Mysteries around the globe

There’s nothing like a good mystery, especially when it’s been unsolved for a very long time. These places are full of stories about spaceships, ghosts, disappearances, seemingly impossible archaeological finds and more. Researchers have tried to crack their secrets but can’t seem to agree on the answers. It’s no wonder.

From the dancing lights of Marfa to the enormous stone blocks in the Giza Pyramids – some of these stories defy logical explanations. Are some places haunted by spirits or the landing sites of visitors from another world? Read on, and decide for yourself.

Marfa, Texas, USA

The first historical mention of the Marfa lights occurred in 1883 when a cowhand working in the area reported seeing dancing lights in the distance. He soon learned that local settlers frequently saw such lights, too. Native Americans reportedly attributed the phenomenon to fallen stars. What’s more, no one has any explanation for them. In modern times, people continue to report appearances of the Marfa lights.

There’s even a viewing area 15 kilometres outside of Marfa for people who hope to get lucky enough to catch sight of them. They’ve been studied by the airforce, meteorologists and physicists who have yet to agree on an explanation for these mysterious glowing orbs. Some even attribute them to spaceships.

Nikumaroro Island

The pilot Amelia Earhart disappeared while attempting to fly around the world with her navigator, Fred Noonan in 1937. The pair radioed that they were out of fuel and disappeared without a trace. Although many believe they perished after crashing into the ocean others believe she was taken prisoner by the Japanese. One of the most credible theories is that Earhart and Noonan crashed on Gardner Island, now known as Nikumaroro Island.

Possible evidence includes unidentified bones discovered on the uninhabited island. An empty jar of Earhart’s brand of skin cream was found there along with a piece of plexiglass that might have been part of her plane. The rest of the plane, however, was never found on Nikumaroro Island or anywhere else.

The Bermuda Triangle

In the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean, between Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico, lies the Bermuda Triangle, one of the world’s most haunted bodies of water. Christopher Columbus sailed through it and reported seeing a great ball of fire crashing into the water. He also recorded mysterious lights in the distance and his compass reading inaccurately.

In the 20th century, there were mysterious disappearances, including huge navy ships and airplanes flying above the area – all gone without a trace. Possible theories for these tragedies included aliens, sea monsters and time warps. In recent years, some scientists have theorised that there is probably no single reason for the phenomenon, blaming human error, bad weather and heavy sea and air traffic for the disappearances.

The Stanley Hotel, Colorado, USA

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado is one of the spookiest places people have spent the night. In fact, Stephen King was inspired to write his terrifying novel, The Shining, after staying there. The hotel has long been rumoured to be haunted and people have reported hearing the laughter of invisible children, flickering lights, spirits on the staircases and more.

If you’re wondering why The Stanley doesn’t look like the hotel from the movie, that’s because the exteriors for the fictional Overlook in the movie version of The Shining were shot at The Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood, Oregon.

Nazca Lines, Peru

The Nazca Lines outside Lima, Peru, are so enormous they are best seen from the sky. This is startling given that they were believed to have been created between 100 BC and AD 700 – long before any known aircraft were invented. They are a series of designs up to 48 kilometres long depicting geometric shapes, animals, plants and lines.

They were created by removing 30 to 38 centimetres of the rust-covered pebbles that cover the top layer of the area, unearthing the lighter colour soil below. The mystery is why they were created and who they expected to see them; theories have included messages to the gods, space aliens and ancient astronauts.

Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza are an awe-inspiring sight, even in photographs. They are tombs built as the resting places of Egyptian kings approximately 4,500 years ago. No one knows exactly how they were built. The blocks on the Great Pyramid weigh 2.5 tons each, and the structure is 146 metres high.

What’s more, many of the stones came from a quarry 804 kilometres away. Scientists and archaeologists have yet to agree or prove definitively how such heavy stones could have possibly been transported and put into place during ancient times. 

Stonehenge in Salisbury, England

A circle of gigantic stones outside of Salisbury, England, no one knows exactly why the monument was built or how the heavy stones, some of which are nine metres tall and weigh 25 tons, were transported there in the first place.

Some scientists believe Stonehenge is an ancient burial site dating back 4,000 to 5,000 years while others believe that the fatty residue found on ancient pottery shards at the site point to the fact that Stonehenge may have been used as an ancient feast site.

Lost City of Atlantis

The Lost City of Atlantis has captured the imagination of humankind for thousands of years even though there’s no real proof such a place ever existed. It was first written about by Plato in 360 BC who described a continent populated by wealthy people who had developed advanced military and technological capacities.

Despite the fact that Plato’s stories about Atlantis were fictional, many people believe they were based on fact and have searched for proof the continent existed. So far, however, none have discovered it.

Roswell, New Mexico, USA

Many people believe that President Harry S. Truman covered up the fact that an alien space ship was recovered from a crash site in Roswell, New Mexico, as reported in 1947. The military quickly denied that reports a flying saucer was discovered were true, and said the wreckage was actually the remains of a weather balloon.

It’s one of the UFO myths scientists wish you’d stop believing, especially since de-classified reports later revealed that the remains were actually from a military surveillance balloon being developed to spy on the Russian military.

Racetrack Playa, Death Valley, California, USA

At first glance, Racetrack Playa in Death Valley, California might look like an ordinary dried-up lakebed. That is, until, rocks, some of which weigh 317 kilograms, began to slide across the desert as if they’re being dragged by an invisible hand. No one knows when, or if, a particular rock will move. Some sit idle for more than a decade.

In 2013, scientists were on-site and able to observe individual rocks moving for periods ranging from a few seconds to 16 minutes and theorised that it was caused by a shallow layer of water freezing at night and a light wind pushing the rocks as the ice begins to melt but this theory has yet to be proven definitively.

Loch Ness, Scotland

If you take a look at these jaw-dropping photos of Scotland, it’s easy to see that Loch Ness is a stunning lake. For 1,500 years, it’s been best known, however, as home to the Loch Ness Monster. In AD 500, pictures of a mysterious aquatic creature were even carved into the standing stones near the lake.

The first written reference to the monster was in AD 565. In 1933, a couple claimed to have spotted the creature in the water, and yet another couple said they spotted it on land. Since then, researchers have tried unsuccessfully to prove the Loch Ness Monster exists, and is perhaps, an ancient whale or dinosaur that was erroneously believed to be extinct.

Bran Castle, Romania

Of all the spooky vampire legends all over the world, there is probably none more famous, or frightening, than the tale of Dracula, who first made in appearance in a novel written by Bram Stoker in 1897 and has since become part of popular culture. It is believed that Stoker based Dracula’s castle on descriptions of Bran’s Castle in Transylvania.

In real life, villagers in the area believed evil immortal spirits haunted the area, hunting prey from midnight till dawn. Bran Castle still stands today, although whether or not malevolent ghosts roam the halls after midnight is up for debate.

Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California, USA

Of all the infamous houses everyone should know, there is probably none more mysterious than the Winchester Mystery House, a mansion in San Jose, California. The home was built by Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle Company fortune. When her husband and baby died, Winchester learned that she may have been the heir to something else: a terrible curse and the anger of vengeful spirits.

A psychic told her her family was killed by ghosts of people killed by Winchester rifles who were seeking revenge. She spent the next 38 years building a large house with 160 rooms, confusing hallways, and stairways leading to nowhere to trap these spirits. Many believe she continues to haunt the mansion to this day.