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Exploring Iceland with the Abandoned Houses Project

Atlas Obscura's Iceland Week is in partnership with Icelandair, who will fly you to this unreal wonderland for surprisingly cheap...Dagverðará situated on Snæfellsnes on the western part of Iceland...

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On Holiday with the Dark Lord: The World's Most Metal Places

Pits of fire that never go out, monumental skulls, an angel of death that cries black tears — these are some of the most "metal" places in the world. So if you're looking to shoot your next intense...

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Morbid Monday: Resurrection through Decomposition

1694 memento mori painting in the Augustiner Museum in Germany (photo by Wolfgang Sauber)For some cultures, death is the beginning of a purification process that starts with decomposition and ends with...

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After the Wrap: The Post-Shooting Life of Sixteen Film Sets

A big part of any film’s budget concerns the set — finding and renting a location, altering its look, and sometimes building the whole thing from scratch. Usually the crew strikes everything after...

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Tombées du Camion: Inside a Parisian Cabinet of Curiosities

Tombées du Camion (photograph by Matthias Biberon)Tucked away in a forgotten passageway, between the upmarket fashion boutiques of Rue des Abbesses and the fall from grace to the seedy strip of...

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New York City's Secret Places of Silence

Central Synagogue on Lexington Avenue (all photos courtesy Frances Lincoln Publishers)Subways rumbling beneath the pavement and blaring their horns, taxis zooming down the avenues, pounding...

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Society Adventures: The Dying Art of Taxidermy

On March 22, Obscura Society LA visited Allis Markham at her new taxidermy studio in the Spring Arts Tower, a vibrant community in the historic core of downtown Los Angeles. Climbing up to the fourth...

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The Mummies of Mexico City

Mummies in Museo de El Carmen (all photographs by the author)Being in Mexico City for Holy Week has its advantages. If you’re interested in Catholic rites and rituals you’ll find plenty to do during...

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Meet the world’s greatest living explorer – Charles Brewer Carias 


Our fellow explorers over at Hendrick's Gin have been up to some very interesting things, including an expedition to Venezuela in search of a mysterious botanical with veteran explorer Charles Brewer...

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Monkeys in the Falling Snow: Japan's Best Wildlife Photo Opp

Jigokudani Monkey Park (all photographs by the author)It’s not easy to get to Jigokudani Monkey Park, which is probably why it still exists. The nearest town, Yamanouchi, is nestled deep in the...

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Long Abandoned Clock Tower is Returning to Life in Queens

The clock tower on the U-Haul building in Flushing, Queens (all photos by the author)The four-sided clock tower that presides over Queens, New York, from atop the U-Haul building on College Point...

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Stolen Brains and Last Breaths: 6 Relics of Science

Detail of a memento mori tableau by Josef Scheuplein, where death visits a doctor & scientist (via Wikimedia)The mummified bodies, body parts, and bones of holy men and women have been preserved...

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Safety through Singing with Musical Roads

Musical Road sign in Japan (photograph by Tzuhsun Hsu) While driving in Japan you may see a treble clef curiously gracing a road sign or painted right on the asphalt, and then hear a shaky tune...

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The Second Lives of Aging Infrastructure

Enjoying the sunset on New York City's High Line (photograph by Filipp Solovev)Many obsolete industrial areas are having their urban infrastructure adapted from a place of work into a place of play....

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On the Road to Nowhere: Abandoned Bridges

Viaduc de Caramel, France (photograph by Jpmgir/Wikimedia)Bridges to nowhere are international monuments of failure. Whether the highways meant to connect to them never got built, funding dried out,...

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Centralia: The Ghost Town Abandoned Because of the Fire beneath It

Centralia today (all photographs by the author)When you think of American ghost towns, it's likely that you picture a crumbling Wild West outpost. However, in the middle of Pennsylvania, there's a town...

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Wandering in the Wild of the Venezuelan Rainforest Searching for Botanicals...

 Our fellow explorers over at Hendrick's Gin have been up to some very interesting things, taking an expedition to Venezuela in search of a mysterious botanical with veteran explorer Charles Brewer...

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The Bizarre Gut Wound That Changed the History of Medicine

On Mackinac Island, old-fashioned fudge shops abound and visitors ride around its rocky shoreline in buggies or on bikes — motor vehicles are mostly prohibited to maintain its quaint charm. This...

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I'm Big in Australia: The Concrete Giant Obsession Down Under

Australians, it seems, have a penchant for oversized things. From the Big Boxing Crocodile in Humpty Doo, Northern Territory (not to be confused with the plain old Big Crocodile in Wyndham, Western...

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Secret Libraries of New York City

Lantern slide of the New York Public Library (via NYPL)As the debate continues over the renovation of the main branch of the New York Public Library — a design by Norman Foster that would radically...

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