Everyone likes a good mystery; a weird crime story, an urban legend, or a mysterious piece of news no one can quite come to terms with all make for great gossip. There are mysteries everywhere that get passed down through word of mouth, getting twisted and changed as the story is told. Is it real or was it made up? A really good mystery will keep us up through the night, wondering what the truth really is – and what is just fiction.
Sometimes, though, the truth is right before your eyes, but it’s still somehow inexplicable. A short video or a first-hand account, or even a photo can make it even more real, but not always easier to explain. On occasion, there are some strange and creepy photos out there that literally no one can explain – no matter how hard they look at it. No matter how long experts try to analyze these pieces, there is no amount of expertise that can clear up the strange happenings going on right in front of our faces.
Lucky for us, the internet is a treasure trove of some of the most mysterious, inexplicable pictures in the history of inexplicable pictures. From ghosts to extra limbs to mysterious lights, the web is filled with all sorts of strange photos that leave everyone who see them curious and confused (and sometimes a little frightened). Here are out top 10 favorite strange photos that will have you scratching your head:
10. Hessdalen Lights
The Hessdalen Valley in Norway is famous for one thing – mysterious lights that appear in the sky like orbs of fire. They float around like embers carried away from a campfire by the wind. The lights show up about 15 times a year, and they dance around in the sky like fiery plasma or ball lighting. So what is this mysterious stuff? Some scientists think it is a natural battery created by underground sulphur and metals, but no one is really sure. This phenomenon only happens one place on earth, and that’s the Hessdalen Valley.
9. Mysterious Thumb
This photo looks pretty innocuous at first, until you start counting all of the children’s hands. The kid in the back has three hands somehow, and then the photo looks really strange all the sudden. The person who took the photo claims there was no one else around except the four boys, so there should not have been anyone around to lend a hand for a hoax. So where did the extra set of fingers come from? Although it’s never been debunked as a hoax, we really, really hope it is. The only other explanation is ghosts!
8. The Phoenix Lights
The Phoenix Lights are a group of unidentified lights over the Phoenix, Arizona area in the late 1990s. The lights were spotted on March 13 and they seemed to form a triangle formation, like it was the bottom of a spaceship of some kind. The lights drew tons of press and tons of questions, but mostly people seem to attribute the phenomenon to aliens or some kind of weird cosmic weather event – similar to those in Hessdalen Valley. These lights remain, to this day, the largest mass UFO sighting in the world (meaning the object was unidentifiable, but not necessarily that is was some sort of alien craft). The lights were stationary for a long time, then seemed to move in sync with each other, up and away. Although the military claims they were flares, most flares don’t behave that way. So what were the lights? We might never know.
7. The Cell Phone Photo
This is a still taken from a Charlie Chaplin film shot in 1928. It shows a woman walking down the street, holding something to her ear. The position she’s holding it in looks eerily familiar, but not to 1928. It looks like she’s holding a cell phone several decades before they were invented. Although some historian claim it to be an old hearing device, those of us who pray that time travel will someday be real want this image to be absolutely true. But if you are on your cell phone in 1928 when there are no towers or satellites, the phone wouldn’t have worked – so who would she be talking to?
6. Stefan Michalak
Stefan Michalak was hospitalized for something similar to radiation poisoning, and the hospital took a photo of his injuries. He stayed in the hospital for a while, finally recovering from his illness, but his story was weirder than weird. He claims those strange burns on his stomach were caused by the after burners of some sort of alien flying ship, the same ship that gave him radiation poisoning. The UFO let him get close enough to almost touch it before it took off, burning his stomach and making him incredibly ill. Although this went down in the late 1960s, no one has yet been able to offer an explanation for his hospital visit!
5. The Battle of LA
Although there is a pretty good chance this photo has been altered, it’s still really amazing. It depicts what people call the Battle of LA, a supposed spaceship battle between two alien ships. Frank Warren, who took the photo in 1942, claims the photo is real. However, there is a more down to earth explanation: it might have been a very slow photo taken of a helicopter’s search light. However, there has never been any definitive proof of tampering, so the photo stands as “real.” But what is it a photo of exactly? We’ll probably never find out.
4. Time Traveler 2.0
This photo was shot of a crowd in 1941. So if this was taken in 1941, why on earth is that man wearing modern sunglasses and a printed t-shirt? Did they wear that stuff in the 1940s? The answer: not really. While sunglasses and printed shirts were somewhat available, they were widely out of fashion. So either this guy couldn’t care less when it came to his wardrobe, or he was some kind of magical time-travelling hipster out to see history before it was cool. Perhaps in the future, he is the single time-traveling hipster that fixes all the history books.
3. The Most Beautiful Suicide
When Evelyn McHale jumped off of the Empire State Building in 1947, she made headlines. But it wasn’t for her extraordinary jump or her sad tragic life that came to a quick end. It was for her beauty. This photo, shot by a photography student Robert Wiles, shows a woman who fell from a very tall building crashing so hard into a car below her that she caved in the whole roof – but she looks intact. Evelyn looks as though she is sleeping, one shoe off as she gets ready to relax for the evening. She’s dressed to the nines, her body laid out as if posed. The photo ignited a weird obsession with the beautiful corpse; it was nicknamed the Most Beautiful Suicide. How did it happen?
2. Naga Fireballs
These are Mekong lights or Naga Fireballs, a natural phenomenon that occurs over the Mekong River in Thailand. These weird balls of light float over the river and rise into the air like lit gas bubbles, but there is nothing around to light it. People have tried for years to explain the weird lights, and have never gotten close to an explanation that fits. They only seem to occur in October and only over this one river. While weird gases, aliens, and river gods have all been blamed for this weird phenomenon, the Naga Fireballs remain a mystery that only science or time will ever explain.
1. The Hanging Man
This is the single creepiest thing anyone has ever seen. The photo appeared on the internet in 2009 and has been circulated over and over ever since. The family sitting at dinner is the Cooper or Copper family, and they seem to be completely unable to see the strange, hanging man right in front of the kitchen table. Was it A ghost? Aliens? Double exposures? Or was it modern day Photoshop? Although several people have come forward claiming to be one of the family members in the photo, and several people have claimed the photo to be “shopped,” no one has ever been able to produce the unaltered image for either the hanging man or the dinner. Even if it is photoshopped, this photo is still super creepy.