Atlas Obscura-esque podcasts?



Does anyone have any podcasts with Atlas Obscura-like content that they would recommend? I personally would love an Atlas Obscura podcast, in which the stories regarding the places on the atlas or foods from Gastro Obscura are discussed. But until then, any podcast suggestions that feature cultural experiences, geographic quirks, local legends, etc. would be greatly appreciated!



Everything is Alive

From the podcast description, “Everything is Alive is an unscripted interview show in which all the subjects are inanimate objects. In each episode, a different thing tells us its life story–and everything it says is true.”

A relatively new podcast that’s maybe not exactly what you’re looking for…but the creative conceit turns your point-of-view on its head and helps locate wonder in the mundane. This part feels very Atlas to me :smiley:


Doubling down on 99 Percent Invisible, truly one of the world’s great podcasts. The Memory Palace is also very much in the spirit of Atlas Obscura.


Oh, I love Lore - it goes into loads of legends both in the U.S. and abroad. I personally love it because each episode ties back into a broader discussion of what it means to be human, and it’s a nifty way to spend my commute. It’s also an Amazon TV series, I think, but I haven’t checked that out yet. Third-ing 99% Invisible, btw!


Can’t forget the Bowery Boys. It might be less appealing if you’re not NYC-based, but I rely on it for at least 40% of my city-related trivia (I rely on Atlas for the other 60% obvi…).


I’d definitely second Everything is Alive, especially the episode “Louis, Can of Cola.” Some other very Atlas Obscura-esque individual episodes:
-All Things Considered, Summer Road Trip with Atlas Obscura
-Reply All, Today’s the Day
-New Yorker Radio Hour, Julia Wertz on a Trip to Dead Horse Bay
-The Sporkful, LA Story


Love + Radio surfaces stories of incredible individuals who you would not be likely to hear of otherwise, like a guy who lets all of the worlds most venomous snakes bike him regularly because he is convinced that his blood plasma will become a better antivenom than anything medical science has yet produces.

The sound production is a work of art, too.


Oh, would love to hear if the Lore TV show on Amazon is worth watching. Lemme know if you give it a try.


I was wondering if someone was going to mention it. Completely agree , Lore is awesome and good for killing time.


It’s more history based rather than travel in terms of content, but I listen to this podcast quite a bit and it often has some pretty Atlas Obscura-esque style topics.


I feel pretty terrible that I haven’t been able to get into Lore, especially because it seems like the exact sort of podcast I’d love! Does anyone have any favorite episode recommendations I can queue up to get started?

I’ve also had Last Podcast on the Left and Mysterious Universe recommended to me.


Whew! It’s real hard to recommend my favourites, they’re all great in their own way. Two early ones jump to mind, however. The first one, which was the one that really nailed how much I loved this podcast, is episode 3, which covers werewolves. The ending is a KICKER—I stopped in the middle of a New York street when I heard it, and said out loud. “OH WOW.” (I was not endeared to annoyed New Yorkers that day.)

The other episode that stands out to me is episode 10, which covers an old hotel. It sounds like a pretty simple topic, but it also has a gutpunch of an ending in the best way possible, in which it really makes you appreciate the narrative beauty of it all. I love these two episodes because he tells a really good story, and at the end of it you are left with wondering at the fragility of what it means to really be human, and you’re sort of left to ponder the delicateness of the world as it is.

Anyway. Yes. Episodes 3 and 10. Enjoy!


It’s not really an adventure or history podcast, but I’d very much recommend The Magnus Archives, a series of short horror stories presented as verbal histories contained in an enigmatic archive that has secrets of its own. It’s got a sort of grim Twilight Zone vibe, so if you love mystery and the unknown, you might enjoy it!


I’ll throw the ‘Stuff to Blow Your Mind’ podcast into the ring. Their episode on Mixologia even featured a shout out to this Atlas entry:


I have to catch up with Marta on the Move, with travel and Pittsburgh-centric nerdery:


If you are even vaguely interested in the America desert (especially the Mojave) then try Desert Oracle. It started as a fantastic zine, and then he (Ken Layne, the creator) expanded it into a just as good radio-show/podcast a year or two ago.


They did have a couple of short-lived podcasts. Pretty heavy on the “sponsored by” and didn’t live up to their potential (in my opinion), but check them out:
Escape Plan:
Horizon Line:

I do hope they get another one going. I think the YouTube channel is pretty good and definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already - but I would love to hear about some of the amazing stories/places found on AO in audio format.


@leiris we are totally working on it. We will definitely have one going sooner rather than later.

I also have to bring up our NPR series with All Things Considered

I am of course biased as I made those, but was very happy with how they came out! Just did a short one yesterday as part of remembering artist Bob Carr who passed away this Jan. Joshua Tree Artist Built A Crystal Cave Of Wonder With Chicken Wire, Spray Foam : NPR

+1 to Desert Oracle! It is extremely cool as is the zine.

Marta on the move is great and Marta is a friend of AO! We hung out in Pittsburgh together. We should probably try to do a pod together!

@Mira Also not into Lore, couldn’t get into the style and it was too far on the BS / Cheese factor for my taste…

I also really like 50 Things that Made the Modern Economy. Not Atlas territory precisely but in the same intellectual spirit I think, and at 10 min an episode, very nice to just grab while folding laundry or cooking dinner BBC World Service - 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy - Downloads


Why is there not an Atlas Obscura podcast?