Top weird places on Atlas Obscura Map

Saturday, January 20, 2018

If you have traveled at all, you know the world is a pretty amazing place. Another word that comes to mind when describing the planet is weird, especially after taking a look at the Atlas Obscura Map, which collected all the world’s extraordinary sights and put them on one glorious map. So, instead of the 7 wonders of the world, which you all know too well, we give you a list of our favourite 7 weird places of the world.

The Atlas Obscura Map currently contains 12,500 extraordinary sights, but there are more sights being added continuously. Some of the places we will list are also highlighted on the website, but we added a few of our own as well. Weird doesn’t equal bad in our dictionary and we highly recommend visiting such places. The following destinations and the stories surrounding them are somewhat out of the ordinary, some funny, some eerie and some NSFW.


If you find yourself in Italy, be sure to make a stop in Florence if you want a story about Galileo giving you the middle finger. His finger rests in the Florence History of Science Museum but doesn’t really rest at all. It is facing upwards, so it really does seem like he is giving you the finger. Don’t take it personally, though. It is highly unlikely that it is really directed at you. If we would need to bet on it, we would put our money on the Church. Forever flipping off the institution that considered him an enemy and wouldn’t let him do his work in peace.


So, back in 1942 a bunch of skeletons were found in a lake in this hard to reach the valley. It took a while to determine when they were from and what killed them. The Atlas Obscura Map mentions the fact that the bodies all had the same injuries, cracks in the skull, which presented quite a mystery. One that wasn’t solved until 2004. If you think a lake filled with skeletons dating back to 850 AD is weird, wait till you hear the cause of death. It is related to an ancient folk song about an enraged goddess throwing hailstones as hard as iron at outsiders who dared to defile her mountain sanctuary. Well, scientific evidence points to the fact that the part about hailstones is true. A hailstorm (chunks of round ice falling from the sky) hit and the poor things had nowhere to hide.


Moving away from the tropical subcontinent, we make our way over to the snowy fields of Antarctica. Underneath layers and layers of snow, you will find the wreck of the doomed Pegasus. The story goes back to 1970 when the plane with 80 people on board took off to Antarctica. However, unbeknownst to the pilots, there was a storm brewing in the skies. Returning to New Zealandinfo-icon was no option because of the lack of fuel, so the pilots had to take their chances with the storm. It was strong enough to eventually take down the plane. There is a silver lining though. All those onboard survived without any major injuries and managed to continue with their research. The plane, on the other hand, couldn’t be salvaged, so the wreck remains at the crash site. If you find yourself near the McMurdo Station, be sure to check it out. Some digging may be required.


Outside the University of Florida’s Animal Science building, you can see four metal statues that are already quite weird since they look a bit abstract. It is unlikely that you would guess what they are just by looking at them. Some information is available on the plaque, but it doesn’t clarify what the artwork represents. Well, they’re animal penises. Those of a boar, a bull, a ram and a cat, to be precise. Why they carry the name Some Were Quite Blind remains a mystery. Maybe you can find someone at the University of Florida to explain it, while you’re over there, admiring the phallic artwork.


Time to learn how Argan oil is made. If you happen to pass a tree full of goats in it while you’re in Morocco, you might think you’ve found yourself in a nutty place. You have, quite literally. The tree is full of fruits and nuts that the goats are absolutely nuts about. Okay, we’ll stop with the puns now. We will, however, emphasize the fact that this is quite impressive. If you take a closer look, you will see that those branches are pretty thin. Apparently, these goats have been graced with cat-like abilities. According to the Atlas Obscura Map article, after indulging in their feast, the goats pass clumps of seed which is used to create the popular Argan oil… which you then put in your hair.


Iceland was a spooky place back in the day. Witchcraft was practiced and feared all over the world, but according to the article on Atlas Obscura Map, Iceland took it to a whole new level. First off, a little fun fact: Icelandic witches were mostly male, as opposed to witches elsewhere in the world, who were predominantly female. The article further highlights that the most prominent piece in the museum are the ‘’necropants’’, which are pants made from the dried skin of a man’s lower body. This fashion item was used in a spell that would bring a person more krona’s or whatever the currency was back then. Ah, the things people do for money…


Let’s end with a useful traveling tip. If you happen to be wandering around the streets of Amsterdam after a few beers, you might as well take a leak at a National Monument. No, we’re not suggesting anything illegal. One of the urinals in Amsterdam is so beautiful that it has gained the status of a National Monument. It was built for members of City Hall back in 1926 and was placed outside the building. You probably wouldn’t guess what it is just by looking at it, as it fits well with the surrounding architecture and a stone statue on the roof guards this sacred place. It is surely the most prominent of the 35 urinals scattered around the city. If you are a woman, good luck finding one of the three female public bathrooms in town.

To discover which weird places you can visit in your upcoming travel destination or even your home country, visit the Atlas Obscura Map and just click on the country you are interested in.

Natasha Car freelance content writer at
Travelling is the best way to broaden your horizons. We all overestimate our knowledge about the world, until we start exploring it.