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The Riskiest Roads in the World

Do you know that road traffic accidents kill more people across the globe than malaria? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than 1.3 million deaths on the road and over 50...

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Double Sunsets and Peasants with Pitchforks in the Trials of 18th Century...

The Jardin des Tuileries depicted during the balloon launch (hand-colored etching, 1783) (via Library of Congress)1783 was a big year for ballooning, one with peasants attacking the strange flying...

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Things within Things Which Are the Same Things

Matryoshka dolls are the famed Russian creation where each little person opens into a yet smaller person. Oddly satisfying, aren't they? But what about volcanoes inside volcanoes, or a castle inside...

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Broken Hill: Where Mining and Mad Max Sequels Refuse to Die

Mine in Broken Hill (all photographs by the author)Things in Australia's Outback can come off as a bit “out-there,” at times. And Broken Hill, New South Wales — 700 miles west of Sydney, or half that...

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Bring out Your Dead to These Corpse Roads

Illustration from "Death's Doings" by Richard Dagley (1827) (via British Library)Funerals in the Middle Ages were very DIY. Not only did you personally tend to your loved one's decomposing corpse, you...

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No Trains Required to Ride the Rails

Jeep on the train tracks in France during WWII (via PhotosNormandie)It’s a fact of life: not everyone can afford a private train. Even if we could, the diesel bills and traffic jams would be...

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Where the Deadly Things Grow

Sign at Alnwick Poison Gardens (photograph by Jo Jakeman)Compared to fauna, flora and fungi have a pretty mellow reputation where humans are concerned. Unsubstantiated rumors of man-eating pitcher...

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Objects of Intrigue: Chopin's Immortal Hands

Chopin's hand in the Frederick Chopin Museum in Warsaw (photograph by Adrian Grycuk)When genius dies, sometimes we try to dissect what made a person great. In the case of Polish composer Frédéric...

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The Library That Put Readers in Cages

The reading cages at Marsh's Library in Dublin (via Marsh's Library)Recently we explored a medieval form of book security: chained libraries. But a reader brought to our attention a library in Dublin,...

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Soaked to the Bone: A Not-Strictly-Legal Descent into the Secret Catacombs of...

Inside the Paris Catacombs (photograph by Claire Narkissos)“Just a leisurely stroll around the Empire of the Dead,” I told myself when a friend got wind of a private expedition through a forbidden...

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Essential Guide to Waking Nightmares

via State Library of NSWHappy Friday the 13th, and welcome to our nightmare! Sometimes what is real truly is stranger than fiction, and even more terrifying than the realm of dreams. Here are 13 places...

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Books and Booze: The California Craft of Printing and Craft Beer

Los Angeles has plenty of unique collections and unusual museums, but we were delighted to find out that it touts the largest collection of vintage printing machinery — in the world! — at the...

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Left No Ball Unchased: Endearing Epitaphs in America's Oldest Pet Cemetery

As anyone who has lost a little companion knows, there is a grief for a dearly departed pet, whether it be dog or cat or iguana. However, before 1896, there was no official place in the United States...

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Wild Israel: Nature in Unexpected Places

Atlas Obscura’s Israel Week is in partnership with Go Israel.com, your guide to Israel’s beautiful destinations and its many hidden wonders!The terrain of Israel is much more diverse than you might...

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Neverlands: The Enchanting Destinations of 11 Fantasy Epics

If your film is set in a world out of fairytales and is peopled with wizards and elves, it may be tempting to film the whole thing on a soundstage. But some filmmakers managed to find fantastical...

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Guide to the Bauhaus Architecture of the "White City" of Tel Aviv

Atlas Obscura’s Israel Week is in partnership with Go Israel.com, your guide to Israel’s beautiful destinations and its many hidden wonders!Detail of the Bauhaus Museum, Tel Aviv (photograph by...

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The Hidden Wonders of Underwater Israel

Atlas Obscura’s Israel Week is in partnership with Go Israel.com, your guide to Israel’s beautiful destinations and its many hidden wonders!Some of the most beautiful wonders of Israel aren't on the...

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Small Wonders: Five of the World's Most Elaborate Dioramas

A visitor to a museum today is often confronted by an array of electronic gadgetry and interactive displays exhibiting the museum’s content in a manner that will appeal to our technology addicted...

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The Intersection of Past and Present in One of Jerusalem's Oldest Neighborhoods

Atlas Obscura’s Israel Week is in partnership with Go Israel.com, your guide to Israel’s beautiful destinations and its many hidden wonders!Old & Newer in Israel (all photographs by Julian...

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Guide to Israeli Street Art

Atlas Obscura’s Israel Week is in partnership with Go Israel.com, your guide to Israel’s beautiful destinations and its many hidden wonders!Art by Klone in Israel (photograph by Carlos Rodríguez...

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