Every other week, the staff of Atlas Obscura drags you down some of the rabbit holes we encounter as we search for our unusual stories. We highlight surprising finds, great writing, and inspiring stories from some of our favorite publications.
by Zaria Gorvett, BBC Future
Eighty-or-so million years ago, the land that is now North America was two continents divided by a shallow sea, Laramidia to the west and Appalachia to the east. Today, we know a good deal about the T. rex, triceratops, and other dinosaurs that roamed Laramidia, which stretched from present day Mexico to Alaska, but we know almost nothing about the creatures that called Appalachia home. BBC Future’s Zaria Gorvett went in search of these missing dinosaurs. “The familiar cast of dinosaurs that we all grow up with,” she writes, “is only half the story.”
by Olga Vasileva, Novaya Gazeta Europe
When Russian troops arrived in Kherson, Ukraine, in March 2022, the Kherson Art Museum appeared empty. Nearly 15,000 items from its collection were hidden away, and scaffolding left over from a renovation helped sell the ruse at the start of the invasion. “We had a chance to save the collection,” Alyna Dotsenko, director of the Kherson Art Museum, told Novaya Gazeta Europe. But their efforts were betrayed.
by Ronald G. Shafer, Washington Post
There’s a long history of presidential documents showing up in unexpected places. For instance, in the 1920s, someone found the original copy of the Monroe Doctrine—handwritten by President James Monroe in 1832—“packed away in a wooden file, partly rotted and covered with cobwebs,” stashed in “a dark room under the terrace of the capitol.”
by Harry Baker, LiveScience
Researchers named an unusual new species, which was found in a dark, shallow pool in a cave in Guizhou Province S. longicornus. (In Latin, cornu means “horn from the forehead.”)
by Michele W. Berger, Penn Today
This may have been the place to be in Lagash in 2700 BC. Among the details uncovered are an open-air seating area with benches, a clay refrigerator called a zeer, and leftovers—many of the storage vessels found at the site in southern Iraq still contained food.
by the Havasupai Tribe
After almost three years, the Havasupai Tribe is welcoming visitors back to stunning Havasuapi Falls, a group of cascades deep within the Grand Canyon. Access was restricted first to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and then in response to flooding. Reservations are required—and in high demand.
by Ollia Horton, RFI
A 10-foot-long wooden instrument, known as Djidji Ayôkwé in Côte d’Ivoire, was seized by French settlers in 1916. For most of the next century it sat in the collection of Musée du quai Branly on the outskirts of Paris. Now, as part of ongoing repatriation efforts, the drum will be returned to its homeland.
by Tamara Hardingham-Gill, CNN Travel
The novel Jumbo Stay, an airplane-turned-hotel at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport, has some new competition: a luxe rental villa housed in a 737 that overlooks the Indonesian coastline. Prefer to party on board rather than sleep? Rent a decommissioned 747 at Cotswold Airport in the United Kingdom.