The internet is full of great stuff. At any moment, you can learn a new skill or find information that you didn’t know existed. We live in a beautiful time; at a time when information is at the tip of our fingers. Many people knock this fact, but there’s no need to remember anything anymore. Google has become everyone’s parent, teaching them things and supporting them on their new ventures. It can be a beautiful place, filled with all of the knowledge a person could ever ask for. Still, there is a darker side of the internet that comes with anything so powerful.
The internet has caused problems for many people, and in a lot of ways has raised as many questions as it has answered…probably even more. The invention of the internet allows people from all walks of life to communicate. Sometimes this is above-board but other times, it’s shrouded in mystery. Some of the greatest mysteries of our age have unfolded on the internet, with no one able to find the answer that solves the puzzle. Here are 15 of the internet’s greatest mysteries. Most of them will likely never be solved to a satisfactory level.
The mystery of A858 has been plaguing the internet since its original post in 2011. It is the abbreviation for the Reddit user’s name and the sub-Reddit itself—A858DE45F56D9BC9. The user has been posting lines of code that appear to be written in hexadecimal, a numerical computer code. Most of the posts have never been deciphered, as there was a new post nearly every day in the early years. However, only a few have yielded strange results. Many of them have been of no consequence, translating to things like “thank you” or a ASCII-art picture of Stonehenge. A858 has been dubbed “The Stonehenge of Reddit.” No one knows the purpose of the majority of these posts, and there is no clue as to who or what is behind them. The A858 sub-Reddit is now private, but can be accessed by messaging the moderators.
If you want to waste your day on an endless series of what seems like puzzles, then look no further than 973-eht-namuh-973.com. It’s been around since the early 2000’s, and the homepage of the site is simple and cryptic as seen in the picture above. It seems like nothing more than an art project at first glance. But if you look deeper, there are piles of information. Pictures, poems, bible verses, GIFs, and everything in between can be seen on the site, with no real navigation or guarantee on what you’re going to see. Everything seems to be centered around numbers, but it’s not clear why. People have tried to decipher the text and other elements from the site but have had no luck. This site took a lot of work to put together. But understanding its content seems to be slightly out of reach. Why would someone put all of this work into such a site if it was all gibberish? It has to mean something, but what it means and who posted it will likely remain a mystery.
13. Plague Doctor Video
The Plague Doctor Video, as it has become known, is one of the most mysterious videos on the internet. It was sent to a Swedish tech blog (in 2015) who posted it, and has since drawn attention from all corners of the internet. The video depicts a person in a Plague Doctor’s costume standing in a dilapidated building. He then stands in the center of the frame and raises his hand. The blinking light on his palm appears to be signaling in Morse code, though it took a while for people to realize what it was saying. The entirety of the video is accompanied by a soundtrack of white noise that has more significance than was originally thought.
The video is undoubtedly chilling. And when people looked deeper, it only got stranger. The white noise of the video contains images when analyzed. One of which says, “You’re already dead,” with the image of what appears to be a woman being tortured. The binary title of the video translates to “Muerte” which means “Death” in Spanish. There were other threatening elements of the video, including the Morse code coordinates of the White House and an anagram for “Kill the President.” These are far from the only terrifying messages contained in this video, but the origin was never truly found.
12. Emails From The Grave
Tim Hart found an email in his inbox one day in 2011. It was from a friend, Jack Froese, and the body read, “Did you hear me? I’m at your house. Clean your f***ing attic!” The title of the email only said, “I’m watching.” This would be enough to freak anyone out, but Hart was particularly spooked because Froese had died months before sending this email. Hart remembered that he had taken Froese to his attic before Froese died, and thought back to the comments Froese had on the mess up there.
Hart wasn’t the only person to get an email from Froese. Froese’s cousin, Jimmy McGraw, got an email saying that Froese knew McGraw would break his ankle. McGraw had broken his ankle only a few weeks before. None of Froese’s friends or family came forward and claimed responsibility, and many people around him stated that no one knew the password to his email. Hart also claimed that he hadn’t told anyone about the attic story. Both McGraw and Hart responded to their emails, but neither got a response.
11. NASA Hacker
Gary McKinnon is an English hacker who got in some hot water when he hacked into NASA in 2002. McKinnon was reportedly looking for evidence of the existence of UFOs. He hacked into the agency by using a script that detected “blank” or default passwords and exploited them. Simply, some people at NASA were playing fast-and-loose with their passwords and made it easy for McKinnon to gain access. He was, of course, caught and threatened with extradition to the US, but the UK blocked the extradition and it was never acted on.
What McKinnon found, however, is a mystery on its own. McKinnon claims that he was looking for evidence of anti-gravity technology and “free energy” as well as the existence of alien spacecrafts visiting Earth. He says he found evidence to support all of his preconceived notions, and that highly credible sources attested to the existence of aliens and alien technology. His ideas were suppressed, and he was largely made to appear like a crack-pot. What he found in the depths of NASA may be a tool in the larger mystery—are we alone in the universe?
10. The Deep Web
The internet has been best described as an iceberg. What we use every day is just the tip. It seems like a lot, but under the water is a hulking giant that is the deep web. The deep web holds some of the internet’s darkest secrets. It can only be accessed by using a separate operating system and web browser, and contains mostly illegal activity. One of the big draws to the deep web was the Silk Road, a drug dealing site that was recently shut down by the FBI. There are countless horror stories of the deep web, and the threat of being hacked is present at all times. For those reasons, many of us will never visit the deep web, and it remains shrouded in mystery to the common internet user.
9. Valor Por Tamaulipas
The drug cartels have little opposition for the police who are trying to root them out. Even in those circles, there are many with ties to the organizations that give them a heads-up when something is going down. This is what inspired the creation of the Facebook page Valor por Tamaulipas. The Facebook page was dedicated to tracking cartel crime wherever it was seen. The cartel didn’t take kindly to this, and multiple organizations set bounties on whoever created the page. Fortunately for the creator, no one was able to identify the person responsible. The Facebook page is still active, though the original creator is no longer said to be involved. It’s not creepy per se, but this Facebook page is credited with providing evidence for some high profile cartel arrests.
8. Satoshi Nakamoto
Satoshi Nakamoto is the person (or people) who created the virtual currency bitcoin. Upon release of the software, Nakamoto kept one million bitcoins for himself (or themselves), which is now valued at over one billion US dollars. Nakamoto (from here on out, assuming this is one man) claimed to be a Japanese man in his mid thirties, but never offered enough information to distinguish who he truly was. Many people disregard his Japanese claims, as much of his code is written in English and he uses British English phrases in his writing. His posting schedule seemed to line up with an Eastern US sleep schedule as well, casting further doubt on his identity. Multiple people have claimed to be or were otherwise identified as Nakamoto, though there has been no concrete proof that any of them were the real person responsible for ushering in a new system of payment.
7. John Titor
If you were active on message boards during the early 2000’s, it’s likely that you’ve heard the name John Titor. John Titor, which was most likely an alias, was supposedly a time traveler from the year 2036. He traveled back to the year 2000 to obtain dated technology and hopefully change the course of history. He made some bold predictions that didn’t come true, including predicting a second American civil war in 2004 sparked by the election. Many of his predictions were left unfulfilled, but the mystery still remains as to who this man is and why he has posted these things. The most probable explanation was that this was a hoax. But whoever wrote these posts had a vast understanding of computers, their capabilities, and their limitations. Over 15 years after the original posts, investigators are still at a loss as to the true identity of John Titor.
6. Webdriver Torso
Webdriver Torso is the name of a mysterious YouTube account that began uploading in 2013. All it ever posted was 11-second-long clips of blue and red rectangles, accompanied by a series of audio inputs that seemed indecipherable. The internet went wild with speculation surrounding these videos, which ranged from claims that they were posted by aliens who were contacting us to spies being fed information over the web. Similar tactics were used during the Cold War, and many Redditors related the 11-second-long clips to codes being used by foreign agencies. The mystery was solved, to an extent, with a Google explanation. They claimed that the account was used for quality assurance on videos. They would upload to that account to make sure everything was working correctly. While this explanation satisfied some, there is still a large amount of skepticism surrounding the Webdriver Torso YouTube page.
5. Black Holes
Black Holes, in the internet world, refer to spots where information is hijacked or lost on its way to its destination. Information, often in the form of an email or message, is sent but never reaches its destination. There are several possible causes of internet black holes, including firewalls and dead IP addresses, but hackers and government officials alike have no way of tracing the lost information. The black holes have earned their moniker, as no one truly knows where the lost information lands.
One instance of a black hole has been slightly solved, to an ominous degree. Certain information was being rerouted to an address in Iceland in 2013. It is thought to be a hacker who is stealing people’s information, but no one can be certain why or to what end. Some of these hackers even send the information back to a legitimate site, causing the user to not even notice that their information was compromised.
GhostNet was the name given to the large-scale cyber breach that was discovered in 2009. The facts that were uncovered showed that an unknown agency had gained access to high-profile companies, politicians, and public figures in 103 countries. The breach was discovered because the Dalai Lama’s people were suspicious that their network had been infiltrated. They were correct in their predictions, but the cyber-spying platform contained much more information than just that of the Dalai Lama. Since the Dalai Lama was one of the primary subjects of the information-gathering, it is theorized that the attack came from China. It has now been almost eight years since the breach was first discovered which leads many to believe that we will never truly know who was behind it.
3. Marianas Web
Marianas Web gets its name from the Mariana Trench, the deepest ocean crater known to man. Likewise, Marianas Web is, quite literally, the deepest corners of the internet. The deep web holds secrets and aspects that regular people are generally too hesitant to explore. However, Marianas Web contains elements that can’t be accessed even if we wanted to. Legend has it that all of the greatest secrets are held in Marianas Web. Everything from proof of alien life to government conspiracies can supposedly be found on Marianas Web, but virtually, no one has access to this information. To get onto Marianas Web in the first place, it is said that Polymeric Falcighol Derivation is needed. This can only be done using quantum computers, which is a problem because they aren’t supposed to exist. For this reason, many people throw the “myth” title on Marianas Web, but if it does exist, we’ll likely never hear the truth.
2. Markovian Parallax Denigrate
In the early days of the internet, users of the Usenet forums were plagued with spam under the subject line “Markovian Parallax Denigrate.” These posts were frequent, and contained jumbled words that were impossible to understand. Some deciphering took place at the time, but the whole thing was generally forgotten as the age of the internet swept us away.
It wasn’t until 2006 that it resurfaced in the form of a Wikipedia page. The page explored the Google archives of the posts, and linked them back to Susan Lindauer. Linauer was arrested for acting as a foreign agent, but claims that this was an act to discredit her knowledge of the 9/11 attacks. Linauer deserves a long-form piece about her involvement in some of the most popular conspiracies of our time. But suffice to say, her involvement in Markovian Parallax Denigrate raised some eyebrows. To make matters even more suspicious, once the connection was made public, the Wikipedia page that connected the dots was taken down.
1. Cicada 3301
Cicada 3301 is one of the most mysterious elements unleashed on the internet in recent memory. It was first introduced to the internet world in a post that sought “highly intelligent individuals” with the capacity to solve cryptic riddles. The note was signed “3301” and depicted what appeared to be a cicada, giving the post its name. Many people tried to solve the puzzle, which went much further than a simple post. There were clues left in binary code and in the real world, which had those seeking answers traveling the globe to find mysterious billboards and other landmarks. While it’s assumed that at least a few people have solved the puzzle, no one who has come out the other end has spoken up. No one knows what these intelligent individuals are being recruited for, nor the end game that this puzzle leads to.