Education

A Dozen of History’s Unraveled Mysteries

Written by Harsha Gautam

“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.” – Neil Armstrong.

Since ages, the world has come face to face with innumerable mysteries. Man’s desire to understand and resolve, led to the unfolding of a number of nature’s secrets. Some mysteries proved to be a duck soup, a few others became a tough nut to crack, but eventually were triumphed over. And ‘some’ dived into the deep ocean of ‘no explanation’ and were never solved. Here’s a list of a dozen mysteries, a dozen questions and a dozen untangled riddles which, still await to be unraveled.

1. The Curse of the Mummy: King Tutankhamen

“Death shall come on swift wings to him who disturbs the Peace of the King.”- Warning engraved on the stone guarding King Tutankhamen’s tomb.

In 1922, Egyptologist Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon made one of the biggest discoveries of the century, when they discovered the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen, along with a wealth of treasures. However, the ominous warning came true to life when Lord Carnarvon passed away within 6 weeks of this discovery. Legend has it that when he died all the lights through Cairo went out. The deadly trail continued with the unnatural death of 21 associates of the discovery. Perhaps, some souls must be left alone to, ‘rest in peace’.

2. The Amber Room: The Chamber that ‘Vanished’

The Amber Room was a small chamber created entirely out of amber panels with gold leaf and mirrors. It was built in the 1701 for the first King of Prussia and was later gifted to the Soviet Union. During WWII, it was looted and disassembled by the Nazi soldiers who brought it to Konigsberg Castle in Germany. But in 1944, the castle was destroyed due to heavy bombing and thus the Amber Room was lost forever. The Circle of rumors claims that whoever possessed or hunted for the Amber Room met with untimely death. Before the room disappeared, it was considered to be the ‘Eight Wonder of the World’.

3. The 13 Crystal Skulls

Do you consider 13 to be an unlucky number? Or Friday the 13th to be ominous? I wonder what you would say of a set of 13 SKULLS made of crystal! This set of unique skulls was discovered from South America and they are believed to have been masterfully carved by the Mayans or the Aztecs. Legend suggests that at a pivotal time in humanity’s history, the 13 crystal skulls will be reunited to awaken a new era. However, some credit these to the aliens while a few others opine that they came from the Lost Island of Atlantis.

 

4. The Lost City of Atlantis

Perhaps, an easy guess, that this would the next. The curious case of the ‘City of Atlantis’ is one of the world’s most renowned mysteries. We were introduced to this legend by Plato in 370 B.C. who described Atlantis as a beautiful, advanced, utopian society holding wisdom. The idea of Atlantis has beguiled dreamers and occultists since generations. Innumerous theories suggesting the location of this city have kept surfacing, but not one could help in its actual discovery. Probably a reason for some to believe that it never really existed. Truth or a mere tale, speculation around Atlantis has always prevailed.

 

 

5. Stonehenge

This gift from our Neolithic ancestors called Stonehenge is a massive prehistoric stone monument located in Wiltshire, England, built some 6,000 years ago. The site contains 30 sarcens (upright stones) weighing 26 tons and 30 lintels (horizontal top stones). Each stone weighs 6 tons and was carved from bluestone, believed to have been brought from a distance of 32 kilometers to the north. The baffled humanity has since contemplated, as to how our progenitors, without using draft animals transported such massive stones.

6. The Bog People

No, no! They’re not people who ‘live’ in some bog but are actually naturally preserved human ‘corpses’, found in the sphagnum bogs in Europe. Interestingly, ‘The bog people’, as these mummies are commonly referred to as have retained their skin and internal organs probably due to their surroundings. The mystery that hovers over these mummies from the Iron Age, is the fact that majority of the 1,850 corpses discovered have been killed in a similar manner. A death-dealing ritual, perhaps?

 

7. Nessie: The Loch Ness Monster

We often come across movies based on fables, and if you have seen ‘The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep’, then you’ve already met the protagonist of this fable. The Loch Ness Monster or otherwise called Nessie, is the world’s most famous cryptid inhibiting the Loch Ness lake in the Highlands of Scotland. Though, many have ridiculed the existence this elusive beast. But the fact that, in 2005, 100 athletes taking part in Scotland’s biggest triathlon were reportedly each insured for £1 million against bites from the Loch Ness Monster, firmly advocates for the claim of the believers.

 

8. Jack the Ripper

Seems as if, all Jacks are not innocent enough to tumble down the hill and break their crowns. And for this particular Jack, it’s a big NO! Jack the Ripper is a dominant name in the list of the most barbaric serial-killers of all times. This unidentified killer is believed to have mercilessly butchered down female prostitutes who lived and worked around the Whitechapel area in London. He was so brutal a criminal that he first used to slit his victim’s throat and then ‘rip’ open her abdominal. Though this 19th century maniac was never caught, making him a forever mystery, he has made a place for himself in stories, movies and plays which till date, keep his terror ALIVE!

 

9. Yeti: The Abominable Snowman

This ape-like inhabitant of the Himalayas makes for the second crypt-id in the list. Reports of sighting of the Yeti, first came in the 19th century. Over the years, locals, mountaineers and photographers have asserted to have encountered a monstrous, bipedal creature in the Himalayan region of Tibet and Nepal. Till the time, the authenticity of these claims is proved, the unfriendly snowman can continue to feature in movies, novels and stories as a ‘Despicable me’.

10. Rongorongo

Neh! Rongorongo is not a relative of Rango the chameleon, nor is it a character from a comic series. It is actually, a system of mysterious glyphs (picture writings) written on over two dozens of artifacts, discovered from the Easter Island in the 19th century. The script is written from bottom to top and left to right, but it remains un-deciphered. It thus, envelops the secrets of the statue-building Easter Island Civilization.

 

11. The Alien Tale

Stories and movie plots woven around the extraterrestrial beings have kept us entertained through the years. Most of the unsolved mysteries have seen an alien tale knitted around them. Be it the Bermuda Triangle or the findings at the Easter Island, humanity has time and again questioned whether we are the ‘only’ ones?

 

12.  The Bermuda Triangle

This list would be incomplete without the mention of the world’s biggest mystery. Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, is the Bermuda Triangle which has engulfed a vast number of aircrafts, ships and submarines through the years. Endless researches have been carried out with the emergence of various theories, such as that of extraterrestrial life, energy field, the lost city of Atlantis, unbalanced weather patterns, et al. none of which is regarded as a plausible explanation.
These were just a dozen, of a million other mysteries that our Universe encompasses. Each day, each moment a new mystery is born. The more we know, the more we don’t know. However, a profound consideration would divulge that at all times, a mini mystery is mandatory. After all, what’s life, without a little suspense?

 

About the author

Harsha Gautam

A traveler! That's what I am, apart from being a final year History Hons student at Miranda House, Delhi University. Via the historical walks I take and conduct, I travel through time and take a dive into the deep sea of our ancient past. Books come to my rescue when it comes to places, I cannot reach. One of my favorite hobbies is to hunt down haunted places and pen down my experiences there. (Yes, fascination triumphs over fear at times). A bit of a reader, a bit of a writer and a full-time explorer, all put together, create a 19 year old, vying to unravel a new mystery each day.

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