15 Astonishing Discoveries That History Can’t Explain

There are many who believe that modern civilization is suffering a human race-wide case of amnesia. We’ve come to accept certain facts about our past that dictate how long we’ve been here, when we began to advance out of caves, when we developed language, when we developed tools, and when other species that we shared this planet with died off and went extinct. We accept these earmarks of history as absolute fact. But some of those facts began as just stories until they were later proven correct.

There are still many myths and legends that go against what history tells us and are believed wholeheartedly by indigenous peoples of certain regions. Science tells us these myths are just that; however, every now and again a discovery is made that makes a myth into a historical fact. For example, the Chinese stories of the great “white bear” that lived high in the mountains? That was accepted as pure myth by science until a French missionary brought back a complete skin and then, boom, we have giant pandas. Then they tell us that with an established fossil record they know with 100% certainty that certain species are extinct and gone. Then in 1938, a living coelacanth was found, a species of fish that science tells us went extinct 66 million years ago.

New discoveries are being made all the time that force historians to take note and scientists to change their theories of the world. Even now, researchers are uncovering evidence from across the world, like unexplained artifacts and structures, which threatens to upend currently held beliefs. So far, mainstream science is skeptical and cautious on making any history-altering declarations. What do you think? Take a look at 15 astonishing discoveries that history so far can’t explain.

15 The Indus Valley Civilization


At first, it was simply stories of an unknown ancient civilization having once existing in modern-day Pakistan. Then an explorer, in 1842, said he discovered ruins. There was no still interest until 1856, when while laying railroad tracks, ruins of an as-yet undiscovered civilization were found. Now, after extensive archaeological research we know quite a bit about the Indus. Artifacts have been uncovered that detailed a highly advanced civilization for having lived around 3300 BCE, in the Bronze Age.

14 The Story of the Olmecs


The mysterious Olmecs are believed to have lived in parts of what is now Mexico around 1100 BCE. This makes their civilization the earliest known civilization in Mexico. We didn’t know a whole about them until the early 1990s. That’s when a group of Veracruz villagers dug up a great stone block that ended up being covered in ancient writing, older than anything else ever seen in the region. It was one of archaeology’s greatest finds. Researchers combed over the block examining the writings and were able to make some startling discoveries. First, it belonged to the mythic Olmecs. Then, experts believe that the writing is so structured that it has all the hallmarks of distinct sentences, even error corrections, and what might be poetic couplets. They further believe that the script indicated that the stone slab was someone’s private “copy” of the writing. If true, that would mean, there must be other “documents,” records, trading routes, or possibly ancient literature, still waiting to be discovered!

13 The Sword in the Stone


You’ve heard of the Arthurian legend. It’s the tale of the once and future king, Arthur, who pulled the stone from the stone when no one else could. Some die-hard romantics believe that Arthur was a real person, and for all we know, he might have been. What we do know, is that there really is a sword in the stone. It could be the source of the legend.

12 The Sealand Skull


One of the most controversial artefacts ever discovered is the Sealand Skull. It was found in 2007, in Olstykke, Denmark, by workers replacing sewer pipes. No one paid much attention at first. Then, in 2010, the skull was taken for examination at the College of Veterinary Medicine in Denmark. Researchers were unable to determine what kind of a skull it was. It did not match any known species. It’s raised numerous questions that most scientists are not prepared to answer, and fewer still that want to accept the challenge of analyzing the mysterious artifact. They say it resembles a mammal, at first believed to be a horse, but closer examination revealed that it just didn’t fit into the Linnaean taxonomy. The skull was then sent to the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, where it was carbon dated. This test revealed that it was from between 1200 to 1280 BCE.

11 UB-85, The German Sub Sunk by a Sea Monster


There was a story, from World War I, of a German submarine, a U-boat, that was said to have been attacked by a sea monster and damaged to the point that it was unable to submerge again. That U-boat was UB-85, and its commander was Captain Gunther Krech. In April 1918, a British patrol boat came upon Captain Krech and his damaged U-boat sitting on the sea’s surface. Almost immediately, the Germans surrendered. When they were being questioned, Krech told them of their incredible encounter.

10 The Maine Penny


It’s called the Maine Penny. It is a coin that was found on August 18, 1957, at a Native American archaeological dig site near Brooklin, Maine. An incredible 30,000 artefacts were found at the site, but remarkably one apparently did not appear to be of Native American origin – the Maine Penny. Some scientists claim it has to be a hoax. Others believe it proves that the first European explorers visited the North American continent centuries before Christopher Columbus.

9 Göbekli Tepe


History tells us that the first human civilizations organized into villages, began farming, and establishing religious temples around 8,000 BCE. But is this really the case? A remarkable discovery is challenging that very belief. This amazing archaeological find occurred in 1994, in a rural area of Turkey called Göbekli Tepe. At the top of a mountain ridge stand huge stone pillars, more than 200 of them, standing up to 20 feet tall and weighing about 20 tons. They are arranged in a series of twenty rings, each with carvings of animal scenes. The site dates back to about 12,000 BCE. That predates Stonehenge by thousands of years! Researchers believe this could be the oldest known place of worship.

8 Did Man Walk with Dinosaurs?


Dinosaurs died out approximately 65 million years ago, millions of years before humans first walked this planet. If that’s the case then why do archaeologists keep unearthing artifacts that depict what appear to be living dinosaurs, depictions that are remarkably accurate, as if the artists had seen a living one first-hand? The temple at Angkor Wat, in Cambodia, was built in the 12th century. On one of the walls there has a detailed image of what looks like a stegosaurus. The first confirmed fossil discovery of a stegosaurus wasn’t made until the early 19th century. So how did they get this drawing correct?

7 The Crimean Pyramids


A series of formations dubbed the Crimean Pyramids were discovered in 1999 by Vitalij Gokh, who retired from the Soviet military after thirty years. He had embarked on a new career as a researcher which led him to Crimean peninsula where he made this unbelievable find. Gokh suspected that just as there were submerged villages in the Black Sea, so too must there be other megalithic structures. The region is well-known as an archaeological treasure-trove for different cultures, such as the Greeks, Romans, and the Ottoman Turks.

6 The Salzburg Cube


The Salzburg Cube is not really a cube, with it sometimes being referred to as the Wolfsegg Iron. It is an intriguing little artifact that was discovered in 1885, near Wolfsegg am Hausruck, Austria. The story is that a foundry worker found this interesting egg-shaped object when he was working in a coal mine. The object was pitted and had a deep groove encircling it. It weighed almost 800 grams, with sharp, straight edges, measuring 3.8 cm by about 4.5 cm. Testing revealed it was composed of hard steel with nickel and carbon, but no sulfur which proved it wasn’t pyrite. It had all the earmarks of being manufactured artificially. It was carved from a single piece of iron ore, which is not that big of a deal, except that the coal in which this artefact was found was anywhere from 20 to 60 million years old. Now this is a mystery!

5 What is the Abominable Snowman?


It is Bigfoot’s more cold-natured cousin, the Abominable Snowman, or Yeti. It’s one of the more enduring cryptozoological mysteries out there. Numerous eyewitness accounts, large footprints, and blurry video footage have many thinking there has got to be something out there. Well, now it looks like one British geneticist might have answered the question. His name is Dr. Bryan Sykes, a genetics professor at Oxford University. In 2013, he completed a DNA study on a set of hair samples that were believed to be from Yetis. One hair in particular was from the western Himalayan region of Ladakh, and another was from Bhutan, 800 miles away. The Ladakh sample came from the mummified remains of a creature killed by a hunter about 40 years ago. The Bhutan sample was just a single hair found in a bamboo forest by a film-making expedition about 10 years ago. Sykes compared the samples to known DNA markers in GenBank, the international repository of gene sequences of known species, living or extinct. Sykes figured he’d get a match with something but the result he found left him shocked and puzzled.

4 How Did the Ancient Egyptians Get Cocaine?


When Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, he found many new plants and animals that were never before seen in Europe. Columbus was introduced to tobacco and a strange little narcotic made from the coca leaf. He brought these discoveries back with him to Europe. That’s the story, at least. But if that’s true, then why are scientists finding ancient Egyptian mummies with traces of cocaine in their bodies? In 1992, German scientists were testing mummies when they discovered remnants of hashish, tobacco, and cocaine in their hair, skin, and bones. Hashish is from Asia, so it’s possible an ancient could acquire some, sure. But tobacco and coca were strictly New World plants back when these Egyptians got mummified.

3 The Codex Gigas


The Codex Gigas, translated basically means “Giant Book,” is the largest ancient manuscript found in the world. It was believed to be written around the 13th century CE in a Benedictine monastery in Bohemia. The Swedish seized it in 1648 during the Thirty Years’ War and it now resides at the National Library in Stockholm. This massive tome is made of more than 160 animal skins and takes two people to lift. The book consists of the full Vulgate Bible, with several other works all written in Latin, including Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus, a collection of medical works by Hippocrates, The Chronicles of Bohemia by Cosmas of Prague, the Encyclopedia Etymologiae by Isidore of Seville, with texts on exorcism, magical formulas, and a depiction of a heavenly city. Of course, then there’s the full-page illustration of the Devil himself. Because of this image the book has most famously been referred to as “The Devil’s Bible.”

2 The Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun


The discovery of the Bosnian Pyramids might be one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in Europe. According to Dr. Semir Osmanagić, Chairman of Anthropology at the American University in Bosnia-Herzegovina, these newly found pyramids could be the oldest man-made pyramids on the planet (he might have to fight it out with the Crimean Pyramids for that title). Dr. Osmanagić first noticed the odd geometric shapes in 2005, when he traveled to the town of Visoko, where the anomalous hills captured his intrigue. They clearly stood out from the rest of the landscape.

1 The Fuente Magna Bowl


The Fuente Magna Bowl is a large stone container, like a bowl, that was discovered in 1958 by a farmer near Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. The artifact was taken to the Museo de los Metales Preciosos where it sat for almost forty years before two researchers attempted to examine the object. It had beautiful engravings of zoological motifs all around the bowl, along with what appeared to be Sumerian cuneiform script. That raised many questions. How did an artifact from the Andes come to have Sumerian script on it? These are ancient civilizations thousands of miles away from each other. Archaeologists attempted to decipher the script but were unable to do so because they couldn’t grasp the type of cuneiform it was.

A linear script expert was brought it, Dr. Clyde Winters, and he determined the bowl was probably Proto-Sumerian, similar to objects recovered from Mesopotamia. Dr. Winters likens the cuneiform script to writing used in the Sahara 5,000 years ago, which was used by Proto-Dravidians, Proto-Elamites, as well as Proto-Sumerians. All these civilizations began in Middle Africa, until the desertification occurred after 3500 BCE. Dr. Winters deciphered part of the script and what they show is incredible. The bowl was reportedly used to make drink offerings, libations, to the Goddess Nia to request fertility. Nia is the Linear A term for Neith, which is the Greek name for the Egyptian Goddess Neit, who is very popular among the ancient civilizations that began in Libya and parts of Middle Africa. The bowl’s discovery opens the door to new theories on the never-before thought-of trans-Atlantic crossings between the ancient peoples of Sumeria and those of Bolivia.


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15 Astonishing Discoveries That History Can’t Explain