Science is making new discoveries all the time. Sometimes these discoveries force history to adjust and scientists must adapt their theories of how the world works. However, throughout history events have taken place, things have been discovered, and questions arise, which science simply lacks the understanding to explain. Despite all our scientific advancement and technological comprehension, we’re no closer today to understanding these things than we were twenty-five, fifty, even a hundred years ago. Sure, there are many theories with which different scientists have tried to explain these things. But, in many cases, we simply have no clue and are just drawing at straws. Some these things might keep us up at night wondering what they mean or how they came to be.
So, what do we do in these instances? Well, historically, we as a civilization have just accepted certain things as the norm and have stopped trying to explain them. They’ve become trivia questions or something we Google when the need arises. But ultimately many of these things that are considered unexplainable have become part of our culture. The work being done to figure them out has fallen into the background while we go on with our lives. In these cases, many people have accepted that they might never get the answers they so desperately want. But let’s face it, science is often inadequate when it comes to explaining everything and the thought of that just creeps people out. Join us and take a look at 15 creepy things science is still unable to explain.
15 The “Wow” Signal
On the evening of August 15, 1977, a radio signal, with a strong narrow band, was detected by astronomer Jerry R. Ehman at the Ohio State University’s Big Ear Observatory. Ehman was volunteering for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and was busy scanning deep space in hopes of finding that one signal that proved intelligent alien civilizations exist. The computer registered signals using an alphanumeric scale, from 1 to 9, then A to Z, depending on strength and clarity. Most radio waves rate just 1s and 2s. This one registered as “6EQUJ5!” He circled the signal on the computer printout and wrote “Wow!” The signal lasted for 72 seconds and Ehman tracked it to near a star called Tau Sagittarii, 120 light years away.
All attempts to find the signal again have failed. It remains the strongest evidence to date of extraterrestrial life
14 The Naga Lights
Every year, in mid-October, under a full-moon, fiery red spheres of light hurl themselves out of the Mekong River and ascend into the sky. Sometimes there’s only a few, other times as many as 800 can be seen. It occurs along a 100km stretch of the river that borders Laos and Thailand. Superstition says that these so-called Naga Lights are from the Naga, an ancient sea serpent. The whole phenomenon is mysterious and tourists flock to the area every year to catch a glimpse of the fiery balls. There is an annual party along the banks of the Mekong called the Wan Ok Phansa Festival that dates back millennia, although there is no written record of the fireballs prior to the 20th century.
Is it coincidence that the fireballs make their appearance during the festival, which actually marks the end of Buddhist Lent, precisely on the 11th full moon of the year? There are many theories as to how this happens, but most disproven.
13 The Taos Hum
Around 1993, citizens of the small city of Taos, New Mexico, began complaining about a mysterious humming sound in the air that persists around the clock.
Not everyone can hear it but the many who do describe it the same: low-frequency, faint, like a diesel engine heard from a distance, louder when indoors, or at night, with vibrations that can be felt.
Some of those who hear the sound end up experiencing insomnia, irritability, and anxiety. Microphones don’t seem to be able to accurately capture the hum sound. In 1997, U.S. Congress assembled a task force of scientists to investigate the Taos Hum and discover its source. Some believe it’s caused by unusual acoustics; others say its mass hysteria. Whether the hum is psychological, natural, or supernatural, for over twenty years no one has of yet been able to locate its origin.
12 The Blob Rain
Something downright weird occurred in Oakville, Washington, in August 1994.
It was a rainy day, but instead of water, it rained a jelly-like blob substance on the town. The next day, dozens of citizens reported flu-like symptoms. Scientists analyzed samples of the blobs and found that it contained cells and two types of bacteria, one of which is usually only found in the human digestive system.
Odd, but they also couldn’t find a connection between the blobby substance and the mysterious sickness that spread around town. They also couldn’t figure out how the blobs were formed, how they got human digestive material inside them, or why they would be falling from the sky. To this day, it has remained a scientific enigma.
11 The Mummies Containing Traces Of Certain Illegal Substances
When Christopher Columbus came to the New World, he returned with new plants like tobacco and coca leaves (which refined into what we know today as a certain illegal substance). That’s the tale, at least. But if that’s true, and most if not all scientists believe it is, then why have other scientists found ancient Egyptian mummies with traces of these substances in their bodies?
In 1992, German scientists were testing mummies when they discovered remnants of various "substances" in their skin, hair, and bones.
Some of these have Asian origins, so it’s entirely possible an ancient Egyptian could get a hold of some. But there’s no documented way tobacco and coca leaves could’ve made their way over back when these guys got mummified. To be sure, the German scientists had an independent lab conduct some tests and the presence of these substances was verified. How did they get their fix all those years ago? Scientists have no idea.
10 The Viking Lander Found Life On Mars In The 1970s
In 1976, NASA sent Viking Landers 1 and 2 to Mars in order to ascertain whether life existed on the red planet. The landers conducted three experiments designed to answer this question. One of the experiments was called the Labeled Release (LR) apparatus. It would scoop up some Martian soil and mix it with a drop of water containing nutrients and radioactive carbon atoms. The premise was that if the soil contained microbial life, they would metabolize the nutrients and release either radioactive carbon dioxide or methane, which could then be measured by a radiation detector on the lander.
The LR experiment came back positive for life; however the other control experiments conducted were negative.
NASA reported no life on Mars. In 2012, a team of scientists revisited the data using new technologies and maintain that the new test results indicate that original sample was correct in registering positive for life – by a huge margin. Scientists admit nothing is definitive but they’re still working on it.
9 The Mysterious "Bloop" Sound
Some scientists will tell you this is nothing more than some ice-related sounds, but if you’ve ever heard those (and you can find some online) they don’t sound anything like this. That’s why other scientists have been fascinated by what could be called the most famous unexplained sound to have ever been reported. On several occasions in 1997, this sound was heard reverberating throughout the Pacific Ocean. The sound rises in frequency over a period of one minute and was so loud that it was heard by multiple sensors located 5,000 km apart. When sped up a bit it sounds like “bloop.” The source was roughly triangulated to coordinates: 50°S 100°W, in a remote corner of the South Pacific Ocean.
It was determined that the sound’s audio profile contains a rapid variation in frequency, closely resembling that of a living creature, such as a whale, though several times louder than that of the loudest recorded species, the blue whale. What was it? Science honestly doesn’t know.
8 The Star Of Bethlehem
For many, the Star of Bethlehem is a faith-based event. For these believers this event definitely happened. But for scientists, questions remain. The source of this bright star has been a nagging question that haunts them. Was it a miracle occurrence as Christianity teaches, some sort of natural phenomenon we don’t understand, or was it extraterrestrial in nature? Researchers, astronomers, and historians have been tackling this question for over 2,000 years.
Scripture says it was visible during the day and night and did not move through the sky from east to west like normal stars (leading some to say it must’ve been an alien craft).
Some astronomers believe it must’ve been a bright nova. German astronomer Johannes Kepler believed it was the combining of two planets that formed a new star, shining bright in the heavens as it coalesced. Others say it must’ve been a comet. There is no consensus and no scientific account can be verified. The mystery remains to this day.
7 The Stone Balls Of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a beautiful country. Nestled in the heart of Central America, this tropical oasis is home to a diverse variety of unique plants and animals. Costa Rica is also home to an oddity known as the stone balls, or petrospheres. Natives have been questioning their origin for over eighty years. They were first discovered in the 1930s when the United Fruit Company was clearing away jungle for new banana plantations. These perfectly round stone balls range in size from small, a few centimeters, to incredibly large, well over 2 meters. They have since been discovered throughout the country. They are stunningly crafted and are believed to be over 1,400 years old. Since scientists believe many have been moved from their original locations it is unknown from where they came or who made them, or even how.
These are so mysterious because they are too perfect to have been shaped by the crude tools available so many years ago.
6 Our Diverse Equator
Have you ever noticed that as you go from the colder areas of Earth towards the equator, life gets more diverse? We’ve actually known about this for about 200 years when Prussian explorer Alexander von Humboldt first made mention of it. Live, human culture, as well as diseases, becomes more varied and vibrant. Whenever you hear about some new dangerous viral outbreak in Africa or South America, it’s not just because of substandard health care. It’s actually because those viral strains and bacteria are more active and diverse nearer the equator than they are in farther areas.
You’d think that after 200 years, we’d know why this occurs, but in actuality, apart from some theories, science remains divided on why so many mysterious species exist so close to the equator.
It’s a huge mystery and there are actually about three dozen different theories circulating throughout the scientific community. They are no closer now to resolving all the hypotheses into a single mystery-solving deduction than they were two centuries ago.
5 The Placebo Effect
The Placebo Effect is baffling to medical science. It appears that as long as you expect and believe that a pill or treatment will have a certain effect on your body, it appears to have that exact desired effect, even if that pill is just a sugar-filled fake or you really didn’t have that expected surgery. This phenomenon has been shown to be real and has repeatedly occurred in controlled tests by leading scientific research groups.
As long as your brain believes that your medication will work, it most likely will. How does it work? We don’t know but it seems like the human brain is simply using will power to heal the body.
What’s more odd is that even when some people later find out that they were given placebo treatments or pills, the positive effects continue to occur. It’s wild and some scientists believe we haven’t even begun to fully harness the power of our minds.
4 The Voynich Manuscript
Archaeologists and linguists have discovered and translated numerous extinct languages over the years. However, one singular binding contains a language that puzzled scientists for over a hundred years. It’s called the Voynich Manuscript and it was found by antiquities dealer Wilfrid Voynich in 1912. The manuscript is 240 pages, and is comprised of text arranged in a series of paragraphs alongside intricate illustrations and diagrams.
Using the illustrations as a guide, they can tell that the manuscript is organized into several sections: herbal, astronomical, biological, cosmological, and pharmaceutical. They say it’s beautiful to behold. The only problem is the language it is written in is a totally mystery.
Experts have analyzed the 170,000 characters intensely and have found that it was written naturally, with no evidence of errors or pauses in writing. Carbon dating puts the manuscript as being written somewhere between 1404 and 1438. It’s been over a hundred years and we still can’t crack the language!
3 The Fermi Paradox
One day in 1950, over lunch, Italian physicist Enrico Fermi posed a question. Given that there are billions of stars in the galaxy, most way older than our sun, and that many of them will undoubtedly have Earth-like planets again way older than us, with some developing intelligent life, and subsequently interstellar travel, why haven’t we encountered any of them? His casual lunchtime query is known as the Fermi Paradox. Scientists have been puzzling over that question for decades.
If, as the Copernican principle suggests, the Earth is not that special, cosmologically-speaking, there should be many thousands of planets like ours spread out across the universe. Most scientists accept the proposition that life must exist elsewhere in the universe but why they haven’t dropped by to say hello is a conundrum.
Maybe Earth is considered the Lower East Side of the galaxy and they steer clear of us, at least until we get a handle on the whole warfare thing.
2 ESP & Psychic Abilities
Ask a group of people about unexplained phenomena and undoubtedly extra-sensory perception (ESP) or psychic abilities will come up. The belief in these abilities is widespread across borders and cultures. For decades, researchers have been testing people who claim to have these abilities and the results have been inconclusive. Proponents claim that psychic abilities can’t be tested; maybe how they work is unknown. Others claim it’s all a bunch of hooey and scams.
However, every now and then you’ll hear about someone’s abilities that can’t be explained. While these stories can sound fake, it is hard to believe that so many people have had these strange and inexplicable experiences.
What do they mean? How is it possible for some people to know things that they, for all intents and purposes, have no ability to know. The idea, while not scientifically supported, still persist in the human consciousness for some reason or another.
1 Why Do We Yawn?
Yawning – we all do it. In fact, when someone else does it, we will usually do it then too. It is a common expression of boredom or fatigue. It is just a natural part of our lives since pretty much from birth. It is just how our body works. The thing is, modern science really doesn’t know why we do it. There are many theories out there about the inescapability of the act of yawning but nothing can be accurately proven. One theory says that we yawn due to a minor lack of oxygen flow, thus involuntarily causing ourselves to take some extra oxygen. But in all truthfulness, scientists admit they really don’t know.
This mysterious bodily function is innocuous, but it certainly poses a problems for scientists. It is scary to think that there are major parts of the human body that are still unexplained by science.
Sources: cubebreaker.com, toptenz.net, cracked.com, nationalgeographic.com, cosmomagazine.com