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95 Years Later: Remembering the Sticky Horror of the Boston Molasses Flood

via Boston Public LibraryThere is no shortage of forgotten disasters, but few rival the 1919 Great Boston Molasses Disaster in the scope of its strangeness and the small memory of it in the place it...

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The True Grit Behind Old West Symbolism

Neon cowboy in Laughlin, Nevada (photograph by Arturo Sotillo)The 21st century American West — stretching across the Great Plains of the Dakotas to the deserts of Arizona and California — is a place...

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Relics of The World's Fair: Barcelona

Palau Nacional, Montjuïc, Barcelona (photograph by runner310/Flickr user)After visiting Paris and Chicago, Atlas Obscura's tour of Worlds' Fair relics stops next in Barcelona, home to two world's fairs...

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Photographs from Our First Road Trip to Philadelphia

Eastern State Penitentiary (all photographs by Michelle Enemark unless indicated)Earlier this month we launched our new Road Trip series of get-out-of-town adventures with a day of exploration in...

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Curious Fact of the Week: How Scotland Won the Sports Scene of San Francisco

"NO BOCCE GAMES ALLOWED. LAWN BOWLING ONLY" declares a sign outside an arrangement of neatly trimmed lawns in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The warning to those practicing a less refined outdoor...

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Three Thrill Rides Battle to the Top in a Race to Be the Tallest and Most...

Verrückt under construction (via theverruckt.com)There's an adrenaline-fueled race underway as amusement companies battle to have the tallest, fastest, and most exhilarating rides in the world. In the...

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What to Expect at Seven Places You Wouldn't Expect to Climb

photograph by mbeo/Flickr user"The mountains are calling and I must go..."So said John Muir in 1873. And so have many people quoted him since. Climbers are drawn to the outdoors, to the unforgiving and...

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Relics Of The World's Fair: New York City

The New York World's Fair in 1964 (via DJ Berson)After visiting Paris, Chicago, and Barcelona, Atlas Obscura's tour of Worlds' Fair relics stops next in New York City, home to two of the best-known...

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Wellcome Library Releases 100,000 Images of Art, History, and the Morbidly...

This week the fantastic Wellcome Library in London announced that they're releasing more than 100,000 images for Creative Commons use. While many Atlas Obscura readers may be familiar with the Wellcome...

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Help Protect Bannerman Castle, New York's Island Castle Ruins

Bannerman Castle (all photographs by the author)Many a Metro North traveler has pressed their face to the train when while passing through Beacon, New York, wondering what strangely medieval castle...

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Essential Guide to Monuments of Epic Failure

Design for a Victorian Tower of Babel - complete with a steam-powered railway (via Archive.org)Failure, by its nature, tends not to leave traces. Buildings are demolished. Books disappear into...

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Photo of the Week: Rotting Rides in Berlin's Abandoned Amusement Park

In the Photo of the Week feature, we highlight an exceptionally amazing photograph submitted by an Atlas Obscura user.Did you guys know that Atlas Obscura is all up on Instagram? We are always posting...

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Five of the Greatest Art Saves of World War II

War is a time of destruction, and many of the pieces of art or architecture that survived during World War II were saved by the courageous souls in the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program. The...

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Welcome to Polar Week 2014 at Atlas Obscura

The Neumeyer glacier, photographed in 1915 by Frank Hurley during Ernest Shackleton's Endurance expedition to Antarctica (via State Library of NSW)This week is Polar Week at Atlas Obscura! We'll be...

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The Dead Forests of Antarctica

Snowfields of Antarctica (photograph by Stephen Hudson, via Wikimedia)As a continent, Antarctica is often overlooked. Its total surface area stands in excess of 14 million km², which places it ahead of...

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Encounter the King of the Arctic at This Polar Bear Ice Bridge Hotel

photograph by Brad Josephs (all images courtesy Natural Habitat Adventures)The Arctic tundra is one of those places that evokes pure awe with its vast sparkling landscapes and wildlife unlike any other...

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The Architecture of Antarctica: Designing for the Extremes of Our Planet and...

Halley VI (via Forgemind ArchiMedia)Architecture in Antarctica has to withstand extremes that rival life on Mars. In fact, as a planetary analogue, engineering used for the rigid temperatures, harsh...

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Living with the Arctic Cowboys of Finland's Reindeer Territory

Still from "Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys" (all film stills courtesy the author)I love old Westerns. The character of the cowboy is infinitely appealing to me. I love the idea of a man alone in...

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Journey to the End of the Earth with These Digital Explorations of Antarctica

Ceremonial South Pole (all images via Google Street View)You can journey to the end of the Earth without leaving your home through Google Street View's captures of Antarctica. Sure, it's not likely to...

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Inuit Throat-Singing: A Guttural Game Gets a Cultural Resurgence

Karin and Kathy Kettler, throat singers and drum dancers performing at the Circumpolar Music Festival (via Alaska Dispatch/Vimeo)Throat singing is an Inuit oral tradition that's been passed on from...

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