Sure, you can go to the Louvre in Paris and elbow your way past the crowds for a brief glimpse of the Mona Lisa, but might we suggest something a bit more off the beaten path? How about the Calder Mercury Fountain—beautiful yet highly toxic!—in Barcelona? Or, the 1931 giant duck that used to be a poultry store, located in Long Island, N.Y.? These, plus many other amazing, fascinating and just plain weird places, can be found on the Web site Atlas Obscura.
The site was founded by writer Joshua Foer (brother of Franklin and Jonathan Safran) and Dylan Thuras in hopes 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.” It’s impressively detailed, divided up among the seven continents with a multitude of subcategories (such as “Horticultural Marvels,” “Eccentric Homes” and “Inspired Inventions”), and easy to navigate. Plus, they welcome contributions, so you have an excuse for your next far-flung vacation.
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