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Islands of The Undesirables: Rikers Island

An Aerial of Rikers Island (Photo: Doc Searls/Flickr) This is the fifth and final installment of five-part series on New York City's tendency to put its ill, its insane, its criminals and its dead on...

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Chill Out at These 9 Antarctic Outposts

(Photo: *christopher* on Wikipedia)Why not head South for the summer, to the frozen lands of Antarctica? There is no better way to beat the heat than in one of the most frigid places on Earth. There...

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The Mystery of the Mule Deer

From The deer of all lands, 1898, Richard Richard Lydekker (Image: Public Domain/WikiCommons)For Neal Woodman, the mystery began with a shrew. But it led to an eccentric 19th century biologist, an...

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The Large Plasma Tubes Above the Earth's Atmosphere

Plasma tubes. (Image: CAASTRO/Loi via io9.com) For over six decades, scientists have speculated about the existence of plasma structures that reside in the magnetosphere’s inner layers. Researchers in...

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FOUND: Boston's Missing Rembrandt Was in the Library All Along

The missing prints (Photo: Boston Public Library)Several months ago, the Boston Public Library discovered it had a problem. Two very valuable works of art—an etching by Rembrandt worth $30,000 and a...

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Would You Like Some Heroin For Your Cough?

It's 1898. You wake up on a cold morning and the full effects of a cold hit you: coughing, sneezing, and a terrible fever. Like any self-respecting American in the latter half of the 19th century, you...

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Why Do So Many Historic Hotels Claim to be Haunted?

Exterior of the Grove Park Inn. (Photo: Courtesy the Grove Park Inn)In Asheville, North Carolina there’s a 102-year-old hotel that looks like a stone castle, built from granite boulders transported...

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In Canada, You Can Just Write the Date Whichever Way You Want

06/08/2015.If you read the preceding set of numbers and slashes as June 8, 2015, then you are, without a doubt, as American as baseball, apple pie, and Britney Spears. But that would put you in the...

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FOUND: Ghostly 100-Year-Old Chalkboard Drawings

A detail from one of the drawings (Image: OKCPS Twitter)Early in December of 1917, D.J. Gerst Co., along with R.J. Scott the custodian of Oklahoma City's Emerson High School, wrote a message: "We this...

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Forgotten Heritage: Wind Tunnels of the Jet Age

The side view of a propeller rig at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) at Farnborough (Photo: Forgotten Heritage Photography)For decades, the town of Farnborough, located around 40 miles southwest...

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The Abandoned Medical Facilities of the Future

A giant house, meant to be a rehab center, never finished (Photo: Christy Buck)The empty building on Country Road 59, on the very fringes of the Houston metro area, looks less like a medical facility...

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FOUND: Footage of Amelia Earhart, Just Before Her Last Flight

Earhart on her plane (Photo: Screenshot of "Amelia Earhart's Last Photo Shoot")In May—or maybe it was March—of 1937, Amelia Earhart invited photographer Al Bresnik to photograph her and her plane as...

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10 Stunning Scenes of Mammal Migrations

Mule deer wading along the Red Desert-Hoback migratory route in western Wyoming (Photo: Joe Riis)Long-distance migrations are a deep-rooted impulse for many hoofed mammals around the world, and a rare...

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Object of Intrigue: The Most Beautiful Banknote in U.S. History

Detail from the obverse of the United States $1 silver certificate, issued in 1896. (Photo: National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution on Wikipedia)Art and money have a complicated...

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Behold the Obscura Day Photo Contest Winners

It's no secret that May 30th was a big day at Atlas Obscura HQ—the biggest day, Obscura Day, where we held around 165 events all over the world. And since we could only physically go to less than, say,...

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Nervous System Hookup Leads to Telepathic Hand-Holding

Irena wears a necklace that changes color based on signals from Kevin's nervous system. (Photo: Kevin Warwick)We all know couples who seem to communicate telepathically. They order for each other at...

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The Battle For The Crown Of America's Best Shopping Mall

A parking lot at King of Prussia mall. (Photo: Montgomery County Planning Commission/Flickr)It's one thing to be the biggest mall. What about being the best mall?On the popular online forum City Data,...

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FOUND: Blood Cells in a Dinosaur Bone

One of the bones (Photo: Laurent Mekul)In a new paper, published in Nature Communications, a team of scientists from Imperial College London report that they looked carefully at a group of dinosaur...

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Israeli Assassin Sylvia Rafael Never Meant to Be Famous

Sylvia Rafael in her identity as Canadian news photographer Patricia Roxenburg. (Photo: Courtesy of Keshet Publishing) This story is part of series on female assassins. Previously: Which of Gerald...

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Inside the Derelict Flintstones Theme Park Being Sold for $2 Million

Bedrock City!(All photos: Michelle Enemark for Atlas Obscura)At one point in the 1970s, there were at least six different theme parks inspired by The Flintstones in North America. Although the animated...

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