We humans are often drawn to unsolved mysteries; we’re curious about the unsolved puzzles and the secrets that lurk behind them. Life often presents us with a grand number of mysteries, but some have captured human attention for centuries. From ancient archaeological sites to mysterious disappearances, humanity has continually sought answers about these perplexing enigmas. Whether you’re interested in uncovering secrets from the past or discovering new tales from modern times, this blog post will take a look at some of humankind’s greatest unsolved mysteries.
1. Ancient Writings
One user shared, “In 1893, British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans purchased some ancient stones with mysterious inscriptions on them at a flea market in Athens. On a later trip to the excavations at Knossos on the island of Crete, he recognized one of the symbols from his stones and began a study of the engraved tablets being uncovered at various sites on the island. He discovered two different systems, which he called Linear A and Linear B. While Linear B was deciphered in the early 1950s (it turned out to represent an early form of Greek), Linear A, above, has still not been deciphered.
“There is an entire culture of information that predates much of our history, a window into ancient humanity that is simply locked away from us because we don’t know how to read it.”
Another added, “I love that someone made it into a usable font; that’s amazing. Regarding the indecipherable language, there were stone tablets found on Rapa Nui which no one could read, as the knowledge had become lost over time. It was a very picturesque script, as well.”
2. First Humans in the Americas
One Redditor shared, “An active one in the archaeology world is the exact time frame of when humans made it to the Americas. The date keeps getting pushed back with more controversial discoveries that then just turn to evidence as they pile up. It’s a fascinating story to see unfold.”
“Yeah, I like this one too; I think many of the traces of early settlement are likely submerged. Sea levels were much lower during the ice age, and the majority of human settlements are along the coasts, so a huge piece of our history is probably lying on the seafloor completely undisturbed and possibly well preserved,” another added.
A third user responded, “Underwater archaeology is a huge frontier moving forward, agreed.”
3. $100,000 Flushed Down the Toilet
An online user posted, “In Australia, in 2011, someone broke into a TV station and spent four hours flushing $100,000 down the toilet.”
One Redditor responded, “D. B. Pooper.”
One jokingly answered, “Don’t you guys have a prime minister that went for a swim and just never came back?”
Another replied,”Yah and then named a swimming pool after him as a memorial.”
4. Civilization in Northern India and Pakistan
One user shared, “Late to the party but I haven’t seen anyone mention the Indus Valley script. There was a huge civilization in northern India and Pakistan around 3300-1300 BC. It spanned more area than any other civilization at the time. They invented writing independently, something only done 5-6 times in history. But to this day, with all the thousands of inscriptions we have and all the documented contact with other civilizations, we haven’t deciphered their writing. There’s no known Rosetta Stone, no known descendant scripts, no known documentation of the language other than what is written in the Indus Valley script.
“But the biggest mystery isn’t how to read the script or what it says, but the question of whether we’ll ever be able to know. Is it even possible to decipher a language we know absolutely nothing about?
“Edit: to all the people talking about AI, yes. I get it. AI is cool, but this is a far larger task than the pattern recognizing and replicating AI we have today can tackle on its own. Some AI has been used to find patterns in which characters go together most often, but this is a long shot away from being able to read the script. AI will have to be far more advanced than it is today to be able to crack this code.
“Things like this are just crazy to me. An entire, vast civilization we know nothing about. That’s just wild,” another added.
One commenter replied, “And not just any vast civilization. One that had lots of contact with civilizations we have a good record on. One that’s in an area that’s still very well populated.”
5. Monarch Butterflies
One sharer commented, “So the Monarch Butterfly migrates to Mexico and back every year. During the year there are a full 4 generations of butterflies that live and die during the journey. Upon returning back from Mexico, the butterfly manages to find the same trees it’s relative started out at despite never having been there.”
Another added, “What’s even more amazing is that every fourth generation of monarchs live considerably longer so they can make the migration.”
“’I christen you Monarch Butterfly, the Third’, ‘Man’,” one Redditor replied.
6. Missing Persons
One Redditor shared, “I read these threads and wonder how many ‘disappeared people’ are homeless transients with no memory of who they are. There must be considerable overlap, I imagine.”
“Just saw an article about a woman believed to be dead for 30 years found in Puerto Rico. She left her… husband and family to just live out her life in PR but mental illness was what prompted her move without telling anyone and her dementia was what helped them figure out who she was and where she was from. Sad,” another replied.
7. Dark Matter
One user posted, “We like to think we understand the universe and that physics is a well grounded discipline, and in some ways it is. However we have no idea what dark matter or dark energy is and yet we think it makes up 27% and 68% of the universe respectively.”
Another added, “We still don’t understand gravity that well. Our understanding of physics is still in its infancy.”
One commenter asked, “Isn’t most physics essentially describing events in a way that allows us to make predictions? But that is a long way from understanding the true nature of anything. Thinking about why anything is the way it is will always give me a feeling of being a little creature just barely scratching the surface of something way bigger. And I’m not even high.”
8. The Existence of the Universe
A user posted, “’Why is there something rather than nothing?’ is still pretty much [the biggest question] imho.”
Another agreed and commented, “Yeah what [messes] with my mind is either something came from nothing or there was always something. If I think too long about it it breaks my brain.”
A third commenter added, “It breaks my brain to think about only nothing existing. How can there be nothing? And would it be empty space, or nothing nothing?”
One user posted, “Also, “nothing” is a mystery on its own. We often think a white or black blank space. But space is something also, right? Then how would it be if not even space existed?”
Another added, “Yep, this is my response to the question. Try to imagine nothing. Not empty black space, literally nothing exists. The more you think about it, the less sense ‘a state of nothing’ makes. To me, a state of ‘nothing’ makes even less sense than a state of ‘something,’ even if we never find out any of its ‘origins’ or whatever.”
One user replied, “This is something that I think about literally all the time, and the only way I’ve ever been able to comprehend what ‘nothing’ is is while sleeping. When you don’t dream, it feels like time is still passing but there are no sensations you also somehow instantaneously wake up. It’s [messed] with me so much.”
10. “I Have Made but One Mistake.”
One Redditor shared, “The final words of the emperor Titus were ‘I have but one regret’. We don’t know and never will what that regret was. Edit: on reflection it’s even better – ‘I have made but one mistake’. Supreme confidence.”
Another added, “His only regret was that he had bonitis.”
One replied, “I’d vouch for this if not for the fact he died in 79 AD and thus cannot be considered under any circumstances as ‘an 80’s guy’.”
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