18 Unexplained Historical Events That No Scientist Can Solve
History is full of weird events that no one can explain – that’s a fact. Lucky for us, however, historians of the past have documented many of them pretty well, probably in the hopes that the future generations can finally crack them. However, some mysteries remain unexplained even to this day.
Bored Panda has compiled a list of strange historical events that scientists still can’t explain and some of them are truly spooky. From dancing plagues to meat showers, these strange mysteries will have you turning your head trying to solve them. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the one that does? Check out the mysterious stories in the gallery below!
#1 The Gorilla Who Said Animals Go To A “Comfortable Hole” When They Die
Image source: The Atlantic
Koko was a Western lowland gorilla that was taught sign language by its caretakers. Francine Patterson, one of the caretakers and the closest human to Koko, was once asked about the depth of the conversations between her and the gorilla. Francine said that early on, during one of the conversations, a caretaker showed Koko a skeleton and asked whether it’s alive or dead, to which the gorilla responded: “Dead, draped”, meaning covered up. Then the caretaker asked where do animals when they die, to which Koko replied “A comfortable hole” and gave a goodbye kiss. This answer surprised many people and sparked a philosophical debate but, sadly, Koko couldn’t comment any further.
#2 The 2,000-Year-Old Body That Still Has Hair, Eyelashes, And Blood In Her Veins
Image source: Flazaza
During the Western Han dynasty in ancient China, Xin Zhui, or Lady Day, was the Marquise of Dai. 2,000 years after her death, her tomb was discovered inside the Mawangdui hill in China. Inside the tomb, alongside her body, archeologists found many important documents and valuable documents but it was Zhui’s body that surprised them the most – it was incredibly well preserved, with her organs and blood vessels still completely intact. She even still had hair and eyelashes! Scientists also discovered melon seeds inside her stomach, meaning she most likely died a few hours after eating a melon. Another thing that surprised them was the fluid that helped preserve her body – it was slightly acidic and had some magnesium in it. The mystery fluid still haven’t figured out what it was.
#3 Man Becomes A Musical Genius After Experiencing A Head Trauma
Image source: Medical Daily
Derek Amato was a simple man just like you and me until he suffered a severe concussion after hitting his head on the bottom of a pool when diving back in 2006. The man suffered some memory loss and lost a part of his hair but an amazing thing happened – he woke up a composer. “As I shut my eyes, I found these black and white structures moving from left to right, which in fact would represent in my mind, a fluid and continuous stream of musical notation,” described Derek his condition. Even though similar cases have happened before, no other person in the world gained genius-level talent after experiencing a trauma.
#4 The Thundercloud That Appears In Australia’s Island Every Afternoon
Image source: Djambalawa
A strange weather phenomenon occurs every year in the Tiwi Islands in Australia from September to March – a thundercloud, nicknamed Hector the Convector, shows up in the sky every afternoon. The giant cloud was named by a WWII pilot and is still the subject of many meteorological studies, who have not yet come up with an explanation for this phenomenon.
#5 A Mysterious “Dancing Plague” That Made People Dance To Their Death
Image source: Hendrik Hondius
Over 500 years ago, back in 1518, a mysterious plague struck Strasbourg, Alsace. Known as the “dancing plague” or the “dance epidemic”, it made over 400 people dance uncontrollably and some of them even died from heart attacks and exhaustion. It is said to have started after a woman named Mrs. Troffea started dancing uncontrollably in the middle of Strasbourg. Soon, 34 more people joined and after a short while, 400 were affected. In its peak, the plague killed 15 people every day. The doctors thought the epidemic was due to “hot blood” and build the affected a wooden stage to “dance it out”. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t help. Modern scientists suggest that it might have been caused by the toxic products of the ergot fungi but the true cause remains unknown.
#6 One Of A Kind 100 Year Old Traub Motorcycle Found Bricked-Up In A Wall For 40 Years And It Still Somehow Works
Image source: Motorcycleclassics
A fully intact 100-year-old Traub motorcycle has been found bricked-up inside a wall – it even still works properly. It’s a unique model that no other Traub motorcycle has and many collectors were baffled why it spent 40 years hidden inside a wall.
#7 A Manuscript That Nobody In The World Understands
Image source: Unknown
The Voynich manuscript is a 500-year-old book written in a mysterious language no one has yet deciphered. It was named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Lithuanian-Samogitian bibliophile who purchased the manuscript in Italy back in 1912. Many people tried their hand at deciphering the mysterious book, including codebreakers from WWI and WWII, but none were successful. A recent theory suggested that it could be a women’s health medical book, but it was quickly debunked.
#8 Cleopatra’s And Her Lover Antony’s Tombs Have Never Been Found
Image source: Ancient Roman artist from Herculaneum
Most of us have heard a lot of information about Cleopatra’s life, but did you know that her tomb was never discovered? It is believed that she was buried with her lover Antony and that Octavian gave orders to bury her “in splendid and regal fashion”. Cleopatra, however, is not the only one whose tomb was never found – Mozart and Genghis Khan are also among those whose graves remain a mystery.
#9 In 1930, An Entire Population Of An Inuit Village In Canada Vanished
Image source: Unknown
Back in 1930, a trapper named Joe Labelle visited a small Inuit village in Canada who he had visited many times before and was shocked when he found it completely empty. 7 sled dogs were found in a nearby man-made grave, dead from starvation. People searched for the missing villagers but no bodies have been found.
#10 The Longest Possible Alien Signal
Image source: NAAPO
In 1977, Ohio State University’s Big Ear Radio telescope picked up a mysterious signal, dubbed the “Wow!” signal. It was discovered by astronomer Jerry R. Ehman, who circled the anomaly when looking at the data and wrote “Wow!” next to it. The 72-second-long signal only appeared once and was never repeated. No one knows the source of the signal and some speculate that it might have been a contact attempt from the aliens.
#11 Nobody Can Understand What This Phaistos Disc Reads
Image source: C messier
Like the Voynich manuscript, the Phaistos Disc is another mystery no one can decipher. It’s a clay disc made sometime during the Bronze Age and contains mysterious symbols. Some suggest that it might have been a board game or a prayer to the goddess of fertility.
#12 Treasure Worth $10 Million Was Found, Yet Nobody Knows Who It Belonged To
Image source: Kagin’s Inc.
Six years ago, back in 2013, a couple found a treasure near their home. It was filled with coins worth about $27,000 but the historical value skyrocketed their price to a whopping $10 million. The couple plan to sell it on Amazon. They say they won’t reveal the place they discovered the treasure in fear that people would come looking for more. The true owner of the “Saddle Ridge Hoard” treasure remains a mystery.
#13 In 1955, A Boat’s Entire Crew Of 25 Completely Disappeared Even Though The Boat Itself Didn’t Actually Sink
Image source: Unknown
Back in 1955, merchant vessel Joyita mysteriously disappeared in the South Pacific. After a while, the vessel was found but it was completely empty – no crew was in sight, even though the boat wasn’t even completely sunk. Out of the 25 crew members, none were found and left many people puzzled where could they have disappeared.
#14 Bermeja Island That Existed In Maps Until 1846 Disappears And Nobody Can Find It
Image source: Tanner, Henry S.
Bermeja is an island off the north coast of the Yucatán – or is it? It appeared on many maps until the 20th century but nothing is found in its location. People became interested in the mysterious island after someone pointed out that the island has no real boundaries and rights of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. No island was discovered during the search and no one can prove whether the island ever existed.
#15 Mysterious Island That Has Artefacts And Treasures Hidden But Nobody Can Find It
Image source: Richard McCully
Oak Island is a small island in Nova Scotia that hides a mystery no one can find. There are rumors that treasures are hidden on the island and some hundred-year-old artifacts were actually discovered there, but nothing that could be called major. There is a myth that claims that 7 people have to die on the island before the treasure can be found and so far 6 people have died searching for it.
#16 The Australian Prime Minister Who Disappeared
Image source: Wikipedia
Harold Edward Holt was the 17th Prime Minister of Australia, serving from 1966 until his presumed death in 1967. The prime minister loved spearfishing and was spending time at Portsea during one weekend. He and four of his friends stopped at the remote Cheviot Beach for a swim before lunch. Holt said he knew the beach like the back of his hand, but, sadly he was taken by the sea when going for a swim. The biggest search operation in Australian history has been organized but no body was found. This mysterious disappearance caused many conspiracy theories: some believed he faked his own death, while others believed he was killed by the CIA.
#17 Two Men Who Claim To Have Been Abducted By Aliens
Image source: Wikipedia
Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker are two men from Pascagoula, Mississippi who claim that they were kidnapped by aliens while fishing back in 1973. They say that they heard mysterious sounds and saw strange lights above their heads. When they looked up, they saw an oval-shaped object around 40 ft across and 10 ft high. Parker and Hickson say they have been paralyzed but remained conscious while the creatures abducted them and performed examinations before releasing them. Many people didn’t believe their story and they even took a lie detector test. Some say the duo might have been experiencing a “walking dream state”.
#18 That One Time It Rained Meat In Kentucky
Image source: Wikimedia commons
The “Kentucky meat shower” is a mysterious event that happened back in 1876. A woman named Mrs. Crouch was making soap on her porch when she saw something fall from the sky. Upon closer inspection, it looked like it was meat! Many scientists became interested in the phenomenon and some even dared taste the mystery meat, claiming it was lamb or deer. Later it was speculated that it could have been meat vomited by buzzards and so far remains the most logical explanation.