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The Woman Who Survived the Lowest Body Temperature Ever

The Kjolen Mountains, site of Bågenholm's near-deadly plunge. (Photo: Tobias Radeskog/CC BY 3.0)Anna Bågenholm has spent much of her life at the University Hospital of North Norway in Tromsø. As a...

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The Quiet Comeback of Istanbul's Hidden Sufi Lodges

Whirling dervishes in Yenikapi Mevlevihanesi, Istanbul. (Photo: Ihsan Gercelman/Shutterstock.com)The whirling of the Mevlevi dervishes is one of Turkey's most iconic images, popularized in films and...

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The 1970s Monster Cereal That Caused a Pink Poop Panic

Franken Berry himself, showing off his scary new cereal. (Photo: Youtube)Stephen King's Cujo is best known for its titular villain, a rabid, killer St. Bernard. But tucked into a side plot is an even...

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The Name 'Lazarus' is More Popular Than It's Been in a Century

A little baby Lazarus? (Photo: Avsar Aras/CC BY-SA 4.0)Sure, everyone knows a John, Paul, or Mark, but how many people have met someone named Lazarus?While Lazarus is one of the most famous biblical...

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Watch a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Smithsonian's Natural History Collection

Despite being the third most visited museum in the entire world, there is much more to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History than meets the eye.In fact, 99 percent of the museum’s 144...

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Australia's Newest Beach Safety Tool is a Shark-Spotting Blimp

Don't even think about it, shark! (Photo: 4bplusme/CC0)Shark attacks don't happen very often, but when they do, they tend to be in Australia. Over the past year, down-under swimmers and surfers have...

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9 Tombs That Prove You Don't Have to Be a Pharaoh to Be Buried Under a Pyramid

The pyramid has been a symbol for burial and the afterlife for some 5,000 years—from the ancient pharaohs to Nic Cage, who commissioned his own pyramid vault just this decade. How this particular shape...

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A Religious Cult Believed They Could Be Reborn Inside Mount Fuji's 'Womb Caves'

Around 1848, Japan's tallest peak, Mount Fuji, was depicted in a multicolor panoramic woodblock map. Amid the intricately illustrated trails, vegetation, and turf, this print featured an unusual paper...

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Never Fear, Pet Owners: There's Now An Oxygen Mask For Your Cat

A demonstration of an oxygen mask fitting for a dog. (Photo: Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post/ Getty Images)When the call came in about the fire on Duff Avenue, the second that day for the Ames...

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The Incredibly Disturbing Medieval Practice of Gibbeting

Old Parr Road in Banbury, Oxfordshire is sweet: picture lush gardens, low-slung rock walls, and brick homes with brightly painted front doors. It is unlikely many who live there know that the road was...

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In 1926, Houdini Spent 4 Days Shaming Congress for Being in Thrall to...

Harry Houdini with Senator Capper on 26 February 1926, during hearings on the fortune telling bill, with mediums seated in the background. Capper was among the senators implicated as a client of...

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A Brief History of the Evolution of Locker Room Talk

A Navy ball team in 1943. (Photo: U.S. Navy/Library of Congress/LC-USE6-D-008506)Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has characterized his comments about grabbing women by genitals, caught on...

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What 'Locker Room Vulgarity' Meant in the 1984 Presidential Campaign

After a tape surfaced last week of Donald J. Trump, the 70-year-old Republican nominee who has long been accused as having very short fingers, bragging in 2005 about grabbing a woman's "pussy," he...

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The Worst-Tasting Flavor in the World Was Accidentally Discovered in a Lab

A pool of anti freeze, which contains the chemical bitrex. (Photo: ms.akr/CC BY 2.0)A version of this post originally appeared on Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long...

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How to Incorporate Human Remains Into Your Dinner Party

Your bones can be repurposed into this ceramic bowl. (All Photos: Morgan Capps and Ash Haywood)Every day, Justin Crowe pours himself a cup of coffee in the same mug. While the wide-brimmed cup’s...

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An American Boat Sailed to Vietnam During the War. Then It Disappeared

Al Hugon was lying on the carpet of his vacation home in Santa Cruz, California, staring up at a bookshelf. It was late summer, 1997, and news coverage of Princess Diana’s death was the only thing on...

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Watch People Paddle a Pumpkin in These Unusual Boat Races

Pumpkins can grow into gargantuan behemoths, some easily fitting one or two full-grown adults. And all around the world, pumpkins are carved and pitted not to make jack-o-lanterns or pumpkin pies, but...

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Ask Zardulu: Why Can't I Stop Shoplifting?

(All illustrations by Matt Lubchansky.)Welcome to the third installment of Atlas Obscura's new advice column, Ask Zardulu—read the first two here and here. Zardulu is an expert in all things mythic and...

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The Ballad of Ol' Rip, the Horny Toad That Wouldn't Die

The Texas horny toad. Adorably tough. (Photo: Joe Farah/Shutterstock.com)Gather round to hear the tale of Ol’ Rip, the lizard who beat death! Well, at least once. After being entombed in stone for 31...

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Can Asgardia Become The First Space Nation?

Could a space station like this be our newest nation state? (Photo: iurii/Shutterstock.com)This morning marked the announcement of the wildly ambitious Asgardia (no relation to the Marvel Comics...

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