What’s Your Favorite Hidden Gem on the Internet?

The internet is a big, awesome, horrible, incredible place. And every person’s relationship with the internet is unique. Everyone has their own particular style of surfing around—some go to the same five sites again and again, some get lost on long zig-zaggy rabbit holes, some let friends or Twitter or a trusted curator site hand-deliver them the best places to go.

No matter how you use the internet, here and there, everyone comes across a hidden gem—something fantastic that most people don’t know about.

For this Dinner Table, tell us your favorite hidden gem. To qualify as a hidden gem, the site has to be A) excellent—including having passed the test of time, something you’ve enjoyed consistently for a while without getting bored of, and B) not well-known—you should assume that less than 10% of people have ever heard of it.


Tim’s Answer:

Daily Overview

I don’t remember where I came across Daily Overview, but I’m happy I did. It’s simple—they put up one spectacular aerial photo a day and a little description of what you’re looking at. I subscribed by email (signup is a bit down this page), or you can see the daily photo on the usual social media platforms. Here are their Top 10 photos.

You can sign up for the Dinner Table email list here to be notified about the new topic each week, and remember to submit future topic suggestions to table@waitbutwhy.com.

  • SaraNoH

    It’s totally Wait But Why. And I don’t mean to be a kiss ass.

  • Domantas

    There was a reddit thread just about that started a few days ago. Found Wait But Why there too! https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/3co3yc/what_website_could_you_recommend_that_most/

  • Bart Roskam
    • Eli Peter

      This sight taught me that Australia can look like anything.

      • Morbeau

        As can most of Canada, and I’ve even been to many of those places.

    • Tim Urban

      I enjoyed the shit out of that. And did kind of really well.

      • Now good luck not getting lost in the depths of the site forever 🙂

      • PinkTheBush

        You get the most points when there’s like some road or business sign nearby with the local language written on it lol. Sadly I mostly get dropped off on a road going through the middle of a forest where there are just *no* clues.

        • PinkTheBush


      • Punit Thakkar

        Challenge accepted, Mr. Urban. 😛

      • John

        I spent way too much time doing this… 🙂

    • JaapVerlinde

      Oh yeah that’s a great one.

    • Zaster

      very fun game

    • Luisa

      I have now gone to too many places, and I have made very weird and random google searches.
      I also spent too much time traveling completely deserted roads, only to give up and guess Australia.

    • Luisa

      I feel complete

  • Eli Peter

    An oldie, but it’s still alive:


    It’s a continually updated aggregate of those weird quirky one-off sites.

  • JaapVerlinde

    I really like fat-pie.com, it’s amazing and a real stayer. But it’s quite niche, for people who are into weird and kind of dark animations. And it gets updated almost never. But I still have checked it consistently every so many months over what, the last 5 years? 10? Always great when there is something new. Tip: click the WHORE – O. http://www.fat-pie.com

  • John Bichler


  • freesteph

    XKCD has gained popularity over the years, especially since it’s been here for a while, but I find not a lot of my friends know the actual source of these sweet and smart comics. http://xkcd.com

    • JaapVerlinde

      and of course: whatif.xkcd.com
      I would expect that one to resonate particularly well with people who visit this place 🙂

  • For when it’s late at night, you’re overtired and overstressed, and you feel like nothing will ever be right ever again, simply click the “Make Everything Okay” button: http://make-everything-ok.com/ Seems silly, but it oddly always makes me feel better. Just the act of clicking a button must release endorphins or something. Anyway, it’s wonderful. (And won’t eat up too much of your time!)

  • stretch.kerr
  • Kristiina

    I’m not sure if they are popular or not but here are two sites I just find really satisfying to look at:




  • Kelly Colht

    This is my favorite internet pizza ordering site. I think they do a pretty good job of catering to different tastes: http://beej.us/pizza/pizzaweb.html

  • Kyle

    http://inhabitat.com is a fantastic site which follows technological innovations in sustainability

  • Rick

    Two that really stand out for me.

    Dan John’s Wandering Weights Wednesday email

  • DarkEnergy
  • Jeroen

    You’ll definitely like this one:

    Since I stumbled upon this website I’ve become addicted to thinking and reading about the future.

    • Chiel Wieringa

      Don’t forget about now though, that’s still the most important moment in life. 🙂

  • Jordan TheJust

    After discovering Wait But Why, I had a hankering for even more interesting long-read articles, and I stumbled across http://www.damninteresting.com/

    It doesn’t update as often as Tim does (see Tim, you’re not the only one!), but they find really neat subjects to write about, and go extremely in-depth. I’m always stoked when they post a new article.

  • John

    Best cooking website out there. Gorgeous pictures and videos, extremely detailed recipes, great community.

  • Embee

    I check thisisnthappiness.com every day. It’s an amazing collection of pictures, vids, sayings, art, and on and on.

  • Marlo

    I’m really enjoying:

    I just love reading what smart people find interesting – and Scott is really smart.

  • PianoGurl

    conceptis.com This website has logic puzzle games that are relatively unique ( I think, or at least they aren’t very well known) Along with your typical Sudoku, these games come out with new puzzles weekly. It takes a bit of time to learn some of these, but once you do you’ll be scouring the internet wondering why the heck there aren’t more versions of them. Each weekly package of games contains about five puzzles per type, with one of them being free. I’m not sure how much puzzles cost there, since i’m a cheapskate and just play the free one, but you will soon find that once a week is not enough, since they are so addicting. Definitely check it out.

    • Luisa

      I have been addicted to almost all of them, one at a time (thankfully) via their iPhone apps.
      My husband never understood why I spent so much time doing unexplainable things with numbers.

  • Luis Bello


    Good, little known, new movies. The content and the site are pretty good. A all around good website for cinephiles or for people that don’t know what to watch.

  • JoshP

    nautil.us (monthly science reporting meets literature with a nice aesthetic)

    therealnews.com (news no with NO corporate sponsors; news for learned folks)

  • lldemats

    Time and Date.com

  • INhabitor

    For me it’s :

    I don’t know how wide they are known, but it’s a morning ritual :}

  • Ben Yacobi

    Currently loving touchpianist.com – love playing the piano tunes.

    • SaraNoH

      THAT!? Is so awesome.

    • Archit Budhraja

      This was incredibly fun to play around with – thanks for sharing!

    • Aaron Garcia

      I agree this is insanely fun!

    • Reuben Hopper

      I became so hypnotized by playing this that when the song was over it looked like my computer was drifting to the right.

  • Pepperice

    Okay, okay, so WBW aside, my nomination goes to Mark Does Stuff. http://markdoesstuff.com/
    (My internet is funky right now, so hopefully that link works for other people.)

    He reviews TV shows and books either episode by episode or chapter by chapter. He predominantly does fantasy/sci fi type stuff, but there are various genres in there. Firstly, it’s really fascinating to “experience” some of your favourite books/TV shows for the first time again through somebody else’s eyes, secondly, this guy is hilarious – his reactions (especially video reactions, and some of the more dramatic book reviews) are so raw and sometimes unexpected that he’s pretty entertaining to watch. The book reactions in particular are really interesting and sometimes lead to long discussions about queer theory, sexism, racism, privilege, general societal patterns etc. The commenters are a great bunch. (There is often more analysis, either of the storyline in relation to longer plot developments or of the various issues brought up in the programme, in the comments.) There is a stellar spoiler policy.

    The only one issue is that the navigation is terrible – it’s sometimes difficult to find the beginning of a series to start reading it. And recently, the TV show reviews have mostly been on video, which is not my preferred format. There’s a slightly complicated minor paywall on some of the videos in order to remove the need for ad costs, but you can often access them for free.

    But yes – I really recommend it, either to read through series that you already know and are familiar with, or as a portal to discover new books or TV shows. Everything, without exception, that I’ve viewed/read after seeing it featured on this site has been brilliant. (Okay, one exception, the first review he ever did was the Twilight series, and he hated it so much that the reviews are really funny.)

    • Sarah Times Infinity


      I first discovered the incredible world of Patrick Farley during the summer between seventh and eighth grade in the year 2000. Some of my favorite comics I have come across were on his site at that time and unfortunately are no longer online (but can be found through web archive searches). Patrick is hands down at the zenith of visual, psychedelic storytelling who, as far as I can tell, has always been at the bleeding edge of blending new and old digital mediums for expressing his creative genius. Seriously, I am hopelessly in love with his work and forever influenced by his original online comics. If I met him I’d surely give him a nice smooch and firm slap on the ass, followed by a nice little marijuana experience and mind obliterating conversation.

      can’t recommend this site enough. I recommend starting with the comic ‘The First Word’ and going from there. it probably will not work on mobile devices – get yo laptop out and enjoy. warning: lots of heady mind expanding stuff!

  • jonathan

    Listened to these all the time at Grandma’s as a kid. So glad someone is uploading them to the web:


  • anatoliy

    http://www.fwthinking.com/ – future life/technology possibilities and predictions. Also their youtube channel: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCnf7ZZpBsuTxnQgy1TKbTIw

  • Sarah Times Infinity


    I first discovered the incredible world of Patrick Farley during the summer between seventh and eighth grade in the year 2000. Some of my favorite comics I have come across were on his site at that time and unfortunately are no longer online (but can be found through web archive searches). Patrick is hands down at the zenith of visual, psychedelic storytelling who, as far as I can tell, has always been at the bleeding edge of blending new and old digital mediums for expressing his creative genius. Seriously, I am hopelessly in love with his work and forever influenced by his original online comics. If I met him I’d surely give him a nice smooch and firm slap on the ass, followed by a nice little marijuana experience and mind obliterating conversation.

    can’t recommend this site enough. I recommend starting with the comic ‘The First Word’ and going from there. it probably will not work on mobile devices – get yo laptop out and enjoy. warning: lots of heady mind expanding stuff!

  • Josh Nehrer
  • william

    I want to share a website – not because of its content, but because of its concept:
    Some students developped it in order to let users make free donation (trees, vacinations, and rice).
    It’s quite simple: you watch an add, and the money generated by the add is donated to organizations (that you can check).

    I really enjoyed the concept: you take a bad thing (gready people and commercials) and transform it into a good thing (free donation… actually two good things because people like to donate, and even more when it’s free!)…

    I’m not sure it fits into this topic. But I think these kind of ideas should be known by people!

  • Lisa Cranberry

    I love The Stories Between. My friends and I recently set up a page for a little girl who had passed away from cancer so all her friends and family could celebrate her life and create an archive of real stories about her for future generations. So therapeutic and so joyful.

  • RF42

    I’m a fan of Bookbub.com. It’s a great way to get e-books on sale for under $3.

  • Jimena Villar

    27b/6 is an absolutely hilarious and genius blog written by Australian David Thorne. I’m not sure how famous it is but it’s so good that I thought I would share it anyways!


  • Nick

    In a similar vein to WBW … love the deep insights from https://stratechery.com – Ben really makes you think deeper about what is going on around you, in this case tech companies.

  • Steven Mello

    Oh great Tim, you’ve opened a portal to the dark playground, lol.

    Anyway, I don’t think it quite fits into the not well-known qualification, but xkcd.com is my favorite site on the internet. Sorry, Waitbutwhy does come in second, but only by a hair.

    Kingdomofloathing.com is a fun text based game, or at least it was when I played it a little less than a decade ago… Also, be aware, it has some adult themes.

    And if you like anime, Billy vs Snakeman over at http://www.animecubed.com/billy is also a really fun, texty browser game, but less adult-y.

  • HockeyMom47

    Aside from Wait but Why, I find myself at lileks.com just about every day – From the daily “Bleat” to the Institute to the Gallery, there’s always something new and nostalgic there.

  • Bette Pollex

    http://www.thisistrue.com I’ve been getting Randy Cassingham’s weekly This Is True email for about 20 years and still enjoy his commentary very much.

  • Brendan Dillon

    I’ve always been a fan of Cockeyed (http://www.cockeyed.com). Ever since the late 90s, he has been been posting all types of science experiments, pranks, and how-to guides. You can learn things here like how to make a beer caddy out of solid ice, or how many hot dogs you can put a bottle of mustard on. And he built a solar death ray out of mirrors and uses it to destroy things, which alone makes it all worthwhile.

  • Chunger


    I enjoy reading Randal Olson’s Blog, he makes different kinds of data analysis in a freakonomic-ish style.

  • Marek Voegeli

    Defenitely WBW, though it’s no longer a site most people haven’t heard about 🙂

  • the_squishy

    Oh my. let me show you. You have opened the doors to the internet.

    I think my favorite would be http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ , but here is an extrensive list of internet beauties i have collected over the years (some might be nsfw)

  • Zach

    Err -wait but why?

  • Isaac

    I thoroughly recommend Futility Closet, it’s a kind of almanac of interesting things, the kind of random facts you’ll pull out of a hat down the line and look bloody awesome. It’s at http://www.futilitycloset.com/

    • Morbeau

      Yes! If you like random stuff (and I do) it’s got a lot of charm, and some of it is really well written.

  • Ethan Mearls

    There’s this site a friend showed me recently called If It Were My Home where you can type any country and it will give you I formation about life in that country versus life in the country you live in now, the positives and negatives.

  • Colby

    Every day when I get home I check:

    Favorite new blog:
    throb.gizmodo.com > Scientific posts about sex/anatomy/etc

    Favorite youtube channels:

    Smarter Everyday: run by a guy that works at NASA and is full of interesting science. I watched all of the episodes in one night a few years ago.


    Sexplanations: The Sex Ed class you should and wish you would have gotten.


  • Sekai Yukki

    Waitbutwhy.com – yes, this site.
    Loved it.

  • lamby

    Hopefully not too off topic but can anyone recommend good sites they’ve come across for learning Spanish?

    • Laura

      I’ve had good success with Pimsleur. Tried Rosetta Stone in the past but like Pimsleur’s approach better. And it’s less expensive, I think. Of course, the thing that’s helped my Spanish the most has been moving to Miami so you could always try that! Good luck.

    • Morbeau

      Duolingo seems like a useful site for European languages.

    • Mattimore


    • Kim Palermo

      Duolingo is fantastic and free!

    • Antonio Merino

      Read Fluent Forever 🙂

  • David


    Atlas Obscura does an excellent job of writing articles on fascinating places and things that I rarely see covered elsewhere. It’s similar to Damn Interesting in some ways, but updates much more often.

    • Morbeau

      I like AO a lot, but it has a tendency to promote obnoxious clickbait that I could do without.

      • David

        Are you sure that still happens? I have vague memories of that happening occasionally in the past, but I can’t remember any instances of them doing it recently. Nowadays, their headlines describe exactly what the article is about.

  • penguin
  • epistememe

    Excellent physics videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/LookingGlassUniverse/about

    Great resource for all things mechanical at


    also, for Giphs:


    excellent science journal with quality writing:


  • David


    Subnormality is my favorite webcomic; in many ways, it reminds me of Wait But Why. Most of the comics are standalone, but there are some reoccurring characters, and many recurring themes (mostly on various facets of human nature). A couple examples: Between Stops (http://www.viruscomix.com/page561.html ), Stairs(http://www.viruscomix.com/page519.html ), and The Floor Plan of the Mind(http://www.viruscomix.com/page571.html ).

    He also writes some incredible fiction every once and a while, like Zanadu(http://www.viruscomix.com/page583.html ) and Watching(http://www.viruscomix.com/page585.html ) (Watching actually won Best Webcomic of 2014 from Slate).

    But be warned; if you go through the archives starting at the beginning, it takes a loooooong time for them to start getting great. It took a while for the author to find his voice, but once he did, the comic became something incredible.

    EDIT: Tim, you (and any one else who does something creative for a living) might appreciate The Creative Process(http://www.viruscomix.com/page523.html )

  • Justin Smith

    Tim my favorite hidden gem is by far WaitButWhy. I try to recommend it to everyone I talk to and I constantly quote things you’ve said on here. You never fail to interest me on here and I just love everything that you’ve done on here, not to mention the fact that I procrastinate on here all the time. Honestly, keep on doing what you’re doing here and I’ll continue to expand you’re readership as much as possible. (P.S. Good Luck with the SpaceX post, I’m very excited to read it!)

    • Tim Urban

      Thrilled to hear it – thank you!

  • Ken Lakritz


    The Stanford Encyclopeida of Philopspohy- a huge trove of authoritative articles by top scholars, and many of them are quite fascinating. This isn’t the college education you didn’t get; it’s 4 or 5 college educations you didn’t get.

  • Tabatha Soltay

    Geeky and not that great for “wasting” time … but I love and it never gets old because it is always changing: http://thecolourclock.co.uk/ Time as a hexidecimal colour.

  • For the self-awareness glutton:

    Interesting read on relationships too. (Little more hit or miss).

  • Is it my favorite? Probably not. But is it obscure and noteworthy? Sure: http://delanceyplace.com — “Delanceyplace.com is a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commenary to provide context. There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, mainly works of history, are occasionally controversial, and we hope will have a more universal relevance than simply the subject of the book from which they came.”

  • EmersonDameron

    http://alistapart.com/ – Thoughtful reads on the full spectrum of design as a practice and profession

    http://eastofborneo.org – The case for Los Angeles as a world-class arts mecca

    http://ginandtacos.com – Brutal and hilarious left-wing political blog with an unusually strong comment section

    http://theuselessweb.com – As advertised

    http://weirddeermedia.com – Shameless plug – I curate this collection of cool and strange voice mail messages

  • Scipi

    My favorite gem has to be http://www.codewalr.us. A small, rather tight-knit community centered around calculator development, computer programming, homebrew projects.

  • Emma J Summers

    Some of these are more well known than others. I often hear of a site but never go to it until I’ve seen (sometimes multiple) non-commercial recommendations, so here are recommendations if you need a push.

    http://www.litographs.com/ Classic books and plays printed on shirts and other items (they sell them, but I haven’t bought one yet even though I go on the site 3+ times a month)

    http://www.thejealouscurator.c… collection of current artists (2D/3D)

    edx.org online classes from universities (started by Harvard and MIT)

    food52.com I LOVE THIS SITE (as well as their artisanal cooking ware store, Provisions: food52.com/shop –I never buy anything from here either, it’s just the products are beautiful)

    CCProse Youtube account: classic books read out loud

    https://www.shortoftheweek.com… good short films in many genres

    http://brandontheoutcast.tumbl… especially his comic strip, Erma

    https://maptia.com/ personal travel stories (well written)

    gojee.com huge, wonderful pictures of food with recipes from many blogs

    https://instagram.com/jr/?hl=e… instagram feed of the artist JR
    his website: http://www.jr-art.net/

  • Abby Hertz

    Pretty sure it’s well known…and totally just a “I’m procrastinating on doing anything of importance” site, but http://www.wtfjapanseriously.com

  • Laura Miller

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com – great info on photography
    http://www.fulldocumentary.net – good collection… still many more to watch
    http://calm.com – just love the simplicity of the site
    http://www.instagram.com/protips.tv – like their “bite-size” tips concept

  • Dave W

    Aside from WBW, I’m a big fan of Global Yodel. I love seeing what locals think other people should see about the places they live. http://www.globalyodel.com/

  • Anth

    http://www.lettersofnote.com – Some great reads.

  • Chelsea

    This is not exactly a website but it is a browser extension that generates a fraction of a cent to be donated to charities every time you open a new tab. It is called Tab For a Cause. Each time you open a new tab there are 2 ads at the bottom that generate money, so overtime Tab For a Cause users end up with a sizeable accumulation of money that will be donated. The tab is also customisable, you can put bookmarks to frequently used pages, post-it-notes, etc so it is truly useful for myself any ways. So I get productivity and charities get more money towards their cause, win win.

    “Saving the world one tab at a time” as they say 🙂
    http://www.tabforacause.org/?r=11066617 (My link to recruit users)

  • Twisted sifter’s shirk report that comes out every Friday. Weekly roundup that’s posted on the most shirkable day of the week, just in time to say fuck you to a company that doesn’t give you summer Fridays. http://twistedsifter.com/category/shirk-report/

  • Dr Beatz

    “the human” http://973-eht-namuh-973.com
    Go here expecting to not understand, and continue not understanding. A cryptic collection of word games, numerology, hauntingly bizarre paintings and endless scrolling. Purportedly the work of a mad math genius, the site is built off mathematical recursion (or so I have read), and the forum is a further glimpse into the larger connections that many readers/writer on this blog discuss and search for. I like it because I have never seen another site on the web that resembled it.

  • Georgia

    Something I came across recently is Petit Tube: http://www.petittube.com
    It’s a never ending stream of YouTube videos with 0 views.
    In a similar vein is VinePeek: http://www.vpeeker.com which is also like a stream of the newest Vines being posted. It’s like watching the world in real time through a random assortment of viewpoints (and is also unmoderated so potentially NSFW I spose).

    Both give me weird feelings of voyeurism despite all the content being pulled from public sites.. but so interesting!

    • David W

      wow; these are amazing! vine one scares me a little, but the youtube is mesmerizing.

  • mace

    Improbable island, easily. It’s a text based adventure game about an island where this mad scientist was studying chance, and this thing called the improbability drive takes over and makes things utter chaos. It’s hilarious, deep, and addicting, and the admin is a total sweetheart. A+.

  • Qbox


    Quite a delightful source of practical, everyday philosophy. Mostly curated by Alain DeBotton, from whose bald head I’m quite fond of.

  • Quenz
  • Phoebe Solo

    I like discovering the lexical gymnastics people are moved to perform in situations of great distress. Behold: Haribo Sugarfree Gummy Bear reviews on Amazon.


  • Nola Wedeen

    I ran across this cooking gem so long ago – I’ve forgotten how long ago it was – but it was around 2001. I still google the sight – even though I can’t really cook like that anymore (I live in SE Asia – so I don’t have the equipment). But I still go to google and find it to watch and laugh. http://www.takotheoctopus.com/

  • David Scheele

    Ok this doesn’t work on every browser apparently: http://audepicault.com/fanfare/fanfare
    This will seem like an unlikey story but anyway: a few of my friends in the student council found that site when i was attending college. Whe had fun for about 2 hours playing around with that site.
    The next day there was a party, and music was playing like normal. Then somebody had the idea to put that site on.And played just a little bit. I then asked her to let me play a bit. And man… About 30 people where on the dancefloor and i was able to entertain them for 30 to 60 minutes, i lost track of time. Phasing in and out of the music. People were “Dödööö”ing to the trumpet, stomped to the caisse, were rooting to the tuba.
    I was a DJ-light, for an hour. thanks to that stupid site

  • Klemens Knöferle

    http://www.howmanypeopleareinspacerightnow.com/. In case you ever wake up at night with the desperate urge to know, well, how many people are in space right now.

  • Orkhan Jafarov
  • Arpit Garg
  • homelesscactus

    StumbleUpon – because what better hidden gem than a site that’s actually focused on finding good material from hidden gems?

  • Sandra

    http://www.99rooms.com/index2.php very intriguing kind of little game with creepy artwork.

  • Lucy


    General film discussion, Disney fanaticism, and a wonderful series called “What the Hell Happened” in which the careers of faded movie stars are tracked and analysed.

    Seriously distracting stuff for film buffs.


      OH HI LUCY

  • Iain

    http://htwins.net/scale2/ this is my favourite site

    • I was going to suggest this one as well. For those who haven’t been, this site allows you to zoom in and out to see the sheer size of different objects that make up our universe. It’ll keep you busy!

  • Sam Pither

    As well as WBW, Brain Pickings and Refine the Mind are both excellent. The Youtube channel Kurzgesagt is worthy of a mention too.

  • Hyacinth
    • Hyacinth

      And rainymood.com

  • James Floyd

    Freerice.com – you have to match words with their synonym/meaning and for every correct answer 10 grains of rice get donated through the a World Food Programme. Starts off easy but gets tough. Expanding your vocabulary while donating rice – why the hell not?!

  • Luisa

    It’s not exactly hidden, but I still think it should be even more popular. It’s great podcast, and it seems a little like Wait But Why. Simple topics, explored with depth. If only they veered a little more into procrastination and the universe, than it would be exactly like Wait But Why!

  • Blutac

    Its the biggest list of random/interesting sites i know of

  • http://zenpencils.com/
    Zen Pencils is a site of cartoon quotes from inspirational folks. The quotes are amazing, and to see a story come to life around them is beautiful.

    • Orkhan Jafarov

      These are really great!

    • Anth


    • SelectFromWhere

      That’s cool. Reminds me of the sadly now defunct “Slow wave” site, where readers submitted their dreams and he would make 4-panel comics of them. You can Google image “”Slow Wave” and find many of them, but the original site is now something Japanese.

    • Aaron Garcia

      Wow, thank you for sharing such an awesome site April. Those comic strips are remarkable. Gavin has actually brought something to life I have been thinking of doing myself for a while now.

  • DrSuess

    I’m a teacher who has one of those interactive whiteboards in my room, and every single morning for 5 years, I go get the photo of the day from National Geographic.com. and use it as my screen background.
    – they are sent in by users
    – usually visually stunning, and on a wide variety of topics
    – don’t use Photoshop. They are taken with timers and filters, and other photographer’s tools, but aren’t supposed to be digitally edited.

    My students come in to class and immediately ask, “what’s today’s picture?”
    (I know that most people would know that National Geographic has a website, but this particular feature probably is in the <10% range)

  • DrSuess

    Tim…. is this topic really helping you finish all your Musk articles??

    You KNOW you’re going to follow every damn link here and probably lose about 3 days of your productive life!!

    … just like all of us 🙁

  • balloonney


    hi-def pictures of a dish, with its description in semi-transparent letters. then you click on the picture to go to the next one.

    this is great when you’re supposed to be working on something, but instead you feel like reloading pictures of gourmet food for 30 minutes

  • Zimm

    I found http://www.depthcore.com/work/ years ago — it’s digital artwork that has to undergo a tough screening process to be allowed on their site. They have various “chapters” that have a general theme to them and all work is done in photoshop I believe.

  • d

    This probably doesn’t qualify as obscure but I do find http://www.earthcam.com/ fascinating. One day, when it was overcast and windy here, I went on the website to have a look around the world, and it was overcast almost everywhere else too! Even the tropical places had wind. So that was kind of weird.
    Also, it can make you feel kind of creepy sometimes looking at the resort camera’s where there are random people on the beach fairly close by.

  • Tee


    It’s a website that displays the positions of planets at any point in time. Every now and then there would be a simulation showing space events (such as the path the Rosetta spacecraft took to get to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko). Plus, if you’re an avid stargazer, you can use it to locate planets and constellations. I’ve personally been using it recently to track the locations of Venus and Jupiter :).

  • Rafael

    https://timeline.com – Curated timelines on relevant topics in general, great for having a quick overview about where something/someone came about.

  • Marc Foley

    http://www.noisli.com/ – I love background noise whilst I’m working. Not direct sounds but things like indirect chatter, rain on a tin roof, a campfire etc. Well this site has honed them to perfection.

    • Wakefiled

      Loving the coffee shop noise. Thanks for the post.

  • My favorite site is Quora. Get answers to any question you can think of. Perhaps not little known but I’d say less than 10% of people have heard of it. – http://quora.com

    Another is a site I made called FollowFly that pretty much no one has heard of. It lets you view the best content people post on their various social media platforms. For example, you can see Elon Musk’s most retweeted tweets in the past year which has quite a few funny ones: http://followfly.co/t/elonmusk
    Wait But Why: http://followfly.co/t/waitbutwhy

    • Rusty Shackleford

      yeah quora is excellent. it’s reddit but amazingly organized and better moderated, with truly authoritative experts and scholars. i was one of the first 10,000 users but actually left a couple years ago due to overmoderation. i deactivated my account but check every once in a while to see how it’s progressing.

      • I’m curious what you mean about the over moderation.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          well, you will probably find out in time.

          • drew mueller

            Random question, but do you also post on Talk tennis?

            • Rusty Shackleford

              No sorry, I have no idea what that is.

  • Amr

    I wonder why I haven’t seen Wait but Why mentioned except once, it’s not that know (unfortunately for people).
    But I guess it’s the fact that everyone here is properly acquainted with WBW, what probably could be a good obscure website is http://www.worldscienceu.com

    It’s a great website, you could basically find there many small videos explaining your chosen scientific topic, whether it be Black Holes or Higges Particles, you will find nice and short videos (I guess the average video would be a minute in length) to get you on the right track.

  • Thanks to the groovy wtb culture, I’ve found so many rad science, design, timeline and future-forecast sites, I could probably spend (squander?) the rest of my life surfing. Awesome! 🙂

    And though I wasn’t planning on replying to this, I simply feel too guilty about being a freeloader not to offer something in return.

    These two may not be far enough off the beaten path, but it’s the best I can do…

    (This started off as a database portal to all of Alan Lomax’s field recordings, but it’s expanded a bit over the years. America’s past in music and stories…)

    (This is an old one by internet standards, dates back to 1994 or so. MIT pulled together 500 or so full-text versions of just about every surviving, “important” work of classical literature. Now there’s no reason at all for not knowing your Aeschylus, Aristotle or Aurelius.)

    • Oh…and this one ain’t too shabby either. I find myself going back to it occasionally, particularly when I have a bit of difficulty communicating with someone…when there’s mysterious-like conflict. I find it interesting to attempt to classify another person, personality-type-wise, in those situations. It always seems to help, give me insight into why we might not be interacting too well.


  • Hiro

    Every Frame a Painting (youtube channel)

    The Silence of the Lambs – Who Wins the Scene?

    Each video takes a theme or technique in movie-making (transitions, filming movement, action comedy, Scorsese’s use of of silence, Michael Bayhem,etc) and really deep dives using various pieces of films to support his points over 5-10 minutes.

    The quality of the videos are amazing, and you learn so much about the depth of film-making. It has a similar quality to WBW; once you see a few posts, you end up binging everything else on the site

    • Patrick Oliveras

      Thank you, that’s awesome.

    • Archit Budhraja

      This is great, I ended up binging all the videos like you said!

    • DrSuess

      … and I guess that’s why I’m not a film director. I’ve seen that scene many times, but would NEVER pick out those tiny details on angles.
      Thanks for posting that!

    • Aaron Garcia

      I second this Hiro. One of my favorite Youtube channels!

  • Foggia

    “If we don’t, remember me” is a home-made collections of low-key Gifs taken from cinema classics. Clearly made by a cinephile.

    Not a site you’d visit every week, but I check it once a year and always find new beautifuly crafted snapshots of great movie scenes & dialogue.

  • Sharon

    These are both KILLER, prepare yourself for a rabbit hole of paradigm shifts:


    Authors and experts are asked for their top five book recommendations in their field, accompanied with an interview explaining the choices. 


    A sort of online salon, where leading academics, thought leaders, and digerati of the “third culture” discuss cutting edge science-philosophy questions.

  • sportibus


    simple but intriguing

  • Haidsgonnahaid

    Prequel is a story about an alcoholic cat who hears internet voices. Real Hidden Gem (and IMO better than homestuck)!

  • qwertyu


    Nice website, that tries to predict future.
    It starts on beginning of 21st century and ends at.. the end.
    If you try to read it whole, a hour or two will pass.

    • David Brown


    • Ramon Gabriel Pena

      Glad to see someone already mentioned it. This would be my pick, its absolutely entertaining. I think the catch is that the closer the prediction is to the present, the more papers and evidence it has to have in order to stay on the site.

  • Lilacmagic
    • Cali Fornia Cat

      Wow, that colour site is cool.

      • Lilacmagic

        Glad u liked it 🙂

    • David Brown

      Thisiswhyimbroke.com is awesome!

      • Lilacmagic

        🙂 It is!

  • grazonkel
  • Ben Yacobi

    I love http://straightdope.com – all manner of questions answered as truthfully as possible. Look through the archives for the win. And the message boards are an excellent source of explanations to things. You can literally ask any question and people will try to find the real answer – and they’re very fussy about getting it right. Puts Yahoo questions to shame.

    • I’ve been a fan since I was a kid, looking for the good trouble to get into (shows, music, stuff) in the Baltimore City Paper and D.C. Reader. When I moved to Chicago, I was happy to see Cecil Adams’ column is in the Chicago Reader, too…

  • Anonymous

    Did anyone mention the google art project? Where you can view individual brush strokes on paintings in perfect detail. https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/asset-viewer/undergrowth-with-two-figures/PgGaehoXTiERQQ?projectId=art-project

  • J. Snow

    This right here is a free gigantic (kinda waitButWhy-ish) resource on everything about online businesses. WaitButWhy is mentioned in it as well.


    The website overall is very diverse and pretty good.

  • Ryan H.
  • Annie

    This might not be such a hidden site but for some excellent trash talk about the vapid entertainment industry, Dlisted.com is always a satisfying read. Prudes and conservative readers be warned, be afraid, be very afraid, because there the language here is so creatively crude that you’ll be left gasping and clutching your pearls. But it’s always good for a laugh.

  • new_horizons
  • starswim

    Wow, these are really great. Wonderful topic, this really brings out those hidden aspects of our personalities. It’s going to take some time to check out even a solid chunk.

    This isn’t exactly a site, but Lisa Schmeiser does a solid WBW-style (but brief) newsletter chock full of interesting takes on pop culture. It’s called “So What, Who Cares?” Give it a try here, or you can check the archives first, and then sign up: http://tinyletter.com/lschmeiser

    I work with high school students who have autism. I spend a lot of time on a Facebook page (open) called “Shut up about your perfect kid” where people from all over the world, (but English speaking) ask and answer questions and form an outstanding online support community for parents of young people with disabilities. This isn’t just autism, but there is a lot of ASD. It’s facilitated and moderated by two sisters who wrote a book with that title. I have learned a great deal from these people, and I like the wide range of ideas for parents who are close to (or sometimes over) the edge from the stress they live with daily. By turns funny, heartbreaking, sobering and wise if this helps you connect to someone in your life you won’t be able to look away.


  • Agis Petikidis

    I love this one..!


    • Anish Nair

      You would be glad to know that the entire book is available for free on Amazon (Kindle version, of course).

  • de Gaulle

    This is highly specific but someone might be interested. I spend most of my spare time photographing nature and had no idea what to do with my thousands of photos. I post them to http://www.ispotnature.org where other users and experts identify the animals/plants and I have learnt a bit in the process. You will also be contributing to species distribution maps and conservation. If you have a particular interest in a specific group of organisims try ID your and other peoples oservations.

  • Breene Murphy


    I’m sure someone mentioned Brain Pickings already, though I didn’t see it on the initial skim. It’s some of the most relevant, thoughtful writing that I’ve seen by someone not named Tim Urban. It touches on art, science, philosophy, and I look forward to the Sunday email every week.

    Also, I have this idea in my head that Tim marries the writer of that site (the wise and lovely Maria Popova), and they have children that create a superblog that dominates the internet for all of forever. I know that’s worthless in terms of vouching for a site, but that’s what happens in my head. You’re welcome.


    The Infinite Monkey Cage is a podcast that stars physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince who interview people on scientific and philosophical subjects. I learn a lot, and I have fun because they are hilarious together.


    Less entertain-y, but it’s a news site for green energy that makes me hopeful for humanity.


    A Tiny Sense of Accomlishment is a podcast with two writers I love: Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter. They share works in progress and interview musicians, writers, someone with a broken hip trying to figure out the intermediate part of the creative process.


    Krista Tippett is the interviewer who reaches out to people like Buddhist Thich Nhat Han, Reza Aslan, etc. It’s really interesting to hear very different perspectives on religion, psychology, philosophy, science. Plus, I like her voice. It’s made of ocean waves.

  • Olly

    Huckberry. Their email is just great with its articles, and their discounts on great quality products are just excellent. All backed up by excellent practical service.

  • Anonymous

    http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html Just a bunch of old newspapers. From simpler times…They’re so cool. Started researching NY ancestors and ended up just reading and enjoying all the old articles and ads from the 1800’s. “Cornelius Oxford found a bee tree down in the hollow and got himself 10 lbs. of honey last week” That kind of thing.

  • Michael Nelson


    Goodness, for anyone who is technically minded, enjoys nerdy pop-culture, chuckles at satire, and wants a very consistent site for humor and opinion, PLEASE check out xkcd. I’ve literally read through the whole archives three times. It’s that good and I catch new things each time and continue to laugh.

    • Some Dude

      xkcd isn’t hidden.

      • Michael Nelson

        xkcd is still wonderful and why pass up a chance to promote such a good web comic?

  • Tapani Rinta-Kahila


    For well-drawn, dark humor.

  • Paddy


    Sensible thoughts and stories which help remind me the world is awesome. It’s pretty new so a little low on content though.

  • Nathan McDonald


    “Hand-crafted logic puzzles, by the best puzzle designers, for all who love puzzles”

    • Cali Fornia Cat

      Must check it out.

  • kristopherjhoff


    Surprisingly hilarious and useful at the same time!

  • Cali Fornia Cat

    Hard to tell how well-known a site is. The humosophy (humor in truth and truth in humor) in this site is similar to what attracts me to a few others. Zefrank.com is where I go to get his silly but soulful thoughts on life and human relations. (Fave: “Don’t Yuk My Yum.”). My online comic of choice is Subnormality for the same reason: laughter, but also makes you think and feel about the human condition.

    For day to day videos that everyone’s watching — minus NSFW ones — it’s wimp.com every day.


    why the gem is You, my brother…everyday i rummage through the crap on the net looking for tidbits of info to satisfy my thirst….only a few will do and youre column …….is one of them…right now its 2 am and i cant sleep / i just won 1 million dollars from a pub clear hse contest from india,which i didnt enter…i wrote the guy who said id get the check if i sent him 500 bucks…i said usuaally the clearing house comes to the door with ed mcmann, but since he’s dead…i guess they come now with a lifesize poster of him…..smiling….anyways i told the guy in a reply that if he pays the fee and i get the check…i’ll give him 10,000 dollars for doing so. what do you think…will he do it…anyhows..you the man….i like your stuff, especially on artificial intel and the bit on the bro,s and those poor people in korea….take care / henry

  • Sarah

    http://www.28dayslater.co.uk Is a forum site for explorers of deserted places to share their photos. It is a taster of what the world will look like a few years after we have all Sublimed or died. Creepy, fascinating and beautiful. It makes you want to climb into tunnels and break into empty buildings a lot.

  • drtonic

    Nursingclio.org is a great site. Every Sunday they have a run down of recent articles of interest to medical care (particularly old medical care), feminism, and other topics. I check it every Sunday morning right after I read postsecret.com.

  • David

    I didn’t have internet service this week, so I am kind of bummed that this is being submitted late, just because I feel like most people are less likely to read these after the first few days. But this is a gem that I found a few years ago; thesneeze.com

    One of the funniest series is the “Steve, Don’t Eat It!” collection:

    • Anonymous

      Laughed so hard. Thanks.

  • Las10

    My top 2:

    1. Medium (https://medium.com/) – Social network for writers. There are many interesting writers from across different walks of life with interesting perspectives and outlooks. I never have had less than 5 Medium tabs open every day. Medium also tells you approximately how long a post will take you to read, so you can organize your reading list accordingly (put away the longer-11+minute-posts for the weekends, and the rest can be read any time during a break).

    2. Storybird (https://storybird.com/) – People from all ages make picture books and story books for people from all ages. I had found this through Medium.

  • Jonathan Wells

    Here are two sites where I can always find something inspiring and beautiful from the world of graphic art and printed material. http://bibliodyssey.blogspot.ca/ and http://50watts.com/

  • Lontar

    Thanks everybody for a weekend buried neck-deep in trivia, prose, bizarre games, blogs and comics!

    My humble offering: http://www.qwantz.com — Much funnier after you realize it’s the same comic-panes every day. Emphasis on language, science, puns and hypotheticals.

  • Exorack

    heres the link to my most fave hidden gem on the internet: https://waitbutwhy.com/table/whats-your-favorite-hidden-gem-on-the-internet

  • Belatedly: BBC made THE MOST ADDICTING GAME EVER. It’s called Geoguessr. It plops you down at a random place in the world in Google Maps street view. The closer you get to guessing the exact place in the world you are, the more points you get. If you “walk around” and look for street signs, you can get…… a moderate amount of neurotic. My coworkers and I got……….. pretty competitive with this one.

    Enjoy! / I’m so sorry.


    • H Fetahi

      i can’t stop!!

    • Jillian

      I had heard about this… then forgotten about it… thank you for this…its AWESOME!

  • Simon
    • Frederic Kuhwald

      i just discovered the site through your post, its awesome, thank you !

  • Garth Peterson

    I’ve been using http://www.runningahead.com/ to track my running since I started nearly a decade ago. Great site with a good community (though I rarely use their message board). I find it helps me keep on track for any training I’m doing. Simple interface and no frills, just a log. Though the downside is that with 10 years of data, I can now see the slow decline in my performance… a constant reminder of my impending mortality.

  • The Parking Lot is Full – the darkest, most intellectually funny web comic I’ve ever read.


  • Mike Manko

    Definitely incredibox.com – Fantastic time killer. It’s a musical site with a bunch of different beats/sounds created by one guy’s voice. It allows you to drag and drop them and mix them together to create your own beat. It sounds hard but the different sounds mix together automatically. No musical talent required. Super easy and there’s so many possibilities. You won’t regret it.

  • Since 1995 it’s been Astronomy Picture of the day for me: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html This is one of my Fav’s: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap001225.html (view in low res to get proper effect)

  • Shaun

    Since I really enjoy traveling like a hobo http://www.globalhobo.com.au provides awesome stories of eating out of dumpsters, chopping up roadkill, sex for accommodation and other sordid activities you come face to face with when you are poor and overseas

    • Cedric Dahl

      HOLY WOW. #Perspective O.O

  • Charles Benson

    http://weather.cod.edu/satrad/ – great sat weather site

  • anonymous

    http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/#.Vb7GlPlViko This is so cool. I just watched the space station fly over my house. Almost hit a satellite. (it looked like) They send you an email tell you what time to look for it and what direction it’s coming from.

  • John
    • Cedric Dahl

      Start everyday with the calm app. Even keep a small calm.com window open on my desktop all day while coding and cranking trance.

    • Vysakh S

      thanks a million…! It can’t get more soothing than this.

  • John
  • Guido
    • Zimm

      My new favorite site!

    • Cedric Dahl

      oh my god. so good.

    • KB

      I spent too much time laughing at this site. Fantastic!

  • David Beck
  • chris

    mysubscriptionaddiction.com It is addicting, I am telling you. I have spent many hours on that site.

  • zabolos

    Probably very well known by now, but I’d never forgive myself if someone here hasn’t seen it. hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co.uk

  • Raphaela

    Certainly this one http://www.brainpickings.org/

  • Michael Gertelman

    If you want to learn everything about human history and art, year by year, day by day, there is no better place than this site nobody knows about:

  • Jack Dynne

    This is a mirror since the founder died but one of the best sites that ever was: http://www.woodmann.com/fravia/

  • RJ

    Not sure if someone already mentioned, one of my favorite hidden gems is this: http://wtfevolution.tumblr.com/

  • Lon Jemaa

    If you’re the type to see that many things are wrong with humanity and yet somehow you maintain hope in our species, this site is probably for you. A collection of modern-day philosophies from classic to modern-day philosophers alike; from Spinoza to Penn &Teller. Hume to Jon Stewart, George Carlin, Carl Sagan, Einstein.

    A practical religion without the worship and all the divinity of the human condition. I definitely wouldn’t say this site change my life. It was more like everything I already believed… in one place.

  • Chris Liem

    I just had to share this.

    • Michael Geisen

      Oh man, I was in tears – nice one!

  • Daniel Dennis

    http://www.despair.com I check for new Demotivators regularly.

    My perenial favorite-
    Meetings: None of us is as dumb as all of us

Home Archive