Narratively

Meet the people who build their lives around weird and wonderful obsessions.
                   

The Chinese Park Where Senior Citizens Go Looking for Love

In a country where wealth and divorce are increasingly common, older people are preparing for their leisurely retirements—by searching for spouses in a public park.

The High Priest of Heavy Metal

First he found God. Then he found death metal. But Father Robert Culat believes there’s no reason the two can’t co-exist.

The Revival of a Bloodthirsty Obsession

Leeches were once a popular medical treatment for everything from headaches to hemorrhages. Now a subculture of true believers is reclaiming this ancient practice.

Secret Life of a Mermaid

Their lavish costumes and group swims provide a community they could never find on land — so much so that they don’t identify as human.

Love, Death and Volleyball: The Four-Decade Run of a Trailblazing Gay Sports League

How a dirt-court meetup in Central Park grew to become a vital lifeline during the AIDS crisis and a surrogate family for LGBTQ people to this day.

The Rocky Mountain Wonderland for Athletes with Disabilities

When the powder falls in Bozeman, champion skiers and kids with autism alike make the pilgrimage to Eagle Mount to perform at their peak.

The Plot Against the Principality of Sealand

How the world’s quirkiest micro-nation got pulled into one of history’s most epic intercontinental frauds.

Inside the Secret Society That Inspired the New Age Movement

Blending meditation and astrology with Saturn worship and “sex magic,” they survived the Nazis and remain one of the world’s most mysterious sects.

Inside the Great Electromagnetic Resistance

Convinced Wi-Fi is making them sick, they’re covering their homes in foil or moving to the desert. Now they’re terrified the 5G revolution will leave them with nowhere to go.