It’s safe to say mysteries haunt our dreams and set fire to our imaginations. People go crazy over a good murder mystery dinner. There’s something wonderful about not knowing all of the pieces and trying to figure out the puzzle with the small amount of information you have. Hundreds of movies and TV shows follow the pattern of the who-done-it mystery, proving that us humans just can’t get enough of the unsolvable. Remember the TV show Unsolved Mysteries? Further proof we love to be spooked by the unknowable.
But sometimes, there is a mystery so huge and so strange that it takes a whole city, county, or even country by storm. It causes nationwide panic or worldwide curiosity. People can’t seem to get over wanting to studying the biggest and strangest mysteries, no matter how long they have remained unsolved. While there have been tons of unbelievable mysteries with giant question marks where there should be an answer, there are 10 that come to mind in terms of the most stunning, unbelievable mysteries in the world. These will make you question everything!
10. The Hinterkaifeck Murders
The Hinterkaifeck Murders happened in the 1920s. A family of five people and their maid were brutally murdered with a pickaxe in their home. Just days before, their maid had quit, stating the house was haunted. The family would find strange footprints in the snow, items missing, or extra items no one had bought around the house.
They got a new maid and then no one heard from them for days. When a neighbor went to check on them, he found they had been lured into the barn and killed one at a time. The murderer lived in their house and ate their food for days after the murder, and had been living in the attic and watching the family for weeks or months beforehand. Though many theories have been put to the test, nothing conclusive has ever been found about the murder. Spooky!
9. The Man in the Iron Mask
In 1703, a mysterious man died in the Bastille, a French prison. After four years of being forced to wear an iron mask over his face, this prisoner finally died, leaving a huge mystery behind. Who was he? He was in several different prisons for the last 35 years before that, hidden from the world and gagged to prevent anyone from finding out who he was. The other prisoners claimed he had guards ready to kill him or stop him if he ever tried to remove his mask. The man was referred to in official documentation as a number and nothing more. Although Leonardo DiCaprio played him in a fictional movie about one of the many theories of who he was, no one really knows why the real man in the iron mask’s identity was so completely secret.
8. The Toynbee Tiles
Imagine looking down at the street and seeing a strange tile, made from an identifiable substance that is imbedded into the asphalt. The tile must have been laid down with heat and time, but not a single person on the busy street, or any street nearby, can tell you how it got there. The tile says “TOYNBEE IDEA IN KUbricK’s 2001 RESURRECT DEAD ON PLANET JUPiTER” and the immediately launches into a bitter diatribe about the Jewish community. Then imagine you start seeing them everywhere, all over your city. This is what happened to Bill O’Reilly of Philadelphia. He started adding them to an online database, and soon had hundreds of others adding pictures from around the Americas. 130 total tiles have been found, all without a single witness as to how they got there.
7. Voynich Manuscript
In the 1600s, a man in Prague named Georgius Barschius wrote to his buddy Athanasius Kircher who lived in Rome, sending a book with the letter of intricate pictures and strange text. He asked his friend to help translate it, but it was not in a language either could understand. So Kircher asked around, and eventually, linguists and historians came from all over the help discern what was written in the book. It has flowers, plants, recipes, star charts, and other illustrations, which are all of real plants and cosmic events, but the writing is not in a language anyone can understand. 400 years later, we still obsess over the manuscript, and it is still really creepy. How can a whole written language just disappear?
6. The Reappearing of the Crew of the Sara Jo
There were five men on the Sara Jo when it headed out to sea nearly 40 years ago. The five men were ready to do some fishing on a very small boat with few supplies. An unexpected storm kicked up, and the crew disappeared, presumed drowned in the storm. No one found the boat or any bodies. The Hawaiian islands around where the men were lost showed no signs of what happened to them. However, 10 years after they disappeared, the Sara Jo was found 2000 miles away in the Marshall Islands in 1988. There was also a shallow grave where one of the five men, Scott Moorman, had been buried, but no signs of the other men having found the island. The weird part? The island had been surveyed several years before, and neither the ship nor the grave were found during that time. Although it has been surmised that an illegal fishermen found and buried Moorman in a shallow grave, it still leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Given the currents and the position of the boat, it should have only taken it about three or four months to reach the Marshalls. So where was it for those ten years?
5. The Antikythera Mechanism
The ancient Greeks were really amazing thinkers; they are responsible for the basis of a lot of the knowledge we have today, built on the shoulders of the ancient Middle Easterners before them. But one Greek artifact stands out from all of the rest, being incredibly extraordinary: the Antikythera Mechanism. Discovered in 1900, the mechanism took more than 100 years to unravel. The parts were finally put together, forming the pieces of a very intricate bronze clock-like box that kept perfect astrological time and was built between 100 and 200 BCE. The mechanism works perfectly once reconstructed, but here’s the catch: there are no Greek artifacts with the delicacy, accuracy, or mechanized parts as perfect and precise as this. This perfect machine, as amazing as it was, was a one-off. Nothing else built at the time even came close. We’re thinking aliens!
4. The Christmas Eve Fire
The day before Christmas in 1945, a family of seven’s house caught fire. The husband, desperate to save his children who were sleeping in the loft, looked around desperately for the ladder. It was gone. He tried to move his truck closer to the house to try and climb up and get the kids out, but the cars wouldn’t start. The fire department didn’t answer the phone and no one came to help until hours later. There were never any bodies recovered from the blaze, and the children were never found.
The parents were shocked, convinced someone had set them up to believe their kids were dead, but they never believed it. The couple never gave hope. When a mysterious letter came to them without a return address, the couple believed it was from their son, Louis, who was presumed dead in the blaze. They immediately hired a private investigator who promptly disappeared and never returned – he was heard from again. Officials still chalk it up to faulty wiring and saying the fires burned up the bones of the kids, but the parents never believed them. No evidence has ever been found to nail down what really happened.
3. Bible John
Bible John killed three women in 1969. All three were young mothers, menstruating at the time, and all three had left their husbands to go dancing downtown. The killer raped and murdered each woman by strangling her with pantyhose, leaving their bodies close to their homes. After the third murder, the killer disappeared without a trace, leaving no clues to his whereabouts. He was never heard from again. The infamous killer got his name from his fondness for quoting the Bible, as a witness and sister of the third murder victim said.
2. The Severed Feet
Since 2007, 13 feet have been washed up on the shores of British Columbia. The feet have found no matches, and the owners have no come forward, leaving people baffled. Why do they all show up in the same place, with the same MO? The most recent foot, found in February 2016, was thought to have been in the water for about three years. There have been tons of theories surrounding it, starting with mild theories of bodies in ocean tides falling apart as they decompose or are nibbled on by fish to much crazier theories of a serial killer’s demented “message in a bottle.”
1. The Black Dahlia
In 1947, Elizabeth Short was living in L.A., trying to make it in Hollywood. She was working as a waitress when she was 22, but she never got her big break. Sadly, the beautiful Short was murdered, leaving her as L.A.’s oldest and most popular cold case. Her body was cut in half, her mouth cut open and her body scrubbed clean. All of her blood was missing. The body was posed in an abandoned parking lot. Although the case was recently dug up in response to new evidence pointing to Dr. George Hill Hodel, a man living in L.A. at the time who would have known the Black Dahlia from her job. Although fingers have been pointed, nothing conclusive has ever come to the surface.