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The First Ever Stethoscope Was a Simple Wooden Tube

Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet's 19th-century stethoscope. (Photo: Wellcome Images/CC SA: BY 4.0)At the Necker Hospital in Paris, Dr. René Laennec stood at the bedside of a female patient who complained of...

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India's Richest Man Offers Free Cellular Data Service to Millions

Mukesh Ambani, right, with Hillary Clinton and, left, Ratan Tata, the former chairman of the Tata Group, the massive Indian conglomerate. (Photo: Public domain)For a country of over a billion people,...

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New York City Is Building a Home for 50,000 Oysters From 5,000 Toilets

Oysters being moved to Jamaica Bay. (Photo: NYC DEP)Once, the waters around New York City were home to a thriving population of oysters and other sea life. Long story short, pollution killed the...

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A River In Arctic Russia Has Turned Blood Red

A color-altered photo of the area around the Daldykan River. (Photo: NASA/Public Domain)Either the End Times are here, or there has been a chemical leak, but, whatever the case, Russia’s Daldykan...

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Chronicling America’s Love of the Log Flume

Still crazy after all these years. (Photo: ShaunWilkinson/Shutterstock.com)It doesn't matter whether your amusement park of choice is Disney World the local local fun park. When you visit, you're going...

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We're Hitting the Road for a 12-City Book Tour Across America

Atlas Obscura is celebrating the launch of its very first book: Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders!This fall, we're kicking off the book's publication with a 12-city book...

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Election Fraud in the 1800s Involved Kidnapping and Forced Drinking

A depiction of politicians trying to buy votes from an 1857 Harper's Weekly. (Photo: Library of Congress/LC-USZ62-118006)This summer Donald Trump stoked fears that rampant voter fraud could hurt his...

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Watch These Daredevils Take a Spin on 55-Foot Windmill Sails

In 1908, San Francisco built two large windmills, the southern Murphy Windmill and the northern Dutch Windmill—structural oddities in a bustling port metropolis. The windmills’ massive four vanes, or...

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Bob Dylan, a Musician, Is Set To Drop A New Welded Gateway Later This Year

The artist at work. (Photo: MGM National Harbor/Used With Permission)Against all odds, Bob Dylan is still making music, but even stranger, he is also still creating huge, welded gateways. As noted on...

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In 1981, Clowns Allegedly Appeared Across Boston, Similar to Current Clown Panic

Clowns! (Photo: Frank Behrens/CC BY-SA 2.0)As everyone who cares about America is probably aware, clown hysteria has taken over the Carolinas. The big-shoed menaces are allegedly lurking in the woods...

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The Persistent Racism of America's Cemeteries

 A view of Greenwood Cemetery in Waco, Texas. (Photo: © Google 2016)Earlier this summer, the city of Waco, Texas issued an order to remove a fence in the city’s public burial ground, Greenwood...

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The Brilliant MI6 Spy Who Perfected the Art of the 'Honey Trap'

Betty Pack on her wedding day. (Photo: Churchill Archives Center, Papers of Harford Montgomery Hyde, HYDE 02 011/Courtesy Harper Collins)These days the “honeypot” is a popular trope in espionage...

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The First Robot 'Motherships' Are Coming ... And They're Minivans

Bow down to the future of package delivery. (Photo: Starship Technologies)The future of robot transportation is here, and it has arrived in the form of a soccer mom’s dream vehicle. As reported in the...

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Places You Can No Longer Go: The Floating Church of the Redeemer

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There's New Evidence in the Mystery of Neil Armstrong's Missing 'A'

Armstrong on the moon. (Photo: NASA)When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in 1969, he uttered a series of words. “One small step”…but for whom? Most famously, the quote is “One small step for man, one...

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Florida Man Fends Ten Sharks Off With Fishing Pole

Sharks! (Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service/CC BY 2.0)There are good fishing trips, where you pull in something big and photo-worthy. There are sad fishing trips, where you don't get much of anything....

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The Mysterious Origins of This Unnervingly Life-like Japanese Doll from the...

The Masakichi doll in situ at Ripley's. (Photo: © 2016 Ripley Entertainment Inc)In the Ripley's Odditorium in Amsterdam, there is a loin cloth-clad doll that is so incredibly detailed and realistic,...

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One of Brooklyn's Oldest Trees Could Live in Your Living Room

That's one very large log. (Photo: RE-CO BKLYN)The European Elm tree that grew in a corner of Brooklyn's Prospect Park was one of the city's most impressive trees. Planted in the park's early years,...

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Watch a Man Test an Early Football Helmet by Getting Kicked in the Head

Slather those chicken wings in orange coating and pour that light beer, because football's back. The NFL juggernaut spurs into action tonight, as the Panthers play the Broncos to kick off the new...

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How Fish Forensics Uncovered the Long-Lost Alabama Sturgeon

2007's Alabama sturgeon, the last one ever caught. (Photo: Courtesy Steve Rider)Biologist Steve Rider has spent 15 years searching for the long-lost Alabama sturgeon. He's draped gill nets up and down...

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