Feel like being a little wacky this weekend? Then sign up for one of the oddball tours being offered in cities around the world on March 20th as part of Obscura Day. Billed as “a day of expeditions, back-room tours, and hidden treasures in your own hometown,” these mostly free events provide a way of uncovering some oddities that are otherwise off-limits or widely unknown. It’s sponsored by the Atlas Obscura, a website and blog that serves as “a compendium of the world’s wonders, curiosities, and esoterica.” Why do we like them? See here:
The Atlas Obscura is a collaborative project with the goal of cataloging 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. If you’re looking for miniature cities, glass flowers, books bound in human skin, gigantic flaming holes in the ground, phallological museums, bone churches, balancing pagodas, or homes built entirely out of paper, the Atlas Obscura is where you’ll find them.
Fun stuff. Among the many outings that they have planned (hurry now! they’re booking up fast) are a visit to the deserted skeleton of a suburb 100 miles north of Los Angeles that looks like a Ozzie and Harriet version of the Nasca Lines when seen from above. Also on the agenda: A golden pyramid tour just outside of Chicago, a visit to Leila Cohoon’s Hair Museum in Independence, Missouri (featuring “over 400 wreaths and more than 2,000 pieces of jewelry made out of human hair”), and chance to climb into the world’s largest treehouse in Crossville, Tennessee.
Traveling internationally? There’s a glowworm tunnel walk in Sydney, Australia, a trip to David Sedaris’ favorite museum in Turin, Italy, and yes, even an outing to a museum devoted solely to the exploration of the mammalian male anatomy in Iceland.
Even if you can’t make it on Obscura Day, I’d suggest looking through the complete list of sites, as many are museums that can be visited at any point during the year.
Think of it as a way to add a little bit of the bizarre to your next vacation.
Photo: Obscura Day