Top 10 UNSOLVED MYSTERIES That STILL Remain Unexplained
Our world is shrouded in curiosities and mysteries that seem impossible to unravel. Even the brightest of minds and most cunning of wits have been unable to unfold the most pressing of obscurities. In this puzzling Archive, we’ll look at the world’s most pressing mysteries that, for now, at least, have remained impossible to solve.
The Dancing Plague
Though it may sound like a grand ‘ole time, the Dancing Plague was everything but. Stricken with a madness that can’t be explained, over 400 residents of the city of Strasbourg danced in the streets in July of 1518, some of them until their bodies collapsed from exhaustion and strain. It all started with Frau Troffea, who randomly took to the streets in a tizzy of twists, twirls, and shakes. For about a week, she danced alone until fellow citizens joined in. Why the dancing fervor swept through the village is unknown, but by the time it ceased about a month later, some had danced themselves literally to death. Historian John Waller seems to think the dance-a-thon was attributed to St. Vitus, a Catholic saint with the power to make people dance while other theories point to ergot, a toxic mold that causes spasms and hallucinations.
The Roanoke Colony
In August of 1585, English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh came to the New World and settled a colony that would come to be known as the Roanoke Island colony. After a failed attempt at colonizing due to poor food supply and Indian attacks, Sir Walter ordered English artist John White to bring 100 colonists and attempt to keep the colony flourishing. White returned to England for supplies and, when he returned to the colony in 1590, found that it had completely vanished, leaving behind a word carved into a palisade- “Croatoan.” The artist linked the word to Croatoan Island but, upon inspection, found it to be just as empty as Roanoke. Archaeologists believe a lengthy drought pushed the colonists from the region, but where they may have gone to is one of history’s greatest mysteries. Other theories claim local Native Americans either attacked and killed the colonists or assimilated them into their tribes.
Redpath Mansion Murders
To the outside world, Canada is a country of fresh air and overt politeness, but even the kindest of regions can house the darkest of mysteries. On June 13th, 1901, Ada Maria Mills Redpath and her son, Jocelyn Clifford Redpath, were fatally shot inside of the mansion purchased by Ada’s deceased husband, industrialist John James Redpath – and that’s essentially where the story ends. The investigation that followed was considerably rushed and the bodies were buried only two days after their deaths. Only three plausible suspects were pegged as the triggerman: the epileptic Clifford, who was responsible for the family fortune; the insomniac, Ada; and eldest child, Amy, who was curiously controlling at the crime scene. The issue with these suspects? The Redpath family was best known for their devotion and care for each other.
Easter Island is a fascinating part of history all on its own, but when Eugene Eyraud discovered the Rongorongo writing, the mystery behind the island got even deeper. During the 19th century, the missionary found 26 wooden objects inscribed with text written in an unknown writing system. Dubbed Rongorongo, which means to recite or chant out, the origin of the text is a mystery, and until it can be deciphered, it will remain as such. How old the wooden tablets are, what they represent, and who carved them are unknown, though their origin is believed to date back to the 13th century.
The more we dig and scour the surface of our ancient planet, the more mysteries we seem to uncover. In 1994, archaeologist Klaus Schmidt added another enigma to the long list of historical curiosities when he uncovered a lost temple nestled along the Ante-Taurus range in the Republic of Turkey. An initial survey conducted in 1963 assumed the remnants of limestone and sculptures to be a Byzantine cemetery, but as Schmidt dug deeper, uncovering stone tools, the original categorization seemed unlikely. Further digging in 1995 uncovered large stone structures at Gobekli Tepe, all dating around 9500 to 8500 BC. Schmidt and team uncovered many unique features, from T-shaped humanoid statues to possible cosmological alignments, but the discovery ultimately posed more questions, including who built it and where did they go.
Then we have Kuldhara, an abandoned and allegedly haunted and cursed village in Rajasthan, India. Those that go there claim to be visited by the spirits of those that once inhabited it, but the question isn’t what lurks in the abandoned village now, but rather why did the Paliwal Brahmins that once prospered in it suddenly abandoned their home. According to alleged historical records, it’s believed the population gradually declined over the 17th and 18th centuries, but more popular legend claims the village was deserted overnight.
The Shugborough Code
On the grounds of Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire, England sits an 18th-century monument known as Shepherd’s Monument. Commissioned by Thomas Anson and designed by Flemish sculptor Peter Scheemakers, the monument has a rather distinct feature – a series of letters, O, U, O, S, V, A, V, V framed by the letters D and M. Many have attempted to decipher the code and while explanations have been put forth, it’s believed to remain unsolved. Among the proposed solutions are that the letters refer to the coordinates of the Holy Grail, or that the letters are a cryptic “love note,” or that the inscription is actually nonsensical and bears no true meaning.
The Oakville Blobs
It was a rainy day in August of 1994 when the city of Oakville, Washington received an unusual rainfall of clear, gelatinous blobs. At half the size of rice grains, the blobs sprinkled over the home of Sunny Barclift and family, sending the family into a downward spiral of illnesses and fatigue. First, it was Bartclift’s mother who was hospitalized for dizziness and nausea, followed by Sunny himself and a friend, who both handled the blobs. Though Dr. David Litle, who treated Bartclift’s mother, doubted the blobs were responsible, what they were remained a complete mystery. Theories range from military bombings of the ocean displacing jellyfish to concentrated fluid waste from an overhead airplane, but neither held much water. Adding further mystery to this incredible small town tale was the confirmed reemergence of the blobs at the same exact location some time later.
The Sculpture of Kryptos
Sitting in front of the Central Intelligence Agency’s main branch in Langley, Virginia is a sculpture created by artist Jim Sanborn. The most unique feature of the piece is that it was engraved with four inscriptions, each one unique in its own way. Three of the codes were deciphered by NSA cryptanalysts, CIA analysts, and a computer scientist using a Pentium II, revealing a quote from Howard Carter’s retelling of the opening of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, a unique poetic phrase from Sanborn, and coordinates to a point 150 feet or roughly 46 meters southeast of the sculpture. Despite providing potential clues to solving the fourth passage, Sanborn’s final string of words remains a complete mystery.
After a period of three to five days without water, you wouldn’t have a need for sustenance ever again. That is unless you’re Prahlad Jani, who, at the age of 82 in 2010, claimed to not have had an ounce of food or beverage for 70 years. As fantastical as such a feat may sound, Dr. Sudhir Shah of the Sterling Hospital in Ahmedabad allegedly observed Jani for 15 days without giving him anything but water to bathe in and to gargle. In 2010, the Indian Defense Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences observed the mystical man from April 22nd to May 6th, again with no food or beverage given to him. The findings were impossible, though Jani claims it’s the goddess Amba that’s sustaining him. Of course, naysayers point to issues in the observance, including how Jani wasn’t observed while bathing; but the researchers stand by their claims that Jani is a living wonder, though how he’s survived for so long remains to be told.