Haenyeo is Korean for “sea women.” Nearly 90 percent of haenyeo are over the age of 60, and many are well into their eighties. Equipped with nothing other than an ancient breathing technique called sumbisori, the women travel as deep as 32 feet into the depths for the best of what the sea has to offer: octopus, abalone, conch, sea urchins, clams and edible seaweeds.
She’s the only woman veteran honored with a monument at West Point. But where was she buried?
GIULIA HEYWARD / Atlas Obscura
The Golden Fourteen - fourteen Black women who were the first to serve in the U.S. Navy - were largely forgotten to history. They were part of a larger group of over 11,000 women, almost all of them white, who were able to join the navy as yeomanettes, the title given to female yeomen as a result of staffing shortages in the lead up to WWI.
Over the centuries and across cultures, the ideal female body type has fluctuated. The flapper look, popularized in the early 1920's, was lean and androgynous, and maintaining that ideal often required a special “flapper diet.”
Rebecca Johnson / Atlas Obscura
California has long been associated with fantasy, but few people know that centuries before Hollywood, it drew its very name from an imaginary kingdom—one ruled by a Black queen.
Dan O'Sullivan / Atlas Obscura
"The Single Footed Woman was beautiful and she cheated on her husband, so he cut her leg off. She escaped into the jungle and swore revenge against all men. She appears in the nighttime, singing with a celestial timbre that captivates men, old and young alike. Sometimes, she screams for help so they come to save her. That’s when she traps them. She sucks out their blood and then she heads back into the jungle to hide."
Sam O'Brien / Atlas Obscura
Suffragist cookbooks wielded domesticity as a political tool. It might seem odd for women who were fighting to be seen as more than wives and mothers to reinforce such traditional roles. But the cookbooks were part of a calculated strategy: By leaning on gendered norms, suffragists countered claims that they would abandon their homes and families if they entered the political sphere.
Natasha Frost / Atlas Obscura
Sally Snowman belongs to a tradition of freedom, loneliness, and pride. Of the 70 keepers who have tended to Boston Light since 1716, Snowman is the first and only woman.
ANNA PHELAN / Atlas Obscura
The city of Bankok employs more than 100 specially trained motorcycle midwives, or officers who carry full medical kits on their backs. They ride motorbikes to make it easy for them to weave in and out of the city's legendarily impassable traffic. Since the system was set up by the Royal Thai Police in 1993, they’ve successfully delivered 184 babies.
NNEKA M. OKONA / Atlas Obscura
Duchess “Charity” Quamino was known as the “Pastry Queen of Rhode Island.” Legend has it that with money she made from her catering business, she was able to purchase her freedom, and later the freedom of her children. Multiple accounts mention this in the same breath as her title as the local ‘pastry queen’ and various details of her life.