Another 10 Unsolved Mysteries
Due to the popularity of the first list of 10 unsolved mysteries, I have created a second list. In keeping with the controversial nature of the first item on the original list, item one here is probably going to be equally controversial, if not more so. I hope you enjoy the list!
Many thanks to the following Listverse readers who made suggestions for some of the items below: Jive, Kelsi, krunkisdead, dogmatic static, Bryan T, KG, and Purposely.
This is probably one of the most well known and controversial of mysteries known to man at the moment. The basic mystery is where did we come from? Many people believe we were created by some kind of God, others believe were naturally came into being through the process of evolution, and some even believe we were put onto earth by aliens. Because there is no conclusive evidence for either argument, this subject remains our greatest mystery.
The concept of evolution states that through a series of adaptations and mutations from generation to generation, a creature can change dramatically over time. There are many arguments against evolution, mostly (in the West) from fundamentalist Christian bodies. The head of the largest Christian Church, Pope Benedict XVI, has recently said that evolution is not contrary to the teachings of the Church or a belief in God as long as it does not exclude God as the primary mover and organiser of the process.
The concept of creationism states that God made the Universe in the form in which it exists today. It attempts to explain away potential theological problems like dinosaurs, carbon dating, and the fossil record in general. Creationists generally believe the earth to be several thousand years old.
Everyone has heard the story of the lost city of Atlantis, but what about the Bimini Road? In 1968 an underwater rock formation was found near North Bimini Island in the Bahamas. It is considered by many to be naturally made, but because of the unusual arrangement of the stones, many believe it to be a part of the lost city of Atlantis (first spoken of by Plato).
Another curious element of this mystery is a prediction made in 1938 by Edgar Cayce: “A portion of the temples may yet be discovered under the slime of ages and sea water near Bimini… Expect it in ’68 or ’69 – not so far away.” In a more recent expidition, amateur archeologist Dr Greg Little discovered another row of rocks in the same formation directly below the first, leading him to believe that the road is actually the top of a wall or water dock.
One possible natural explanation is that the “road” is an example of tessellated pavement, a natural phenomenon. Concretions of shell and sand form hard sedimentary rock which over time fractures in straight lines and then at ninety degree angles. They are quite common and a popular tourist attraction on the island of Tasmania.
In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh dispatched an expedition to the East Coast of North America as Queen Elizabeth I had given him permission to colonise Virginia. He returned from the trip with two American Indians and samples of animals and plants. Between 1585 and 1587, two groups of colonists were left on Roanoke Island (part of present day North Carolina) to establish their settlement.
Following fights with the local native tribes, the first colony were low on food and men to defend the settlement, so when Sir Francis Drake visited after a raid in the Carribean and offered to take them back to England, they accepted and left. In 1857 121 new colonists arrived and found the local natives (the Croatans) to be friendly. The first English child born in the Americas was the daughter of one of these colonists. The group tried to befriend some of the other tribes that the previous colonists had fought with which resulted in the killing of George Howe. The remaining members of the group convinced the leader to return to England to get help. The leader (John White) returned to England leaving behind ninety men, seventeen women, and eleven children.
When White returned in August 1590, the settlement was deserted. There were no signs of a struggle and no remains were found at all. The only clue was the word “Croatoan” carved into a post of the fort and “Cro” carved into a nearby tree. The settlement became known as the Lost Colony and no members of it were ever seen again. Some speculation exists today which suggests that the settlers left and merged with some of the nearby tribes. This is supported by the fact that many years later some of the tribes were practising Christianity and understood English.
The Marfa lights are unexplained lights (called ghost lights) that have been appearing on Mitchell Flat east of Marfa, Texas. The first published account of the lights was given in 1957, but Robert Reed Ellison (born 1880) reported them to his family and accounts of their appearances were spread by word of mouth. There are no verifiable written reports from before the 1950s.
The lights are described as being the size of a basketball, floating in the air at around shoulder height. Colors are usually described as white, yellow, orange or red, but green and blue are sometimes reported. They usually travel laterally but have been seen to move rapidly in various directions. The lights sometimes appear in groups. Sightings are rare but there is a large amount of photographic and video evidence.
Skeptics generally consider the lights to be related to traffic passing on the nearby US Route 67, or to be electric by-products of the predominantly quartz hills in the area. Because they usually appear in private property with terrain that is difficult to travel over, there are almost no reports of people being able to get close to the lights.
Jimmy Hoffa was an American labor leader, and criminal convict. As the president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, Hoffa wielded considerable influence. After his conviction, he served nearly a decade in prison. On July 30, 1975, Hoffa dissapeared from a parking lot in Detroit and was never seen again. He had been due to meet two Mafia leaders, Anthony “Tony Jack” Giacalone from Detroit and Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano from Union City, New Jersey and New York City.
According to Donald Frankos (a convicted Mob hitman), Hoffa was shot in the house of Giacalone and his body was then buried in the foundations of the Giants stadium. While that is the most popular belief, another mobster, Bill Bonanno, claimed that hoffa was shot and put in the trunk of a car that was then put through a car compactor.
No one will ever know the truth about Hoffa, but the MythBusters team dug in the part of the Giants stadium that is generally where Hoffa is considered to be buried and found nothing.
Loch Ness is the most voluminous fresh water lake in Great Britain. For centuries people have reported seeing a large creature living in the lake – the earliest account comes from the life of Saint Columba (565 AD). Although sightings of the creature on land around the loch reputedly date back to the sixteenth century, modern interest in the monster was sparked by a 22 July 1933 sighting, when Mr George Spicer and his wife saw ‘a most extraordinary form of animal’ cross the road in front of their car. They described the creature as having a large body (about 4 feet high and 25 feet long), and long, narrow neck, slightly thicker than an elephant’s trunk and as long as the 10-12 foot width of the road; the neck had a number of undulations in it. They saw no limbs because of a dip in the road obscuring the animal’s lower portion. It lurched across the road towards the loch some 20 yards away, leaving only a trail of broken undergrowth in its wake.
Not only has the Loch Ness Monster been photographed repeatedly, it has even been caught on videotape – as recently as 2007, and on sonar equipment. Unfortunately, however, the footage and photos are never clear enough to give a definite answer as to what the creature is. Some speculate that it may be a plesiosaur that survived the rest of the dinosaur population.
Bigfoot, also known as the Sasquatch, is depicted as an ape-like man who inhabits forest areas of the pacific north-west and parts of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Over the years there have been many sightings and photographs of Bigfoot but no conclusive proof exists to verify his existence.
Most experts on the matter consider the Bigfoot legend to be a combination of folklore and hoaxes, but there are a number of authors and researchers who do believe that the stories could be true. There is some speculation that, like the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot may be a living remnant of the time of the dinosaurs – specifically a Gigantopithecus blacki – a supersize ape. The earliest accounts of bigfoot are from 1924 though reports of a similar type of creature have appeared as early as the 1860s.
El Chupacabra (Goat Sucker) is mostly associated with Latin American communities in the USA, Mexico, and Puerto Rico (where it was first reported). It is supposedly a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail and it takes its name from the fact that it is supposed to attack animals and drink their blood – especially goats.
While the legend began around 1987, there are many similarities to the Vampire of Moca, the name given to an unknown creature to killed animals all over the small town of Moca in the 1970s. The vampire of Moca left the animals completely devoid of blood which had apparently been removed by a series of small circular cuts.
The most common description of Chupacabra is a lizard-like being, appearing to have leathery or scaly greenish-gray skin and sharp spines or quills running down its back. This form stands approximately 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 m) high, and stands and hops in a similar fashion to a kangaroo. In at least one sighting, the creature hopped 20 feet (6 m). This variety is said to have a dog or panther-like nose and face, a forked tongue protruding from it, large fangs, and to hiss and screech when alarmed, as well as leave a sulfuric stench behind. When it screeches, some reports note that the chupacabra’s eyes glow an unusual red, then give the witnesses nausea. For some witnesses, it was seen with bat-like wings.
D. B. Cooper (aka “Dan Cooper”) is a pseudonym given to a notorious aircraft hijacker who, on November 24, 1971, after receiving a ransom payout of $200,000, leapt from the back of a Boeing 727 as it was flying over the Pacific Northwest somewhere over the southern Cascades.
Cooper has not been seen since and it is not known whether he survived the jump. In 1980, an eight year old boy found $5,800 of soggy $20 bills washed up on the banks of the Columbia river. The serial numbers matched those of the ransom money which had been noted to make it easier to track Cooper later.
Cooper escaped from the plane by jumping off the rear airstair with a parachute leading aviation authorities to add stricter measures about the design of planes to prevent it from happening again. In addition, this event caused airports to install metal detectors for the first time.
Mothman is the name given to a strange creature reported in the Charleston and Point Pleasant areas of West Virginia between November 1966 and December 1967. The creature was sporadically reported to be seen before and after those dates, with some sightings as recent as 2007.
Most observers describe the Mothman as a winged man-sized creature with large reflective red eyes. It often appeared to have no head, with its eyes set into its chest. A number of hypotheses have been presented to explain eyewitness accounts, ranging from misidentification and coincidence to paranormal phenomena and conspiracy theories.
The Mothman was first spotted in 1926 by a young boy. At the same time, three men were digging a grave in a nearby graveyard when they saw a brown human shape with wings soaring out from behind trees. Both incidents were reported independently of each other. There have been numerous sightings of Mothman though no photographic evidence exists at all.