Despite science, technology and research growing leaps and bounds every single year, there are still countless mysteries which baffle the minds of so many people. Some are enthralling, some are terrifying and some seem downright illogical.
In this article, we’ll be showing you some of the most notorious unsolved mysteries from around the world.
1. The Classic Unsolved Mystery of Stonehenge
A massive stone monument located in a grassy plain in the city of Salisbury, England, Stonehenge has long since puzzled many people.
The monument, known as ‘Stonehenge’, was built between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago. Stonehenge is comprised of many stones; the biggest of these stones are known as sarsens and weigh about 25 tons. The sarsens are thought to come from an area known as Marlborough Downs, about 32 kilometers away. The slightly smaller stones weigh about 4 tons and are known as bluestones (they have a faint bluish tinge when freshly broken or wet). The bluestones, on the other hand, were thought to come from different areas in Northern Wales, a distance over 200 kilometers away. How the builders of yesteryear managed to move these stones remains a mystery.
The even bigger mystery lies in the purpose behind this construction phenomenon. Some believe it is a place filled with magical healing powers, while there is also a theory that suggests that the aliens did it. However, the most commonly accepted theory is this monument was built atop an ancient burial ground. The plain might have been thought to be a sacred area, due to the abundance of different animals. This theory is further supported by the fact that dozens of burial mounds and shrines have been found near Stonehenge. However, what the creation of Stonehenge was meant to signify is still unknown, despite experts’ best guesses.
How and why Stonehenge was constructed remain one of the world’s most famous unsolved mysteries.
2. Black Dahlia Murder
On the morning of January 15, 1947, the body of aspiring actress Elizabeth Short was found severed in two and severely mutilated in a vacant lot in Leimert Park, Los Angeles. Her body, now in two parts, was drained entirely of blood, leaving a pallid white, mannequin-like corpse. The corners of her mouth were slashed open to her ears, creating an effect known as ‘The Glasgow Smile’. Furthermore, large chunks of flesh were clearly sliced away from her body.
Nobody was sure of the identity of the Black Dahlia Murderer – Elizabeth Short was dubbed Black Dahlia after she was killed – or why he or she did it. A force of about 750 police officers were putting in hours to investigate this heinous crime, but to no avail. There was also a media frenzy surrounding the Black Dahlia murder, probably due to the graphic and grisly nature of the crime.
To add to the hysteria, on the 21st January, 1947, around a week after the body was discovered, a call was placed to James Richardson’s office, who was then editor of the Los Angeles Examiner. The caller claimed he had killed Elizabeth Short and called Richardson to congratulate him on The Examiner’s coverage of the murder. The caller also told Richardson that he was planning to turn himself in soon, and that he should ‘expect some souvenirs of Elizabeth Short in the mail’. The caller remained true to his word – 3 days later, the Los Angeles Examiner office received a mysterious package containing many of Elizabeth Short’s personal belongings.
Despite the police’s best efforts, over 150 suspects interviewed and over 60 confessions made (all of which were proven to be not true), the Black Dahlia murderer remains unknown, and has supplied the world with one of the ghastliest unsolved mysteries in recent history.
3. D. B. Cooper
D. B. Cooper is a media-generated label granted to an unidentified man who managed to hijack a Boeing 727 going from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington in 1971.The unidentified man was dubbed D. B. Cooper after he bought the plane ticket under the alias of Daniel Cooper.
He managed to coerce about $200,000 in cash before escaping from the aircraft with a parachute on his back. The most intriguing part of the story is that, despite an investigation and a manhunt that lasted for over four decades, no body was found and not an inkling of evidence pointed towards who the identity of the mystery plane hijacker could be. A police sketch of this mystery man is pictured below.
Apparently, after the flight had taken off, the man dubbed D. B. Cooper gave a flight attendant a folded piece of paper. Assuming it was just a lonely businessman’s personal details, she did not open it and discarded it in her purse. Cooper called the flight attendant and whispered that he had a bomb in his suitcase. He instructed the flight attendant to sit down, and she did as she was told. She asked to see the bomb, and Cooper cracked open the suitcase, allowing her a quick glance of eight bright red cylinders and wires attached to them. Cooper then made his demands: $200,000, four parachutes and a fuel truck to refuel the aircraft when they arrived in Seattle.
Upon arrival, his demands were met. He ordered everyone but the flight crew off
the plane. As the plane was refueling, he went over his flight plan with the crew. They would head towards Mexico City, at the lowest possible speed and at an altitude no higher than 3,000 meters.
During the second flight, Cooper simply opened the door and parachuted away. Experts’ opinions suggest that he likely died on the way down, but to this day, no one is sure of either the identity or the fate of the man they call D. B. Cooper. It has the remained the only unsolved mystery in the history of commercial civil aviation.
4. Shroud of Turin
A length of linen that may as well be priceless if it is real – it bears a negative image of a man who is said to be Jesus Christ. The cloth is believed to be the cloth that Jesus himself was wrapped in during his burial, after he was crucified. ‘The Man of the Shroud’ is said to have a beard, a moustache, shoulder-length hair and is quite muscular. What is more, there were reddish-brown stains found on the linen cloth, showing wounds which match the biblical description of how Jesus died.
Beliefs regarding the shroud have been around for centuries. Most of the religious gospels have mentioned a shroud in their texts. However, there are no definitive historical records or mounds of evidence to support the theory that this particular linen cloth was Jesus Christ’s burial cloth. The Shroud of Turin is one of history’s most hotly debated unsolved mysteries.
5. SS Ourang Medan
The SS Ourang Medan, or Man From Medan, is an unconfirmed story of a ship which was found wrecked in the Dutch East Indies’ waters (or Indonesia as we know it today). The kicker – every single one of the crew members was dead. The ship itself was fine, the crew members not so much. The ship was found after two nearby American vessels received morse code messages from the in-trouble ship. One was a clear S.O.S message, then a bunch of confused dots and dashes and finally a very clear and bone-chilling message, which read ‘I die’.
Nobody is sure as to the level of truth behind the story of the SS Ourang Medan, or why all of the crew members perished on board. A couple of theories have since been established, but nothing confirmed.
One theory is that a malfunction in the ship’s boiler room caused an accident and the crew members all died. Another is that they were transporting hazardous material, which may have leaked or reacted with the water to cause poisoning or asphyxiation.
Whatever it is that happened on board the SS Ourang Medan, it has since sparked one of history’s creepiest unsolved mysteries.
We Could Go for Hours…
Every single day, all around us, seemingly unexplainable events occur. That is why it is absolutely impossible to list all the unsolved mysteries that have taken place – there are simply too many. To find out more, check out Listverse`s 25 greatest unsolved mysteries of all time.