Top 10 Mysteries That Will Probably NEVER Be Solved

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Top 10 Mysteries That Will Probably NEVER Be Solved

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
These unsolved mysteries are equal parts shocking, puzzling, and creepy. For this list, we're looking at the most perplexing criminal and historical mysteries, where researchers and investigators seem to have hit dead ends. Our countdown includes Who was Jack the Ripper?, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Stonehenge, and more!
Transcript
Script Written by Caitlin Johnson

Top 10 Mysteries That Will (Probably) NEVER Be Solved


The truth might be out there - but that doesn’t mean we’ll find it! Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 mysteries that will never be solved.

For this list, we’re looking at the most puzzling criminal and historical mysteries, where researchers and investigators seem to have hit dead ends.

#10: Stonehenge

This strange monument has been standing in Wiltshire, England for as long as anybody can remember, constructed at some point during the 3rd millennia BC – up to 5,000 years ago. But despite its fame and popularity as a tourist attraction, nobody knows how Stonehenge was built or what it was built for. It may have been constructed by rolling the enormous stones over logs or even pulling them on a sled, and could have been used for ancient religious ceremonies – perhaps the winter solstice. But with no written records to peruse, we might well never find out exactly why Stonehenge was built.

#9: The Mary Celeste

The most famous ghost ship in history, the Mary Celeste was found adrift and abandoned in December 1872. She was in good condition with her cargo intact: the only things missing were the crew and one lifeboat. It’s clear enough that the crew abandoned ship, but with no sign of attack or danger, the reason the crew sailed away in the lifeboat remains unknown. Did they believe the ship was sinking due to false instruments or did something more sinister happen? The crew themselves were never seen or heard from again, and their story remains untold.

#8: The Voynich Manuscript

Since its existence became common knowledge, the 600-year-old Voynich manuscript has confounded everybody who’s ever laid eyes on it. The manuscript is a codex full of inscrutable diagrams of plants that don’t seem to exist, written in a language we’ve yet to decipher. Even codebreakers from both World Wars weren’t able to make sense of it, nor have our best computer algorithms. Some top researchers have suggested that not only is the text written in a cipher in an archaic language, all the words may also be anagrams. Is the Voynich manuscript a comprehensive guide to alien flora or dark magic, or is it the world’s most elaborate practical joke? We may never know.

#7: Hinterkaifeck

In the spring of 1922, the Gruber family at Hinterkaifeck farm was murdered in a brutal attack that’s become one of Germany’s most infamous cold cases. The five Grubers and their maid were killed with a pickaxe after unusual occurrences in and around their home - such as tracks in the snow, a broken lock, and footsteps in the attic. Rumors later spread that the farm was haunted, and that strange sounds had caused the previous maid to quit six months before the attack. Police found evidence that the killer stayed at the farmstead for several days after the crime. Could they have been secretly in residence even before the murders? While there’ve been many suspects, the culprit has never been found.

#6: What Happened to Bobby Dunbar?

During a hot summer in 1912, the Dunbar family headed out to the bayou in Louisiana, but the day ended in tragedy: their young son Bobby disappeared. Search parties found no trace of him, even after cutting open alligators in case he’d been eaten. The following April, police claimed they’d found Bobby in the care of an itinerant handyman, William Cantwell Walters. However, Walters claimed the boy’s name was Bruce Anderson; and a woman named Julia Anderson came forward as his mother. Nonetheless, the courts gave the Dunbars custody, and threw Walters in jail for kidnapping. In 2004, DNA analysis proved that the boy was NOT Bobby. This means that what happened to the real Bobby remains a mystery.

#5: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

One of the most confounding aviation mysteries of all time, the disappearance of Flight 370 in 2014 remains as tragic as it is perplexing. In the middle of the night over the open ocean, the plane, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, completely disappeared, leaving all 239 people on board missing, presumed dead. Though experts agree that the plane must have crashed into the ocean, nobody knows why. It could have been anything from a malfunction to a hijacking, potentially with the involvement of the crew. Though some pieces of the wreck have since washed ashore, the location has yet to be found even after many extensive search efforts.

#4: The Lost Colony of Roanoke

In 1587, a group of 115 English settlers led by John White landed on Roanoke Island, in modern North Carolina; but the colony was doomed. Amid food shortages and rising tension with local Native Americans, White departed for England to get help and supplies, but he wasn’t able to return until 1590. When he did, the colonists were gone. The only clue to their whereabouts was the word “Croatoan” carved on a post, the name of a nearby island and the Native American tribe who occupied it. Many believe that the colonists assimilated with the tribe; other theories say they could have tried to return to England and been lost at sea, or that they were attacked.

#3: The Nazca Lines

These vast geoglyphs are found across the Nazca Desert in Peru. Many of them depict animals endemic to the region, including monkeys, jaguars, and spiders; others outline enigmatic geometric shapes. Best viewed from the air or surrounding mountains, they’ve been naturally preserved for roughly 2,000 years by the dry climate. Scholars have long been divided on exactly what the lines are for. Many believe that they’re religious and were drawn as part of a ritual to ask their deities to bring rain to the crops. Since we can’t ask the Nazca people themselves, though, it’s doubtful we’ll ever know their function for sure.

#2: Who was Jack the Ripper?

In the fall of 1888, London’s slums were haunted by the most famous serial killer in the world. Between August 31st and November 9th, five female prostitutes were brutally murdered; some had their organs removed. The police received letters from the purported killer, taunting them; one declared that he was “from hell” and included half a human kidney. Sadly, investigative techniques at the time weren’t good enough to catch him. There were many suspects, including criminals, doctors, and even a member of the royal family; in fact, over 300 people were investigated. But even if one of these suspects was the Ripper, everybody involved has been dead for decades, meaning it’s unlikely we’ll ever know his identity.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few Honorable Mentions:

The Mad Gasser of Mattoon
Was Someone Attacking This Illinois Town with Gas in the 1940s or Was It Mass Hysteria?

The Dancing Plague
Did Residents of Strasbourg Really Dance Themselves to Death in 1518?

The Lost City of Atlantis
Was Atlantis Real or Was It an Allegory Invented by Plato?

Havana Syndrome
Why Did Several American & Canadian Diplomats in Cuba & China Get Simultaneously Sick?

The Copper Scroll Treasure
Are the Hidden Treasures Listed in the Copper Scroll Real?

#1: The Ark of the Covenant

This legendary wooden chest is said to contain the tablets the original Ten Commandments are written on, making it one of the most important religious artifacts in the world. The only problem is, it’s been missing since the 6th century BC when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians. Since then, many people have claimed to have found the Ark, with a group of Christians in Ethiopia even saying they have it today. But it’s also been said to have found its way to France, Rome, the UK, Egypt, and even the United States. When we’ve already been searching for it for 2500 years, it seems doubtful it’s survived and that we’ll ever find it.
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