Introducing Atlas Obscura, Slate's New Travel Blog

Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
April 10 2013 5:30 AM

Introducing Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura on Slate is a new travel blog. Like us on FacebookTumblr, or follow us on Twitter @atlasobscura

Welcome to Atlas Obscura on Slate, your guide to wondrous places around the world.

We will be publishing the most incredible locations, pictures, and stories the Atlas Obscura has found in our ongoing exploration of the world's hidden wonders. From North Korea's "International Friendship Exhibition" to the taxidermied stork with an African spear through its neck that proved bird migration, we will take you there.

Advertisement

If exploring miniature cities, bone churches, balancing pagodas, or homes built entirely out of paper sounds intriguing, then Atlas Obscura on Slate is for you. Let's begin.

Gates_of_Hel
The Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan

Used with the permission of John H. Bradley

The locals know it as the "Gates of Hell," and its glow can be seen for miles.

In 1971 a Soviet drilling rig rumbled across the hot, expansive Karakum desert of Turkmenistan in search of natural gas. They found a large gas pocket near the 350-person village of Derweze, but as the team drilled into the earth, the rig punctured the cavern and collapsed into it, creating a 328-foot crater leaking deadly natural gas. The Soviets abandoned their rig and lit the hole on fire. It has been burning for 40 years.

More photos of the Gates of Hell can be seen on the Atlas Obscura. The Gates of Hell aren't the only long-burning spot in the world: Here are a few more.

Places of perpetual fire:

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

Even by Russian Standards, Moscow’s Anti-War March Was Surprisingly Grim

I Wrote a Novel Envisioning a Nigerian Space Program. Then I Learned Nigeria Actually Has One.

The Best Thing About the People’s Climate March in NYC

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

Trending News Channel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 22 2014 12:30 PM Turkey Just Got Forty-Six Hostages Back From ISIS. How Did That Happen?
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 12:44 PM The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy
  Life
The Shortcut
Sept. 22 2014 12:31 PM Down With Loose Laces A simple trick to tighten your running shoes for good.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM Escaping the Extreme Christian Fundamentalism of "Quiverfull"
  Slate Plus
Science
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 12:22 PM The Age of the Streaming TV Auteur
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.