The Biggest Scientific Mysteries That Won’t Be Solved In Our Lifetime
Humans have made huge advancements over the past century, and we’ve made such intense technological progress that we’ve been able to transform our society. We’ve also been able to answer questions that have left us puzzled for years. However, mysteries still persist, and there are some mysteries that seem impossible to solve.
Scientists aren’t perfect, and there are many things that leave them scratching their chins in wonder. Hopefully, one day we’ll have an answer to these remaining questions, but right now, there doesn’t seem to be an explanation for these eerie cases.
Saddle Ridge Hoard
The Saddle Ridge Hoard was the name given to the hoard of 1,427 gold coins discovered in the Gold Country of Sierra Nevada, California in 2013. At face value, it was speculated that the coins cost $27,980, but after an assessment, they were found to be worth $10 million. Although the couple who discovered the mass of gold have decided to remain anonymous, they have continued to live on the property where they found it and still have no idea who buried the coins.
While walking their dog, they found a metal can sticking out of the ground and proceeded to find eight more cans on the property filled to the brim with gold coins. Some people assume that the cans were a stash hidden by the likes of Jesse James or Black Bart, both known for robbing stagecoaches. Others think that the cans were part of a treasure hidden by the Knights of the Golden Circle with the intent of funding a second Civil War. There has still been no confirmed explanation for the treasure.
Pollock Sisters’ Reincarnation
Many people believe in reincarnation, and although scientists maintain there is not enough evidence for the idea, there are some exceptions to the theory that remain unexplainable. The Pollock sisters, Joanna, 11, and Jacqueline, 6, were two young girls in 1957 who died in a car crash. A year after their death, their mother gave birth to twins, Gillian and Jennifer. It was said that when the girls were old enough to communicate, they began requesting toys that had belonged to their deceased sisters.
The twins would even point out landmarks that would otherwise be unrecognizable to them, such as the deceased sisters’ schools. A more spooky event entails the twins panicking upon seeing cars, saying things like “that car is coming to get us!” (Can someone make this into a scary movie, please?) When the twins turned 5, the creepy events became less frequent. To this day, nobody can explain their behavior, and Dr. Ian Stevenson, a psychologist who studied reincarnation, wrote about their ordeal, believing it to be an accurate account of reincarnation.
The Jelly Rain
Throughout history, there have been reports of odd things falling out of the sky every once in a while that end up being explainable. However, on August 7, 1994, in Oakville, Washington, a mysterious substance fell from the sky that puzzled civilians and scientists everywhere. In the place of rain was a gelatinous material that would continue to fall a total of six times over three weeks. By the afternoon of the first day, multiple civilians in the town of Oakville became ill.
They claimed they were struggling to breathe, had blurry vision, and nausea. A year after Dotty, a civilian fell sick, she mailed a sample she had kept in her freezer to a private research lab to be identified. Tim Davis, a microbiologist, believes he saw a Eukaryotic cell, a cell which is present in living creatures. Many people believe that the military’s naval bombing had destroyed a school of jellyfish and sent them flying 50 miles into Oakland. Others think the town was part of a military experiment meant to test a new weapon. To this day, scientists are unsure what fell from the sky that evening. There are no existing samples of the jelly today.
The “Wow! Signal”
On August 15, 1977, Ohio State University’s ‘Big Ear’ received a signal that seemed to put the nail in the coffin for the extraterrestrial debate. The ‘Wow’ Signal was a strong narrowband radio signal detected by astronomer Jerry Ehman while scanning the skies around the stars. It was a 72-second burst of radio waves that impressed Ehman so much; he wrote ‘WOW’ next to the signal (hence the ‘Wow Signal’).
This signal had become proof we weren’t the only ones thriving in the galaxy. Although there have been several attempts to create a working hypothesis for the signal, there are none that have been able to explain it completely. To this day, the signal is recorded as being the strongest recording of alien radio transmission ever detected by earthlings.
If we’re being honest, ‘Wow’ is a pretty unenthusiastic reaction to thinking you just made contact with alien lifeforms.
The Taos Hum
If you travel to a small town called Taos, New Mexico and you hear a humming in your ears, it isn’t just you. This sound has been pestering people since the 1990s, and no one is sure where it comes from. The townspeople became so annoyed by the constant humming that they complained to Congress in 1993.
Although many studies were conducted on the sound, there has been no progress in understanding WHAT it is. The mystery continues, and people believe that it could be everything from military experiments, to low-frequency electromagnetic radiation.
Well, whatever it is, we sure wouldn’t want to be the people that are forced to deal with it day in and day out.
These Panxian Dadong Caves located in China would have been extremely useful to ancient humans as they were 5,000 feet above sea level. When researchers did some digging in these caves, they found large animal bones like those belonging to rhinoceros and elephant-like Stegodons.
Since the bones were found there, it is suggested that the ancient people would bring the hunted carcasses of the animals up into the caves. The question that remains is, “how”? To this day, there is still no explanation for the bones, seeing as the animals couldn’t have possibly walked up to the caves by themselves.
The Green Children of Woolpit
This unsolved mystery should be taken with a grain of salt, since there are many different beliefs on the subject. Back in the 12th century, it was reported that two children appeared in a field in the village of Woolpit, England. The situation would have been normal if not for the green hue radiating from the children’s skin and their “gibberish” language.
The children were taken to the home of Ralph of Coggeshall, where it is said that they refused to eat normally but would instead rip vegetables out of the ground and eat them. Legend tells that after slowly switching over to regular food, their green color disappeared.
Eventually, the children learned to speak English and were able to explain their origins. They told the villagers they came from a place called “St. Martin’s Land”, which had a permanent twilight and everyone lived underground. The boy eventually died of an unknown illness, but the girl, Agnes, married the archdeacon of Ely, Richard Barre.
Although many people believe this story to be a legend, some claim that there is truth to the tale. One theory is that the children were descendants of Flemish immigrants who lost their parents and only spoke Flemish (or gibberish according to the English). The green color of their skin could be explained by ‘green sickness’ or malnourishment, which is why their skin changed after making the switch to normal food.
Stonehenge is a famous monument that has always been shrouded in mystique. Stonehenge has many theories that make up its strange existence (some make more sense than others). Estimated to have taken Neolithic builders over 1,500 years to create, the site located in southern England is made up of 100 upright stones placed in a circle.
Scholars have come to a consensus that Stonehenge was most likely a burial ground, but they are STILL unable to understand how the mighty structure was crafted. However, it may be surprising to know that the most bizarre feature of the monument isn’t even how it was built. The bluestones that make up the inside ring of the structure are traced to 200 miles away to Wales, making them impossible to carry.
Today, over 1 million people visit Stonehenge every year, and the mystery continues to puzzle scientists and visitors alike.
Discovered in 1912, this 15th-century piece has gathered quite a cult following. A very peculiar artifact, the Voynich Manuscript is a book that appears to be written in an unknown language. When you first look through the manuscript, you’re greeted with strange photos of unusual plants, naked women, strange objects, and zodiac symbols splattered across the pages.
Although over time, the book has lost some pages, 240 remain, and cryptographers and codebreakers have tried to decipher the text with no outcome. The meaning behind the text has excited people from all over the world, and it continues to remain a mystery.
It is believed that ancient Greek scientists created an ancient analog computer between 150 B.C. and 100 B.C. This computer was apparently found in the sea in 1901 in the midst of wreckage off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera. It has been dated to about 87 BC, or between 150 and 100 BC, or to 105 BC.
In 1959, Derek J. de Solla Price, a science historian at Princeton University, claimed that this magnificent device could also be used to help predict eclipses and astronomical positions. What’s so strange about this technology is that it disappeared up until the 14th century, where it reemerged through mechanical clocks in Europe.
You’re all probably familiar with this mystery that has been at the root of ship disappearances, and strange frequencies picked up by pilots. With spooky nicknames such as the “Devil’s Triangle” and “Hurricane Alley,” the Bermuda Triangle is thought to be located in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean. The rumors began when Christopher Columbus sailed through the area on his first voyage and reported that he saw a “great flame of fire” crash into the sea followed by a strange light a few weeks later.
Columbus also wrote about strange compass readings during that time. This ‘great flame of fire’ was most likely a meteor and the erratic compass readings could be because, during that time, the Bermuda Triangle was one of the only places where true north and magnetic north lined up. Others believe that the Bermuda Triangle is associated with everything from sea monsters to extraterrestrial beings. The U.S Coast Guard, on the other hand, promises that “no extraordinary factors have ever been identified.”
With the Phaistos Disc comes a lot of discussions. This round disc was discovered in a Minoan palace named Phaistos (hence the name), and there are over 200 symbols molded into the clay.
You’re probably saying, “ok that’s cool and all, why is this weird dinner plate so mysterious?” Well, after close examination of the disc, it was noted that the symbols do not link to any written language, and the meaning behind the symbols is unknown.
Some theories suggest the symbols are related to some song, prayer, hymn, or religious script. With the Phaistos Disc believed to be dated between 1850 and 1600 BC, it is possible that there is some spiritual connection.
If you’re ever in Langley, Virginia, take a trip to the CIA headquarters to gaze upon the famous sculpture cultivated by American artist, Jim Sanborn. The sculpture is made up of four different messages, and although the first three have been solved, the fourth message is known as one of the most famous unsolved codes in the world.
The artist has revealed that the code is a riddle within a riddle, and it will only be solved after all four messages are decoded. Sanborn has said that the first three sections of the code contain clues to solving the final message, but no one has figured out what they might be. After no progress in years, Sanborn released a few hints thinking that it would help along the process. Alas, the last message is still unknown.
White Shaman Rock
Everything’s bigger in Texas, and this seems to be especially true when it comes to this ancient rock art named the ‘White Shaman.’ Etched onto the cave by the Huichol tribe, their drawings were discovered when early European settlers first began interacting with them. The illustrations are believed to be at least 4,000 years old and show a 24-foot tall person (thought to represent a white settler) standing over all their other cave drawings.
The odd thing about the paintings is that when they were done, the tribe hadn’t come in contact with the European settlers yet. Is it possible that they connected with a Caucasian person at some point in their ancient past? One theory that scientists believe is the 24-foot tall person depicts a ghost or a spirit hovering over the painted Huichol warriors.
The Anti-Rusting Iron Pillar
The Iron pillar of Delhi is a fascinating piece that has continued to surprise scientists and researchers everywhere. What is so unusual about the pillar is that it refuses to rust, even though it is made entirely of iron. The oldest markings that cover the pillar are in Sanskrit and historians have been able to date the markings to 375-415 AD. Although the written script references its original location, it is unknown why the pillar was moved to its current position.
There are two possible theories why this pillar hasn’t shown the markings of time upon its iron skin. One, the Indian smiths at the time did not add lime to the finish as we do now, and instead used high phosphorus wood. The second theory is that the pillar has avoided rusting because of the surrounding environment. It is believed that there is a passive protective film on top of the iron caused by the particles and minerals in its structure. Regardless, it is proof of the advanced skill set of the ancient forgers that we lack today.
The case of Amelia Earhart remains a mystery, and to this day, her disappearance cannot be explained. Earhart was a celebrated female pilot who often published books about her interesting flying experiences and adventures. It was quite an exciting day when Earhart would be the first American woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean. In 1937, the plane seemingly disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean, never to be seen again.
Some believe that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, flew into overcast skies and rain showers that forced a crash landing. Although many theories of her disappearance have appeared over the years, there have been none that have been accepted. In 2018, it was announced by Professor Richard Jantz from the University of Tennessee, that he found Earhart’s bones on a Pacific Ocean island in 1940. He wrote, “Until definitive evidence is presented that the remains are not those of Amelia Earhart, the most convincing argument is that they are hers.”
Area 51 is the place where all our conspiracy theories go to hide, and it is the absolute pinnacle of mysteries. Area 51 has a reputation of hoarding all the aliens that the government is trying to hide from us, but really, what is it? Located in the Nevada desert, 150 miles from Las Vegas (in the middle of nowhere) sits the famous location that has been the site of strange occurrences and rumors.
The alien assumption was made back in 1947 when it was reported that a spacecraft crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, and the aliens aboard were brought to the base to be studied. Others assume that the area is used by the government to control our weather. Some think the government is building time machines in there. Unfortunately, we will probably never know what’s inside the forbidden space, unless the government decides to tell us (which isn’t likely).
The Ghost Road
Sure, people have seen floating lights all over the world, but none as spooky and weird as these in Gurdon, Arkansas. The ‘Gurdon Light’ has hundreds of people to vouch for its existence, and it is so commonly seen by the people in the town that they’ve lost interest. The light floats near the railroad tracks and there is no explanation for it, but there are tons of legends surrounding it.
People say that a railroad worker was hit by a train, and the light is the lantern that his ghost uses to walk the tracks, looking for his disembodied head. Others think the light is the ghost of a railroad foreman that was murdered horrifically by one of his employees. Regardless, the light remains a mystery that has remained unsolved.
The Overtoun Bridge
For some reason, The Overtoun Bridge has been a place of strange happenings since the 1960s. Since then, the bridge has caused over 50 dogs to perish, and hundreds more to leap from the bridge and survive. The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has tried to investigate the bridge, but they’ve come up empty-handed.
Something seems to lure the dogs off the bridge from the same spot, always on sunny days. Many people believe the bridge is haunted after a man threw his son from the bridge in 1994. Some think there is a sound that exists on the bridge that only dogs can hear that drives them mad enough to jump. Regardless, it is recommended that dogs remain on leashes should you ever visit.
Dogu are strange (and somewhat creepy) figurines found in Japan that are believed to be 2,300 to 10,000 years old. Deriving from the late Jōmon period, they are somewhat human-like and somewhat animal-like. There have been over 15,000 discovered over the years, but scientists are unable to understand what they were used for. However, they have noticed that they all have one characteristic in common.
Their eyes are extremely large in comparison to the rest of their stature. These Dogus could have been created to repel evil spirits, fertility rituals, or even to represent gods or god-like figures. Regardless, these weird little guys remain a mystery.
The Moai Statues Of Easter Island
The Moai Statues are something that most of us are somewhat familiar with, but you may be unaware of the mystery that surrounds them. Back in Easter in 1722, a Dutch explorer (originally looking for a hypothetical land called Terra Australis) stumbled upon a strange island.
The land was inhabited by over 2,000 people, which was odd since the remote island was incredibly far from any inhabited land. Even more unusual, The Rapa Nui people of the island managed to carve and move around 887 statues that were 33 feet tall and weighed up to 82 tons. To this day, we have no idea how they were able to move around the statues without any kind of modern tools.
The Paracas Candelabra, A.K.A the Candelabra of the Andes, is a prehistoric geoglyph located in the northern part of the Paracas Peninsula in Pisco Bay, Peru. These markings are estimated to be between 595 and 800 feet tall, and the engravings can be seen from up to 12 miles out to sea. It was created by digging deep into the hard ground, with rocks then placed strategically around the strange symbol.
Scientists are unsure how old the symbol is, but assume it to be close to 200 BC because of pottery found in the surrounding area. Although the pottery is linked to the Paracas civilization, archeologists are still unsure if they were also the ones responsible for the symbol. Slightly resembling branches, or a tree of some sort, scientists are puzzled by its existence.
Hypogeum of Ħal Saflieni
The Hypogeum of Ħal Saflieni, otherwise known as the Hypogeum (meaning underground in Greek), resides in Paola, Malta. This unusual structure was discovered accidentally in 1902, when workers broke through its roof while trying to build new housing structures. Although the workers tried to hide the underground chamber (not sure why), it was eventually discovered. To this day, this Hypogeum is the only intact underground chamber that exists in Europe.
Thought by archaeologists to have been built between 4000 to 2500 BCE, the chamber consists of three levels, and many rooms and hallways carved entirely into the tough rock. The creators of the labyrinth went as far as to cut different designs into the various rooms. One of the more impressive rooms is one called the ‘Oracle Chamber,’ which was designed with incredible acoustics. If you were to walk inside and speak at your normal tone, it would reverb through the entire chamber.
The Sajama Lines
Found engraved right into the ground in western Bolivia are The Sajama Lines. These mysterious, interconnecting lines were first discovered in 1932 by Aime Felix Tschiffely. These thin, peculiar lines range in width but seem to go on for miles. The entire site in which the lines lay is about 8,700 miles.
Believed to be more than 3,000 years old, experts think that they were works created by the indigenous tribe of people who resided near the Sajama volcano.
Any idea why they were made?
It turns out, your guess is probably as good as anyone else’s. Archeologists are unable to pinpoint why these mysterious lines were created and what their purpose was.
The Moon Landing
Ok, this one isn’t an ‘unsolved mystery,’ but there are wacky conspiracy theories that surround the landing that will surely entertain you.
When Neil Armstrong took the “giant leap for mankind” many moons ago (ha), some people claim that the entire thing was an act. People believe that the moon landing was staged from a Hollywood studio filmed by director, Stanley Kubrick. In 1968, Kubrick made the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, that was so realistic, people were POSITIVE he had something to do with the moon landing.
The ‘proof’ behind this conspiracy is that there are mysterious shadows, a rock labeled with a “C” (like a prop on a movie set) and that the American flag placed by Buzz Aldrin, seems to wave in the breeze even though there’s no wind in space. NASA and Aldrin don’t think the conspiracy is a laughing matter, and Aldrin punched someone in the face once for bringing it up.
The Hellenikon Pyramid
When you think Pyramid, your mind probably drifts to ancient Egypt. Although Egypt is more commonly associated with Pyramids, the truth is, thousands of pyramids can be found all over the world. One of the more curious structures lives in Argos, Greece and is known as the pyramid of Hellenikon.
Archeologists have not been able to figure out exactly when and why the structure was assembled, but there have been some mentions that it was meant to be a tomb for the soldiers who perished in the battle for control of Argos. Unfortunately, there has been no evidence behind these claims, but some experts believe that it was built around 2721 BCE. If evidence can prove that this date is correct, it would mean that this specific pyramid is older than the Egyptian pyramids.
Deep in the caves of the Bayan-kara-Ula Mountains in China, Dr. Chi Pu Tei and his team made a great discovery. What they found on that day in 1938 were hundreds of stone discs scattered around the caves. Often compared to the look of vinyl records, these discs have a nine-inch hole in the middle and have grooves around the outside. When viewed under a microscope, the grooves seem to have hidden symbols or hieroglyphics etched into them.
Researchers have found clues that point to these discs being over 12,000 years old. One researcher, in particular, has made claims that he has deciphered the symbols and said that it tells the story of a spaceship crashing. The disc says that the people could not make repairs to the ship, forcing them to live on earth for the rest of their lives. However, this is only one theory, and many archaeologists believe that the discs do not actually exist since no one is sure where they are currently.
Try to think of the oldest structure you can think of. Now, multiply that number by thousands and you probably won’t even get close to the age of the Gobekli Tepe. This carved structure lives in Turkey and is dated back to 11,000 BCE. Yes, this grand structure is OLDER than the famed Stonehenge that thrives in England. The Gobekli Tepe is considered the oldest temple ever built by the hands of humanity.
The complex was recently discovered in 2008, by Klaus Schmidt, and scientists did not waste time in studying the structure. This fascinating temple has shown scientists the evolution of civilizations, and how ancient builders built magnificent structures such as this without any help from metal tools.
This large stone tablet was stumbled upon in the beautiful Ural Mountains, in the small town of Bashkortostan, Russia. At first glance, people assumed that natural occurrences created deep ridges and lines in the tablet. However, after a more in-depth examination, it was discovered that the tablet was a map. The ribs and lines in the stone are meant to symbolize mountain peaks, waterways, and other geographical features in the area.
Although it seems this discovery isn’t exactly astounding, there is one small detail that has continued to unnerve scientists since discovering it. The map is created from an aerial view, meaning that someone had access to the region from a bird’s eye view. There is no information regarding the age of the tablet, but some scientists have dated it to be as old as 120 million years old. Others believe it to be around 3,000 years old.
Living Statue Disease
Between the years 1917 and 1928, half a million people succumbed to a mysterious disease that sounds like it came out of Stephen King novel.
The infected individuals were diagnosed with Encephalitis lethargica (the sleeping sickness), which appeared in Europe and made rounds all over the world. Some of the people diagnosed with the disease died, and many found themselves unable to move their bodies while still fully aware of their surroundings.
The people afflicted with the disease found themselves in a mannequin-like state and were only capable of minor eye movements and limited speech. Doctors have been unable to explain the reason for the disease, but there is one theory that insists there is a brain inflammation triggered by the bacteria responsible for sore throats. This bacteria becomes mutated and provokes the immune system to attack the brain. The sickness is still alive, and in 2009, it left a 12-year-old girl in China hospitalized for five weeks in a frozen state.