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Top 10 Places On Earth With Reoccurring Unsolved Mysteries

by Alison Gestalt
fact checked by Rachel Jones

There are strange puzzles and happenings in every corner of the planet. With the greatest minds and scientific tools that the 21st century has to offer, we’ve gotten to the bottom of many of them. But there are many that still elude us. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting and mind-boggling unsolved mysteries that continue to happen again and again.

10The Eternal Flame in New York

A rather unusual location for such an incredible natural phenomenon, New York is home to one of the most curious unsolved mysteries. Fire and water may be opposing elements, but here these two forces create a magical spectacle.

The eternal flame nestled in Chestnut Ridge Park is one of a kind. There’s a small grotto, concealed behind a 35-foot waterfall, that contains a burning flame. Initially, scientists believed that the high temperature emanating off the rock produces natural gas that keeps the flame alive, yet scientists have found that it isn’t really hot enough to cause such a gas pocket.

So what exactly is going on here? Well, no one actually knows. And as it turns out, the eternal flame is occasionally extinguished by gusts of wind. Yet, hikers passing by relight the flame to ensure that it continues to burn on.  

9 The Crooked Forest of Poland

Near the town of Gryfino, you’ll find a remarkable grove of 400 very strange pine trees amidst the greater forest in West Pomerania. Each tree has a distinct curve at the base of the trunk. The trees were planted around 1930, yet the mystery of how a small group of them came to be so distorted is still unknown.

The unnatural sideways curves bend three to nine feet away from the base while these perfectly healthy trees grow up to 50 feet tall. There are some unusual theories surrounding the mystery. 

Some say it’s due to a special gravitational pull, but this doesn’t explain why the trees curve sideways since gravity pulls things downwards. Others believe heavy snowfall affected the trees while they were still growing. Stranger theories claim a UFO landed in this part of the forest or that farmers intentionally manipulated these trees for some unknown purpose. 

Since the town was mostly abandoned early in World War II and not populated again until the 1970s, it’s likely we’ll never know the truth behind why and how these trees were created this way.

8Humming in Taos, New Mexico

The Haunting Hymn of the Taos Hum

Imagine hearing a relentless low-frequency hum that you aren’t able to switch off or get away from. That’s the reality for about 2% of residents who describe hearing a sound similar to an idling diesel engine in the small town of Taos. The hum began being reported in the early 1990s. Those affected by the sound complained that it was interfering with their daily lives, including their sleeping patterns.

Research has been conducted in the area using sensitive equipment that measures sound vibrations to determine the source of the persisting sound. The findings were inconclusive but revealed that there wasn’t a single identifiable hum but different tones and sounds that even seemed to fade or increase depending on where you stand.

While many are skeptical about the source of the sound, there are a variety of speculations ranging from the mundane to the fantastic, including rumors of paranormal activity, government mind control, and underground extraterrestrial activity.

7The Strange Lights of Hessdalen Valley, Norway

The Mystery Of Norway’s Hessdalen Lights Phenomenon | UFO: Trick Of The Light | Spark

For at least a century, people have witnessed unusual balls of light flying around the Norwegian countryside. Even stranger is that the lights appear to change in size and move randomly before fading away. Sometimes the lights have been as big as cars.

Residents of Hessdalen have observed the lights again and again. This has prompted the interest of scientists, UFO enthusiasts, and skeptics from around the world. The Hessdalen lights are seen about 20 times a year, making it quite common for the phenomenon to be captured on film.

Scientific theories seem to be rivaled against those who want to believe the lights are evidence of UFO activity. The most straightforward explanation offered is that these lights are caused by rockets sent into space to research solar winds. But could this be all there is to this mystery, or could the fact that these lights have been observed prior to rocket technology mean something else is at work here. 

6Elves in Iceland

Iceland’s elves, a force to be reckoned with

Iceland has a rich history of Nordic myth and folklore that have shaped the national identity, along with its otherworldly landscape of lava fields and glaciers. It provides the perfect backdrop for little supernatural creatures to live and roam, and that’s exactly what people in the region have encountered for centuries. 

More than half of Iceland’s population ardently believe in the elves (or hidden people) living in the volcanic rocks found in the countryside. Some Islanders claim to see and converse with families of hidden people. Others just acknowledge their existence. It’s believed that they occupy an invisible world within our own, so not everyone is able to see them. It isn’t only elves that populate the area, but many believe that the trolls and dwarves have been scared off by human activity.

The locals have even defended known elf homes and special places from proposed construction sites. Building projects, including a highway in Reykjavik, have been put on hold or moved so as not to disturb the elf community residing there. Advocates have been lobbying for the elves for years, saying that disrupting their homes could result in mayhem since they are territorial creatures. Machines breaking down and accidents befalling those who disturb them are reported as signs that the elves have been agitated.

5Marfa Lights in Texas

The Marfa Lights

The small, unassuming town of Marfa is home to a local phenomenon that has captivated residents and tourists for more than 100 years. Called by many names, the unusual and downright baffling orbs of lights that appear every night seem to have no point of origin and remain a mystery today.

The Marfa lights can be seen at night time jumping and dancing and merging into one another near U. S. Route 67 on Mitchell Flat east of Marfa. They are described as being roughly the size of basketballs and of varying colors. Those that have witnessed the lights suspect paranormal phenomena such as ghosts, UFOs, or fairies. Scientific research suggests that the lights with no origin could be atmospheric reflections of vehicle headlights and campfires. Yet, the first sightings of the lights occurred as early as 1883, long before the invention of the automobile.

So, what are these lights, and how were they created? Could it be some geological activity that creates electrical activity? Are they glowing gasses? Or maybe these lights are really an otherworldly phenomenon. Whatever it is, they are celebrated every year at the annual Marfa Lights Festival.

4UFO Sightings in Chile

UFO? Chilean Navy releases video of mysterious flying object

Are we alone in the universe? UfO hunting has always intrigued a handful of fanatics, but could there be definitive proof that aliens exist? Chile is one of the best countries to go looking for alien activity. The country has the highest number of annual UFO sightings, and the Chilean government has even launched CEFAA (Committee for Studies of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena).

It’s believed that Chile’s history of UFO sightings dates back to pre-Columbian civilizations, this being supported by the thousands of geoglyphs found in the Atacama Desert. Some believe that these inscriptions are some of the first records of alien encounters.

In 2014, a helicopter pilot captured a video of a suspected UFO that the military was tracking. To this day, no one can confirm or deny the strange hovering object is proof of aliens, but this was the first time an unidentified object was caught on a high-quality video.   

The most common locations for UFO and alien sightings in Chile are found in the town of San Clemente, Cajón del Maipo, and Enladrillado.

3 The Nazca Lines in Peru

While the mystery of the Nazca lines may not be recurring, they have persisted. Standing the test of time, the giant lines span an area of 50 square kilometers and continue to baffle and amaze us.

The shallow engravings on the surface of the Peru dessert depict various shapes, including 70 identifiable animals and plants. These images can only be seen properly from above. The lines are massive, some measuring over a kilometer. It’s believed they were created by humans between 500BC and 500 AD, but how were they able to create such impressive designs?

Even more interesting is what the purpose of these lines is? The geoglyphs have been thought to be part of extensive rituals related to astronomical events or possibly water irrigation. It’s even suggested that the Nazca lines somehow relate to various ancient structures all over the world, like some sort of giant map.

What we do know is that these lines could never have lasted untouched as they are in any other climate. The dry, windless conditions of the Nazca have preserved these strange etchings for us to investigate and hopefully one day uncover the truth.    

2“Tsunami Ghosts” of Tohoku Region of Northeastern Japan

Japan: Ghosts of the Tsunami

There are countless ghost stories told around the world, and with every account, there are always those looking for a more rational explanation. Perhaps one of the most tragic and overwhelming series of ghost encounters can be found in Japan’s Tohoku region. Academics and skeptics have tried to explain the phenomena as a mere manifestation of grief, but could these stories revisited by the Netflix series “Unsolved Mysteries” be true? 

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9 earthquake hit the coastal city, unleashing a devastating tsunami. Close to 16 000 deaths were confirmed, while more than 2 500 people are still reported missing. Neighborhoods were eviscerated, families separated. 

In the months and years that followed, strange sightings of wandering spirits were becoming more and more common. Taxi drivers ran meters for ghost passengers who simply vanished before arriving at their destination, leaving the driver to pay the fare. There are reports of people being possessed by some of the lost souls, events that are corroborated by a local Buddhist monk who has had to perform exorcisms.

Most stories revolve around these spirits asking for directions or wanting to go home. One woman tells the story of how she had to explain to a group of people, all soaking wet, that they had died.  

1 Bermuda Triangle

Gravitas Plus: The Bermuda Triangle

This infamously mysterious location probably needs no introduction. The Bermuda Triangle, or the Devil’s Triangle, covers around 500 000 square miles of ocean between Miami in Florida, San Juan in Puerto Rico, and the island of Bermuda. Scientists have sought a logical explanation for centuries. While some agree on a combination of various weather anomalies and conditions as the cause of the mysterious happenings, others cannot accept anything less than supernatural activity.   

Spanning a history of hundreds of years, the site has been attributed to the disappearance of 75 aircraft, more than one hundred ships, and thousands of human lives. Compasses spin out of control, and there are even rumors of alien abduction.  

The Bermuda triangle legend begins in 1492, on the night of October 11. Christopher Columbus reportedly saw an unknown light falling into the sea during his first voyage, shortly before landing in Guanahani

There is still no single theory that proves the exact scientific reason behind this mystery, and accidents continue to happen in the region every year, the most recent being a boat carrying 20 passengers that disappeared on December 28, 2020.

fact checked by Rachel Jones