Who's Behind Listverse?
Jamie founded Listverse due to an insatiable desire to share fascinating, obscure, and bizarre facts. He has been a guest speaker on numerous national radio and television stations and is a five time published author.More About Us
Another 10 Mysteries That Defy Explanation
Mysteries are not exclusively ancient, ghostly, or terrifying. Some are fascinating, giving insight into a different type of world while, at times, an unsolved mystery gives rise to increased interest in an old mystery of the same kind. Some mysteries are so obscure, it is hard to tell whether they even exist, or whether they are just the product of an overactive imagination. Others are very well-known, but their answers remain elusive.
On this list are a variety of incidents that have yet to be solved, all different, but all mysterious in their own way.
10 ‘Star Wars’ headdress
On 1 January 2021, farmers in the town of Hidalgo Amajac in Veracruz were working in a citrus field when they discovered something unusual. Before them was a 2-meter-tall statue of a young woman adorned with intricately patterned jewelry and dressed in elaborate clothing. A circular pendant necklace formed part of the jewelry and on her head was a headdress similar to something Ahsoka Tano of Star Wars wears.
Experts were called in who found that the statue had been discovered between the Aztec Tochpan and the Huastec Castille de Teayo areas, which suggests it may have roots in both cultures. They also believe that the statue dates to the late Postclassic period and that it might depict an important female ruler. However, at the time it remained unclear whether the statue was hugely significant or even whether it had been correctly identified. The farmers preferred to keep the statue in their possession and talks regarding the future of the statue were to continue between themselves and the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico.
9 Bay of Jars
In 1982 The New York Times published an article about artifacts that had been found in a bay near Rio de Janeiro. The find encompassed a large collection of tall jars, the type that were carried on Roman ships in the 2nd Century B.C. The discovery was made in Guanabara Bay and for some archaeologists, it upended the belief that Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral was the first European to reach Brazil.
Sunken treasure hunter and archaeologist, Robert Marx, voiced his opinion that the Romans had visited Brazil first. He also told The Times that Portuguese authorities were trying to prevent Brazil from granting him a permit to excavate the area in search of clues that would prove a Roman ship had lost its load of tall jars or amphoras in Guanabara Bay.
Marx also didn’t believe that the jars could have been planted as a hoax, since many of them were overgrown with barnacles and some had become encased in coral. At the time he was hoping to search the area with sonar to try and uncover tools or Roman origin, which would have strengthened his theory.
In 1983, the Brazilian government banned underwater exploration, preventing Marx from investigating the find any further.
The mystery of the Bay of Jars remains.
8 Message in a bottle
In 2017, a New Brunswick family found a glass bottle on the beach near the Bay of Fundy. Inside it was a letter that reads “I am throwing this bottle into the sea, in the middle of the Atlantic. We are due to arrive in New York in a few days. If someone finds it, contact the Lefebvre family in Liévin.” The signature at the bottom reads “Mathilde Lefebvre” and it is dated 13 April 1912.
History and Archology professor, Nicolas Beaudry, stated that a passenger named Mathilde Lefebvre boarded the Titanic in 1912 and that she was the daughter of a miner from northern France named Franck Lefebvre.
However, in 2021 it remains unconfirmed that Mathilde Lefebvre was indeed the person who had created the message in a bottle and thrown it from the Titanic into the Atlantic Ocean. This is despite Beaudry confirming that they haven’t caught wind of the incident being a hoax. His team will be carbon dating both the letter and the bottle to try and confirm its authenticity, but it apparently does not rule out the possibility of a hoax extending all the way back to 1912.
In the meantime, Jacques Lefebvre, who is a descendant of the Levebvre family is hoping that the letter is real as it would become the only letter he would have from his family. Should the message turn out to be authentic, it would also become the first Titanic artifact discovered on American shores.
7 Killhope Moor coffin
On 28 August 1921, farmer Titus Harrison, was tending sheep on Killhope when he spotted something sticking out of the side of an eroded peat hagg. It turned out to be a large wooden box and when he opened it, he found a human head inside. Shocked, he ran to inform the police at St. John’s Chapel who immediately rushed to the site which was near the junction of boundaries between Northumberland, Durham, and Cumberland. They found the body of a man who had obviously been dead for a long time, but still had some flesh attached to his skeleton. The remains were dressed in old fashioned military clothing and a bullet hole was present near its shoulder. The skull had no teeth, and the lower part of its jaw was missing.
The coffin was made of pitch pine with a lid shaped like a house roof. The remains were declared ‘very ancient’ and was buried in an unmarked grave in the Burtreeford cemetery. Some believed that the man could have been a despatch rider during the Jacobite rebellion while others thought he may have been Captain Richard Courteney Lovell who never reached his destination during a mission.
Who the man was remains a mystery to this day, however, as well as how he ended up in a coffin on Killhope Moor.
6 Boat disappears in the Bermuda Triangle
The reputation of the Bermuda Triangle needs no introduction. It is the location of many a mysterious disappearance, one of which happened as recently as 2020.
On 28 December 2020, a blue and white Mako Cuddy Cabin boat set off from Bimini in the Bahamas. The 20 people on board were headed to Lake Worth Beach, Florida where they should have arrived the following day. The boat was making its way through the Bermuda Triangle en route to its destination, when things somehow went wrong, and it disappeared without a trace.
The Coast Guard was alerted to the missing boat after a family member of one of the boat passengers told them the phone call they had been expecting from their relative never happened. The Coast Guard searched 20,000 square miles, including the Bermuda Triangle, for around 84 hours but eventually suspended their search when it became clear they would not find the boat.
To date, no clue has been found to indicate what happened to the boat or the 20 passengers. Their names and the name of the boat also remain unknown.
5 The Watseka Wonder
Creepy seems to be the preferred type of mystery and the Watseka Wonder falls into that category.
In 1877, a young girl from Illinois, Lurancy Vennum, suddenly began suffering seizures that caused her to faint and stay unconscious for hours at a time. Soon she began staying unconscious for days. Every time she awoke, she would tell her family that she communicated with the spirit world while she was ‘asleep’. Doctors could not find a medical explanation for her seizures and suggested to her family that Lurancy be committed to an insane asylum.
Lurancy’s family were on the verge of sending her to the nearest asylum, when a man named Asa Roff appeared on their doorstep. He told Lurancy and her family that his daughter Mary had suffered the same type of seizures and that they had started when she was an infant. Mary had also been sent to an asylum and she died there in 1865. Roff refused to accept that his daughter was insane and began studying Spiritualism. He eventually started believing that she had been a medium, with the ability to speak to ghosts.
Roff convinced Lurancy to let a Spiritualist physician examine her. During the examination, Lurancy went into a trance and when she regained consciousness, she identified herself as Mary Roff. She spoke of secrets only the Roff family would know, and Asa Roff was so overcome with emotion he invited Lurancy to stay at his home. During the 5 months she lived there, Lurancy remained ‘possessed’ by Mary’s spirit.
After she moved out again, Lurancy went on with her life and got married. She became pregnant and when she eventually went into labor, Mary’s spirit ‘possessed’ her again, and made the entire experience painless.
It remains a mystery whether Lurancy suffered a true psychological condition or, as some firmly believe, a supernatural incident occurred.
4 The Sleeping Girl of Turville
Ellen Sadler fell asleep one day in 1871 and didn’t wake up for nine years. Before this happened, Ellen would often suffer intense spells of drowsiness and fatigue. Doctors did not know what to make of it and Ellen eventually suffered a series of seizures before falling into her deep sleep.
When people in the area of Turville, where Ellen lived with her family, heard of the sleeping girl they began turning up in their numbers, most of them with money to donate. People started arriving from across the country to catch a glimpse of the ‘anomaly.’ Her mother fed her by mouth, even though Ellen remained asleep, giving her port, tea and milk. Ann Frewen, Ellen’s mother, died in 1880 and Ellen woke up five months later at the age of 21. She remembered nothing of the nine years she was asleep.
Six years later she married and had five children, becoming every bit as normal as the families surrounding her.
All these years later, people are still speculating over this mystery, with some believing Ellen suffered from narcolepsy while others believe her mother drugged her for the purpose of gaining donations from visitors. Some are convinced it was an elaborate hoax. Whatever the case may be, the mystery of the Sleeping Girl of Turville lives on in folklore and urban legends.
3 The boy who saw ghosts
In 1993, Denise Jones was cooking dinner for her family one evening, when she heard her 5-year-old son, Michael, screaming in terror from his bedroom. Dropping everything, she ran to his room to find him curled up on the bed, shaking and screaming. Denise tried to calm him down and asked him to explain what had happened. With tears streaming down his cheeks, the boy told his mother that a weird-looking man had appeared in his room, smiled at him and touched his shoulder before vanishing.
Denise finally succeeding in getting Michael to calm down and eventually they both forgot the incident. A couple of weeks later, Denise and Michael were at her parent’s home and suddenly Michael started screaming again. When the adults came running, Michael told him that the man in a picture on the wall was the same one he had seen in his room. It turned out the man was Denise’s grandfather who had been dead for 17 years. Michael had never seen a picture of his grandfather before.
Soon Michael started claiming that evil spirits wanted to drag him to hell and that the ‘Shadow Man’ wouldn’t leave him alone. One evening, after hearing thumping noises and witnessing Michael’s bed shaking violently, Denise saw a six-foot-tall shadow flitting across her son’s bedroom wall.
Denise called in the help of a paranormal investigator who advised her to move. When this didn’t help, John suggested an exorcism. Michael underwent five exorcisms in total and drank holy water at one point, but he kept seeing the spirits.
It was established that Michael didn’t suffer any mental or physical illnesses, and his family continued to live in hope that their son would stop seeing evil as they couldn’t find any other explanation for his experiences.
2 Beast of Camberwell Cemetery
No mystery list would be complete without at least one cryptid sighting. In October 1996, a man took a shortcut through the Camberwell Old Cemetery on his way to see a friend. He was walking along, not a care in the world, when something suddenly grabbed him by the arm and unceremoniously threw him to the ground. Looking up he saw a huge creature with dark fur and a head resembling that of a German shepherd growling over him. The creature then simply turned around and ran off.
Eight years later two people were walking alongside the cemetery when they heard a growl. Looking around to see whether an animal was close by, they noticed a tree violently shaking in the corner of the cemetery. It looked to them as though something or someone was trying to rip out the tree by its roots. They did not stay to find out what it was, instead they ran away as quickly as they could.
The creature was never seen again but continues to fascinate those who love mysteries. The initial description of half-dog, half-man, has many believing that a werewolf was terrorizing the cemetery at the time of the sightings, including cryptid researcher Andy McGrath who believes the creature could have been the real deal.
1 Real life horror story
Mysteries are often fun distractions to mull over and argue about.
But sometimes, a real-life mystery hits so close to home that the only thing you want to do is hold your loved ones close and never let them go. The world is filled with evil people who in the blink of an eye can change your life forever.
On 11 February 1927, 4-year-old William Gaffney was having a fun time playing with friends; a three-year-old and twelve-year-old boy in the hallway of the Brooklyn apartment building he lived in. The older boy went inside his apartment for a couple of minutes and when he returned both William and the three-year-old boy had vanished.
After a search, the three-year-old was found on the roof of the apartment building but William was nowhere to be seen. The remaining toddler was questioned, and he simply said that the ‘boogey man’ had taken William.
Later that same day a streetcar motorman by the name of Joseph Meehan saw an old man trying to calm down a young boy. The boy was crying hysterically and said over and over that he wanted to go home to his mother. Later, during the investigation into William’s disappearance, Meehan realized William was the 4-year-old he had seen that day. The boy was never found again.
Years later during the trial of serial killer, Albert Fish, Joseph Meehan, realized with a start that Fish was the man he saw with William that fateful day. Fish eventually confessed to murdering William but refused to tell police where he buried him.
William Gaffney’s family never received any kind of closure as his remains were never found. To this day, his last resting place remains a mystery.