s Official: There’s Another ‘World’s Largest Snake’

Even actor Will Smith saw it slither through the Amazon. The cloudy swamps and creeping streams that cover vast expanses of South America harbor some of the most hair-raising wildlife on the planet:...

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Why Are There So Many Abandoned Churches?

Changing neighborhoods, loss of faith, even heating bills make places of worship among the most common types of forgotten places. It had been seven years since I first visited the abandoned Ascension...

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