Our World is full of unsolved mysteries. Human itself is a mystery. But some specific mysteries stand above others. As humans, we love mysteries, regardless of whether they are simple riddles, story novels or something much bigger. Enthusiasts, Historians, and Scientists have dedicated their whole careers to solve some of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the world. In some cases, they are successful. But there are a large number of mysteries which are still challenging for them. Some of the mysteries are from the ancient times, and some are the part of modern world. These mysteries are a collection of tangible and intangible stores, may be true or false. Here is the list of the 20 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of the World which are the challenge for the scientists, historians, and enthusiasts of the modern world.
The Green Children of Woolpit are two children of unusual skin color. According to reports, they appeared in the Village of Woolpit in Suffolk, in the 12th century, during the reign of King Stephen. The children, sister, and brother, had same normal appearance except the green color of their skin. They spoke in an unknown language, and the beans were the only food they would eat. However, they learned to eat other food and lost the green color of their skin. The boy was ill and died after soon. The girl made an adjustment to new life. She learned to speak English and explained that she and her brother had come from the Land of a Saint Martin, a subterranean world where only green people live. The only near-contemporary accounts are comprised in Ralph of Coggesshall’s Chronicum, and William of Newburgh’s Historia Rerum Anglicarum, written in about 1189 and 1220 respectively. According to modern thoughts, the story of Green Children was a folktale describing an imaginary encounter with the people of another world.
The Tamam Shud case or the Mystery of the Somerton Man is an unsolved case of an unidentified dead person found at 6:30 am, 1 Dec 1948, on Somerton Beach, South Austrailia. The man is named after a phrase, Tamam Shud, with meaning, finished or ended in Persian, printed on a rough paper found in the fob pocket of the man’s trousers after four months. The paper scrap was the part of the final page of a copy of Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, written in the 12th century. The police discovered the copy of the Rubaiyat from which the page has been torn. From the inside back cover of the book, detectives were able to read a local telephone number, an unidentified number and a text similar to an encrypted message. The Tamam Shud case has been considered as “One of Australia’s most profound mysteries.” The case remains part of public interest due to many reasons.
The Voynich Manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system. The written text has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century. It may have been written in Northern Italy during the Italian Renaissance. Some of the pages are missing from the book. The book is written from left to right, and most of the pages contain illustrations or diagrams. The book comprises 240 pages, and some pages are foldable sheets. The book has been studied by numerous amateur and professional cryptographers, including the British and American codebreakers from the World War I and World War II. But still, the Voynich Manuscript is a mystery and became the popular case in the history of cryptography. The origin of the manuscript and mystery of the meaning has excited the famous imagination, making it to the subject of speculation and novels. The book was donated to Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library by Hans P. Kraus in 1969.
Rongorongo is a system of glyphs found in the on Easter Island in the 19th century that shows to be writing or proto-writing. Different attempts at having been made at decipherment, none successful. Two dozen of wooden objects with inscriptions were collected in the late 19th century. Now they are scattered in museums and private collections. They are mostly tablets shapes from irregular pieces of wood. There are few petroglyphs which may contain short rongorongo inscriptions. According to oral history, only small elite was literate and that the wooden tablets were sacred. These texts are written in alternating directions, a system named reverse boustrophedon. In the third tablet, the text lines are written in shallow fluting carved into the wood. The glyphs are outlines of human, plant, animal, and geometric forms. Multiple human and animal figures have characteristic protuberances on each side of the head, may be representing eyes.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England. The original purpose Stonehenge is unclear to use. Some believe that it was a temple model for the worship of ancient people. The construction of site was an amazing engineering feat, requiring time, commitment and the vast amount of manual labor. In the first phase, it was a large earthwork, ditch arrangement, and a bank, constructed 5,000 years. According to some scientists, the ditch was dug with tools built from the antlers of red deer. According to modern experiments, these tools were more than equal to the amazing process of earth digging and moving. About 2000 BC, the first stone circle, comprised of small bluestones, was set up. The stones of first circles were from the Prescelly Mountains, situated 240 miles away. Each Bluestone has weight up to 4 tons and about 80 stones were used in a circle. According to modern theories, stones were dragged by the roller. However, the reality of Stonehenge’s construction is still an mystery.
The Black Dahlia was the nickname of the Elizabeth Short. The Elizabeth Short was an American woman who born in Boston, on July 29, 1924. She was the victim of a publicized murder in 1947. She was brutally murdered in Loss Angeles, California, at the age of twenty-two. The body of Black Dahlia cut in half and severely mutilated. The body was found in a vacant lot near Leimert Park, on 15 Jan 1947. Her body was found nude and posed by the local female resident. The Killer of the Elizabeth was never found, so her murder became one of the oldest cold cases files in Last Angeles. The unsolved murder of Black Dahlia has spawned numerous movies, books and television special. The case of murder became heavily covered by the media, and it was front-page news in all the local newspaper for two months.
A strong narrowband signal was received by Big Ear radio telescope of Ohio State University, in the United States, on August 15, 1977. It is believed that signals came from the constellation Sagittarius and bore the assumed hallmarks of extraterrestrial origin. An astronomer, Jerry R. Ehman found the anomaly a few days later, while checking the recorded data. Jerry was so impressed that he circled the reading on the system printout and wrote the comment Wow! On its side. That’s why the signal event is referred to it. The whole signal sequence lasted for the full 72-second window but has not been detected since, despite different subsequent tries by Ehman and others. Different hypothesis on the source of the emission has been move forward. The possibility of a natural origin of the signal has been discounted completely. Still, Wow! Signal is considered as the best candidate for an alien radio transmission.
Atlantis is a fictional island mentioned in Plato’s dialogues “Critias” and “Timaeus.” It was the crowning city of Neptune, where mermen and mermaids live. The Lost City of Atlantis became the object of fascination among western historians and philosophers for nearly 2,400 years. According to Plato, the Atlantis was an advanced and powerful kingdom which sank in a day and night, into the ocean around 9,600 BC. The ancient Greeks were unable to decide whether take Plato’s story as history or mere metaphor. Since the 19th century, most of the philosophers linked Plato’s story to historical locations, mostly the Greek island of Santorini, which was destroyed around 16,00 B.C by a volcanic eruption. However, the present historians and philologists accept the story’s fictional character. Many are still wondering if it is a real. But no one knows exactly about Atlantis, so it has become one of the great unsolved mysteries of the world.
According to different undocumented sources, SS Ourang Medan was a ghost ship which became a shipwreck in Dutch East Indies when its whole crew had died under unknown circumstances. The SS Ourang Medan’s story has become a legend, sometimes. In Feb 1948, distress calls were picked up by different ships near Indonesia from the SS Ourang Medan. The Message was, “All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” A boarding party was sent to the ship, and they found a frightening sight which has made the SS Ourang Medan one of the scariest ghost ship stories. All the officers and crew of the Ship were dead, faces looking towards the sun, eyes open, arms outstretched and a look of fear on their faces. They decided to tow the ship back to port. But before that, smoke began rolling up from the hull, and the SS Ourang Medan exploded and sank. To this day, the real story of SS Ourang Medan and her crew remain a mystery.
In American folklore, Big Foot is an ape, simian, or hominid-like creature that lives in forests, especially in the Pacific Northwest. It is described as hairy, large, bipedal humanoid. Scientists rejected the existence of Big Foot and considered it as the combination of misidentification, folklore, and hoax, rather than living animal. It is also famous as the “Sasquatch.” It is the half human and half ape creature with weight over 200kgs. This creature is roughly 2-3 meters long, covered in hair described as dark brown, black or dark reddish. The native Lummi population called it “Ts’emekwes.” There has been an unlimited number of reported sighting of gigantic footprints, fuzzy photographs and roars in the night showing giant beast like creatures. Some people claim that Big Foot is omnivorous and primarily nocturnal.
Kryptos is a sculpture by an American artist Jim Sanborn. It is situated on the grounds of the CIA in Langley, Virginia. The sculpture was created on November 3, 1990, and contains the four encrypted messages. The sculpture is the challenge for the cryptanalysts, both amateur and professional. In the last 26 years of its creation, 3 pages out of four encrypted messages have been decoded. But the fourth messages is still unable to decode. The artist has given two clues for the fourth section. Now it is the part of great unsolved mysteries of the world. If you are professional cryptanalyst, you can also try to solve it with the help of clues.
Area 51 or the United States Air Force facility is a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base. The CIA gave the name of Area 51 after the Vietnam War. The basic purpose of the base is still unknown. Maybe, this area is used for development and testing of weapons systems and experimental aircraft. Unofficially, that place is a hotbed of numerous conspiracy theories, relating to UFO sightings. The base has been declared as the secret base, and all occurrences and research in Area 51 are Sensitive Compartmented Information/Top Secret. The place is situated in the southern portion of Nevada in the west of United States. No one knows, what is going on behind the gates of Area 51.
The Zodiac was a serial Killer who worked in northern California between the 1960s and 1970s. The identity of Killer is still unknown. The Zodiac targeted four men and three women between the ages of 16 and 29. A series of taunting letters sent to the local Bay Area press with the name of “Zodiac.” These letters comprised four cryptograms. Only one page of these four cryptograms has been definitively solved. So The Zodiac murders became one of the great unsolved mysteries of the world. A large number of suspects have been investigated. But after a large investigation, both the letters and the murders remain unsolved. The San Francisco Police Department re-opened the case in March 2007. The case is still open in the Napa County, Solano County and the City of Vallejo. The California Department of Justice still has an open case file on the Zodiac Murder since 1969.
The Beale Ciphers or the Beale Papers, are set of three ciphertexts which indicated the location of a buried treasure of gold, jewels, and silver, estimated to be worth over 63 million US dollars. The first text shows the location, the second the content of the treasure and the third lists the names of the treasure’s owners. The story originated from an 1885 pamphlet with detail about treasure buried by a man named Thomas J. Beale in a secret location in Virginia, in the 1820s. Beale entrusted a box containing the encrypted texts to a local innkeeper Robert Morriss. After that, Beale vanished, never to be seen again. The innkeeper opened the box after twenty-three years and delivered the three encrypted ciphertexts to a friend before he died, approximately after ten years. His friends spent twenty years trying to decrypt the code. He could decode only one page which provides the details of the buried treasure and the general location. He then published three ciphertexts in a pamphlet as an advertisement for sale in the 1880s. Many people tried to solve the mystery but failed. Later 2nd page has been solved, but the third is still unsolved making it one of the unsolved mysteries of the world.
The Town of Taos has been the home to many popular residents, such as Dennis Hopper, Julia Roberts, Aldous Huxley, a Donald Rumsfeld. However, this small community is also home to an unusual mystery. It is the resident hum of unknown origin, known as “Taos Hum.” A large number of stories have been created as an explanation, ranging from the psychological to the paranormal, the mundane to the fantastic. The professor, Joe Mullins, conducted research into the Taos Hum, in the early 1990s. In this small town of New Mexico, many residents claim that they could hear a humming, droning whir, or buzzing sound. According to research, only 2% of the population could hear the noise. However, research could not find what the noise was. For this purpose, different equipment was set up in multiple areas of the town to reveal the source of this “hum. After that expensive scientific paraphernalia, no sounds were recorded. And Taos Hum became one of the unsolved mysteries of the world.
It is another worldwide popular mystery of the world. The Loch Ness Monster was an aquatic being which reputedly inhabits Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. The animal was similar to other supposed lake monsters in Scotland and elsewhere. The monster was large, with a long neck and may be one or more humps protruding from the water. The Loch Ness Monster brought to worldwide attention in 1933. Evidence of its existence were few reputed images and sonar readings. The Daily Express publish a photograph of a “Monster” on December 6, 1933, that was lurking in the Scotland’s Loch Ness. After that, many police investigations, calls of a hoax, scientific studies, and countless reported a sighting of a large creature swimming within the dark waters of the Loch. However, no solid evidence was found to verify the incident.
Mary Celeste was an American merchant brigantine, found adrift and deserted in the Atlantic Ocean, on December 5, 1872. All the passengers and crew were missing. The ship comprised no sign of a struggle, with plenty of water and food, was still seaworthy and consisted of an almost untouched cargo. The only notable thing was that a single lifeboat was missing. After a lengthy investigation, no result came out. None of the crew members or passengers were seen or heard from again. This great mystery created the theories of water spouts, deadly fumes, piracy, and underwater earthquakes. The story of Mary Celeste’s abandonment has been recounted many times in novels, documentaries, plays and films. Mary Celeste was created in Spencer’s Island, Nova Scotia and got British registration as Amazon, 1861. She transferred to American ownership and got a new name. After that incident, the ship continued in service under new owners.
The Bermuda Triangle or the Devil’s Triangle is a region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean. Many ships and aircraft are said to have vanished under mysterious circumstances. It is considered as one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the world. Highest loss of life in the history was US Navy boat USS Cyclopse. It went missing without a trace with a crew of 309 after March 4, 1918. In a similar way, Flight 19 was disappeared on December 5, 1945, while over the Atlantic Ocean. Flight 19 was the group of 5 bombers who went on a routine training exercise and never came back. Other lost ships and aircraft were Carroll A. Deering, Start Tiger, Ellen Austin, Douglas DC-3, KC-135 Stratotankers, and Connemara IV. No one knows what the reason behind all these incidents is. The Bermuda Triangle is a mystery. However, the most reputable sources dismiss that idea.
Jack the Ripper is the name given to an unidentified serial killer which was active in the largely impoverished areas in the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. The “Jack the Ripper” name originated in a letter from someone who claimed to be the murderer. Later, it was believed that the letter might have been written by any journalist in a try to heighten interest in the story and to increase his newspapers’ circulation. The killer was also famous as “the Whitechapel Murderer” or “Leather Apron.” The murders of Jack the Ripper were unknown. However, the canonical five victims were Annie Chapman, Mary Ann, Catherine Eddowes, Elizabeth Stride, and Mary Jane. The fact is that the murder never found and no one knows that who “The Ripper” was. However, the suspects were a convicted wife killer, a barrister, an agent of the Russian secret police, and a doctor.
The Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs in the desert of Nazca, in southern Peru. The place was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. These lines stretch more than 80 km between the towns of Palpha and Nazca. According to some scholars, the Nazca Lines were designed by the Nazca culture between 500 BC and 500 AD. The figures changes in complexity, hundreds are geometric shapes and simple lines, and more than 70 are zoomorphic designs of animals including, fish, birds, llamas, Monkeys, and Jaguars, or human figures. Other designs contain hypomorphic shapes like flowers and trees. The created designs are shallow lines made on the ground by clearing the reddish pebbles and uncovering the grayish or whitish ground beneath. The largest designs are up to 370 m long. The question is, how an old civilization got such great artwork on such as grand scale when they did not have any way of seeing their work from the air.