May 2, 2024 | Allison Robertson

16 Unexplainable Discoveries in History


Forever a Mystery

History is full of weird events that no one can explain, and some—even after generations of fresh studies and new information—may always be a mystery.

Here are 16 unexplainable events or discoveries that scientists cannot seem to solve.

tribe and clay disc split image

The 2,000-Year-Old Body

Another strange occurrence that scientists struggle to figure out is the 2,000-year-old body that still has hair, eyelashes, and blood in her veins.

A wax sculpture reconstruction of Xin ZhuiFlazaza, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Body: Discovery

Lady Day, the Marquise of Dai lived during the Western Han dynasty in ancient China. Two-thousand years after her passing, her tomb was discovered inside the Mawangui hill in China.

Inside, archeologists found many important documents and artifacts—along with something else that sent shivers down their spines.

Corpse Of Lady Dai, Xin ZhuiGary Todd from Xinzheng, Wikimedia Commons

The Body: Preservation

Archeologists discovered that the woman’s body was incredibly well preserved, with her organs and blood vessels still completely intact. She even had hair and eyelashes, and melon seeds and fluid were found in her stomach.

Scientists are wracking their brains to figure this one out.

Corpse Of Lady Dai, Xin ZhuiGary Todd, Flickr

The Man with Head Trauma

Back in 2006, a man hit his head off the bottom of a pool and suffered a severe head trauma from it. Aside from the usual memory loss and a bump on the noggin, he seemed okay—at first.

Portrait Photo of Derek Amato in a red shirtUPROXX, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Man: Hospital

Derek Amato was an average guy. One day he dove head first into a pool and smacked his head off the bottom, resulting in a severe concussion. He went to the hospital to be monitored. After waking up, he said something to the doctors that blew everyone’s minds.

Underwater View of a Swimming PoolKindel Media, Pexels

The Man: Genius Status

The man woke up from his accident and was suddenly a genius. A composer, to be specific. He reportedly told doctors, “As I shut my eyes, I found these black and white structures moving from left to right, which in fact would represent in my mind, a fluid and continuous stream of musical notation.”

Person Writing on the Sheet Music Placed on PianoAlena Darmel, Pexels

The Man: No One Like Him

Similar cases to this have happened before, but nothing to this extreme, and doctors are calling the patient a miracle.

Shocked doctor is looking at camera.Krakenimages.com, Shutterstock

Australia’s Thundercloud

Another intriguing phenomenon that baffles scientists is the strange weather cloud that appears in Australia at the same time every day.

HectorCloud.jpgDjambalawa, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Australia’s Thundercloud: Hector

Dubbed “Hector the Convector”, the strange weather cloud shows up between the months of September to March, in the exact same spot at the exact same time every day.

An image of Hector cloud Northern Territory. Australia.Djambalawa, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Australia’s Thundercloud: Explanation

The giant cloud was named by a WWII pilot and is still the subject of many meteorological studies, who have not yet come up with an explanation for this phenomenon.

Remnants of Hector the Convector at sunsetGeoff Whalan, Flickr

The Dancing Plague

Way back in 1518, a mysterious plague struck Stasobourg, Asace. This illness is known as the “dancing plague” because of what happened to its victims as they became ill.

Engraving by Hendrik Hondius portraying three people affected by the dancing plaguePieter Brueghel the Elder, Wikimedia Commons

The Dancing Plague: Actual Dancing

This Dance Epidemic apparently made over 400 people dance uncontrollably—many of whom perished from heart attacks and exhaustion as a result of the dancing.

Citizens of 1518 Strasbourg affected by the dancing plagueUnknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

The Dancing Plague: How it Started

It is said to have started after a woman named Mrs. Troffea started dancing uncontrollably in the middle of Strasbourg. Soon, 34 more people joined and after a short while, 400 were affected.

This went on for days, and the plague took about 15 lives each day.

Alsatian Museum buildings, Strasbourg, FranceJoel Abroad, Flickr

The Dancing Plague: Diagnosis

The doctors thought the epidemic was due to “hot blood” and built the affected a wooden stage to “dance it out”. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t help.

Waterfront Buildings in the Old Town of Strasbourg, FranceSabina Kallari, Pexels

The Dancing Plague: Unexplained

Modern scientists suggest that it might have been caused by the toxic products of the ergot fungi but the true cause remains unknown.

La Petite France, StrassburgTambako The Jaguar, Flickr

A 100-Year-Old Discovery

Collectors everywhere were completely baffled when something entirely unique, extremely old, and in perfect working condition was found bricked-up inside a wall.

Close-up Photo of Traub Motorcycle Displayed in a MuseumJimmy Smith, Flickr

A 100-Year-Old Discovery: 40 Years

The owners of the home had lived there for four full decades before deciding to tear down this particular brick wall. Behind it, they discovered a large item, covered in dust and draped with a white sheet.

Close-up Photo of Traub Motorcycle Displayed in a Museum. Blurred background.Lynn Wood, Flickr

A 100-Year-Old Discovery: The Motorcycle

Their fascinating discovery was a 100-year-old Traub motorcycle. It was a unique model, the only one of its kind, and it started seamlessly on the first try.

No one knows why it was hidden inside a wall, or who put it there.

Close-up Photo of Traub MotorcycleChuck, Flickr

The Manuscript

Back in 1912, a Lithuanian-Samogitian bibliophile purchased a 500-year-old hand-written book that was written in a mysterious language.

A page from the mysterious Voynich manuscriptUnknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

The Manuscript: Deciphering

Many people tried their hand at deciphering the mysterious book, including codebreakers from WWI and WWII, but none were successful.

A page from the mysterious Voynich manuscript, which is undeciphered to this day.Elusive Muse, Flickr

The Manuscript: Theories

A recent theory suggested that it could be a women’s health medical book, but it was quickly discredited.

A page from the mysterious Voynich manuscript, which is undeciphered to this day.Elusive Muse, Flickr

The Undiscoverable Tomb

Most people have heard plenty about Cleopatra’s life, but did you know that her tomb has never been found?

Bust Of Cleopatra in  Altes Museum Berlin GermanyJosé Luiz, Wikimedia Commons

The Undiscoverable Tomb: x2

It is believed that she was buried with her lover Antony and that Octavian gave orders to bury her “in splendid and regal fashion”.

Painting, The Death Of Mark Antony, Antony And CleopatraNathaniel Dance-Holland, CC0, Wikimedia Commons

The Undiscoverable Tomb: Archeologists

Archaeologists and scientists have made countless attempts to discover the tombs of the great Cleopatra and Mark Antony, though none have been successful.

Egyptian portrait of a Ptolemaic queen, possibly CleopatraBrooklyn Museum, Wikimedia Commons

The Vanishing Village

In 1930, the entire population of an Inuit village in Canada unexplainably vanished without a trace.

Landscape Photo of  Angikuni lake in Kivalliq Region, Nunavut, CanadaNicolas Perrault II, Wikimedia Commons

The Vanishing Village: Abandoned

A trapper, named Joe Labelle visited a small Inuit village who he had visited many times before. Upon arrival he was shocked to discover the village completely empty—except for one thing.

Landscape Photo of  Angikuni lake in Kivalliq Region, Nunavut, CanadaNicolas Perrault II, Wikimedia Commons

The Vanishing Village: The Discovery

Not far from the village, the trapper came across seven lifeless sled dogs laid in a man-made grave, apparently as a result of starvation.

Extensive searches took place, but no one found the missing villagers, or their bodies.

Landscape Photo of  Angikuni lake in Kivalliq Region, Nunavut, CanadaNicolas Perrault II, Wikimedia Commons

The “Wow!” Signal

Scientists are struggling to find out more information about a mysterious signal that was received back in 1977. The 72-second long signal is said to be the longest unknown signal ever received—and to this day it has only ever appeared that one time and never repeated.

A scan of the original computer printout featuring the eponymous NAAPO, Wikimedia Commons

The “Wow!” Signal: Discovery

Ohio State University’s Big Ear Radio telescope picked up a mysterious signal, dubbed the “Wow!” signal. It was discovered by astronomer Jerry R. Ehman, who circled the anomaly when looking at the data and wrote “Wow!” next to it.

Plot of signal-to-noise ratio of the Wow! signal vs time.Maxrossomachin, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The “Wow!” Signal: Otherworldly Contact

Countless astrologers and scientists of all kinds have delved into this mystery, but even still, no one knows the source of the signal. Some speculate that it might have been a contact attempt from aliens.

Location of the Wow! signal on a star map.Benjamin Crowell, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Mysterious Phaistos Disc

This intriguing Phaistos Disc is another mystery no one can seem to decipher. It’s a clay disc made sometime during the Bronze Age and contains mysterious symbols.

Side 1 of the Phaistos Disc on a blurred backgroundDimitris Agelakis, flickr

The Mysterious Phaistos Disc: Theories

Many people have studied this ancient piece, but no one has cracked the code. Some suggest that it might have been a board game or a prayer to the goddess of fertility.

Phaistos Disc, Side B, as displayed in the Heraklion Archaeological MuseumC messier, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

The $10 Million Treasure

A rather starting mystery is the owner of a $10 million treasure found by a local husband and wife near their home.

Saddle Ridge Hoard, displaying coins of the $10 million treasureMichel Curi, Flickr

The $10 Million Treasure: Discovery

In 2013, a couple found a treasure near their home. It was filled with coins worth about $27,000 but the historical value skyrocketed their price to a whopping $10 million.

Saddle Ridge Hoard of coins and dirtKagin's Inc, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The $10 Million Treasure: The Mystery

No one knows who stashed the treasure. And the new owners have stated that they will never reveal the location that it was found, in fear of people going there to look for more.

Saddle Ridge Hoard, World's Fair of Money 2014 Donald E. Stephens Convention Center RosemontMichel Curi, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Missing Crew

Another startling mystery is that of the missing crew—all 25 members on the boat vanished, but the boat remained.

MV Joyita towed on shore after found driftedUnknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

The Missing Crew: Joyita

Back in 1955, merchant vessel Joyita mysteriously disappeared in the South Pacific. After a while, the vessel was found but it was completely empty – no crew was in sight.

MV Joyita when found adrift in November 1955Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

The Missing Crew: Search

A search began but no one even knew where to look as the vessel had been missing for a while before they found it. Of all 25 crew members, not one of them was found.

It still remains a mystery what happened to them.

The wheelhouse of MV Joyita in 1942Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

The Disappearing Island

Geologists usually have a pretty firm grasp on the configurations of our beautiful Mother Earth, but there is one puzzling question they cannot seem to answer.

Aerial Photo of Wetland in Quintana RooGarth Lenz, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Disappearing Island: Bermeja Island

An island called Bermeja is—or, was—located off the north coast of Yucatan.The island appeared on many maps until the 20th century, but nothing has ever been found in its location.

Satellite image of the Yucatán PeninsulaNasa, Wikimedia Commons

The Disappearing Island: Public Interest

People became interested in the mysterious island after someone pointed out that the island has no real boundaries and rights of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

Satellite image of the  Gulf of MexicoNasa, flickr

The Disappearing Island: Mystery

No island has ever been discovered during the search, and no one can even prove whether the island ever existed.

Cloud streets in the Western Gulf of MexicoNasa, Flickr

The Missing Prime Minister

Harold Edward Holt was the 17th Prime Minister of Australia, serving from 1966 until his presumed demise in 1967.

Grayscale Portrait Photo of Harold HoltNAA, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Missing Prime Minister: Weekend Plans

The Prime Minister loved spearfishing and was spending time at Portsea one weekend with friends. The group had gone to the beach one afternoon—and that’s when tragedy struck.

Grayscale Portrait Photo of Harold HoltNational Library of Australia, Wikimedia Commons

The Missing Prime Minister: Gone in Seconds

The Prime Minster was an avid swimmer, and knew this beach like the back of his hand. But the current was too powerful and the sea took him away in seconds.

Grayscale Portrait Photo of Harold HoltParliamentary Handbook, Wikimedia Commons

The Missing Prime Minister: The Search

The biggest search operation in Australian history was organized but his body was never found. This mystery got the attention of conspiracy theorists.

Grayscale Portrait Photo of Harold HoltParliamentary Handbook, Wikimedia Commons

The Missing Prime Minister: Theories

This mysterious disappearance caused many conspiracy theories: some believed he faked his own demise, while others believed his life was taken by the CIA.

Grayscale Portrait Photo of Harold HoltNational Library of Australia, Wikimedia Commons

An Otherworldly Experience

Another intriguing event that has scientists scratching their heads is the story about the two men who claimed to have been taken by aliens.

Sign on U.S. Route 90 when entering Pascagoula, MississippiStaecker, Wikimedia Commons

An Otherworldly Experience: The Experience

Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker are two men from Mississippi who claim that they “heard mysterious sounds and saw strange lights above their heads. When they looked up, they saw an oval-shaped object around 40 ft across and 10 ft high.”

Calvin Parker at The 2019 International UFO CongressSMG2019, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

An Otherworldly Experience: Stuck

Parker and Hickson say they had been “paralyzed but remained conscious” while the aliens took them and “performed various examinations on them before releasing them.”

Pascagoula harbor - Pascagoula, MississippiVisit Mississippi, Flickr

An Otherworldly Experience: Unbelievable

At the time, no one believed them. The two men took a lie detector test and passed, but people still didn’t believe them. Some say the men experienced a “walking dream state.”

Old Pascagoula High School in Pascagoula, MississippiChris Pruitt, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Kentucky Meat Shower

The “Kentucky meat shower” is a mysterious event that happened back in 1876. A woman named Mrs. Crouch was making soap on her porch when she saw something fall from the sky.

Bath County, Kentucky CourthouseW.marsh, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Kentucky Meat Shower

The woman took a closer look and believed it to be chunks of meat—and there was plenty of it. For several minutes, chunks of meat fell from the sky above her.

Bath County Court House, Owingsville, Kentucky.Jimmy Emerson, DVM, Flickr

The Kentucky Meat Shower: Explanation

Although no one really knew what had happened that day, the most widespread theory is that the meat had been vomited by buzzards flying overhead.

Bath County Court House, Owingsville, KentuckyJimmy Emerson, DVM, Flickr

Source: 1


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