A mystery always draws people in, and many legends and mysteries have remained unsolved through the centuries. Many have tried to solve them, whether through adventure, research or following stories but they have stood through the test of time and continue to spark curiosity. Most unsolved mysteries relate mostly to crime or ancient legends and artifacts that people attempt to find. It is not that surprising to know that these artifacts are believed to have supernatural powers- no wonder people risk so much to find them! And fail.
From killers to sacred items to disappearances, mysteries become cold cases in everybody’s heads and it’s simply all about finding the clues and trying to solve them yourself. But beware, countless people have died trying to solve them, with plenty others having ended up nowhere. Humans are built to have a continuous curiosity and as long as these mysteries remain unexplained there will always be those either theorizing or taking physical measures to get to the truth. The truth however, isn’t always meant to be uncovered.
12 Jack the Ripper
Once a terror that stalked the streets of Whitechapel, England, Jack the Ripper was a cold-blooded killer that cruelly murdered and dissected many female prostitutes in the late 19th century. There are countless theories, documentaries and investigations that are still running today in an attempt to identify this fearsome serial murderer, even if he would be long dead by now. Alternatively known as ‘the Whitechapel murderer’ or ‘Leather Apron’, Jack mutilated five women during his reign of terror, supposedly from August to November 1888. Additionally, there were other similar murders that could not be as strongly linked as the original five, with a total of eleven. Jack had horrified the nation with his mutilating of women’s faces, disemboweling them and leaving bloody carcasses in his wake.
11 El Dorado
The golden city within the Amazon, so to say. The mystery of the location of El Dorado has been sought after since the late 1500s, with Spanish conquistadors embarking on expeditions to find the city supposedly built entirely of gold. Not only was the promise of riches rather savoury, but the idea of uncovering a mythical city was just as much a thrill for these explorers. But perhaps the most famous and recent expedition of them all was the journey of Colonel Percy Fawcett, who spent much of his life searching the Brazilian jungles for a city he called ‘Z’, opting not to use ‘El Dorado’. His earlier expeditions failed, especially his first in his quest to find Z after his group ran out of supplies in the middle of the Amazon, while the second and final expedition…he never came back from.
10 The Holy Grail
The sacred cup of Jesus was apparently used by the Messiah during the last supper, while in other versions the Grail is actually more of a general ceramic item like a plate, container or even a stone. You may know it from Arthurian legends as it is a quest item that the Knights of the Round table wanted to find but of course there’s also Monty Python, a parody of the Holy Grail legend. The Holy Grail is believed to be a powerful item that provides infinite happiness, food and even eternal life. While being mentioned in several stories through the centuries, there does not seem to be one concrete lead as to where it could be. Or, where could she be, as Dan Brown fans would know, some believe the Holy Grail was a woman who bore the heir of Jesus, Mary Magdalene.
9 The Spear of Destiny
Like the Holy Grail, the Spear of Destiny is another Christian artefact. Legend tells of the Spear of Destiny being the very spear the Roman soldier Longinus used to pierce the side of Christ to check if he had passed after he had been crucified. That very same wound is described to have leaked both blood and water, as claimed by the Bible. The Spear of Destiny was believed to have been found in many places in the world with many ‘versions’ of it in Vienna, Armenia and Rome. The most famous one is from Vienna, which was even captured by Hitler himself as he believed it would bring him power. However after modern metallurgical testing it had been proven that that very Spear was made in the 7th century- definitely not the time of Christ.
8 Easter Island Stones
Otherwise known as Rapa Nui, this island has been home to moai, shrines and statues made of volcanic rock. These were made by ancient Polynesian tribes, though the builders are not the mystery but the method. The stone quarries and volcanoes where the moai’s materials came from dozens of miles away, when each statue is about 20 tons each! How did the ancient Polynesians even move them?
7 The Bermuda Triangle
The Bermuda Triangle is an approximate area of the Atlantic between Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Florida that is notorious for its suspicious happenings. These can include signal failures, sudden storms, fatal winds and other anomalies that have sent many flyers to their deaths and disappearances. While weather and nature can definitely be scientifically analyzed, the pattern of dangerous occurrences in this area is suspicious. Until today there is no acceptable explanation that makes sense of it all.
6 The UFO
Unidentified Flying Objects. Cue the cheesy X-Files music and images of black, wide-eyed thin greenskins. Flying saucers are the most common type of UFOs to appear to humans, and there are thousands of sightings since the 1950s. Some governments, mainly the American government, have clarified some of them to be military drills of air force planes. Though this does not shed light on all the others, and what about the stories of alien abduction, pregnancy and experiments?
5 The Nazca Lines
These strangely-shaped figures are large and spread out over the desert fields of Nazca, Peru. They are technically called geoglyphs and have been dated to Pre-Columbian times, which makes them quite ancient. The symbols seem to be of animals or plants in an abstract form, while others theorize that they are symbols or imagery of an unknown ancient or alien race. Like the Eastern island moai, the method as to how these near-perfectly straight geoglyphs at such a large ratio were made so accurately is an enigma in itself.
4 The 13 Crystal Skulls
The crystal skulls are a Mayan legend, apparently these 13 skulls made completely of crystal could bring about the end of the world once found and united. Other aspects of the legend say that the skulls individually had power themselves or were inherently evil. There are 4 known ‘Mayan skulls’ that have been found and had been displayed in France, America and England. A famous skull, found by the explorer F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, as well as the other three skulls were eventually proven to be fakes and dated within the 1800s through computerized tomography, revealing that its smooth surfaces could have only been crafted by diamond tools used in the 19th century onwards.
3 The Costa Rican Stone Spheres
They might as well be the stepsiblings of the moai. The Diquis Delta of Costa Rica harbours hundreds of these perfectly spherical stones, weighing up to 16 tons and coming in many sizes. Built by humans presumably during Pre-Columbian times, these spheres are made of igneous or volcanic rock. Though it is possible to transport them due to their shape, the mystery lies in how such large rocks could even be shaped as perfect spheres with the limited tools and technology of the time. The biggest question is, what were they even made for?
2 Atlantis/Precursor Civilization
There is always a debate of theories when it comes to the notion of the human society now having more advanced, pre-human ancestors from thousands of years ago. Ancient civilizations with technology far beyond our current innovation and imagination, possibly helped or in league with aliens and other mystical beings. Atlantis is the prime example of what was believed to be a precursor civilization, especially in mainstream movies like Atlantis: The Lost Empire, though it was first discussed by ancient Greek philosopher Plato. Plato viewed Atlantis to be an ancient Greek city similar to Athens, but more utopic and superior in strength and technology. Though there is no hard evidence linked to Atlantis actually having existed.
1 Ancient Astronauts
It has been proven that ancient peoples could not have gone into space, but could space beings like aliens have visited Earth many, many years ago? Various historians argue that these ancient aliens could have visited the Earth, and being a superior creature in intellect and advancements, they shared their knowledge with humans and were worshipped as gods. Knowledge like strategies to build pyramids, early writing systems and farming, then left once their business was finished on the planet. Should humans be rolling out the welcome wagon again?