ATLAS OBSCURA

THE WORLD DISCOVERER
SOLOMON ISLANDS
Both eerie and impressive to behold, this half-sunken sea-liner has been lying, tipped to one side, half-submerged since 2000. Once a globetrotting cruise ship, it was able to easily navigate the 8000 miles of the Northwest Passage, but a fateful date with an uncharted reef ended its seafaring career for good.
Learn more at Atlas Obscura High-res

THE WORLD DISCOVERER

SOLOMON ISLANDS

Both eerie and impressive to behold, this half-sunken sea-liner has been lying, tipped to one side, half-submerged since 2000. Once a globetrotting cruise ship, it was able to easily navigate the 8000 miles of the Northwest Passage, but a fateful date with an uncharted reef ended its seafaring career for good.

Learn more at Atlas Obscura

OBSCURA SOCIETY NYC: AN EVENING WOLF HOWL

Join the New York Obscura Society and leave the city lights behind as we head north to the Wolf Conservation Center for a visit with these rare and highly misunderstood animals at their favorite hour, dusk.

Thursday, July 24, 5:00-10:00pm

$60 ticket price includes roundtrip transportation, wine and snacks

We will be meeting at 5:00pm in Williamsburg, Brooklyn underneath the BQE overpass at the intersection of Meeker and Union. Please arrive promptly; vans will be leaving no later than 5:15pm

Buy tickets to help us welcome adorable wolf pup Nikai to the pack

ERNEST HEMINGWAY HOME & MUSEUM
-KEY WEST, FLORIDA
This ornate, Spanish-style house is filled with Hemingway memorabilia from the more than 20 years in which he occupied the house. Hemingway’s typewriter is still there, as are numerous mounted heads and skins from his famed hunting trips in Africa.
In honor of the Nobel Prize-winning American writer’s birthday; we present his home and the present home to many six-toed cats
Atlas obscura

ERNEST HEMINGWAY HOME & MUSEUM

-KEY WEST, FLORIDA

This ornate, Spanish-style house is filled with Hemingway memorabilia from the more than 20 years in which he occupied the house. Hemingway’s typewriter is still there, as are numerous mounted heads and skins from his famed hunting trips in Africa.

In honor of the Nobel Prize-winning American writer’s birthday; we present his home and the present home to many six-toed cats

Atlas obscura

Aerial view of Mecca in 2010, showing new construction alongside the Kaaba (photograph byFadi El Benni, via Al Jazeera English) Mecca is one of the “unruly places” featured in a new book by Alastair Bonnett. 
UNRULY PLACES: ALASTAIR BONNETT EXPLORES A FERAL WORLD UNTAMED BY GEOGRAPHY
BY ALLISON MEIER / 21 JUL 2014

With Google patrolling the streets and even far flung locales like Mount Everest, and the proliferation of geotagged documentation of the planet on social media, it can feel like every corner has been catalogued and confirmed. Yet it was only two years ago that Sandy Island, illustrated on maps for over a century, was proved fictional, and even some of the world’s most iconic locales like Mecca are in a rapid state of flux with new construction paving over the old. In Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett, published this month by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, these “feral” destinations are explored.
Atlas Obscura spoke with Bonnett about Unruly Places, and discussed the myth of a fully-documented world, in the latest article found here…   High-res

Aerial view of Mecca in 2010, showing new construction alongside the Kaaba (photograph byFadi El Benni, via Al Jazeera English) Mecca is one of the “unruly places” featured in a new book by Alastair Bonnett. 

UNRULY PLACES: ALASTAIR BONNETT EXPLORES A FERAL WORLD UNTAMED BY GEOGRAPHY

BY ALLISON MEIER / 21 JUL 2014
With Google patrolling the streets and even far flung locales like Mount Everest, and the proliferation of geotagged documentation of the planet on social media, it can feel like every corner has been catalogued and confirmed. Yet it was only two years ago that Sandy Island, illustrated on maps for over a century, was proved fictional, and even some of the world’s most iconic locales like Mecca are in a rapid state of flux with new construction paving over the old. In Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett, published this month by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, these “feral” destinations are explored.
THE DEAD FORESTS OF ANTARCTICA
BY DARMON RICHTER / 27 JAN 2014

As a continent, Antarctica is often overlooked. Its total surface area stands in excess of 14 million km², which places it ahead of Europe in terms of size — and makes it almost twice the size of Australia. As much as 98% of the continent’s surface is covered in thick, compacted ice, reaching an average depth of over a mile. The continent is beset by some of the fiercest winds on the planet, and temperatures have been reported to drop as low as −129 °F… the lowest temperature ever recorded anywhere.
Despite being the most inhospitable place on the planet however, recent scientific discoveries suggest that this forgotten continent – sometimes nicknamed the “Great White Desert” – may in fact have once been carpeted in forest.
Get the full story at Atlas Obscura
High-res

THE DEAD FORESTS OF ANTARCTICA

BY DARMON RICHTER / 27 JAN 2014

As a continent, Antarctica is often overlooked. Its total surface area stands in excess of 14 million km², which places it ahead of Europe in terms of size — and makes it almost twice the size of Australia. As much as 98% of the continent’s surface is covered in thick, compacted ice, reaching an average depth of over a mile. The continent is beset by some of the fiercest winds on the planet, and temperatures have been reported to drop as low as −129 °F… the lowest temperature ever recorded anywhere.

Despite being the most inhospitable place on the planet however, recent scientific discoveries suggest that this forgotten continent – sometimes nicknamed the “Great White Desert” – may in fact have once been carpeted in forest.

Get the full story at Atlas Obscura

TODRA GORGE -PROVINCE DE TINGHIR, MOROCCO
Situated on the east side of the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco, the Todra Gorge is recognized around the world as one of the most spectacular canyons.
Here, both the Todra and Dades Rivers have carved out cliff-sided canyons on their final 25-mile stretch through the mountains, leaving behind this series of reliefs and etches in the rock. The Todra is the name of the last 600 meters (just under 2,000 feet) of the canyons. In places, this gorge measures just 33 feet across, but the cliffs are more than 500 feet tall on either side. The river has since dried up, leaving only the imagination to picture the powerful natural forces that once carved this region.
Learn more about the nearby village and other amazing destinations in the area at Atlas Obscura

TODRA GORGE -PROVINCE DE TINGHIR, MOROCCO

Situated on the east side of the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco, the Todra Gorge is recognized around the world as one of the most spectacular canyons.

Here, both the Todra and Dades Rivers have carved out cliff-sided canyons on their final 25-mile stretch through the mountains, leaving behind this series of reliefs and etches in the rock. The Todra is the name of the last 600 meters (just under 2,000 feet) of the canyons. In places, this gorge measures just 33 feet across, but the cliffs are more than 500 feet tall on either side. The river has since dried up, leaving only the imagination to picture the powerful natural forces that once carved this region.

Learn more about the nearby village and other amazing destinations in the area at Atlas Obscura

MARKET STREET CATACOMBS -INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA
Tunneled beneath the city streets with limestone and brick archways, the catacombs were used to transport and store meats and produce to be sold in the market before the days of refrigeration. The 20,000 square-foot subterranean area stayed cooler than the streets above, so they were used to help preserve food for the entire market overnight, waiting to be brought back aboveground the next day.

More than a century later, many parts of the catacombs remain remarkably intact, while others are crumbling to their limestone foundations. Thanks to the preservation of the City Market, the Indianapolis catacombs are one of only a dozen or so catacomb sites that still exist in America.
For more information and amazing places to explore, visit atlasobscura.com High-res

MARKET STREET CATACOMBS -INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

Tunneled beneath the city streets with limestone and brick archways, the catacombs were used to transport and store meats and produce to be sold in the market before the days of refrigeration. The 20,000 square-foot subterranean area stayed cooler than the streets above, so they were used to help preserve food for the entire market overnight, waiting to be brought back aboveground the next day.

More than a century later, many parts of the catacombs remain remarkably intact, while others are crumbling to their limestone foundations. Thanks to the preservation of the City Market, the Indianapolis catacombs are one of only a dozen or so catacomb sites that still exist in America.

For more information and amazing places to explore, visit atlasobscura.com

THE KUNSTKAMMER ROYAL CHAMBER OF ART AND WONDERS REOPENS IN VIENNA

BY ALLISON MEIER /08 MAR 2013
After being closed for a decade for renovations, the Kunstkammer Wien reopened early March with its glorious displays of curiosities alongside wonders of art. The objects, which include carved rhinoceros horns, automatons, tapestries, scientific instruments, and ivory sculptures, were collected by the Habsburgs, back when royal families were as intent on having the best of the weird from around the world as they were on acquiring work from the most talented artists. The Kunst and Wunderkammer (rooms of art and natural wonders) of the Habsburgs are now held inside the Kunsthistorisches Museum as a sort of museum within a museum.

Modern Mortality: A Q&A with “American Afterlife” Author Kate Sweeney
by Allison Meier / 16 Jul 2014

The art of dying in the United States is in a league of its own in terms of options, and cost. While green burial sites sprawled through forests, and even underwater reefs where ashes have been transformed into future homes for fish, are growing in popularity, there are still the exorbitantly expensive coffins buried in carefully manicured cemeteries, the embalming, the obituaries. American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning by Kate Sweeney, published this March by the University of Georgia Press, goes on-the-ground in examining what the history of death is in the United States, and how it’s rapidly changing. We asked Sweeney, an Atlanta-based author and award-winning radio story producer with NPR affiliate WABE, about her walk through the shadow of death. 
American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning by Kate Sweeney is available from University of Georgia Press. 

Full Story available at Atlas Obscura… High-res

The art of dying in the United States is in a league of its own in terms of options, and cost. While green burial sites sprawled through forests, and even underwater reefs where ashes have been transformed into future homes for fish, are growing in popularity, there are still the exorbitantly expensive coffins buried in carefully manicured cemeteries, the embalming, the obituaries. American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning by Kate Sweeney, published this March by the University of Georgia Press, goes on-the-ground in examining what the history of death is in the United States, and how it’s rapidly changing. We asked Sweeney, an Atlanta-based author and award-winning radio story producer with NPR affiliate WABE, about her walk through the shadow of death.

American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning by Kate Sweeney is available from University of Georgia Press.

Full Story available at Atlas Obscura…

BEYOND THE BONDS OF DEATH: FOUR PLACES TO FIND HOUDINI’S LEGEND STILL LIVING IN NYC

BY ALLISON MEIER / 25 FEB 2014
Harry Houdini arrived in New York City in 1886, an anonymous Budapest-born newcomer in the frenetic cityscape. By the time he died in 1926, however, he was the city’s most thrilling performer, and the shadow of the great escape artist still remains.
It was while performing in Coney Island that he met his future wife Bess, in Flatbush where he recorded his voice on wax cylinders with Thomas Edison, and in 1917 he performed his straightjacket escape above a Times Square crowd while hanging upside down from a crane being employed to work on the subway. In the East River he survived his first crate escape, tossed in the currents between Manhattan and Brooklyn, and in 1926 he escaped from a coffin at the bottom of a pool in the Shelton Hotel on Lexington (now a Marriott Hotel). In 1918, he even made an elephant vanish at the New York Hippodrome.

KOROWAI TREE HOUSES -KIA, INDONESIA

Known primarily for being one of the last active tribes of cannibals, the Korowai of Papua, in Indonesia, lived in total isolation until first contacted by Dutch missionaries in the 1970s. But while the tribal penchant for cannibalism was what got them the most press, the Korowai have another fascinating cultural trait: they are the fantastic architects of towering tree homes built as high as 114 feet above the ground!

Despite being fiercely isolationist in the last decade or so, members of the Korowai tribe have been leaving their isolated homelands and moving into nearby towns. With only about 3000-4000 tribe members in all, it is estimated that they may only have one more generation of traditional lifestyle left before becoming essentially integrated into the rest of the island society.

Learn more of the tribes fascinating traditions at Atlas Obscura