Airbnb Invests in Atlas Obscura to Expand Experiences Business

Atlas Obscura CEO David Plotz steps down ahead of the site's expansion

Atlas Obscura wants to take you to The Gates of Hell—specifically, a blazing inferno in the Karakum Desert, about a three-hour drive from Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat. Even though the nine-day trek through Turkmenistan sets participants back $3,475, the intimate setting (and access to hidden gems that Atlas Obscura specializes in) has an audience. The first trip sold out within hours. The second trip, featuring the travel and culture site’s founders, sold out in five hours.