Ever wonder, as you’re watching the Pasadena Tournament of Roses parade, or some equally bizarre weirdness-on-wheels spectacle, just who first came up with the idea for floats? If you’re a regular at the Atlas Obscura, you would know that they’ve been building floats for the Yamaboko festival in Kyoto ever since the year 869. That’s more than 2010 minus 870 years ago!
The Atlas Obscura, which bills itself as a compendium of the world’s wonders, curiosities and esoterica, is the sort of place you go to learn about the mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan and the firefly squid of Toyama Bay. But in addition to the remote and unearthly, you might find something quirky and much closer to home. As luck would have it, Obscura Day is coming up on March 20th. Look at the list and you might find something obscure near you. If, for instance, you live near Elkin, North Carolina, you should consider a visit to the Private Cabinet of Curiosities maintained by sister-in-law Anne. As they say in the Michelin Guide, it’s “worth a detour.”
Ask to see Frederick, the stuffed hamster. And tell ’em Ned sent you.