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Mysteries From Ancient Times That Still Defy Explanation

Kelly Taylor

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The devices we use every day would baffle people who lived just 100 years ago, as technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in the modern age. One of the most amazing inventions is the computer, and it has taken over our lives in every area, from our phones to our cars to our kitchen appliances. Anyone can look at a phone to find out almost anything now. Why, then, are there still mysteries from the past? As archaeologists uncover more artifacts and scientists apply modern techniques to their finds, there are more mysteries instead of fewer ones.

Stonehenge

Perhaps the most famous of all the ancient mysteries, Stonehenge is a popular tourist destination for many tourists who visit Great Britain. We know the monument we call Stonehenge was built around 4,000 years ago, but little else. How were the people in ancient times able to move such heavy stones? Why are they lined up the way they are? There are theories ranging from aliens from outer space to pagans using the site for holy rites. 

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The Loch Ness Monster

There have been tales of a dinosaur in a loch in Scotland as far back as the 7th century. How have so many people seen such a strange creature? What is it? People continue to flock to see the Loch Ness Monster still today.


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The Shroud of Turin

While it seems to simply be a length of cloth, it appears to have the face of a man, and some people believe the Shroud of Turin depicts Jesus and that the shroud is actually his burial shroud. Experts have studied it but not found any definitive answers.


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The Hidden City of Petra

This once bustling city was believed to have been settled as early as 9,000 BC, becoming the seat of the Nabataean Kingdom in the 4th century BC. Now abandoned, it has become a World Heritage Site destination and people try to learn from the remains.


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The Lost Ark of the Covenant

A wooden chest which is purported to hold the Ten Commandments, the Ark of the Covenant is an object of reverence to many in the Christian Religion. Stories from around the world make claims that the Ark has been found in many locations, and transported secretly from place to place. The Ark continues to be a subject of intrigue and is sometimes the subject of books or movies.


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 The Fountain of Youth

This spring is supposed to restore the youth of anyone who bathes in it, and there are stories from around the world where people claim to have finally been the ones to find the real Fountain of Youth. Spanish explorer  Ponce de León was supposedly told by Native Americans that the Fountain was in a place called Bimini, and there is a park in St. Augustine, Florida, which claims to have been the place where the famous explorer landed.


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Roman Dodecahedrons 

There are more than 100 of these odd 12 sided devices, some of which have been found on sunken ships. Originally thought to be a navigational device of some sort, no one could figure out how they work. One theory is that they are related to religious ceremonies.


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Laos’ Plain of Jars

In northern Laos, there are many mysterious jars which are over 2,000 years old. There are possibly 90 different plains which contain the jars, with varying numbers, including one plain containing as many as 400 jars. They are similar enough that they seem to have been created for the same purpose, but there is no way to find out what that purpose was at this time.


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The Bog Bodies of Northern Europe

People have been finding very well preserved cadavers throughout Northern Europe since the 18th century, but the bodies themselves have been dated back as far as 8,000 BCE. One of the bodies was in such good shape that it was possible to examine his stomach contents. The most mysterious thing, though, is that all of the bodies seem to have been the victim of executions, after which they were placed in the bogs.


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The Antikythera Mechanism

Known as the world’s first computer, this ancient device was able to use a wind-up system to keep track of astronomical events, like eclipses, the phases of the moon, and where the planets were at different times.


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The Venus Figurines

So far there have been over 200 Venus figurines found, with different female characteristics on each. Some seem to be pregnant or to have large breasts, while most are missing their hands and feet.  Even the name Venus is controversial, as no one knows if the dolls represent women or goddesses.


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Baghdad Batteries

A German archeologist, William Konig, made an odd find in the Middle East in 1838. In the area now known as Iraq, he and his team dug up some clay jars that dated to around 200 BCE. The strange thing was what was inside the jars; each of the jars held an iron rod that was wrapped in a copper cylinder. Based on the materials and design, Konig figured out that the contraptions could be used as batteries. A college professor tried it out and the jars successfully conducted electricity. What was the purpose of these ancient batteries?


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Ancient Animal Traps

There is another mystery in the Middle East, where there is a chain of low stone walls crossing across the deserts in Jordan, Egypt, Israel, and other countries. Some of them are up to 40 miles long, and they appear to date as far back as 300 B.C. Long abandoned, there is no one left who can explain who made these formations or why they were abandoned. There is a theory that suggests hunters used the lines of rock as funnels to force their prey into a pit, where they could be dispatched more easily. 


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Sumerian King List

There is a very old cuneiform clay tablet which seems to be a list of all of the ancient Sumer kings, all the way back to the third millenium BCE. The Sumerian King List would be a very good indicator of some of the most powerful men of that time if the information is legitimate. However, the tablet includes the lengths of time of each king’s reign. Some held power for hundreds or even thousands of years. Why does the Sumerian Kings List hold such unusual information — did other men take over one king’s reign so that the people would believe in the divinity of the kings?


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The Devil’s Bible

The origins of the book are unknown, but the claim behind the name is that an ancient monk made a deal with the devil in order to meet a deadline. The monk in question was threatened with a terrible death, where he would be walled up alive and left to starve. He agreed to write a single book containing all the knowledge in the world to get out of his punishment, so he made a deal with the Devil himself. This 13th-century book was over 300 pages and has the same handwriting throughout. The book still exists and is so heavy it takes two men to lift it.


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Japan’s Atlantis

Just off the coast of Yonaguni Jima, Japan, there exist the ruins of an ancient city believed to be 5,000 years old. Some scientists believe the ruins are simply a natural phenomenon while others believe the site is the city where the Jomon culture was found. Of course, most people think of Atlantis when they hear of a lost underwater city, but the ruins are probably the result of rising sea levels that simply overtook the city in time. The ruins were only discovered in 1995, noting arched entryways and stone staircases.


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Rongorongo Tablet

Everyone has seen the giant stone heads on Easter Island, but there is a greater mystery there. The Rongorongo Tablet was first discovered in 1864 but dates back to around 1200. Instead of letters, there is a series of glyphs which seem to have been carved into wooden planks using a shark tooth. No one has yet been able to translate the language, which is particularly intriguing because it is a language that developed without outside influences.


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Saksaywaman Fortress Walls

This fortress is so old it predates the Incan empire, although it has not been definitively dated. The stones weigh more than 200 tons and fit together perfectly, as though constructed with modern machinery. The people in the area, which is in Cuzco, Peru, have a legend explaining how the work was done, using a native plant to make the stones lighter and easier to manipulate. The area was probably used as a temple.


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The Stone Spheres of Costa Rica

In the Diquis Delta of Costa Rica, ancient stone carvers carved hundreds of giant almost perfectly round spheres. Made of a type of igneous rock, some of the stones weigh as much as 16 tons and span over two meters in diameter. The spheres were lined up toward the home of the current chief, but nobody knows what the purpose of the rocks was. Wealthy landowners keep them in their gardens now, making it impossible to study them.


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Nasca Lines

Found in the dry desert plains of southern Peru, there are many giant images and symbols carved into the hard-packed earth. Called geoglyphs, these were probably made by the Nasca Culture between 500 BCE and 500 CE. There are some designs that look like they could be runways for planes, while others are birds, fish, or even humans. Why were these symbols clearly made to be seen from someone high above long before air travel was even a possibility?


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The Hellenikon Pyramid

Like the Egyptian pyramids, the Hellenikon Pyramid in Argolis, Greece, is largely a mystery. When was it built? And why? And who built it? Investigators have run across a reference to the Hellenikon Pyramid claiming that it was used as a tomb for soldiers fighting over Argos, but no proof was found to back that up. It may have been built around 2721 BCE, making it older than the Egyptian pyramids.


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The Sajama Lines

The Sajama Lines are etched into the earth, much like the Nasca Lines. The Sajama Lines appear in western Bolivia and appear to intersect each other when seen from far above. Only discovered in 1832, the lines cover 8,700 square miles and are three to ten feet deep. Each line may go for miles. The lines appear to be over 3,000 years old and to have been made by ancient people living by the volcano, but there is no explanation as to why the lines were carved.

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Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni

The only remaining intact example of an underground labyrinth construction in all of Europe, the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni in Malta was only discovered in 1902. This puzzling labyrinth is believed by experts to have been used from 4000 to 2500 BCE. Though this labyrinth — carved right out of the rock surrounding it — is made up of three levels, one level stands out. One level, which has been labeled as the Oracle Chamber, is an indication that the carvers of this labyrinth actually had advanced knowledge of acoustics. If you were to stand in this chamber and speak at a normal volume, your voice would be amplified a hundred times and reverberate through the entire chamber.


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Gobekli Tepe

Although Gobekli Tepe in Turkey is thought to be the oldest temple complex ever built by man, dated at 11,000 BCE (an astounding 6,000+ years older than Stonehenge in England), it is also one of the newest finds in the archaeological world; Gobekli Tepe was found in just 2008 by Klaus Schmidt. This temple complex is made up of enormous cared-stone structures, and it helps give scientists a better idea of how societies evolved and how ancient people lived. This find also alludes to the fact that there are even more ancient places and artifacts that are, as of yet, undiscovered and just waiting to be stumbled upon.


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Dashka Stone

Found in the town of Bashkorostan, Russia, which is located in the Ural Mountains, the Dashka Stone is a large stone tablet, which weighs more than a ton. The persons who unearthed this large stone tablet first believed that the cracks and lines on the tablet were formed naturally; however, they then discovered that the cracks and lines were meaningful: they created a topographical map of the surrounding area. More puzzling, though, was the fact that the perspective of the map shows the region from above. The tablet has been aged between 3,000 and 120 million years old.


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Paracas Candelabra

The Paracas Candelabra is also called. the “Candelabra of the Andes.” This mysterious glyph is located on the face of the Paracas Peninsula in Peru and is over 600 feet high. Despite its common name, archaeologists do not really believe that this geoglyph was created to resemble a candelabra. The three-pronged design of this geoglyph more likely resembles a trident — to pay homage to Viracocha, the trident-wielding Incan creator god — or Jimson weed — a hallucinogenic, which was commonly used in religious rituals. Because of other nearby archaeological finds, the Paracas Candelabra is believed to be dated back to around 200 BCE.


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Dogu

Dogu are little clay figurines that depict human-animal hybrids, wearing what looks like helmets with goggles on them. They date back to Japan’s Neolithic Jomon period, which means that these clay figurines can be between 2,300 and 10,000 years old. To date, there have been approximately 15,000 of these clay figurines found in Japan. Even though there are so many dogu that have been found, there is no exact explanation for them. 

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The Big Circles

These huge circles range from 720 to 1,490 feet and are made from stone. Located mainly in Syria, nobody knows the purpose of these 2,000-year-old structures.


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Mount Owen Moa Claw

First discovered in 1986, this ancient claw still has flesh on it and was at first thought to be a dinosaur. It turned out to be a Moa bird, a species extinct for over 3,000 years. How was the claw in such good shape?


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Longyou Caves

These caves appear to have been deliberately carved in sandstone over 2,200 years ago, with some over 100 feet tall. There are carved bridges, pillars, etc throughout the extensive cave system. How was it built, and why?


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Lady of the Spiked Throne

Dating back to 2700 BC, this strange artifact looks like a boat with the head of a bull and 15 passengers. Nothing like it has been found.


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Panxian Cave

These caves are 5,000 feet above sea level and there is evidence people lived in them. The mystery is that there are also bones of very large animals like stegodons and rhinoceros. How did they get up there?


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White Shaman Rock

In the southwestern part of Texas lived the ancient Huichol tribe of Native Americans. The Huichol engaged in cave and canyon drawing and, due to their remote location, were able to evade the Europeans, who were settling other areas of the Sierra Madre Mountains, for longer than most other tribes. However, when the Europeans did finally come upon the Huichol tribe, they were astonished at what they saw. Despite never interacting with the previous groups of European settlers, the Huichol created what is known as White Shaman Rock: a rock with a drawing depicting a 24-foot tall white person. This drawing, which was found in the Lower Pecos River Canyon, is estimated to be at least 4,000 years old, which means that is was created long before these white Europeans became known to the people of the Huichol tribe. 


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Phaistos Disc

The Phaistos Disc has been surrounded by debate ever since it was first discovered in 1908. The Phaistos Disc is an artifact dating back to some time between 1850 and 1600 BC, which puts it into the time period of the middle to late Minoan Bronze Age. This artifact, a round clay disc, was unearthed on the Greek island of Crete in a Minoan palace called Phaistos. The Phaistos Disc has 241 symbols pressed into it, in a spiral pattern. However, the symbols have not been linked to any written language, and the meaning of the symbols are still unknown. 


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Dropa Stones

Archeologist Chi Pu Tei and his team discovered the Dropa Stones in the Bayan-Kara-Ula Mountains of China in 1938. They are in fact hundreds of stone discs that look a lot like modern records which play music. They even have a hole in the center and a spiral groove. When examined more closely under a microscope, researchers also saw symbols in the grooves that looked like hieroglyphs. While we may never know what they say, it is believed that these 12,000-year-old artifacts contain information.


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What Happened When This ‘Duck Dynasty’ Legend Chopped Off His Beard?

Shannon Jackson

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Duck Dynasty enjoyed a historic run as one of A&E’s top-rated shows. After spending 11 seasons on the air, Duck Dynasty fans grew close to the Robertson family and their many misadventures. Thanks to their strong Louisiana heritage, commitment to duck hunting, and gigantic beards, it is easy to spot the Robinson family in pictures and on television. While their distinctive beards might have made them famous, wait until you find out what implored Jase Robertson to chop his own hair off!

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As Young Lovers Tie the Knot, a Stunning Family Secret Rises to the Surface

Kevin Wells

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When Heidi Parker and Ed Savitt first met in college, sparks immediately seemed to fly between them. In the blink of an eye, both Ed and Heidi were in love. Before long, they had introduced their families to one another. As their families grew increasingly close, something seemed to linger between them. Why did Ed seem so familiar to Heidi? How did Heidi’s family seem to recognize an aspect of Ed? What deep secret was hiding between the two?

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Incredible Home Sold By 96-Year-Old Owner Will Leave You Stunned

Shannon Jackson

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Do you remember the first home that you purchased? How about the home that you lived in the longest? For Joyce, a longtime resident of Toronto, both of those homes were one and the same. Joyce had moved into her unassuming home on Jane Street alongside her husband, more than 70 years ago. Now at 96 and ready to join her great-grandchildren, Joyce was looking to sell. You won’t believe what a pair of realtors found inside of the home when they put it on the market!

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40 Dog Breeds That Do NOT Belong in Your Home

Shannon Jackson

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While dogs may be man’s best friend, all breeds are not the same. Originating from a single common ancestor, dog breeds have changed dramatically over the years. Due to selective breeding as well as our ability to reach animals from every corner of the planet, pet owners have grown increasingly creative when it comes to selecting their family pet. With that being said, there are certain dog breeds that are better off in their natural habitat or with a trained handler rather than in your home. Listed below, you’ll find a collection of beautiful canine breeds that simply should not be owned by untrained pet owners!

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Hidden Married… With Children Facts That You Didn’t Know

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Married…With Children remains to be the longest-lasting comedy sitcom on FOX network. It shocked fans just as much as it excited them. The show attracted fans from all over the world. It featured a dysfunctional, greedy family that was constantly getting into funny arguments and laughing at each other’s problems. The family was completely different from the typical TV families. Kelly Brundy, a 16-year old girl, was one of the most shocking and exciting characters on the show. Her behavior was shocking and she did whatever she wanted. The following are some facts from the controversial yet popular comedy sitcom.

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It Was FOX’s First Prime Time Show

Married…With Kids was the first prime-time show on FOX. Its primetime debut was on Sunday, April 5, 1987, at 7 p.m. The episode was followed by the premiere of The Tracey Ullman Show. The two episodes were repeated at 8 and 9 p.m.

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