Some Unexplained Mysteries of The World
The Pyramids of Egypt
As unexplained mysteries go, the pyramids of Giza in Egypt really are something special. We still don't really know how the Egyptians built the largest pyramid of all, known as the Great Pyramid of Cheops (or Khufu), some 5,000 years ago. Remember, this was even before the invention of the wheel. Unexplained MysteriesThe Pyramid of Cheops is the size of a 40-storey building and covers an area big enough to fit 10 football fields in it. More than 2 million stone blocks were used to make the pyramid, each weighing 2-5 tons and cut from a distant limestone quarry on the other side of the Nile. Experts reckon it took 400,000 men some 20 years to complete.Engineering feats aside, there are still some reported unexplained mysteries going on at the Pyramid of Cheops. In the 1940s, a French hardware dealer spotted some mummified animals exactly one-third up the height of the pyramid. The remarkable thing was they showed no signs of decomposition. He deducted that the pyramid shape was responsible for preserving these creatures.Later, a Czech radio engineer conducted a series of experiments in which he placed a brand new razor blade inside a 1:1,000 scale model of Cheops. He aligned his pyramid on a north-south axis exactly like the real thing. After getting 50 shaves from the razor, he was forced to conclude that it was only getting sharper from being inside the pyramid. It took him 10 years to obtain a patent for this device, which he claims still has no scientific explanation today.But is it a genuine unexplained mystery - or an embellishment of the truth? This is another way that stories become legends which, because they are so famous, people believe there simply must be something to it. If "Pyramid Power" were a real, observable effect, it would surely have been commercialized by now. (It hasn't.)
UFOs and Area 51
The first reported UFO sighting happened in Texas in 1878, when a local farmer reported seeing a large, dark, circular flying object flying "at wonderful speed". Another famous early sighting occurred in the UK in 1916, when a pilot reported seeing a row of lights that rose and disappeared into the sky.After UFOs were popularized by science fiction in the 1950s, the number of sightings went through the roof. (About a decade before the first UFO-crop circle sighting was reported.) Theories to explain the paranormal phenomena range from the good old Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (aliens visiting us from another planet) to the Interdimensional Hypothesis (aliens popping over from a parallel universe).Although I do believe there is other life out there in the universe (and tons of it - the universe is so mind-bogglingly huge) I don't believe aliens are visiting us in flying saucers, nor making crop circles just to freak us out. The truth is that UFO sightings can be explained as airplanes, helicopters, weather balloons, comets, meteors and even the five planets which can be seen with the naked eye. In photos and videos they are usually deemed as dust on the camera lens or simply all-out hoaxes (which is ridiculously easy to do now with PhotoShop). Meanwhile, night-time alien abductions can be scientifically explained by the hallucinogenic effect of sleep paralysis.Meanwhile, UFO conspiracy theories center around Area 51 in Nevada, about 90 miles north of Las Vegas. The site houses a large air base that was selected in the 1950s for testing of a U-2 spy plane. It has since become America's testing ground for secret "black budget" aircraft before they go public.
The Belmez Faces
Paranormal PhenomenaIn 1971, in the small Spanish village of Belmez, Maria Pereira claimed a human face spontaneously appeared on her cement kitchen floor. It wasn't long before she destroyed the floor and replaced it - and a new face promptly appeared.More and more faces continued to appear on the floor of Maria Pereira's kitchen, attracting thousands of visitors every day. Some were male, some female, some large, and some small. In time, she discovered that the house, built around 1830, apparently stood above a graveyard used by the Romans, Spanish Muslims and then Medieval Christians.But did Maria Pereira just paint the faces herself?If so, she never benefited financially from all the attention. She lived a simple life in that same house and eventually died in 2004.Paranormal fans who just love these unexplained mysteries suggest that the faces were manifested on the floor by telekinesis. This notion was based on the claim that the expressions on their faces used to change with the mood of Maria Pereira.Of course, scientists have found it possible to analyze the molecular changes in the whitewash and prove that some fakery was involved. Many now believe that the paintings were actually created by Maria's son, Diego Pereira.
The Mayan 2012 Prophecy
According to many New Age believers, the 2012 prophecy states that the world as we know it will end on December 21, 2012. This is not a new phenomena; as landmark dates draw near, end-of-the-world theories creep out of the woodwork with astonishing popularity. People love this armageddon stuff.And yet, we're still here.I don't consider 2012 to be one of the true unexplained mysteries... far from it. Yet many people are really into this one. So let's look at the idea more closely.The theory is based on the idea that when the ancient Mayans plotted our position in the Milky Way, they created a special astrological calendar. And on the Winter Solstice (in the Northern hemisphere) in 2012, the Earth would pass into a new astrological phase and something dramatic would happen - ie the world ends.Unfortunately for Mayan fans, there is no real-life evidence to support the idea that the alignment of planets in relation to distant star constellations viewed from our Earthly perspective has anything to do with day-to-day changes in your personal life. It's about as scientifically reliable as reading your horoscope. (In my days as a freelance writer, I once turned down a job to write horoscopes for a magazine. When I asked how I was supposed to obtain the predictions - they simply told me to make it up.)Real Mayan scholars report that there is no evidence to show that the Mayans ever made any kind of doomsday prophecy. Merely, that calendars keep track of the passage of time - they do not predict the future. So, the Mayan calendar - like all calendars - simply had to end somewhere. Not only does it end, but it begins again in a new cycle, just as your calendar ends on December 31 and begins again on January 1.While your life may come to an abrupt end any time, any day, without warning, there is very little you can do about it. One thing is for sure: our society, like all civilizations before us, is geared to postulate over end-of-the-world mysteries.
Stonehenge is one of the greatest unexplained mysteries of the world. It's certainly no hoax (estimated to be more than 5,000 years old) and is probably the most important prehistoric monument in the whole of Britain.When you visit Stonehenge, you'll find yourself driving for miles through rolling hills and countryside until, suddenly, you catch sight of this bizarre structure. There's an eerie feel to the area around Stonehenge, and for thousands of years it has soon silently, giving away few clues as to the meaning of its existence.Excavations have revealed that Stonehenge was built in four stages:First a series of holes were dug around 3,100 BC for religious ceremony.Then, more than 1,000 years later, the most dramatic stage of building took place. Huge bluestones from mountains in Wales were lugged more than 240 miles to the Stonehenge site. Why would anyone do this in the age before the wheel? And how would they accomplish such a feat? These are true unexplained mysteries - because it really wouldn't have been hard to find rocks closer nearby. The stones were then set up to form an incomplete double circle, aligned perfectly with the midsummer sunrise.
The third stage in 2,000 BC saw the arrival of the more stones, transported by land from the Marlborough Downs some 25 miles away.Finally, after a further 500 years had passed, someone felt the need to rearrange the massive Welsh bluestones into the familiar horseshoe and circle we see today.One of the great unexplained mysteries of ancient man, the meaning of Stonehenge is still not clear today. Was it a temple, a burial ground, an observatory, or an ancient calendar? Without a time machine to go back and ask, we may never know...