Airport Curiosities?

First trip to India (#Atlas Obscura) in March. Blown away by wall-to-wall metal discs and beautiful hand mudras in DEHLI Airport.

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There’s a few which help pass the time. Chicago O’Hare has a fantastic tunnel between terminals:

Which I personally think they need to hang gold coins above to complete the video game chic.

Another great one is Amsterdam airport, which has a miniature Rijksmuseum which you can go into for free and has original Dutch master paintings on rotation from the main one.

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The departure gates at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) in Taipei offer some interesting sites. There’s the Hello Kitty gate area (C3) and a fabulous orchid display at C5. My wife and I have changed planes twice there with EVA flying from LAX to Southeast Asia.

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I love that Chicago tunnel!

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I remember this tunnel. I was stuck in O’Hare for 8 hours several years ago and so I spent quite a bit of time just hanging out at that tunnel, listening to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

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Always loved this yellow submarine outside John Lennon airport in Liverpool, built by one of the biggest ship builders in Liverpool (Cammell Laird) it even contains genuine submarine equipment on the inside. The airport boss summed it up best “Other airports have the Concorde, we have the Yellow Submarine”

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JFK Airport in New York has a new spectacular oddity! The historic TWA terminal, designed by Eero Saarinen, has been turned into a hotel (an oddity in itself) and they’ve now adorned it with a restored Lockheed Constellation L-1649A, known as “Connie.” It’s one of only four of these aircraft remaining in the world.

(picture by me)

" Trace the epic journey of the TWA Hotel’s 1958 plane, which trucked 300 miles from Maine to JFK Airport." https://www.twahotel.com/connie-airplane/conniejourney

" A team of pros restored the Connie L-1649A — one of only four left in the world!" https://www.twahotel.com/connie-airplane/connie

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Landing on the beach in Barra is pretty special https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GNRlpv5fmPM

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Changi Airport in Singapore with its orchid and sunflower gardens was already special, as is their almost fully automated Terminal 4 - but now they have a new visitor experience called ‘the Jewel’ https://www.jewelchangiairport.com/

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If you find yourself at the Traverse City, Michigan, airport, don’t miss the easy-to-miss 4,770 year old Bristlecone Pine. Pretty sure it’s from “Methuselah” a tree with one of the oldest confirmed ages in the world.

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At the center of one of the terminals in the Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) Airport is this compass, encircled by mysterious (!) symbols. (I’m pretty sure the symbols are from air navigation charts… or Satan). Video by me.

And there’s this:

And then, after all that excitement, you can enjoy something I’ve never seen in any other airport, a “quiet seating area.”

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I wish I could find the picture, Vancouver Airport has a live jellyfish in a tank shaped like a bubble in one of its hallways. I remember thinking that it looked so realistic, because why would they have a live jellyfish, and it’s real. I love the crazy hallways in O’Hare as well! I live in Denver and between Blucifer (the demon horse pictured above) and the conspiracy theories of mole people, the Masonics and Knights Templar stories, as well as the UFO conspiracies, I enjoy airports that have strange things that are TRUE.

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The fountain in DTW terminal A is also very interesting. In a city known for Engineering, the fountain employs a few cool Engineering features. The water jets come from laminar flow nozzles, so it looks like “noodles” or little “hotdogs” of water jump across the fountain surface. Water flows over the entire edge of the circular fountain, but instead of having a sharp edge for the water to fall over, the fountain curves back underneath itself. Surface tension causes the water to cling to the surface, so it appears the water is defying gravity. I always chuckle when I see people leaning up against the fountain edge, only to walk away with a wet line across the front of their pants.

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I’ve traveled a lot, but I would like to mention something we have locally that is pretty neat. The parking deck at Asheville (NC) Regional Airport is beautiful! When the new deck was needed, I was so happy that the powers that be decided to make it a beautiful one - at least from the outside. The walls of the deck are made of perforated aluminum sheets and picture our gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. Not sure how many folks can claim a parking garage as a favorite local landmark, but I can! image

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In the municipal airport in Kenai, Alaska is a very large brown bear taken by a prominent bush pilot who my father used to fly with. The photo is not great but should provide an idea of the scale.

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The LaGuardia Marine Air Terminal seems like a very functional mid-70s set of hallways and waiting areas, but if you take a right just after exiting security, you will find yourself in a stunning round lobby straight out of the 30’s with a panoramic mosaic telling the story of transportation completely surrounding you. After a little research I found out that this was the original LaGuardia Terminal, built to service the Pan Am flying boats of the day. It’s still there, but almost everyone hurries by without ever finding this gem.

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The diminutive jewel box of the “Marine Air Terminal” at LaGuardia Airport, a relic of the 1930’s when seaplanes (!) were a thing, sports all kinds of fascinating and historic details. Here a couple of the odder ones.

The frieze around the outside of the round building is comprised of flying fish.

And then there’s the technological dinosaur :slight_smile: exhibit:

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The super tiny airport in Thunder Bay Canada pretty much consists of a couple of rooms inside a single building. It’s very charming, and features a cozy library reading area.

Outside of Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City are four 70’ long steel arrows rusting in the sun. I smile every time I see them and envision giant cowboy and indian mecha stomping across the great plains. Add robotic mega cows and bison for flavor. :slight_smile:
[Iron Feathers - Will Rogers World Airport - Oklahoma City, OK - Smithsonian Art Inventory Sculptures on Waymarking.com](http://Will Rogers World Airport, Oklahoma City)

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At first I thought you were talking about O’Hare! It also has a tunnel, with moving walk ways, between terminals, that has rainbow colors, soothing music, and frosted glass.

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