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A Photographer Finds the Ghost of Woody Guthrie in an Abandoned Asylum

Inside Greystone Hospital (photograph by Phillip Buehler)In the legend of folk icon Woody Guthrie, his final 15 years as a hospital patient tormented by Huntington's Disease are often forgotten. The...

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Relics of the World's Fair: Knoxville, Tennesse

After visiting Paris, Chicago, Barcelona, New York City, Montreal, St. Louis, Melbourne, Seattle, and Brussels, Atlas Obscura's next stop in our tour of World's Fair relics is Knoxville, Tennessee,...

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The Real Game of Thrones

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, "Napoleon I on the Imperial Throne" (1806), oil on canvas (via Musée de l'Armée) In our anticipation for Sunday's premiere of Game of Thrones season four, today we take a...

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Hand of Glory: The Macabre Magic of Severed Hands

Hand of GloryA traditional form of punishment, under Sharia, Islamic law, and in Medieval Europe, involved publicly amputating a criminal’s body part, often the one used to commit a crime.The pain of...

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Germany's Real-Life Grand Budapest Hotel

The grand entrance to the hotel (all photographs by Mathias Wasik)It turns out the fictitious European town in which Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel was set isn’t so fictitious after all.Hidden...

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Vice in Montreal

The address was 312 Ontario Street. A series of apartment buildings stuck together made up the city's largest complex of brothels to date, where the mere mention of the numbers “312” would turn many...

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Objects of Intrigue: One-Handed Trombone

The one-handed trombone (courtesy Horniman Museum)The Horniman Museum in London has some fascinating objects in its musical instruments collection, from arm-shaped clappers to a crystallophone made...

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Funerals in the Vatican: Discovering the Final Rites of the Popes

The Pope lying in state at the National Museum of Funeral History (all images courtesy the museum)Two late 20th century Catholic leaders — Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII — will be canonized into...

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Destruction on the Horizon for the Eiffel Tower of Moscow

Shukhov Tower in Mosco (photograph by Ivtorov/Wikimedia)It's been compared to the Eiffel Tower and is celebrated by architects around the world, but after a century of looming over Moscow the Shukhov...

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The Radical Victorian Lady behind an Essential Collection of Botanical Art

The Marianne North Gallery at Kew Gardens (photograph by Jim Linwood)Walking into the Marianne North Gallery is like entering a palace of color. The walls are plastered in vibrant greens, oranges, and...

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Relics of the World's Fair: Brisbane

Expo 88 in Brisbane (via Brisbane City Council)After visiting Paris, Chicago, Barcelona, New York City, Montreal, St. Louis, Melbourne, Seattle, Brussels, and Knoxville, Atlas Obscura's final stop in...

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The Dusty, Diminutive Inhabitants of the San Diego Model Train Museum

To me, you would be hard pressed to find something more charming to focus your camera lens on than dusty scenes of miniature people going about their business.Every time I visit a model train museum, I...

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Into the Midnight Sun: How to Spend a Sunlit Night in Reykjavík

Atlas Obscura's Iceland Week is in partnership with Icelandair, who will fly you to this unreal wonderland for surprisingly cheap...Reykjavík's Hallgrímskirkja at night in July (photograph by...

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Waterways That May Run Their Course: America's 10 Most Endangered Rivers

Maroon Bells mountains on the White River (via US Department of Agriculture)The rivers of the United States are essential to drinking water for millions of Americans and the survival of natural...

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Into the Heart of Thrihnukagigur: A Trip Inside a Volcano

Atlas Obscura's Iceland Week is in partnership with Icelandair, who will fly you to this unreal wonderland for surprisingly cheap...The Thrihnukagigur volcano (photograph by Mr Hicks46/Flickr user)...

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80 Years Later, Retracing the Real Life of Bonnie and Clyde

Made into legends through books, comics, movies, songs, and TV specials, Bonnie and Clyde have lived on nearly 80 years after their deaths as a Depression era Romeo and Juliet. Brandishing high-powered...

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Watching the World Go By: A Timelapse Tour of Iceland

Atlas Obscura's Iceland Week is in partnership with Icelandair, who will fly you to this unreal wonderland for surprisingly cheap...Iceland is a country of otherworldly beauty, and to see this alien...

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The Cartography of Sound

Measuring the singing sands at Kelso Dunes in California (photograph by Trevor Cox)Plenty of guidebooks have photographs of stunning views and extensive texts on the sites to see, but rare are the...

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A Guide to the Ice Caves of Iceland

Atlas Obscura's Iceland Week is in partnership with Icelandair, who will fly you to this unreal wonderland for surprisingly cheap...Descending into an Icelandic ice cave (photograph by Ben Husmann)From...

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Essential Guide to Defying Gravity

Defying gravity on the beach of Sydney in 1937 (via State Library of New South Wales)Gravity got you down? Fight back! Gravity varies around the world, and you can actually weigh less in some places....

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