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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
500,000-Year-Old Wooden Structure Rewrites History
In an archaeological discovery, a wooden structure dating back an astonishing 500,000 years has been unearthed on the banks of a river in Zambia, challenging long-held beliefs about the capabilities of ancient humans. Researchers stumbled upon these ancient wooden logs, a revelation that has the potential to reshape our understanding of the lives of early humans.
The find, located on the riverbanks near Zambia’s Kalambo Falls, provides compelling evidence that stone-age people may have constructed primitive shelters, forever altering our perception of their intelligence and resourcefulness. Archaeologist Prof Larry Barham, who led the research, was profoundly impacted by the discovery, stating, “This find has changed how I think about our early ancestors.”
What makes this find truly remarkable is that it suggests ancient humans did more than merely survive; they thrived by creating something entirely new. These early humans exhibited intelligence, imagination, and craftsmanship by fashioning structures from wood, a material that had never before been transformed into such large and sophisticated objects.
The researchers also uncovered ancient tools, including digging sticks, but the most exciting find was two pieces of wood positioned at right angles to each other. “One is lying over the other, and both pieces of wood have notches cut into them,” explained Geoff Duller, a professor of geography at the University of Aberystwyth and a member of the research team. “You can clearly see those notches have been cut by stone tools, making the two logs fit together to become structural objects.”
Radiocarbon dating confirmed the wood’s age, placing it at a staggering 476,000 years old. This revelation has ignited curiosity about the woodworking traditions of ancient societies, challenging the prevailing notion that early humans led simplistic, nomadic lives.
Perrice Nkombwe, a team member from the Livingstone Museum in Zambia, expressed her astonishment, saying, “I was amazed to know that woodworking was such a deep-rooted tradition. It dawned on me that we had uncovered something extraordinary.”
The preservation of the wooden structure itself is a miracle. Typically, wood decays over time unless preserved under specific conditions. However, in the waterlogged environment along the Kalambo Falls, the wood remained intact, essentially pickled by the elements for millennia.
While the exact purpose of this ancient wooden structure remains a mystery, it has sparked numerous speculations. Prof. Duller suggests it might have been used as a place to sit beside the river and fish, although a complete understanding of its function remains elusive.
Moreover, the identity of the individuals who constructed this structure raises intriguing questions. “We don’t know – it could have been Homo sapiens, and we just haven’t discovered fossils from that age yet,” Prof. Duller added. “But it could be a different species – [perhaps] Homo erectus or Homo naledi – there were a number of hominid species around at that time in southern Africa.”
This discovery has the potential to enrich our understanding of ancient woodworking techniques, craftsmanship, and human interaction with the environment. As researchers continue their work at the Kalambo Falls site, the pages of history are being rewritten, and our appreciation for the ingenuity of our ancient ancestors grows ever deeper.
California Costco Worker’s Act of Kindness Earns Him Employee of the Month
In the bustling aisles of a Costco store in Clovis, California, a heartwarming story of honesty and compassion recently unfolded. John Sotelo, a dedicated employee, was going about his daily tasks, putting away cases of water, when he stumbled upon an envelope that would change the course of his day and touch the hearts of many.
As Sotelo reached for one of the water pallets, his sharp eyes caught sight of a small envelope nestled among the bottles. Curiosity piqued, he picked it up and decided to take a look inside. To his astonishment, he discovered an incredible sum of $3,940 in cash within the envelope.
Most people might have been tempted to keep such a substantial amount of money, but not Sotelo. He knew that this money belonged to someone, and his strong sense of honesty and integrity guided his actions. Without hesitation, he promptly informed his manager about the discovery.
Sotelo’s manager quickly recognized the gravity of the situation and decided to review the store’s customer surveillance footage to identify the owner of the lost envelope. It wasn’t long before they located the rightful owner, a Costco member who had unknowingly dropped her precious savings.
What followed was a heartwarming reunion between John Sotelo and the envelope’s owner. The member was overwhelmed with gratitude and could hardly contain her emotions as she thanked Sotelo profusely. She explained that the money was intended for her children’s education, making Sotelo’s act of kindness all the more significant.
Sotelo’s selfless and honorable action didn’t go unnoticed by his colleagues and superiors. In recognition of his integrity and compassion, he was awarded the coveted title of “Employee of the Month.”
Sotelo’s unwavering honesty and his commitment to helping others in their time of need remind us all of the power of simple acts of kindness. His story also highlights the importance of maintaining our faith in the goodness of humanity and the belief that doing the right thing is always worth it, no matter the circumstances. John Sotelo’s actions have not only earned him recognition but also the admiration and gratitude of his community, proving that integrity and compassion are values that should be celebrated and upheld.
Florida Officials’ Heroic Efforts to Free Baby Bear Cub from Tree
In a heartwarming and daring rescue operation, two Florida officials recently joined forces to save a baby bear cub trapped in a tree. This harrowing tale of bravery and determination unfolded when the cub found itself in a tight spot, stuck in the crook of a tree, desperately in need of help.
The saga began when a concerned citizen discovered the baby bear cub in a precarious situation. The cub’s back paw was firmly wedged in the tree, leaving it unable to escape on its own. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, a bear biologist was swiftly called in to assist. The clock was ticking as the Florida sun beat down on the rescuers, motivating them to work as quickly as possible.
The initial attempt to free the cub involved a slippery solution – dish soap. The rescuers gently soaked the trapped paw in dish soap, hoping to create enough lubrication to ease the cub’s escape. Unfortunately, the dish soap proved insufficient, and the cub remained trapped.
Undeterred by this setback, the resourceful rescuers knew they needed a more robust solution. After reaching out to a local resident, they borrowed a chainsaw. With the chainsaw in hand, the two officials carefully coordinated their efforts. One held the baby bear securely while the other began to cut away the tree that held the cub captive.
As the chainsaw roared to life, tension and anticipation filled the air. After what must have felt like an eternity, the tree’s grip on the baby bear finally gave way, and the cub was freed. With palpable relief, the rescuers ensured the cub was unharmed. To their delight, the baby bear appeared to be in good health, showing no signs of injury from its ordeal.
After its examination, it was time to send the baby bear cub on its way, with hopes of reuniting it with its worried mother. The brave cub, once trapped and vulnerable, was now free to continue its journey through the wilderness.
Maine’s Puffin Colonies Defy the Odds
Maine’s rugged coastline, with its picturesque cliffs and crashing waves, is home to some of the ocean’s most charismatic and beloved residents – the Atlantic puffins. These plucky seabirds, known for their distinctive black and white plumage and colorful beaks, have long captured the hearts of nature enthusiasts. However, their story is not just one of charm; it’s a tale of resilience in the face of adversity.
Atlantic puffins, with their striking appearance and comical antics, are a cherished part of Maine’s coastal ecosystem. Yet, these endearing birds have faced their fair share of challenges, including the theft of climate change, which has posed a looming threat to their existence.
One of the most significant concerns for puffins has been the warming waters off the coast of New England. These rising temperatures have disrupted the delicate balance of the marine ecosystem, impacting the availability of prey for puffins and other seabirds. Puffins primarily feed their chicks with sand lance fish, and the warming waters have been linked to a decline in these vital fish.
In 2021, puffin colonies in Maine suffered a sharp decline in chick numbers due to these changing environmental conditions. The future looked uncertain for these charismatic birds. However, in 2022, a glimmer of hope emerged as puffin colonies experienced their second rebound year for chicks.
The exciting news of this resurgence comes as a welcome surprise, especially considering the prevailing concerns about climate change’s adverse effects on wildlife. It defies the expected trends, challenging scientists to dig deeper into the complexities of our changing environment.
Don Lyons, the director of conservation science at the National Audubon Society’s Seabird Institute in Bremen, Maine, remarked on the puzzling nature of this rebound. “This year is a good example of how complex things are. We can’t boil it down to one variable,” he said. “We still have a lot to learn.”
While warming waters and the decline of sand lance fish have been concerning factors, other variables come into play. Climate change’s impacts are not always straightforward and can have unexpected consequences.
The puffins’ second rebound year for chicks offers a glimmer of hope and a reminder that nature can sometimes defy the odds. It highlights the resilience of these remarkable seabirds and the intricate web of factors that influence their survival.
Efforts to protect and conserve Maine’s puffin colonies continue, with researchers and conservationists working diligently to understand and mitigate the effects of climate change on these beloved birds. While challenges persist, the tale of Maine’s puffins serves as an inspiring story of nature’s ability to adapt and thrive, even in the face of adversity.
Discovery of Rare Glossy Black Cockatoo Nest on NSW Mid North Coast
In a groundbreaking discovery that has left conservationists elated, the elusive glossy black cockatoo nest has been found in the lush landscapes of New South Wales’ Mid North Coast. This rare find is a remarkable achievement, as these magnificent birds have kept their nests hidden for over two decades. The glossy black cockatoo, a threatened species in Australia, has long been a focus of conservation efforts due to its vulnerable status. The recent revelation of their nests has ignited hope for the preservation of this iconic bird.
The glossy black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami) is a stunning and distinctive bird, known for its glossy black plumage and vibrant red tail feathers. These birds are relatively small in size compared to other cockatoo species, measuring around 45 to 50 centimeters in length. The males can be identified by their bright red cheek patches, while the females exhibit paler, yellowish markings.
These birds are known for their unique feeding habits, primarily feasting on the seeds of she-oak trees. Unfortunately, when their habitat is ravaged by fires, both the she-oak trees and the hollow-bearing trees they use for nesting are often destroyed. This puts immense pressure on the glossy black cockatoo population, making their nests and breeding sites particularly crucial for their survival.
The discovery of glossy black cockatoo nests on the NSW Mid North Coast is a significant milestone in the conservation of these vulnerable birds. Dr. Hawkins, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s senior threatened species officer, expressed the importance of this discovery, saying, “It’s a massive step forward … glossy black cockatoos are among the most-threatened species of cockatoos in Australia and are listed as vulnerable in NSW.”
For two decades, the glossy black cockatoo nests remained hidden from human eyes, making it challenging for researchers and conservationists to assess their breeding success and habitat needs. The nests were shrouded in mystery until a group of dedicated citizen scientists known as the “Glossy Squad” entered the scene.
The Glossy Squad, comprising citizen scientists passionate about conservation, actively participates in the government’s Saving our Species program. Their determination and dedication led to the discovery of three separate glossy black cockatoo nests in the region. These discoveries were made possible through tips from local residents who suspected the presence of these majestic birds in their vicinity.
Dr. Hawkins emphasized the vital role of community involvement, stating, “It’s really hard to find them, and the only way to do it is to have ears and eyes on the ground, a network of community members and citizen scientists who love the birds and pay attention to what the birds are doing on the ground.” This collaborative effort underscores the significance of community engagement in conservation.
The discovery of these nests is not only a cause for celebration but also a foundation for future conservation efforts. Dr. Hawkins noted that two of the nests resulted in fledglings, marking an exciting milestone in the species’ recovery. Through the study of these nests, researchers can gain valuable insights into the breeding habits and success rates of the glossy black cockatoo.
By better understanding these magnificent birds and their needs, conservationists can develop more effective strategies for their protection. The nests provide a window into the glossy black cockatoo’s world, enabling scientists to observe and learn from these elusive creatures.
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