“Obscura Day” Includes Tour of OU’s Atomic Accelerator

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Residents can tour a hidden gem on the Ohio University campus on May 30 as part of International Obscura Day — a day that highlights unusual, fascinating places around the globe while creating educational experiences.

Obscura Day is organized by Atlas Obscura, which is described as “the definitive guide to the world’s wondrous and curious places.”

The day will feature 150 events in 39 states and 25 countries “designed to celebrate the world’s most curious and awe-inspiring places.”

The only event in Ohio will be tours of the John E. Edwards Accelerator Laboratory on the OU campus.

The John E. Edwards Accelerator Laboratory provides ion beams and the associated detection equipment for the study of nuclear reactions of interest for nuclear structure, nuclear astrophysics, materials science, inertial confinement fusion, nuclear energy, homeland security, and other applications.

Guests will get to view the laboratory’s tandem Van de Graaff accelerator, which is used to accelerate atomic particles to energies up to 14 percent of the speed of light via a large dome charged to high voltage by a moving chain.

There will be tours at 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on May 30. The tours are free but capacity is limited. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP at

Other Obscura events range from The World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things in Lucas, Kansas and the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston, Texas to the Cushing Brain Collection in New Haven, Connecticut and the Robotic Church in Brooklyn, New York.

International events include a tour of Chernobyl’s ghost towns, the National Leprechaun Museum in Ireland, a private tour of the Hotel Viru’s former secret KGB headquarters in Estonia, a visit to the Kane Kwei coffin workshop in Ghana and more.

According to Megan Roberts, director of events for Atlas Obscura, Obscura Day is designed to make explorers out of everyone and to reveal the hidden treasures in your own hometown.

A full list of the events is available at