X

Cicada 3301 – The Internet’s Most Baffling Mystery

Cicada 3301 is often referred to as the internet’s most elaborate and mysterious puzzle, one that often leaves cryptoanalysts and hackers scratching their heads. A sort of cross between a contest, job interview and highly complex puzzle, Cicada 3301 recurs each year, but no one knows who is behind it or what prize awaits the person who solves it.

The first internet puzzle appeared online on January 5, 2012, and two subsequent rounds were released on the same day of the following years. During the first year, Cicada 3301 started with a picture on 4Chan, along with the message: “Hello. We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test. There is a message hidden in this image. Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through.” The message was simply signed 3301.

The ensuing puzzle provided focused heavily on data security, cryptography and steganography. The clues were scattered in locations all over the world – from the US to France and Poland, within various forms of communication including the internet, telephone, bootable Linux CDs, digital images, and physical paper signs. The clues have also referenced several books, poetry, artwork and music. Clues are always signed by the same cryptic private key to confirm authenticity.

Cicada3301

Read More »

Inexplicably Green Cat Turns Heads in Bulgaria

A purring feline in the Bulgarian seaside resort town of Varna has been making headlines because of its unusually emerald green fur. Although several theories have tried to explain the radioactive color of the stray animal, the true cause of its coloration remains a mystery.

The ‘green cat of Bulgaria’, as the brightly colored feline has come to be known online, was spotted prowling the streets of Varna a few days ago, and as soon as photos of it appeared on the internet, it became an international news topic. Truth be told, it’s not every day that you get to see a real-life emerald cat, and the inexplicable cause of its bizarre color simply made the topic even more intriguing.

According to some sources, until not too long ago, the stray feline only displayed a hint of green on its fur, but gradually grew greener until attaining the bright emerald color you see below. This makes the original assumption that vandals had dyed its fur green as a cruel joke, unlikely. Before this report from local eye witnesses came to light, Bulgarian animal lovers had even set up a Facebook page entitled “Punishment to the perpetrator of this criminal act!”

green-cat-Bulgaria

Photo: YouTube Read More »

Italian Village Plagued by Mysterious Fires Has Been Puzzling Scientists for Years

For 10 years, the residents of the Sicilian village of Canneto di Caronia have been utterly spooked by hundreds of mysterious, unexplained fires that seem to erupt out of nowhere. The bizarre phenomenon, which has seen a sudden surge this year, includes spontaneous combustion of mattresses, beds, cars, and devices like fridges and mobile phones, even when switched off.

The episodes have attracted the attention of geologists, physicists and volcanologists for several years, but no one has been able to provide an accurate scientific explanation so far. Naturally, the villagers are blaming supernatural entities like UFOs, poltergeists, or other demonic forces. And with no other logical reason in sight, one tends to wonder if they actually might be right.

Canneto-fires

Read More »

Australian Car-Crash Victim Wakes Up from Coma Speaking Fluent Mandarin

When 22-year-old Australian car-crash victim Ben McMahon woke up from a week-long coma, the only language he could speak was fluent Mandarin. So fluent, in fact, that he is now a popular TV star in China!

The incident took place in early 2012 – Ben was in a terrible car crash in Melbourne that left him battling for his life. While his survival seemed like a miracle, nobody was prepared for the bizarre twist that occurred when he finally regained consciousness a week later – his brain simply decided to switch from English to Mandarin.

“Most of it’s hazy, but when I woke up seeing a Chinese nurse, I thought I was in China,” recalled Ben. “It was like a dream. It was surreal. It was like my brain was in one place but my body was in another. I just started speaking Chinese – they were the first words that left my mouth.”

Ben-McMahon

Read More »

The Ringing Rocks of Pennsylvania – A Famous Geological Oddity

If you strike a rock, you’d expect to hear a dull ‘thud’. Or maybe a ‘chink’. Definitely not a ringing sound. So you’d be surprised to know that ringing rocks actually do exist. Nestled in the midst of the 128-acre Ringing Rocks County Park in Pennsylvania, is a field of unique boulders. Spread out across seven to eight acres, the boulders produce a distinctive metallic ‘clang’ when struck with a hammer or another piece of rock. Native Americans have known about the rocks for centuries, and passed on their knowledge to the first White settlers in the mid-1700s.

The sound produced by the rocks is so unexpected that it could get you wondering if they are really made of stone. They actually sound hollow and metallic. The strange phenomenon has baffled scientists and geologists for years. Several experiments have been conducted on the ringing rocks, but the exact reason for the unusual sound remains unknown.

Richard Faas, a geologist from Pennsylvania, tested a few of the rocks in his lab in 1965. He discovered that when struck, each individual rock produced low frequency tones that aren’t audible to the human ear. The tones from multiple rocks interact with each other and it’s the collective sound that we get to hear.

ringing-rocks

Read More »

The Creepy Moving Mannequins of One Mysterious New Hamburg House Will Probably Freak You Out

The John Lawson House, located in the vicinity of the New Hamburg train station in New York, is a mystery in its own right. You couldn’t really say it’s haunted, but it has its own share of secrets that no one has managed to reveal. Yet.

Every day, the porch at the John Lawson House is occupied by life-sized female mannequins dressed in clothes from the last century. Their number, position and theme varies from day to day. But no one knows how they get there. No living person has ever been spotted at the house, which is one of six properties at Main Street Historic District.

Some believe that the dolls have a message to convey. They think the dolls are trying to gesture and point towards an unsolved riddle. Others say that the dolls’ mystery lies in the history of the house. In 1871, during a two-week cold wave, a train crashed just 200 feet from the house, instantly killing 22 people. It is believed that the dolls are always pointing towards that crash site.

John-Lawson-House-mannequins

Read More »

Mystery Surrounds Colombian Cemetery That Turns Buried Bodies into Mummies

The ancient Egyptians spent centuries developing their mummifying techniques, but at a cemetery in San Bernardo, a small Colombian town, corpses somehow become naturally mummified in their coffins.

The phenomenon was first noticed 15 years ago, by grave digger Eduardo Cifuentes. “The burial pit was full of bodies,” he said. “I didn’t like stepping on them because they were humans like us so I started organizing them.” It’s only because of Eduardo’s efforts that the mummies are being talked about. He said that the mummified bodies have been around since about 1957, but no one paid any attention to them. “I liked the idea of keeping them for posterity,” he said. With the passage of time, the mummies’ clothes and skin have turned brown. Their skins look pasty and wrinkled.

Scientists have no idea why this is happening. The only other site in Latin America where natural mummification takes place is the Guanajuato, a town in central Mexico, where underground gas and soil conditions are the secret. But the same cannot be said for San Bernardo, because bodies are buried in chambers above the ground (as is customary in Colombia) so they do not come into contact with the earth. Read More »

The Mind-Boggling Bird Suicide Phenomenon of Jatinga

Jatinga is a small village located in Assam, a state in northeastern India. The village is lush green and scenic, surrounded by serene mountains. But that’s not what it’s famous for. In fact, Jatinga is well-known for an entirely different reason – its Bird Mystery.

The Bird Mystery is a unique phenomenon that occurs at Jatinga between September and November each year. During these late monsoon months, several migratory and local birds commit mass suicide at the village. Just after sunset, between 7 and 10 pm, hundreds of birds descend from the sky, plummeting to their deaths by crashing into buildings and trees. Since birds aren’t known to be suicidal, the phenomenon has baffled villagers, visitors and scientists alike. For many years, locals believed that evil spirits living in the skies were responsible for bringing down the birds .

Of course, this isn’t true. After several scientific studies and experiments, it has been concluded that the birds are generally disoriented by the monsoon fog. So they are attracted by the village lights and fly towards them, sometimes hitting walls and trees during the descent. Some of the birds die, while others are grievously injured, becoming easy prey for the villagers to capture. These birds are often dazed and disheveled, and do not put up any resistance when villagers attack them with catapults or bamboo sticks.

Jatinga-bird-mystery

Read More »

The Truth about “Heaven’s Trail”, the Infamous Photo That Captured the Imagination of Millions

Heaven’s Trail is a breathtaking photograph that went viral almost the moment it was published online a couple of years ago. Like most good things on the internet, the original source was soon lost; no one had any idea where the picture was clicked, or even if it was real.

One explanation on the internet was: “There’s this place in Ireland where every two years, the stars line up with this trail on June 10th to June 18th. It’s called Heaven’s Trail.” Many thought that the view in the picture was impossible. They assumed that the photographer had taken two completely unrelated shots and merged them together.

Heaven’s Trail was shared extensively on blogs, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr. One blogger wrote, “I feel pretty comfortable calling utter bullshit on this.” The photograph itself is pretty spectacular. I can understand why people would be curious to know its origins. The stairs in the picture lead up to pretty much nowhere. At the horizon there’s a surreal, heavenly light illuminating a man who appears to be running into the stars.

Heavens-Trail

Read More »

The Voynich Manuscript, Also Known as World’s Most Mysterious Book

Featuring rudimentary depictions of plants illustrated in aged colors and written in a language system that has yet to be deciphered, The Voynich Manuscript is the world’s most mysterious book.

In order to pay for the restoration of their college, the Italian Jesuits of Villa Mondragone gave Wilfrid Voynich, an antique book dealer, an old manuscript written in an odd language that no one was able to identify or understand. With this valuable acquisition, Voynich also received a list of its ownership history dating back to the 17th century, which made the book even more impressive. Its description read: “The codex belonged to Emperor Rudolph II of Germany (1576-1612) who purchased it for 600 gold ducats and believed that it was the work of Roger Bacon. It is very likely that Emperor Rudolph acquired the manuscript from the English astrologer John Dee (1527-1608). Dee apparently owned the manuscript along with a number of other Roger Bacon manuscripts”. The book remained in Voynich’s possession from 1912 to 1969, before being added to the collection at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Apart from the undecipherable text, Voynich’s manuscript contains colorful botanical illustrations which are very similar to what we know from modern science, but which do not entirely resemble any distinguishable plant. There are also other cosmological and astrological depictions, as well as some drawings of naked women bathing together in small receptacles. This has led some scientists to believe that the book is sectioned into several chapters including: botanical, astrological, medical, biological, cosmological and pharmaceutical.  Despite several attempts to decipher the manuscript, the meaning of the text itself or the the lovely naked ladies remain a mystery to this day.

Voynich-manuscript

Read More »

Page 3 of 3123