The desire to know what happened is irresistible, but despite the efforts of scholars, history is fraught with mysteries.
There are some, like where Cleopatra is buried or what secrets the Kofun tombs of Japan keep, that we may one day discover.
Others, like who built Stonehenge, a megalithic monument in England, and why, will probably never be resolved.
And the lack of answers only makes these riddles more intriguing.
1. The Mary Celeste
What happened to the crew and passengers of this British-American brig remains one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the sea.
The Mary Celeste zarpor he November 7, 1872 from New York City with more than 1,700 barrels of alcohol bound for Genoa, Italy.
On December 5 he was found adrift 740 kilometers east of the Azores by the crew of another cargo ship, the Dei Gratia.
When they boarded the mysterious ship, they found that although it had water with a height of one meter in the hold, it was in seaworthy condition.
Furthermore, they found that cargo and personal belongings were practically intact, although a boat was missing.
The Mary Celeste was taken to Gibraltar, where a British board of inquiry unsuccessfully tried to unravel the cause of the ship’s abandonment.
There were no signs of violence or lost cargo, calling into question the suspicions of mutiny, murder and piracy.
There was also no evidence that an explosion caused by alcohol vapors had been the cause of the abandonment.
Never found the trail of Captain Benjamin Spooner Briggs, his wife and their young daughter or all seven experienced crew.
His name became worldwide synonym for “ghost ships” abandoned.
2. The “UFOs“ by Kenneth Arnold
The birth of the modern phenomenon of UFOs can be traced back to private pilot Ken Arnold’s sighting of nine oddly shaped flying objects over Washington’s Cascade Mountains on the afternoon of June 24, 1947.
Arnold told reporters that objects with bat-like wings moved like a saucer would “if you made it jump through the water.”
He calculated its speed as faster than that of the most advanced jet aircraft of that time.
A deputy editor came up with the phrase “flying saucers,” and the media coverage that followed triggered an epidemic for seeing things in the sky that continues to this day.
Two weeks after Arnold’s sighting, the US Army Air Force announced that the remains of a “flying saucer” had been recovered from a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico.
A modern myth was born, but also a great controversy about what Arnold actually saw.
3. The Shroud of Turin
The piece of canvas that is kept in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, in northern Italy, is one of the most investigated objects in the history of mankind, but it preserves its secrets.
Many Christians believe that the holy relic is the shroud in which Jesus of Nazareth was buried.
There is no doubt that it bears a negative impression of the face and body contour of a man who has suffered injuries consistent with the crucifixion, but scientists have not been able to reach a consensus on how it was created.
Radiocarbon tests conducted by three laboratories in 1988 dated the cloth to the Middle Ages, with some proclaiming it as proof that it was a medieval forgery.
But this interpretation remains the subject of intense debate, prompting a former Nature editor Philip Ball to declare that the relic remains shrouded in mystery.
4. What happened to Amelia Earhart?
In 1937, Amelia Earhart, one of the world’s most famous aviators, apparently disappeared without a trace during an attempt to circumnavigate the world.
Although the searches began only an hour after Earhart’s last recorded message, nothing was ever found and his fate remains one of the greatest historical mysteries of all time.
Or maybe not? In fact, the body of a woman was located in the Isla Gardner, part of the Phoenix Islands, Kiribati, in the western Pacific Ocean, in 1940.
With him were a campfire, a navigational sextant, and remains of shoes. The body was later considered to be that of a white woman of Northern European descent, roughly Earhart’s height.
Expeditions since 2001 found other evidence indicating the presence of a living American woman in the 1930s. It is possible that Earhart lived as a castaway after an emergency landing.
5. Why did Joan of Arc die?
To the question why Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, the answer is usually “heresy.”
But while it is true that the so-called Maiden of Orleans was mistrusted for claiming that God had guided her to fight as a soldier during the Hundred Years War, the real reason for her execution in 1431 is more unusual.
In May 1430, Juana was captured and imprisoned by her English and Burgundian enemies.
A heresy trial began in 1431, with questions focused on his faith and visions. The crime of wear male clothes, also a heresy. Juana had done this repeatedly, first as a soldier in armor and then during her incarceration as a defense against rape.
Surprisingly, it was for that last offense that she was finally executed, as she put on men’s clothing again, even though she had promised to renounce it.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.