Obscura Day: Explore Hidden Treasures in Your Own Hometown

Posted by Allison Arieff


If you could pick a day to be everywhere at once, make it Obscura Day 2011.

That way you could check out the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things in Lucas, Kansas (like the giant can of spinach, below); explore the strongest tidal current in the world (near Bodo, Norway); tour the Ghost Ships of Coney Island Creek in New York; gain access to the seldom seen photographs of dissection and dermatology at Cleveland's Dittrick Medical Museum; tour a subterranean temple in Turin, Italy; marvel at steampunk creations in Switzerland's House of Elsewhere (Maison d'Ailleurs); make kimchi at Seoul, Korea's Pulmuone Kimchi Museum; see wax monsters at the Museum of the Weird in Austin, Texas; and bundle up to commemorate the heroic (and tragic) centennial of Amundsen and Scott's race to the South Pole.


Obscura Day is presented each year by Atlas Obscura, a compendium of this age's wonders, curiosities, and esoterica. A constantly evolving, always collaborative, undertaking, Atlas Obscura aims to catalog all of the singular, eccentric, bizarre, fantastical, and strange out-of-the-way places that get left out of traditional travel guidebooks and are ignored by the average tourist. You can marvel at these wonders online anytime at the Atlas Obscura website but on April 9 you and legions of your intellectually curious peers will go forth to explore and document new discoveries.

Atlas Obscura's Co-Founders are the charmingly eccentric Joshua Foer, author of the recently published Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, and was the 2006 United States Memory Champion, and Dylan Thuras, filmmaker, traveler, writer and creator  of the site CuriousExpeditions.org.


On Obscura Day, there are over 75 events to attend (and counting) in North America, South America, Africa, Antarctica, Europe, Oceania, and Asia. If you want to discover a curious place, click here; if you know of one, please add it to the Atlas here.


GOOD is thrilled to be a sponsor of Obscura Day. You can join us on April 9 at GOOD's PopUp Community Center, which will feature DIY workshops, literary readings, hackathons, and tons of other stuff, in Los Angeles. Or journey to the Wardencylffe Laboratory (above) in East Shoreham, New York, where Nikola Tesla aspired to power the planet, with GOOD's Environment Editor Ben Jervey. Or get lost in the stacks of that treasure house of tomes, the Prelinger Library in San Francisco.