Sunday, April 1, 2012

A-Z: Atlas Obscura - Weird and Wonderful

Image of Oak Island Money Pit located in  | The excavated pit. (Creative Commons)
Oak Island Money Pi
I love traveling, but like most people, can't afford to go all the places I'd love to see.

At least I can see them online, and sometimes, make plans to view them in person.  Which is  why Atlas Obscura - A Compendium of the World's Wonders, Curiosities and Esoterica, is one of:

My 26 Favorite Ways to Piss Away Time Do Valuable Research on the Interwebs.

Image of Caño Cristales located in Serrania de La Macarena, Colombia
Caño Cristales, "the river that ran away from paradise"

Hit the main page to see what's in "Today's Featured Places;" as I write this, it features the Oak Island Money Pit in Novia Scotia.  There's a fascinating story about how and why people think there might be treasure hidden there, if one only dug deep enough or hit the right spot.

There's also pictures and information about Caño Cristales, the "river of five colors" near La Macarena in Colombia, South America.  The pictures looked PhotoShopped, don't they?

If you visit an unusual spot, Atlas Obscura is a great way to turn others onto it; submit and share your stories and photos.  I sent in my own story and photos from Queen Califia's Magical Circle in Escondido, California.  It's a stunning sculpture, mirror maze, and mural garden, in the middle of  Kit Carson Park.

Atlas Obscura lists sites all over the world.  There's an awesome link, Take me to a random place.  There are links to drill down by location to somewhere you might be going.  For example, let's say you're doing a road trip across North America.

Up for the  Museum of the Odd in Lincoln, Nebraska?  Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico?  The Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota?

The Shoe House of Hellam, Pennsylvania? (This three bedroom house is actually around the corner from where I once lived, in York.  They gave tours and sold ice cream from the garage in the summertime.) Look carefully in the background on the left - that's the dog shoe house.

Image of Shoe House located in

Does it get your panties in a wad to find out the the Museum of Menstruation isn't open anymore?  (Though there's a hint of a possible private tour.)

You can search Atlas Obscura by interest - on the page with the ruins of the Kasubi Tombs of Uganda, were Related Places:  Naval Underground Headquarters in Tomigusku, Japan; the Plaster Citizens of Pompei; the Tomb of Daniel in Shush, Iran... The possibilities are endless.  There's even a blog with stories and photos about unusual places.

Image of The Ruins of the Kasubi Tombs of Uganda located in Kampala, Uganda | Before the fire
Before the fire: the Kasubi Tombs    Later, this burned down, but the ruins can still be visited.

Next time I take a trip, I plan to check Atlas Obscura first and see if there's anything weird and wild near where I'll be going.  Because wouldn't it be awful to find out later you could have visited The Hat Museum in Portland Oregon, and Velveteria, The Velvet Painting Museum, only a few blocks away, and you missed your chance?

My A-Z theme is My 26 Favorite Ways to Piss Away Time Do Valuable Research on the Interwebs.

Truly, sometimes an idea from a "pointless" fun site or post or photograph does result in pages and pages of writing.  Or at least a blog post or two.

Do you have a favorite time-wasting site that begins with the letter A?
What's the wackiest place you've ever visited in person?
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