Our team at Atlas Obscura is always exploring the overlooked and unexpected, whether in our own backyards or in far-flung locales. In the new One-Line Adventures feature, we send out some quick dispatches of recent discoveries.

Albino Redwood

“Albino creatures are rare, albino plants are improbable, albino redwoods are amazing! Two wrong turns and a few miles in the woods we found the illusive ‘Vampire Redwood’ hiding in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.” — Tre Balchowsky [Field Agent, San Francisco]

Flavor Flav

“I was recently in London for work and decided to explore the Greenwich National Observatory. I was pleased to find this quote from Flavor Flav of Public Enemy fame. I somehow suspect something was lost in translation when designing this sign.”
Douglas Worley [Field Agent, San Francisco]

Meerkats at Fellow Earthlings Wildlife Center

“I braved 110 degree weather this past weekend in California’s Morongo Valley to feed and play with meerkats at the Fellow Earthlings Wildlife Center.”
Robert Hemedes [Field Agent, Los Angeles]

Civil War-era photograph of a child discovering an amputated limb

“This past weekend, the annual Twin Cities Rare Book & Antiquarian Sale forced me to accept my (relative) poverty while face-to-face with an illustrated edition of Moby Dick from 1921, a pristine copy of Climates for Invalids, etc: Minnesota, and yet another detailing the history of railway collisions… before settling for this (more affordable) Civil War-era image of a child discovering an amputated limb.” — Sarah Brumble [Tumblr Editor]

Toothpick sculpture at the Exploratorium in San Francisco

“This week, I was excited to discover that the brand new Exploratorium in San Francisco is home to this amazing toothpick sculpture which has taken artist Scott Weaver over 37 years to build.” — Annetta Black [Senior Editor/Obscura Society Mastermind] 

Renz Women's Penitentiary in Jefferson City, Missouri

“Usually inclined to poke around places like this with abandon, this was as close as I got to the Renz Women’s Penitentiary after stumbling upon it in Jefferson City, Missouri — too creepy, even for me.” — Rachel James [Editor-in-Chief, Places]

Remains of a Nazi labor camp in Krakow

“Atop a hill in Podgorze, Krakow, I turned from the impressive city view and was stunned to see this sinister former quarry turned Nazi labor camp. Croaking frogs in the swamp occasionally interrupted the eerie silence.” — Ella Morton [Head Writer, Book Team]

Hoover Dam diorama

“The Hoover Dam is of course a marvel, but almost to my shame, what I found the most inspiring during my visit last month was the 1930s era diorama in the old exhibit building. Visitors would sit and listen to a rather dry, yet charming, recording on the states affected by the Hoover Dam, and details about various other dams in the Southwest, as the areas discussed on the topographical model are highlighted.”
— Michelle Enemark [Graphic Design, Video Production]

Woody Guthrie's house in Okemah, Oklahoma

“I was driving through Okemah, Oklahoma, on a recent trip to visit my family, and we decided to stop in Woody Guthrie’s hometown, and just happened upon the front of his house reconstructed in the local historical society, alongside clippings from the town newspapers that hinted at the complicated relationship of the conservative place with their influential, and progressive, ‘controversial son’.” — Allison Meier [Editor-in-Chief, Articles]

One-Line Adventures are snapshots of some recent explorations from the Atlas Obscura Team.