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Nature & Science

These Are The Biggest Unsolved Historical Mysteries

Image Source: PHOTO JUNCTION / Shutterstock

After driving his car into a ditch on a clear spring night in 2008, nineteen-year-old Brandon Swanson phoned his parents for assistance. Brandon, who stated he was uninjured, started walking after his parents had difficulty locating him.

The parents would stay on the phone with their son for almost an hour before he yelled an expletive and his phone went dead. Cellphone records would later indicate that Brandon was twenty miles in the opposite direction of where he told his parents he was. Brandon’s car would later be found, but the young man would never be heard from again.

The Lost City of Atlantis

A single story by the acclaimed Greek philosopher Plato spurred a mystery almost two millennia old. The City of Atlantis, as recounted by Plato, was an island of tremendous technology and wealth. The Atlanteans were a civilization of warrior people and supposedly brought to heel most of Europe and Africa.

In an act of defiance, the Greeks struck back, and the fabled city sank beneath the Atlantic Ocean. Thought to be pure literary fantasy, most marine archaeologists dismiss the legend, whereas others believe Plato accurately described an ancient civilization decimated by a tsunami, potentially.

The Baghdad Batteries

While intensely debated (and sometimes outright contested), historians believe that a contraption found in modern-day Iraq is the earliest form of electricity.

Here is a phrase we bet you have not heard until today: galvanic cell. A galvanic cell is a simple method of producing a negligible electrical current. The “Baghdad batteries” are made from a ceramic pot, a strip of iron, and a copper tube. Corrosion on the metal items has shown to be caused by an acidic liquid such as vinegar or wine – the same solution that can be used to help generate an electric current – just like a Galvanic cell!

The Bermuda Triangle

The Bermuda Triangle, more sinisterly known as The Devil’s Triangle, is not strictly a triangle but a patch of the Atlantic Ocean generally understood to reach from Bermuda to Florida and encompass The Bahamas. The “triangle” is notorious for unexplained disappearances of aircraft and marine vessels.

Although much sea, and later air, traffic has traversed the area over the last few centuries, it was only in the middle of the 20th century that reports of inexplicable disappearances arose. Theories range from the supernatural to magnetic forces causing navigation instruments to malfunction, leading ships and aircraft to their inexplicable end.

The Big Grey Man of Scotland

Almost every land has its version of the Sasquatch or Yeti. The Big Grey Man is described as an enormous humanoid that prowls the highlands of Scotland.

Eyewitness accounts claim that he stands at over ten feet in height and has exceedingly long arms. Another curious characteristic is that every eyewitness claims that when “The Big Grey Man” walks, the distinct sound of crushing gravel is heard even though he is seen walking on grass. Skeptics assert that there’s a collective mental delusion of exhausted hikers fueled by preconceptions of “The Big Grey Man” existing.

The Piri Reis Map

A chance find turned out to be one of the true enigmas of the 20th Century. Piri Reis, a commander of the Ottoman fleet, put together a map that has …

The Piri Reis map, created by Ottoman fleet commander Piri Reis, remains a puzzle of the 20th Century. The map includes the coastline of Antarctica, a discovery ahead of its time. The map predates any mention of Antarctica in history books by 300 years, making it a historical enigma housed at the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul.

Another hair-raising mystery is the case of Walter Collins, a nine-year-old who vanished from his mother’s home in 1928. Despite the police claiming they found Walter and reuniting him with his mother, it was not him. Christine Collins faced charges of neglect and was wrongly committed to a mental institution as she insisted her son was still missing.

In Adelaide, Australia, the Tamam Shud case baffled investigators when a body with no identity documents was discovered on a beach with a cryptic page from the book “Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám.” The handwritten message in the book remains undeciphered, and the man’s identity and cause of death by poisoning remain unresolved.

The mysterious D.B. Cooper hijacking in 1971 saw a man claiming to have a bomb demanding $200,000 in ransom. After receiving the money, Cooper parachuted from a plane to disappear, never to be found again.

The tragedy of the Sodder family unfolded on Christmas Eve in 1945 when a fire engulfed their home. While the parents saved four of their nine children, the other five seemingly vanished without a trace. Conflicting circumstances, including malfunctioning phones and a missing ladder, led to speculations that the children might have been abducted.

The Voynich Manuscript, a mysterious book filled with strange illustrations of plants and animals that don’t exist, written in an unknown language and script, perplexes researchers to this day. The manuscript’s origins and content continue to be one of history’s unsolved enigma

Scientists determined that the Voynich Manuscript was created in the 15th Century through carbon dating. Despite numerous efforts, decoding its contents has remained an unsolved mystery. Some unconventional theories suggest it could be of alien origin, describing extraterrestrial plants and animals. The manuscript is currently preserved at Yale University.

The Shugborough Inscription

Located at Shugborough Hall in England, a monument showcases a series of cryptic letters set within a relief of the renowned “The Shepherds of Arcadia” painting. The enigmatic sequence “O-U-O-S-V-A-V-V” is placed uniquely amidst the other letters.

Notable figures such as Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens were captivated by the mystery and attempted to decipher the code. Some believe it could hold a clue to the location of the Holy Grail, while others suggest that the Knights Templar may have inscribed it as a diversionary tactic!

Celtic Wood Mystery

An Australian regiment’s assault on German forces during World War I resulted in one of the most puzzling accounts from the conflict. In the Battle of Poelcapelle, the Australian 10th Battalion was assigned to distract the Germans from the Allied forces’ advancement.

Out of eighty-five soldiers who entered the battlefield, only fourteen returned, leaving seventy-one unaccounted for. Strangely, there was no record of a skirmish on that day from the German side. The fate of the missing soldiers remains a mystery known only to those who disappeared.

Easter Island

Notorious for its colossal stone statues depicting human heads, Easter Island features enigmatic figures staring out into the vast ocean with mysterious expressions. The remarkable engineering involved in creating these sculptures remains a puzzle, as does their purpose. In a surprising revelation in the 2010s, archaeologists found that these heads were part of buried bodies. The island’s seafaring inhabitants left behind no clear clues, leaving historians to unravel their ancient enigma.

The transportation and placement of these nearly twenty-ton statues remain a mystery, as does their intended meaning. Recent archaeological findings revealing buried bodies beneath the heads have added a new layer of complexity to the historical riddle that continues to baffle researchers.

The Missing Colonists of Roanoke Island

In a baffling occurrence off the coast of North America, an entire English settlement appeared to disappear mysteriously. Established under the leadership of explorer John White, the colony struggled with depleting resources on the island. In 1587, White left for a supply run, entrusting the colonists to continue their settlement.To signal distress in his absence, White instructed that a cross be carved on a designated tree. Upon his return three years later, the settlement was deserted, with no signs of a struggle or the marked tree. The fate of the colonists, believed to number in the dozens, remains a haunting historical enigma.

Zimbabwe UFOs

In 1994, a group of schoolchildren in Zimbabwe had a remarkable encounter with unidentified flying objects on their school grounds. According to the children, several UFOs descended onto the sports field of the school.

With no teachers present during the event, the children recounted encountering beings exiting the spacecraft. The incident sparked intense interest and debate regarding extraterrestrial visitations and remains a compelling unsolved mystery.

and started to have mental conversations with them. To lend credibility to this account, numerous reports of peculiar aerial crafts and lights in the sky surfaced throughout southern Africa. The children were individually questioned, and each child provided accounts that were remarkably similar.

The Sleepy Kazakhs

A deeply disturbing occurrence affected the rural town of Kalachi in Kazakhstan in 2014; hundreds of residents would suddenly fall into slumber and remain unconscious for days. Upon awakening, the afflicted individuals would be disoriented and have no recollection of the episode.

Distraught locals started to evacuate the town rapidly as the ailment spared no one – affecting both adults and children, and even a pet in one reported case. Kazakh authorities intervened and initiated evacuations. Puzzled by the situation, they attributed it to carbon dioxide emanating from abandoned uranium mines that affected the villagers. However, some experts remain skeptical, leaving the mystery unresolved.

Vitrum Flexile

Vitrum flexile might sound like an incantation from a wizarding world, but translated from Latin, it denotes “flexible glass.” During Tiberius’ era, a craftsman unveiled his ingenious creation to the ruler: glass that resisted shattering or cracking.

During a demonstration, he illustrated that attempting to break the glass only resulted in minor dents that could easily be removed with a hammer. Tiberius, fearing that this new material would disrupt the value of silver and copper, potentially leading to economic instability, decided to have the inventor executed, burying the secret of flexible glass with him.

Lemuria

Lemuria stands as the less renowned counterpart to the famous Atlantis in the realm of classical submerged civilizations. Derived from the lemur, the animal indigenous to the island nation of Madagascar, Lemuria remains shrouded in mystery.

In an attempt to explain the presence of live lemurs on Madagascar, lemur fossils on the Indian subcontinent, and the absence of lemurs on the African mainland, zoologist Philip Sclater proposed the hypothesis of a lost landmass that once connected these regions but submerged at some point. Occult beliefs allege the existence of Lemuria as the cradle of mankind, yet tangible evidence of the landmass remains scarce, perpetuating the legend.

Cuban Underwater Formation

During the early 2000s, researchers conducting sonar scans along Cuba’s coastline began receiving unusual readings. Subsequent investigation led the team to uncover a cluster of carved stone blocks resting 2,100 feet below the surface. Rather than randomly scattered, these blocks were stacked, displaying clear indications of deliberate construction.

Oak Island Cache

A persistent rumor surrounds Oak Island in Canada, just off the coast of Nova Scotia, suggesting an underground chamber hides stolen treasures. Legend has it that pirate William Kidd used this place as a hiding spot but met his demise before he could return to claim his loot.

Treasure hunters and enthusiasts worldwide flock to Oak Island with determination to unearth the rumored cache. The allure of this hidden treasure trove even led to the creation of a reality show.

Jimmy Hoffa’s Disappearing Act

The abrupt vanishing of Jimmy Hoffa remains a mystery that captivates cold case enthusiasts. Hoffa, known for advocating workers’ rights and gaining popularity among blue-collar workers across the United States, mysteriously disappeared.

Hoffa’s close ties with the Mafia, sought as a means to confront rival union leaders, led to his involvement in channeling pension funds to the Mafia. This ultimately resulted in several convictions for Hoffa. His disappearance in July 1975 during a supposed business meeting is believed to be linked to an assassination plot by the Mafia.

Image Source: PHOTO JUNCTION / Shutterstock

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