As we all know and are aware of, our world is several billion years old, and since the first humans appeared on its surface 3.5 million years ago approximately, we have been witnesses to incredible architectural constructions, books written in unknown languages to us, impossible tools and incredibly detailed maps that might not have been made by mere humans. If you are interested in the secrets that the Earth has in store for us, you are in the right place. Check these incredible mysteries, and please check our favorites #20, #14 and #8. Also, do not forget to check our top 5!
Photo: Courtesy of Ancient Origins
#25. Ruins Of Atlit Yam
In 1984, a set of ruins was discovered by several unknown divers who were just having a good time diving in the coasts of Israel, when they suddenly saw the ruins to a not so ancient civilization. Known as the Ruins of Atlit Yam, this neolithic village is completely submerged underwater.
Photo: Courtesy of Pinterest
As a matter of fact, nobody knows what happened to this village or why it came to be completely underwater. Expeditions have shown that the ruins are completely safe, and the stone structures are intact. Another thing that was discovered were two skeletons, supposedly of a mother and a child, who died together, although it seems they died of tuberculosis.
#24. Rat Kings
Even though it sounds, and is, completely disgusting, Rat Kings are a set of rats which are intertwined and “connected” to each other by the tangling of their tails. Most of us did not know that this even existed, but the real mystery lies in how this can happen. In the scientific area, it has been discussed many times whether this is a hoax (maybe someone gathers a bunch of rats and tie them together) or if the rats come together with a bonding agent.
Photo: Courtesy of All That’s Interesting
Whatever it may be, we can all agree that it is an amazing phenomenon that continues to build upon the concept of society that rats have. In ancient times, when rat kings were seen in the streets, they were considered as a bad omen, and their existence was linked to plagues. From the 17th century onwards, more than 50 rat kings were discovered and are held on display.
#23. Antikythera Mechanism
Known as the first computer in the modern world, the Antikythera Mechanism was discovered in an underwater shipwreck during the 1900s in Greece, and since then it has been considered an ancient alien artifact, as it showed a very advanced technology for the time. Many specialists have stated that such an advanced technology would only come approximately 100 years later.
Photo: Courtesy of Smithsonian Magazine
This mechanism was mainly used in boats and ships as it could trace the trajectory of the moon, the sun and the stars, providing a better positioning system than a compass or a sextant. On top of that, the mechanism also housed inside it an old calendar. Several old documents found in Greece talk about an ancient artifact, but the true origin of the Antikythera Mechanism still remains a mystery, even though modern science is still trying to prove where it came from.
#22. The Ubaid Lizardmen
The Ubadian civilization, which was one of the several civilizations that lived in ancient Mesopotamia from the 4,000 to 5,000 BC, and as archaeologists have stated, they were a very advanced civilization for that time, together with ancient Sumerians. Three of their settlements developed into big cities known as Eridu, Ur and Uruk.
Photo: Courtesy of YouTube
In these cities, the Ubaldians started to build their most impressive buildings and even built some temples in which they stored several lizard-like sculptures that puzzle archaeologists until today. It is still not clear what the sculptures represent, but it has been stated that they do not represent their gods, as the poses of the statues are very mundane, and they even represent basic aspects of human life, such as a woman breastfeeding a child.
#21. The Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
Discovered in 1872 in New Hampshire by some construction workers employed under Seneca A. Ladd, this ancient Native American relic was unearthed near the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee and was the first to be discovered in North America. Ladd kept the stone as a treasure and in 1927 his daughter donated it to the New Hampshire Historical Society and has been there since then.
Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia
Afterward, the stone egg, as it came to be known, was subject of research by many archaeologists who discovered several pictographs in its surface, such as arrows and moons. Even though at first it was considered a Native American artifact, it has been said that its origin may have Celtic or even Inuit origins. Nonetheless, what it is and what it was meant to be used for still remains a mystery.
#20. The Tomb Of China’s First Emperor
First discovered in 1974 by a group of farmers, the Tomb of China’s First Emperor is one of the most incredible discoveries of the modern age. After excavations started, the first thing that archaeologists found was the amazing terracotta army that protected the final resting place of the emperor, which is buried underneath a hill behind the army. Sadly, scientists refuse to excavate the tomb, mainly for two reasons.
Photo: Courtesy of GBTimes
The first of these reasons is that China won’t allow any scientific team to excavate as they do not possess the necessary technology to preserve the tomb, and the second and most important reason is that the tomb is allegedly surrounded by an underground mercury river. Soil samples taken by scientists confirmed this, and as such, it is a mystery that will remain for a long time.
#19. The Sumerian King List
Discovered in the early 1900s by Hermann Hilprecht, one of the most important scholars at that time, the Sumerian King List is an ancient stone tablet written in cuneiform language that still haunts every historian dreams, as the list mixes the names of real and mythological kings of the Sumerian people.
Photo: Courtesy of Ashmolean Museum
The stone tablet is a thorough list that includes the name of the kings, the year in which they ruled and the place where their Kingdom was settled. Historians continue to be puzzled at this as the list also includes mythological kings of the Sumerian culture, and they do not know why they included them. It seems that these mythological kings existed, but they were normal persons who were considered to have supernatural powers.
#18. Ulfberht Viking Swords
The Ulfberht Viking swords are a set of approximately 170 swords that were crafted by Vikings between the 800 and 1,000 CE, and the particularity of each of them is that they have the inscription “Ulfberht” etched in the metal. What is more incredible is the quality of the metal, as archaeologists have stated that it is one of the purest metals they have seen for a weapon.
Photo: Courtesy of All That’s Interesting
Archaeologists have also stated that that type of metal quality could not have been obtained until the Industrial Revolution when there was a bigger range of metal crafting skills and possibilities. The Ulfberht swords are very sharp and powerful, and it seems that they were considered mythical weapons that only a few Vikings were chosen to use them, more probably the kings and the best warriors among them.
#17. The Shroud Of Turin
Considered by many Christians to be the final resting shroud of Jesus Christ, the Shroud of Turin is an ancient cloth relic that has a length of approximately fourteen feet. The shroud is such an important relic as it has the imprint of a man’s face and body, as the cloth was stretched over his dead body, and after seeing his hands on the imprint, it seems that he had been crucified.
Photo: Courtesy of The Clover Chronicle
After researches did the carbon dating for the shroud, which dated to the year 1,260 CE, the mystery should have been solved and it should have proved that it was not the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. Nonetheless, many believe that the carbon dating was wrong and they still clung to the idea of this shroud being a holy relic belonging to Jesus Christ’s body.
#16. The Atacama Skeleton
In 2003, a group of researchers and archaeologists discovered a strange skeleton buried in the sands of the Atacama Desert in Chile. The skeleton had a very small body and a very big head, and it had a length of approximately 6 inches. At first, many considered that Ata (as they started calling it) was an extraterrestrial being, but they were wrong.
Photo: Courtesy of The Independent
After several tests were performed in the small skeleton, mostly DNA tests, it was discovered that it belonged to a human baby. More tests were performed and scientists realized that the baby had been prematurely born and that it had a birth defect, and for that reason, the head had such a big size in comparison to the rest of her body. Another defect of Ata were her ribs, as she had ten instead of twelve as in a normal human body.
#15. The London Hammer
Many artifacts in the world, especially those that do not seem to belong to a particular era because they are too advanced for the technology at that time are considered ooparts: “out of place artifacts”. An example of that is The London Hammer, which was discovered in the city of London, Texas, in 1934. The hammer was surrounded by a rock cover that dated 100 million years!
Photo: Courtesy of Lost World Museum
Regarding this artifact, many scientists believe that the hammer is as old as the rocks surrounding it, although it is impossible that it could have been constructed at that time, and many others are skeptical. One of the last tests performed on the hammer, the carbon dating test, showed that the hammer could be only 700 years old. Until today, though, there is not a clear answer to the age of the hammer.
#14. The Codex Gigas
In ancient times, most of everyday information was recorded in books and big tomes, but the biggest one of them, The Codex Gigas, is shrouded in mystery. Dating back to the 13th Century, and known as The Devil’s Bible, is one of the biggest books ever created. This manuscript is 36 in tall, 20 in wide, 9 in thick and weighted approximately 165 lb. The book has 310 pages that were handwritten by only one person throughout several years.
Photo: Courtesy of Missed in History
The manuscript gathers several different texts, from testaments of the Vulgate Bible, to several medical texts, calendars and illustrations. The two most impressive illustrations correspond to the Kingdom of Heaven and an illustration of the Devil itself. Since it was discovered, the book is linked to bad fortune, as many of its previous owners perished under unknown circumstances.
Japanese history and culture have been broken down in several periods, and the Jomon period was the first one to be recorded; it was divided into four sub-periods. The Jomon-period people were sedentary people characterized by their incredible pottery skills. This is evidenced by the Dogus, which are sculptures that were made to resemble either animals or people, and appeared between the 14,000 and 4,000 BC.
Photo: Courtesy of Ancient Code
The exact meaning behind the Dogu remains unknown, but most scholars agree that they were used in shamanic or spiritual rituals, as many of them were found in stone circles, and several others were found near graves, which could mean that they were a kind of a rite of passage for the dead. Another thing that remains unclear is where the Jomon-period people inhabited, as the Dogu were found on every island of the Japanese archipelago.
#12. The Voynich Manuscript
One of the most enduring mysteries is that of The Voynich Manuscript, which dates back to the 16th Century, and up to this day, it has not been translated, as it is written in a language or a code that still has not been cracked. Many archaeologists, scientists, cryptologists and scholars have tried, and each and every one of them has failed. Nicholas Gibbs, a television writer, said that he had cracked the code, but his theory was quickly turned down.
Photo: Courtesy of The Atlantic
The manuscript is divided into four different sections, the first of them being about herbology and features incredibly vivid drawings of plants and herbs. The second part, about astrology, has a drawing of a celestial map that does not match any known calendar. The third part, known as balneological, has several drawings of nude women and the fourth part is about pharmacology. After all these years, there is not a clear origin to it, but most theories point in the direction of aliens.
#11. The Rongorongo Tablets
One of the most mysterious places on Earth is the Easter Island and its Moai, but these structures are not the only mysterious objects that the island hides. The Rongorongo Tablets are a set of artifacts that were discovered on the island around the 19th century, and just like the Voynich Manuscript, it is yet to be translated or decoded. The tablets contain a series of etched glyphs that are thought to contain the secret to the civilization of Easter Island and how they came to disappear.
Photo: Courtesy of Cabinet Magazine
The first tablet was discovered in 1864 by a friar of the Roman Catholic Church known as Eugène Eyraud. Several hours after he found the first one, Eugène found other 25 tablets in several huts on the island. Each tablet had a name, as if it had belonged to a specific inhabitant of the island. Since there is almost no record of the Rapa Nui language, and since every tablet is written in that same language, deciphering it is an almost impossible task.
#10. Volgograd Discs
In the Volgograd region of Russia, a group of ufologists and cryptozoologists known as Kosmopoisk has found several giant stone discs that are rich in tungsten, a metal that is highly coveted for military use in weapons and machinery. The group decided to investigate that region as it is known for being an important mystical phenomena area.
Photo: Courtesy of Ancient Origins
The team has already found more than twelve discs, but the last one they found was considerably large. The size and shape of the discs resemble that of the popular UFO we all have in our mind, and the team has stated, without any scientific backup that they are millions of years old. Nonetheless, scientists are trying to carbon data the discs to know how old they are and what their structural composition is.
#9. The Quimbaya Artifacts
Found in Colombia, these strange artifacts were dated between 300 to 1000 AD, so they are almost 1000-year-old gold figurines that represent several types of animals. They are relatively small in size, as they measure approximately 2 to 3 in, and are pretty common, as more than 100 of these relics were found. According to archaeologists, the artifacts are zoomorphic figurines representing several animals, such as birds, insects, bats and other mammals.
Photo: Courtesy of Monsters in Motion
On the other hand, a few ancient astronaut theorists have the strong belief that many of these figurines are not representative of any particular animal, but are actually ancient flying machines. They stated that if you look closely at the figurines, you will see that they possess aerodynamic features, as they have an external fuselage and stabilizers. Astronaut theorists are still trying to prove that they were, in fact, flying machines, as there are no records to support this claim.
#8. Roman Dodecahedrons
Dodecahedrons are one of the many mysteries still surrounding the incredible ancient Roman Empire. They are small geometrical objects measuring approximately 1.5 to 4 in, and date to the 2nd or 3rd century AD. Its use has still not been proven, and there are many theories about what they were and what they were used for. Nonetheless, which theory is more or less plausible, they were very valuable objects.
Photo: Courtesy of Gralien Report
Some theories state that the dodecahedrons may have been used to measure the angle of the sunlight in order to know the best date for sowing. Other theories state that they may have been used to measure the distance of throwing weapons, or maybe that even Roman soldiers used to play with them when they were in the battlefield encampment. Although many theories have been presented, still there’s nothing proved.
Located in the north border of the Peruvian city of Cusco, Sacsayhuaman is a stone wall constructed by the Ancient Inca people, and it consists of several dry stones that were put together and interlocked without the use of any material. It is one of the most incredible constructions ever seen of ancient America and the precision of the stones is something incredible even for modern standards.
Photo: Courtesy of Peru Info
Many theories have been put forward while trying to explain how the Ancient Inca were able to do this, for example, the use of a plant derivated liquid to soften the stone, heat cutting with sun mirrors or the ever famous extraterrestrial theory. Nonetheless, the famous archaeologist and architect John McCauley has said that it is possible that this wall was achieved by trial and error of ancient Inca engineers during a long span of time.
#6. The Piri Reis Map
Dated to 1513 AD, the Piri Reis map is one of the oldest maps in the world. It was made by the Turkish-Ottoman admiral and cartographer Piri Reis. Reis based on a series of approximately twenty maps from diverse origins, such as Ptolemaic, Arabic, Portuguese and one map from Columbus. Currently, only one-third of the map remains intact.
Photo: Courtesy of Ancient Origins
The remaining third of the map clearly and accurately shows the Western coast of Africa and Europe, and the Eastern coast of Brazil. On top of that, the map also shows several islands such as the Antilles, the Canary Island and the Azores. The map is kept in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, and it is not held on display, as the deerskin on which it was made is very fragile.
#5. The Mount Owen Moa Claw
Discovered in the caves of Mount Owen in New Zealand by a group of researchers, the Moa claw might be one of the only pieces of proof remaining of the ancient bird, that went extinct more than 3,000 years ago. The reasons for the extinction of this flightless bird are not clear, as it did not have a clear predator and the bird was very capable of defending itself.
Photo: Courtesy of Zee News
Even though 3,000 years have elapsed, the claw is incredibly well preserved and even the fur of the animal may be seen. The claw was first discovered in 1863 by James Campbell, also in New Zealand, but in another cave. Afterward, the claw disappeared for several years until it was found by researchers and sold to a museum curator.
#4. The Longyou Grottoes
The Longyou Grottoes, located in the Zhejiang province of China, is a system of 36 interconnected subterranean grottoes that were discovered in 1992 by a local villager. Chinese consider these caves the ninth wonder of the ancient world and were dated to more than 2,000 years ago. Nonetheless, after being explored by several scientists, there are still many mysteries surrounding them.
Photo: Courtesy of Vision Times
In order to excavate the caves, it is estimated that approximately 1,000,000 cubic meters of stone were extracted, and it would have taken more than six years of intense and non-stop labor to do that, without taking into account the perfection of the cuts in the stone. On top of that, every wall in the cave has been patiently carved. Historians and archaeologists still do not know what the caves were used for, as there are no records of them.
#3. The Gate Of The Sun
Located at a height of 13,000 feet in Bolivia, the ancient city of Tiahuanaco and the Gate of the Sun tell the story of a long-forgotten civilization. According to the records, the city was one of the most important in the ancient world, and it extended to Chile and Peru. It is believed that it existed between 300 and 1000 AD and that the Lake Titicaca, one of Bolivia’s most important lakes, was the main port of the city.
Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia
In the 19th century, a group of European explorers found the Gate of the Sun, although it was lying flat on the soil with a crackdown in its middle section. The Gate is carved in a single block of stone, and its drawings depict, in the middle, the face of the God, and all around it, human-like beings with wings, tails and helmets. The writings on the Gate are yet to be translated.
#2. Stone Age Tunnels
Archaeologists have found one of the most incredible and amazing tunnel systems ever created, that spans several countries across Europe, from Scotland to Turkey, passing through Germany and Viena, and that were built during the Stone Age by humanity. These tunnels are compared to modern time highways, as they were used to travel long distances, and might have been used to protect people from weather or wars.
Photo: Courtesy of The Seeker Magazine
Nonetheless, not all of the tunnels are connected, as some of them took scientists to a dead end. The tunnels are approximately 27.5 in wide, so the inhabitants of the old world had to travel one by one through the tunnels to reach the underground rooms they created for storage. The tunnels were dated to be almost 12,000 years old, so they are the oldest tunnel system that exists in the world.
#1. The Underground City of Derinkuyu
Located in the city of Cappadocia, one of the most important cities of Turkey attracting most tourists thanks to its hot-air balloon trips hosts a secret city underneath it. The Underground City of Derinkuyu, ancient in its design and construction, was discovered in 1963 after the wall of a family house collapsed in the middle of renovations and opened the way to this underground city, one of the most important among the 200 underground cities in Turkey.
Photo: Courtesy of Historic Mysteries
The city has approximately 11 levels that go 280 feet deep, and it was able to accommodate approximately 20,000 people in its several rooms, among which it had temples, shops, living areas, and even some kind of restaurants. The underground system was so complex thanks to several of its tributary tunnels that there were several “secret” areas, and some of them could even be sealed in the event of an enemy attack!