Ruins of the Minoan Palace at Knossos, Greece
Ruins of the Minoan Palace at Knossos, Greece
Contents

Rongorongo Manuscript

Considered another Easter Island mystery, Rongorongo is the name of the hieroglyphic manuscript written by the first inhabitants of the island. Rongorongo mysteriously appeared in the 1700s while the inhabitants of the neighboring islands did not yet have a written language.

The language has long since disappeared, making it impossible to decipher the manuscript. European colonists banned the language because of the pagan origins of the islanders.

The Voynich Manuscript

The Voynich manuscript is perhaps the most difficult book to read in the world. This 500-year-old relic was discovered in 1912 in a library in Rome, including 240 pages of completely unfamiliar writing and illustrations. Cryptographers have tried to decipher this strange script, but no one has succeeded.

Some even think that this is just an old joke. However, analysis of the book shows that the manuscript seems to follow the structures and rules of a real language.

How did the city of Helike disappear?

The Greek writer Pausanias described the scene of a terrible earthquake that destroyed the city of Helike overnight, followed by a terrible tsunami that engulfed all that remained of the once prosperous capital. .

The capital of this confederation of Achaean city-states was the center of the worship of the sea god Poseidon. Aside from ancient Greek texts, there was no indication that the city ever existed until an archaeologist discovered a Helike coin with a carving of the head of Poseidon.

In 2001, two archaeologists located the city of Helike beneath a layer of mud and gravel. Excavation work is underway and scientists hope to learn about the rise and fall of the city, which some see as the mythical city of Atlantis.

The Fall of the Minoan Empire

As historians discover more and more reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire, mystery still surrounds the disappearance of the Minoan Empire.

About 3,500 years ago, an earthquake on the island of Thera swept away all life on Crete, where the story of a king and the monster that ate him began.

The clay tablets discovered by archaeologists show that this Empire still existed about 50 years later before completely disappearing. Hypotheses about the collapse include a layer of volcanic ash that failed crops or that they were invaded by Greece.

Carnac Stone Columns

The Stonehenge in England is still a mystery to scientists, but the Carnac work on the coast of Brittany in northeastern France is perhaps even more curious.

More than 3,000 megalithic columns are arranged in a perfect line stretching more than 12 km. Local legend has it that these pillars are a Roman legion petrified by the magician Merlin.

A scientist who has studied the work for more than 30 years hypothesizes that these pillars are a tool for predicting earthquakes. The identity of the Neolithic people who built this structure is still shrouded in mystery.

Who is Robin Hood?

Historians continue to search for the legendary Robin Hood, a jungle knight who robbed the rich and divided among the poor, and the list of suspects appeared quite famous. Among them were a Yorkshire fugitive named Robert Hod, Hobbehod and a Robert Hood of Wakefield.

Filtering out names became increasingly complicated because “Robin Hood” meant outlaw as in the case of William Lefevre. The man later changed his last name to Robehod, according to court records.

The search for this legendary figure became more difficult as the storytellers later weaved more characters, such as Prince John and Richard the Mighty.

The Disappearance of a Roman Legion

After an incompetent Roman army under General Crassus was defeated by the Persians, a small group of POWs is thought to have crossed the desert and eventually joined the army 17 years later. The historian Ban Gu, who lived in 1st century China, records a confrontation with a strange army that fought in fish-scale formations, a feature of the Roman army.

An Oxford University historian compares ancient documents and suggests that Roman remnants built a small town called Liqian (the Chinese spelling of the word "Roman") near the Gobi Desert. Scientists are conducting DNA tests to support this hypothesis and to explain some of the characteristics of this army's descendants today: green eyes, blond hair and a fondness for bullfighting.

Swamp Mummy

So far, hundreds of mummies - mostly from the Iron Age - have been discovered in the swamps of northern Europe. Most of the well-preserved mummies date back 2,000 years and bear traces of torture and violence. These terrifying vestiges led scientists to hypothesize that they were victims of an ancient ritual sacrifice.

Lake Tarim Mummy

During an excavation beneath the Tarim Basin of western China, archaeologists discovered more than 100 mummies that are more than 2,000 years old. Victor Mair, a university professor, was so surprised when confronted by blonde, long-nosed mummies in a museum exhibit that he returned in 1993 to collect DNA samples.

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