The Piri Reis map
This historical map is thought to be the oldest in the world as it was drawn before the 16th century. However, it’s what’s on the map that has left so many people scratching their heads over the years. It appeared the artist had more information about the shape of the continents than anyone knew at the time.
Plus, it contains the outline of Antarctica – even though the continent wasn’t discovered for another 300 years. As if that wasn’t enough, the drawing of Antarctica is purely of the landmass, meaning it was yet to be covered in ice. Even now, no one knows where the map came from.
These ancient objects were typically made from bronze with some even being found made out of stone. Roman dodecahedrons are made from five sides, with each corner covered in a round shape. The objects were first discovered 200 years ago, but no one is any closer to working out why they were made in the first place.
As if that wasn’t enough, they have been found all across the world from Switzerland to Great Britain. Some guess they were used to hold candles while others believe they were to help determine when to harvest crops. Sadly, it looks as though we may never have a definitive answer to the riddle.
The Ubaid Lizardmen
Many archaeologists agree that civilizations as we know them started with the Sumerians in Iraq. So how come we have found 7,000-year-old artifacts? The Ubaid Lizardmen appear to look human apart from their lizard heads and characteristics. It’s thought the figures date up to 5000 BCE.
There have been many of these reptilian figures discovered from the era. There are male and female figures in all kinds of poses with some wearing helmets while others have their faces on show, and some even carry scepters. It appears the figures were once an important part of Ubadian life, with some believing they represent an alien race.
The Rongorongo tablets
Easter Island is home to many mysteries, with the Rongorongo tablets being no exception. They were first uncovered in 1864 as explorers realized that every hut was filled with wooden tablets all showing the same hieroglyphics. The problem? No one has ever been able to decode the ancient language.
Archeologists have discovered they were read left to right, bottom to top, and the hieroglyphics were likely made with sharks teeth. Sadly, that is all people have been able to figure out so far. Many believe that if we learn what they all mean, then we could have an answer as to why the civilization collapsed.
Believe it or not, but it’s thought there are 716 Dropa stones in the world, and each one is covered in hieroglyphic markings. They are one-foot-wide and believed to be 12,000 years old. The stones were apparently found on the Bain Kara-Ula mountain range in the 1930s.
Tsum Um Nui is believed to be the first person to study them. After four years, he announced the disks told a tale of an alien spacecraft that came to Earth and contained the Dropa people. They were said to be peaceful, but no one believed Tsum’s work. Now, they are caught up in one of the greatest mysteries on Earth.
The Cochno Stone
The Concho Stone is found in Scotland where it was first uncovered back in 1887. It wasn’t until people dug it back to the surface that they realized it measured 26 feet by 42 feet. There are more than 90 markings across the stone that are known as cup and ring marks.
They are a form of prehistoric art, meaning the stone is likely to be 5,000 years old. However, it’s the array of markings that has left so many people wondering about the stone. Some believe the markings represent constellations in the stars while others think it could have been a way to mark out the boundaries of people’s land.
There have been many confusing finds over the years. The Quimbaya airplanes have raised many questions. Not only do they appear to be entirely out of place, but they are aerodynamically accurate. It’s believed the airplanes could have been made in 1000 BCE.
This was thousands of years before the invention of the aircraft. Plus, the civilizations of the time had barely learned how to use tools. Many now believe the objects were left behind by an alien race which was much more advanced, with others theorizing the people of the time created the planes in honor of the new species.
Los Bolas was more than just an incredible find, it’s one that has never been answered. People still have no idea where these giant stone spheres came from, why they were made, or what they could mean. Researchers initially found 300 of the spheres in the jungles of Costa Rica where they varied from a few inches wide to seven feet across.
They seem to be perfectly round and placed in specific spots, but why? That’s the question that has stumped so many. Some think they could have been used as landmarks or to map out the stars. On the other hand, some believe the Las Bolas could be a status symbol.
Nan Madol ruins
The Nan Madol ruins have fascinated many for hundreds of years. This is because they were constructed on human-made islands that utilized canals running between them all. To top it off, they were all built on top of coral reefs, with the rocks weighing almost 827,000 tons.
Some of the walls on the islands measure up to 17 feet thick as well as standing 25 feet tall, with archeologists thinking they have been there for over 1,000 years. Locals on the island of Pohnpei, Micronesia, often refer to it as Ghost City thanks to the legends that state spirits still roam across the islands.
The Sacsayhuamán wall
There have been many large walls built over time, but the Sacsayhuamán site has left many people guessing. The stones used to make the wall are thought to weigh up to 200 tons and are placed so closely together that even a piece of paper wouldn’t be able to fit between them.
It’s thought that 20,000 people worked to collect rocks from quarries before they moved them 12-and-a-half miles to the city to build the walls. However, no one has ever worked out how they got them to fit together as they have been precisely placed with no cement or adhesive.
The Sanxingdui civilization
Many civilizations have come and gone, but many researchers have spent years trying to answer why the Sanxingdui civilization left. The treasure and artifacts were first found in a Chinese sewage ditch back in 1929 before two more pits filled with treasures from the Bronze Age were uncovered in 1986.
The Sanxingdui people were thought to have lived between 2,000 and 3,000 years ago in a walled city along the Minjiang River. No one knows why they decided to buy so many of their artifacts before they left. The most agreed theory is an earthquake rerouted the river and forced the tribes to move.
Stonehenge is now a place that many people highly treasure, but who was in charge of building such a great masterpiece in the first place? That’s the thing: it’s still a mystery. The site was first formed around 10,000 years ago, but it has constantly evolved ever since.
Some of the biggest stones measure at 30 feet tall and weigh 25 tons. They are thought to have come from areas 20 miles away. However, the smaller bluestones were found more than 140 miles away and weigh 4 tons, leaving many people wondering how they ever moved them all that way let alone lifted them into position – or why.
Shroud of Turin
This 14-foot-long cloth is said to have been used as a part of a crucifixion as it would have covered a man’s body after he passed away. To top it off, the marks on the cloth appear to show someone’s face. Many people believe this is the cloth that was used as a part of Jesus’ burial.
It wasn’t until scientists started to examine the fabric that they uncovered the material was actually from the Middle Ages. Plus, the blood on the cloth is thought to have fallen from above instead. This has led to even more questions about the face of the man on the Shroud of Turin.
This rare discovery is none other than 36 grottos found over almost 323,000-square-feet. The Longyou caves were discovered by accident, but they are so breathtaking that many now refer to them as the ninth wonder of the ancient world.
The Longyou Caves are believed to be 2,000 years old, with each grotto going almost 100 feet underground where they lead to pools, gutters, bridges, and stone rooms. It appears as though they are virtually untouched since they were carved. Plus, researchers believe it would have taken thousands of men and years to carve them out, with no signs of construction evident in the area.
Ruins of Atlit Yam
Unlike many other unexplainable things found on Earth, the ruins of Atlit Yam lie deep under the Mediterranean Sea. The sandy seabed has helped to keep the ruins intact, even though it’s believed they were built back in 7000 BCE. The ruins are just 40 feet below the surface where many researchers have spent hours excavating the remains.
They have found burials, wells, houses, a megalithic structure, and even ritual instillations. The remains have shown scientists the earliest known case of tuberculosis with some people thinking a tsunami caused the village to sink while others believe it was a slow and gradual rise in sea level.
Of course, King Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered by Howard Carter back in 1922. Unfortunately, many believed the explorers unlocked a pharaoh’s curse as they all passed away after making the discovery. However, it’s King Tut’s tomb itself that’s got people talking.
Many believed that Tut passed away sooner than anyone thought, with his body catching fire after he was buried. It’s believed it was the embalming oil reacting with the oxygen that sparked the flames. The rushed mummification and burial also pave the way for another mystery as some believe the tomb was destined for someone else – and there could be more remains hidden in the tomb.
Ulfberht Viking swords
Back in Viking times, swords were incredibly expensive. Perhaps it’s no surprise that Ulfberht swords were at the top of the market? After all, they were so tough that many people thought they were nothing more than a mythical item. That didn’t stop the Vikings from using them as their weapon of choice.
The Ulfberht swords could cut through anything, were highly flexible, and would never shatter. It’s not just the swords that are impressive. Many people are baffled at how the sword makers of the time knew how to make a metal that was so strong, or how they produced so many weapons.
Peru is home to the Nazca Lines – a series of tracks that have been etched into the surface and remained in place ever since. They were thought to be made by the pre-Inca civilization that occupied the area somewhere between 400 BCE and 900 CE.
The Nazca Lines are made of geometric lines and shapes and animals, with some stretching up to 30 miles long. As if that wasn’t strange enough already, some of the birds depicted in the lines lived many miles away. This only raised more questions with no one knowing quite why they have been permanently carved into the Earth.
The Voynich Manuscript is a book that has left many people wondering for years as people worked to try and decode a language, unlike anything they had ever seen before. In fact, it even led many people to believe that it was part of a cult thanks to the alien-looking vegetables and drawings of women throughout the book.
It wasn’t until one researcher felt he cracked the code that many had a possible answer. He thinks that the writing is shorthand of the time, and the Voynich Manuscript is nothing more than copied articles about women’s health from back in 1420. However, this is just one theory – and many others feel differently.
The Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone
This incredible stone laid buried beneath clay until it was discovered in 1872. The Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone is just four inches tall and two-and-a-half inches wide. It might be small, but many people are fascinated by its origin. No one has any idea who made it, but it’s thought to have been created by a Native American tribe.
The stone appears to have a face on one side with animal and astrological signs around the rest of the egg. However, nothing else like the Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone has been found in North America. Plus, the perfectly drilled holes at each end seem to be too ahead of their time.
Qin Shi Huang’s tomb
The tomb of the first emperor of China has laid unopened since 200 BCE, and it looks as though it’s set to stay that way, too. Nothing short of a mountain would be good enough for this ruler. Inside the tomb, it’s believed Qin Shi Huang’s team recreated his empire as they even used mercury to simulate the rivers and temples fit for hundreds of officials.
The tomb was sealed with traps to fend off anyone who dared enter, as well as the 2,000 terracotta warriors that have been discovered so far. It’s estimated there could be up to 8,000 figures and horses hidden underground.
The Wilcoxes were determined to keep Range Creek to themselves as generations of the family warded off hunters and intruders. Why? It held the secrets to a previously unknown Native American tribe. The houses were perfectly preserved, the land was filled with artifacts and remains, and the walls were covered by ancient drawings.
Researchers soon discovered that Fremont people once lived on the ground. They were known for their farming and being mobile hunters. That was until they suddenly vanished without a trace. Researchers hope the site might help to explain what happened to the people all those years ago and where they disappeared to.
The London Hammer was found in Texas in the mid-1930s as two hikers noticed a strange piece of wood sticking out of a rock. While it might not sound too out of place to uncover a lost hammer, it turned out the stone was 100 million years old. This meant the hammer appeared to have been made long before humans started to use tools.
The wooden handle appears to have been partially fossilized while the metal hammer is yet to rust. Some people think the hammer is more recent and had got mixed up with another type of rock while some believe it shows humans have been around for longer than any of us imagined.
Puma Punku ruins
This is one of the most mysterious ancient sites in the world. The Puma Punku ruins cover a large area of an ancient city known as Tiwanaku. It’s not the ruins themselves that makes them so mysterious, but the way they have been carved. The precision in the doorways and the ability to create such straight-cut corners with no chisel marks has baffled many researchers over the years.
The Incas uncovered the ruins hundreds of years ago where they added their own structures as they believed it was a place of the gods. Many believe the ruins were actually built 17,000 years ago, but no one knows who or how they did it.
This unusual artifact was found in a Roman-era shipwreck where it has laid since the middle of the 1st century BCE. It’s believed the boat was on its way to a parade for Julius Caesar and would have been filled with influential people of the time.
Many believe the Antikythera Mechanism was the first analog computer as it was used to predict astronomical phenomena and calculate dates, but that’s not all. It could have been created by Hipparchus: the inventor of trigonometry. In fact, the mechanism was so ahead of its time that nothing was able to outperform the invention for 1,500 years.
Easter Island heads
The Easter Island heads have kept explorers guessing since they were discovered in the 1700s. There are thought to be 1,000 of the statues across the island, with 400 of them never making it out of the quarry. The island is 2,000 miles away from the nearest land, yet the people who once lived here made it their home.
As if the Easter Island heads weren’t impressive enough already, it turns out they also have bodies attached to them that are sunk many feet into the floor. Researchers now believe they were placed to mark out local water sources on this small island.
Sandby Borg incident
This 1,600-year-ol tragedy took place in Sweden. Hundreds of people lost their lives in the attack on the fort, but they weren’t buried. Instead, they were left out in the open until their building toppled over their remains. They weren’t discovered until 2010.
There were 53 homes found in the oval stone that was encased in a giant wall that meant they could retreat from threats at any time. It’s believed the wall once stood at 15 feet high. However, researchers have never been able to uncover why they were attacked or who ended all of their lives in such a short space of time. They only had time to hide their treasure.
The Codex Gigas
It wasn’t until the Swedish Army looted Prague in 1648 that the rest of the world got to learn about the Codex Gigas. This is the largest medieval book to exist, but it’s the contents of the book that worried many. It stands at an impressive 36 inches tall as well as being almost nine inches thick and 20 inches wide.
It used to contain 320 pages. However, the last ten were removed at some point. It was supposed to be a work of history. Unfortunately, no one knows who created the impressive piece. All they know is it took at least 30 years to finish it all.
Many believe that the Göbekli Tepe found in Turkey is the world’s oldest temple. The stones carved to make the structure are thought to be 11,000 years old. Making it 6,000 years older than Stonehenge. It contains the first holy place built by humans thanks to a 65-foot-wide stone ring.
In fact, the discovery of the temple helped to change everything we know about the history of humans. It’s older than the written word and is built from many blocks that weigh up to 10 tons. While many researchers believed the people of the time were nothing but cavemen, Göbekli Tepe proves they were onto something much greater.
The Underground City of Derinkuyu
Deep underneath Turkey lies a hidden city, the Underground City of Derinkuyu. The city reaches more than 250 feet underground where 20,000 would have found everything they needed to survive yet another invasion. People living in ancient Anatolia realized the million-year-old rock was the perfect place to carve their homes as it’s sturdy yet simple to cut.
There are 18 levels to the city. Here, the workers carved out bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, schools, and even stables for domestic animals. Sadly, only eight of the levels are accessible. Now, it’s believed a five-mile passageway connects Derinkuyu with another hidden underground city.