Science is all about learning the truth, of solving mysteries, and of finding logic where it may seem to be absent. But not all discoveries can be explained by science. At the very least, not for now. Here are 10 of the most mysterious discoveries that scientists can’t explain.
10. Longyou Caves
Hidden deep within the remote village of Shiyan Beicun in the province of Zhejiang, China, lie the fabled Longyou Caves.
At a mere glance, it may seem just like your run-of-the-mill ancient civilization wonder. However, it’s filled with many mysteries that baffle experts and scientists to this day.
Discovered in 1994, the artificial grottoes are said to have been made as far back as 2000 to 3000 years ago. This puts it on the historical map even earlier than the most prevalent Chinese dynasties. What’s most puzzling is that all the engineering feats shown in making this were simply far beyond what a pre-imperial civilization could have achieved.
Since the caves were built to be very spacious both in width and height, the labor force required to build such a phenomenal structure without machines must have been in the thousands, working day and night. Every surface, wall, and ceiling must have been painstakingly chiseled with parallel lines.
The structural integrity of the caves was so sound that degradation is almost absent. Add the fact that it was built in the relative blackness of the cave with only very basic lighting tools and we have a very intriguing mystery.
In fact, archaeologists still don’t know who exactly built the caves. The caves were initially found completely flooded. The builders left no evidence or records of their stay. The only thing left indicative of their culture were very ambiguous stone carvings.
9. Roman Dodecahedrons
Roman dodecahedrons may look like your average metal trinket. But they actually go way back since the start of the 2nd and 3rd century CE. Usually made of bronze and stone, they are studded with spheres. At times they’re covered with weird symbols of that era.
The catch? Nobody really knows what they are designed for. The very first Roman dodecahedron was excavated in 1739. Archaeologists have since discovered 115 more. Curiously, they were only found in northeastern Europe, particularly around France, Hungary, Belgium, and Great Britain. There have been Roman dodecahedron-like golden artifacts found in Southeast Asia. But after careful analysis, we’re uncertain if the two are even remotely related to each other.
More bizarrely, there’s absolutely no mention or depiction of the artifacts in any known historical records of its supposed origin era, further adding to its mystery.
There have been many theories as to how they’re actually used. It ranges from simple mantlepiece objects to possible glove knitting tools or devices used to find the optimal sowing date for winter grain. But to this day, nobody has come up with a concrete and confirmed explanation for their existence.
8. Maine Penny
The Maine Penny, sometimes referred to as the Goddard coin, is a silver coin of Norwegian origin believed to have been produced in the latter half of 11th century CE.
What’s special about this coin is that it was first discovered in the state of Maine, United States, in 1957. In other words, it is a European coin that traveled all the way to the American continent before Columbus even set foot on the Western Hemisphere 400 years later.
Initially, it was thought that the coin was brought by early Norsemen, but the idea was dismissed, as it’s the only thing found that is of European origin. Another theory was that it was brought by trading Vikings, whose voyages have already been confirmed to have reached as far as America as early as the 10th century CE.
This theory was also dismissed, as there’s at least a 200-year gap between actual Viking’s voyages and the circulation of such coinage.
Some people have suggested that it was brought by Native Americans from the northern part of the continent, where the Vikings had first landed.
Yet, the theories are so conflicting that many think it is simply forged, or even just brought there to create a hoax. Genuine or not, however, its discovery still baffles experts to this day.
7. The Baltic Sea Object
In June 2011, the Swedish ocean diving team “Ocean X” detected via sonar a very strange object under the northern Baltic Seafloor. Instead of the average sunken wreckage or natural formations, however, what they found was something very strange, almost artificial. It’s even otherworldly in shape and form.
Known today as the Baltic Sea anomaly, it was discovered to have been around 14,000 years old. The shape of the anomaly featured a strange rounded structure-like object that looks nearly man-made. In fact, looking at the sonar reading’s silhouette and overall look, it’s almost as if it resembles that of one particular bounty hunter’s legendary space freighter.
Indeed, the UFO-like object is lined with a clear seabed track that stretches for about 300 meters from its location, making it seem as if it was a very ancient crash site.
However, there are no actual concrete explanations for its origin. It may be entirely possible that it is instead an ancient temple. The clear seabed track could be a rudimentary road. It might’ve sunk to the sea much as how other ancient structures eventually sank with rising sea levels.
Until Ocean X or any other investigation team gets the funding to go down there to get a closer look, however, it will remain an unexplained mystery.
6. Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
One of the most controversial and strangest finds is the Lake Winnipesaukee mystery stone.
The stone’s discovery dates back to 1872 when it was first found in New Hampshire by workers buried underground. At first, it was thought to have been an artifact of mixed culture, a sort of symbol of unity between tribespeople or early North Americans.
But in 1994, an analysis of the artifact’s craftsmanship led to the discovery of the stone’s unusually precise drilling. It has been stated that the holes bored on the stone were “extremely regular”. That means it was unlikely to have been bored with a tool during prehistoric North America.
It must more likely have been drilled with a handheld power tool that dates as late as the 19th century.
Unless it was a hoax, this apparent anachronism of its origin and craftsmanship makes it impossible to confirm its place in history. Even if the age of the stone itself was known, we’ll probably never find out when the stone was actually carved.
Now that we’re halfway, take a look at this weird, large transparent object accidentally discovered in 2014.
It has an irregular shape and shone in a cool, bluish hue. This artifact could not be explained for a long period of time, but in the end, we did find out what it was. Can you guess? Leave a comment down below if you have the brains to solve this one quicker than the experts.
5. Slime Mold Intelligence
What is intelligence? Sapience? Sentience? It’s typically easy to just point to examples of intelligence, rather than actually define it. That’s because there have been many cases that consistently challenge our very views of this abstract concept.
Take the unsolved mystery of slime molds, for example. They may not be as baffling as any of the entries discussed so far. But their way of life will make you ponder.
This membrane of yellow goo is capable of traversing a complex variety of surfaces. When it finds a food source, for example, it marks its tracks with chemical trails, then remembers the most direct path. Even without a brain, it’s capable of solving mazes, tracking maps, following routes, and even analyzing its surroundings, using its own intelligence.
Why and how did the slime mold evolve to “think” like this? The different processes of its actions can be traced to earlier organisms, but its current mechanism of “thought” is a mystery. At the very least, a mystery of the limited definitions of intelligence that we have today.
4. The Wow! Signal
It was one fateful evening on August 15, 1977. A soon-to-be-famous narrowband radio signal was received by the Big Ear radio telescope in Ohio, United States. The 72-second anomalous radio signal featured a very strong signal that was more than 30 times the intensity of the typical background radiation within the detected area. The printed digital readings of the signal were marked with a “Wow!” beside it, hence its name.
Why was it so mysterious? The relative area of the signal was found to be somewhere near the M55 star cluster. But the actual source was never actually found. Glitches were dismissed due to the duration and natural fade in and out of the signal. Natural sources such as pulsars were also dismissed, as it was only received once. And it lacked the typical regularity in transmission that it would have had if it came from such a source.
More vitally, the powerful signal was received at a frequency of 1420 Megahertz. That is the frequency naturally emitted by hydrogen. This made for a very strong case of its artificial and extraterrestrial origin. However, theories of hydrogen clouds within comets have since then been formed in an attempt to dismiss such claims.
Still, we may never truly know, as it hasn’t been heard again since.
3. The Dogu Figurines (do-guu)
The Dogu Figurines are a set of clay figurines of various shapes and sizes that were found all across Japan. Its name comes from the word doguu. That means clay figure in Japanese. To date, there are officially about 18,000 figurines found so far. Each dates at least 2,000 to 10,000 years old.
While many simply think that these are artifacts from prehistoric Japan, their existence is a mystery due to their unknown purpose. The current theory is that they’re human effigies, a kind of icon in which positive magical energy is believed to reside. This connects well with the Japanese Shinto religion’s roots to animism. However as they date back many millennia before early traces of such beliefs were even found, this idea has never been never confirmed.
Wilder theories even claim that these are spacesuits of ancient alien visitors. They were depicted in the best way possible by the primitive people of that place and era.
Whatever our current theories are, the wide gap in time they represent may make it impossible to unravel the mystery.
2. Voynich Manuscript
Perhaps one of the best-known mystery documents of all time, the Voynich Manuscript is a codex, or book, which is written in an almost alien code that nobody has yet been able to decipher.
First seen in 1912, it was named after its owner Wilfrid Voynich. Carbon dating of the document reveals that it was made during the 15th century. Flipping just a few pages of the book reveals how strange its contents are. Weird zodiac symbols, depictions of nude women doing all sorts of things, and otherworldly plants and animals are shown within.
It’s so unusual, that the language used to write the document itself is yet to be understood. Random made-up gibberish, perhaps? Quite unlikely, as it has been found to have the same tempo, frequency, and cadence as a typical human language.
Some people even claim that it’s simply a hoax by the original author, or even by Voynich himself. That it was never meant to have any decipherable meaning in the first place. Still, its intricate and detailed writings and depictions, along with carbon dating findings, and its material analysis cut this idea quite short. As to who wrote the document and why, that is an entirely different mystery of its own.
1. The Zodiac Concrete Slab
The Zodiac Concrete Slab was the tentative name for a strange piece of stone found near a house in Mission, British Columbia in 2013. As its name suggests, the stone is adorned with the zodiac and astrological symbols.
As far as original testimonies go, no officially confirmed explanation for the so-called Zodiac Concrete Slab exists. The slab was found at a relatively shallow level, which suggests that it may have been buried naturally rather recently or covered by humans for some specific design purpose.
The images on the slab show that it may have had an actual purpose other than its supposed edgy design. The rings and lines inside the zodiac symbols show that it may have been used as a sort of basic sundial, either aesthetically or functionally.
As for what’s further underneath, it is as yet to be revealed by the people who originally found the slab. Regardless of how mundane its actual use or origin may turn out to be, the “Zodiac Concrete Slab” still keeps its own sense of mystery. Unless official documentation is filed, it may perhaps remain an obscure enigma it was originally intended to be.
Now, back to this mysterious stone.
Initially, people assumed it was a space rock of some kind. But there were no traces of it having gone through the atmosphere. It was later thought to have been a roughened piece of precious mineral. But it was also later confirmed not to have been made of quartz, diamond or corundum. If you answered somewhere along the lines of a backyard item piece, then you are almost correct! Actually, the “mysterious transparent object” was later analyzed and found to be nothing more than a glass ornament. Specifically, it was a piece of a glass that was originally sold for use in gardens. So, yup, it was neither a meteorite nor a precious gem, unfortunately.
Do you think any of the other artifacts in this article have a more plausible explanation like that glass object? Do you want to hear about more mysterious discoveries to tingle your awe? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!