19 spooky unsolved mysteries that have baffled experts for decades. Since humans have been on this planet, we were trying to figure out all the mysterious things that happen to and around us. In the earliest human societies, many occurrences that were confusing, like thunder and lightning, were explained by inventing powerful beings like gods and goddesses. Humans had strange ideas about how their own bodies worked – ever heard of the theory of humorism? As humans learned more about their world, “mysteries” like these became fewer and fewer. Science was able to explain many previously unexplained things, like thunderstorms, illness, and reproduction. We live in a time when more is understood about the human body and our earth than ever before. However, there are still – and probably always will be – things that no one can solve or understand. Unidentified flying objects. Weird lights in the sky. Events no one can explain. Some mysteries are never meant to be solved. We found a few of the most baffling, longest-lasting mysteries on earth…but unfortunately, we’re no closer to solving them. Will we ever know what happened to these people who disappeared? Or why there’s a strange hum in Taos, New Mexico? We may never solve these baffling situations…but read on to see if YOU can!
The Dyatlov Pass Incident
On the night of February 2, 1959, nine hikers in the Ural Mountains all lost their lives. The scene discovered by investigators showed that the hikers had fled their tents, some of them barefoot. They showed no signs of struggle, but some had fractured skulls. The reason they were fleeing, and how they got hurt, is still a mystery.
The Disappearance of Amelia Earhart
While trying to complete an around-the-world flight in 1937, the famed aviator disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. While some believe the pilot ran out of gas and crashed into the ocean, others think Earhart landed on Gardner Island. Her real fate has never been discovered.
The Ghostly Hand of Francis Leavy
Firefighter Francis Leavy was in the middle of washing the windows at his station when he and his crew responded to a fire in Chicago in April of 1924. Leavy lost his life during the call. Upon returning to the fire station, some of the other men noticed that Leavy’s handprint was still on the window he’d been washing. No matter how they scrubbed, or what chemicals they used, the handprint stayed. In 1944, the window was broken – but the handprint stayed there the whole time.
The Black Dahlia Mystery
In 1947, the body of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short was discovered cut into two in a Los Angeles Park. Although police identified over 150 suspects in the brutal slaying, they never figured out who did it. Since then, many books and films have explored the crime, but it remains unsolved. It’s one of the oldest cold cases in Los Angeles history.
The Hum of Taos
Approximately two percent of people who visit the town of Taos, New Mexico, report a persistent, invasive, low-frequency noise or “hum.” No one knows how it’s made or where it’s coming from. Approximately the same number of men and women report hearing it, but middle-aged people seem to hear it more frequently than other age groups.
In 1971, an unidentified man commonly referred to as D.B. Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727 plane, asked for $200,000 in ransom money, then parachuted away, never to be seen again. He has never been identified or located. The case remains the only unsolved air piracy (yes, that’s an official term) case in commercial aviation history.
The Voynich Manuscript
This illustrated codex from the early 15th century is written in a language that no one has been able to decipher since its discovery in 1912 by the Polish book dealer for whom it is named, Wilfrid Voynich. Codebreakers during both World Wars tried to decipher the mysterious book, but it remains a mystery. It now resides at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
The Shepherd’s Gate Mystery
This 18th-century monument that stands in Staffordshire, England, bears an inscription reading DOUOSVAVVM. No one knows what it means or who the inscription is for. Some believe the inscription is an acrostic or initialism, with each letter standing for a word in either English or Latin, but it’s essentially impossible to determine whether those suggestions are correct.
This system of glyphs discovered on Easter Island has never been deciphered. They were discovered in the late 19th century, but no one knows when they were written, with estimates ranging from the 1200s to the 1600s. The glyph system – which may or may not be a writing system, since no one can decipher it – is inscribed on around two dozen wooden objects that are now scattered around the world. None are left on Easter Island.
The Mystery of the Somerton Man
An unidentified man found on Somerton Beach, near Adelaide, South Australia, has been the subject of a mystery for almost 70 years. When his body was found in 1948, a scrap of paper reading “tamam shud” was in his pocket. The scrap was from a copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The police were able to recover the actual book, which contained what looked like a telephone number, but the case ended there, and has been a mystery ever since.
The Nazca Lines
The Nazca Lines are a set of geoglyphs – glyphs drawn on the earth – in southern Peru. They were likely created between 500 BCE and 500 AD, and have been naturally preserved as a result of the dry, windless climate of the plateau on which they are located. The purpose of the lines is not known, and the fact that they are visible only from the air – where the Nacza could not go – only adds to the mystery.
The Wow! Signal
In 1977, Jerry Ehman, who was working on finding signs of life on other planets, detected a 72-second signal that came neither from Earth nor our own Solar System. The signal was never detected again. It’s called the Wow! Signal because Ehman wrote “Wow!” on the printout of the signal after receiving it.
The Hollinwell Incident
In July of 1980, around 300 children at the Hollinwell Showground in Nottinghamshire, England, suffered a nausea and fainting epidemic. It’s still unclear what happened, though the two most popular theories suggest that pesticides or possibly mass hysteria is to blame.
In 1927, two French aviation heroes named Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli tried to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight, from Paris to New York in their plane, L’Oiseau Blanc. They disappeared after takeoff. Charles Lindbergh completed the first transatlantic flight – in the other direction – just two weeks later. No one knows what happened to L’Oiseau Blanc.
The Disappearance of Tara Leigh Calico
Tara Leigh Calico was a 19-year-old girl who left her house on September 20, 1988. She was never seen again. This photograph was found 9 months later in the parking lot of a convenience store in Florida. Investigators believed that the woman in the photo might be Calico, but no leads materialized. She is still considered a missing person.
The Disappearance of Jim Gray
Jim Gray, a computer scientist, left on a solo yacht voyage from San Francisco in 2007. He and his boat disappeared and have never been located. To make the mystery more strange, his boat was equipped with a system that should have begun transmitting as soon as he began to sink, and no distress signal was ever reported. After he had been missing a while, he was legally declared to have passed away – but it’s still unknown what actually happened to him.
Flight 19 was a crew of five Avenger torpedo bombers, with 13 student pilots flying under the command of Lt. Charles Taylor. They left Fort Lauderdale on December 5, 1945, headed south. At some point, the whole crew got really turned around, and no matter how much they tried to head north to Miami, they got more lost. By the time night fell, the base had no more communications with Flight 19, and the planes were never recovered. They are believed to have disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle.
The Star Ariel
A Tudor IV aircraft like this one left Bermuda in 1949, with 20 people aboard. The captain reported that the flight was going smoothly, but shortly thereafter, he said he was changing his frequency, and nothing else was heard from the flight. A search proved fruitless, and the wreckage was never found.
The Teignmouth Electron
Donald Crowhurst, a British businessman, sailed from London on October 31, 1968, intending to win an around-the-world race. Crowhurst was a rather inexperienced sailor, and abandoned the race shortly after starting, though he reported good times to a publicist he’d hired. However, when it started to look like Crowhurst could actually *win* the race with his falsified times, he apparently abandoned his ship, since it was found floating in the Bermuda Triangle, with no sign of Crowhurst.
SS Marine Sulphur Queen
In 1963, this ship carrying a load of molten sulfur and its 39-member crew were lost off the southern coast of Florida. In 1963, this ship carrying a load of molten sulfur and its 39-member crew were lost off the southern coast of Florida.
The Village of Angikuni
In 1932, a Canadian fur trapper went to a village near Angikuni Lake in Canada. He’d been to the village before, but this time, he found it completely empty. A fire was left burning, with a stew cooking over it, as though the hundreds of people who lived there had simply disappeared. To this day, no one knows what happened to the village.
Sightings at Hockomock Swamp
The Hockomock Swamp in southeastern Massachusetts is the center of the “Bridgewater Triangle,” an area of heavy paranormal activity. Sightings there have included Bigfoot, thunderbirds, and other strange events.
In 1964, an oceanographic research ship, the Eltanin, was photographing the sea bottom, and found an unidentified object – possibly an extraterrestrial antenna – at a depth of 3904 meters. For many years, its identity was hotly debated…but in 2003 it was confirmed to be a kind of sponge.
The Disappearance of the Spray
In 1909, Joshua Slocum headed to Grand Cayman from the United States in his boat, the Spray. He had previously been the first man to circumnavigate the world on a solo voyage. His 1909 voyage proved to be his last, however, as neither Slocum nor the Spray were ever seen again.
The Esperanza Stone
This stone, discovered in 1909 by two white men who were exploring Mexico, is full of symbols that no one knows the nature of. They could be Mayan, but they’ve never been deciphered.