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Forget Coral Reefs, These Snorkelers Prefer Soggy Bogs

Bog Snorkeling is exactly what it sounds like. (Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Kelly)When you think of snorkeling, you probably think about sunny, sandy shorelines, colorful tropical fish, and warm cerulean...

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100 Wonders: The Treehouse That God Built

Tree houses are special. Connected to a nostalgic vision of youth that one may or may not have experienced, tree houses still manage to retain the promise of freedom, secrets, and warm summer nights no...

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Is A Squirrel Smarter Than A Fifth-Grader?

An eastern gray squirrel reaching for a bird feeder while upside down. (Photo: waferboard/WikiCommons CC BY 2.0)They can defeat just about any attempts to block them from feasting on bird feeders and...

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FOUND: A Flying Spaghetti Monster

Bathyphysa confira, aka Flying Spaghetti Monster (Photo: Project SERPENT)The Flying Spaghetti Monster was first described in 2005, not by scientists but by a man poking fun at intelligent design. The...

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Fleeting Wonders: There's Still Time To See The Perseids

The Perseids giving it their all in 2013. (Photo: the very honest man/Flickr)The best show of the summer is still in the sky! Due to the constant churn of Earthly media coverage, it may seem like the...

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Jimmy 'Orion' Ellis Seemed So Much Like Elvis, People Thought He Actually Was

Orion is his iconic eagle suit. (Photo: Sun Records/Courtesy Pipoca Pictures)When Elvis Presley died in 1977, the mourning that ensued was as fevered and earnest as the fandom that surrounded him in...

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75 Years Later, the Deadly Bombing That Rocked the New York World's Fair Is...

The Hall of Nations area towards the British Pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. (Photo: Library of Congress)The World’s Fair of 1939-1940 was conceived as a way to pull New York out of the...

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FOUND: A River Hidden Under a Giant Pyramid

Chichen Itza (Photo: Cocojorgefalcon/Wikimedia)The city of Chichen Itza, in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, was one of the largest in the Maya world for centuries, starting sometime after the year 750...

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Treasures of The World's Largest Private Collection of Original Manuscripts

Einstein's Theory of Relativity. (All Photos: Courtesy Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums)This story was sponsored by the fine folks of Enjoy Illinois.Reading about history is interesting, but seeing...

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Fleeting Wonders: Miles Of Seaweed Choking Caribbean Beaches

A normal amount of sargassum. (Photo: James St. John/Flickr)If you like your postcards scrawled on, we've got the vacation for you. Beaches in the Caribbean and Barbados have become snarled in...

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Egyptmania: A Festivity for the Pharaohs Roundup

Illinois Obscura Society was created in partnership with Enjoy Illinois. Sign up to find out more about the back room tours, unusual adventures, and incredible parties that Atlas Obscura will be...

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FOUND: A Stone Giant in Upstate New York

The Cardiff Giant (Image: Public domain/Wikimedia)In the fall of 1869, a farmer named Stub Newell asked some neighbors to come over to help dig a well on his property in upstate New York, near the tiny...

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Cheating Wonders: Beringer's Lying Stones

Engravings of some crabby specimens from Beringer's figured stone collection, from his 1726 Lithographiæ Wirceburgensis. (Image: University of Heidelberg/CC BY-SA 3.0)In 1725, Dr. Johann Bartholomeus...

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Why Fake Diaries Can be as Powerful as the Real Thing

(Photo: MorganStudio/shutterstock.com)Sometime in 1993, Joe Nickell, an investigator of historical, paranormal and forensic mysteries, received a copy of the purported diary of one of the most infamous...

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The Time I Convinced A Hollywood Director that I Was My Identical Actress Twin

The Paul twins, Caroline (left) and Alexandra (right). (Photo: Caroline Paul)This is an excerpt from the Kindle single called Almost Her: The Strange Dilemma of Being Nearly Famous, published by...

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The Golden Age of Fake IDs Could Be Over

McLovin will be out of luck (Photo: youngthousands/Flickr)The past century has been a golden age of identification documents.As international travel and auto ownership boomed, so did the use of...

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The Man Who Can Punk Your Dog

Rudi pranks a colt. (Photo: RudiRok/Youtube)Imagine: you’re standing on a street corner, waiting for the light to change. A friendly-looking dog wanders up the sidewalk, tail wagging, a few steps ahead...

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Cheating Wonders: A Brief History of the Konami Code

(Photo: El Payo/Flickr)UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, B, A, START.Some of us could push those buttons on a video game controller in our sleep, just from muscle memory. But what's most...

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How To: Cheat Nuclear Fusion

(Photo: gadri/shutterstock.com)Nuclear fusion could be one of the most productive sources of energy known to man thanks to the nearly endless amount of power that is produced in the fusing of atomic...

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Marvel at the Awesome and Mysterious Power of 19th-Century Magic Advertisements

An 1894 poster for Harry Kellar's stage show. (Photo: Library of Congress)Devils. Crystal Balls. Skeletons. Bats. Floating figures. Disembodied heads. The promotional posters for late 19th-century...

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