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Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is Atlas Obscura?

In an age where everything seems to have been explored and there is nothing new to be found, we celebrate a different way of looking at the world. If you're searching for miniature cities, glass flowers, books bound in human skin, gigantic flaming holes in the ground, bone churches, balancing pagodas, or homes built entirely out of paper, Atlas Obscura is where to find them.

Atlas Obscura is also a collaborative project. We depend on our community of explorers to help us discover amazing places and share them with the world. If you know of a curious place that's not already in the Atlas, let us know!

Who can add places to the Atlas?

Anyone, anywhere in the world can add a place to the Atlas. We rely upon your eyes and ears to learn about all the strange and amazing places we don't know.

How does it work, and how do I add a place to the Atlas?

Places can be added by anyone, but all contributions to the Atlas are reviewed by our Editorial Team.

Get started by creating an Atlas Obscura profile. First, click the “JOIN” link in the menu. After signing up, don't forget to add a profile photo and tell us about yourself.

To add a place, first search the Atlas to double-check that your place has not already been added. If it has and you have more to add, simply click "EDIT THIS PLACE".

To add a new place, just click here or any of the "ADD A PLACE TO THE ATLAS" links throughout the site.

What makes a good Atlas place?

We are looking for the most unusual, hidden, secret, or otherwise amazing places in the world. They don't need to be in far away, exotic locations—one of the things we love is learning about a strange or interesting place hidden in someone's hometown!

Here are some good places to start:

  • Natural wonders
  • Extraordinary collections, libraries, and museums
  • Secret histories (ordinary seeming places with crazy back stories)
  • Places associated with amazing people
  • Catacombs, ossuaries, and unusual crypts or cemeteries
  • Fascinating labs and research facilities
  • Abandoned places, ghost towns, and amazing ruins
  • Mysteriously preserved bodies and dead saints
  • Outsider art, self-built castles, and crazy architecture
  • Unusual places you've been to personally

What are your photo guidelines?

All photos submitted to the Atlas must be legally available to use, either as your own work, in the public domain, shared under Creative Commons, or used with permission of the author. If you are pulling from an online resource, please credit the photographer and link to the page where it can be found.

What makes a good Atlas Obscura photo:

  • Horizontal orientation
  • At least 600 pixels x 400 pixels, though bigger is always better
  • No watermarks or visual accreditation

If you have any further questions regarding images, please email us at [email protected].

I've added a place and it hasn't appeared on the site! What's up?

There are a number of reasons why a submitted place may not have been published. The most common is simply that we haven't gotten to it yet. Thanks to our devoted contributors, we sometimes receive more entries than we can quickly edit!

We also occasionally receive place contributions that are not suitable for the site. Reasons include:

  • Duplicate entries, e.g. the place already exists in the Atlas
  • Unverifiable entries, e.g. your grandmother's gnome collection
  • Places that are fictional or no longer exist, e.g. Narnia or Atlantis
  • Places that are too broad, e.g. Argentina
  • Places that are ads for a business, e.g. The TGI Friday's with the interesting drink special

The more detailed and complete your entry, the more likely it'll be published in the Atlas. Also, places with at least one good image will almost always take precedence. If you have any questions regarding the status of your place, email us at [email protected] and we'll be happy to look into it.

I submitted my photos, but they were not used. What gives?

Common reasons for a photo not being used include:

  • The photo is too blurry
  • The photo featured too many people
  • The photo is too small
  • The photo is not of the correct location
  • We cannot find the copyright information
  • We do not have the rights to use the image
  • The photo included a watermark or visual accreditation
  • The existing photo set was adequate

Again, we are always happy to discuss any questions you have, so feel to email us at [email protected].

I am more interested in writing articles than place entries, how do I get involved in that?

We're always looking for submissions from freelance writers and photographers. Check out our pitch guidelines.

I have an idea for an event with Atlas Obscura. Who do I tell?

Atlas Obscura loves a party, and we're always brainstorming new event ideas. If you have any ideas for events or are a venue that would like to host an event, please contact us using this form.

I'd like to advertise on Atlas Obscura or sponsor an event. Who can I get in touch with?

That's great! Email us at [email protected] and we will get back to you with details shortly.

What if I have other questions?

Easy! Just contact us with this form.