Top 10 Things Science Still Can't Explain

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Top 10 Things Science Still Can't Explain

VOICE OVER: Callum Janes WRITTEN BY: Callum Janes
The smartest people in the world continue to search for answers. For this list, we'll be looking at questions that still plague scientists to this day, leaving us scratching our heads. Our countdown includes The Creation of the Universe, How Life Began, Why We Dream, and more!
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Top 10 Things Science Still Can’t Explain


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things Science Still Can’t Explain.

For this list, we’ll be looking at questions that still plague scientists to this day, leaving us scratching our heads.

Do you have any burning questions that science still hasn’t answered? Let us know in the comments!

#10: The Creation of the Universe

This is a mystery that might prevail forever! How did the universe come into existence? Yes, we do have the Big Bang theory - which is a lot more than just a famous TV show. It stipulates that the universe expanded from a single point 13.8 billion years ago, leading to the creation of stars, galaxies, planets, and everything else that exists. But what was there before? What triggered the Big Bang? Why is there something rather than nothing? Some scientists think “quantum fluctuations” were responsible, but we really don’t know for sure.

#9: The Tao Hum

In this small north-central New Mexico town, some residents tell of a constant faint droning sound. It interferes with sleep and sometimes causes visitors to feel ill, getting more noticeable indoors and at night. While researchers have investigated, no one was able to settle on a conclusive explanation. Some think people are experiencing Tinnitus, others think it’s man-made through industrial equipment, and some conspiracy theorists think it’s illegal government experiments or aliens. The phenomenon isn’t restricted to Tao either - with the Hum also cropping up in places like Auckland, New Zealand, and Windsor, Canada.

#8: Odd Signals From Space

Radio waves are emitted by a wide variety of sources, including our own Sun. However, some radio signals from space have yet to be explained. One of the most notable was the Wow! Signal detected in 1977. Coming from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius, it was unusual enough to make scientists wonder if they’d just heard from extraterrestrials. Then there are fast radio bursts – transient pulses from the far reaches of the galaxy, some of which repeat. Do they come from rotating neutron stars? Black holes? Or aliens? We still don’t know.

#7: Fingerprints

Fingerprints act like a physical ID for each person. Everyone has one and they are all unique. But we didn’t evolve to have them in anticipation of solving murder cases. So what are they actually for? Turns out there isn’t one concrete answer. Some believe that these tiny ridges improve grip, like the ridges on a tire, or amplify vibrations to enhance touch perception. However, experiments for both sides have come up with fascinating, but not conclusive results. So we’re yet to know why we have such wrinkly thumbs.

#6: The Placebo Effect

You know when someone says “fake it till you make it”? Turns out that statement might hold water. Experiments show that many symptoms improve when subjects are given fake treatments. Research on the placebo effect has found this mostly affects things like pain and nausea. Generally speaking, it doesn’t actually fix the underlying condition. But it’s still incredible that our minds have so much power over our bodies. While the phenomenon has been studied from both psychological and neurological perspectives, we still aren’t sure how the placebo effect works.

#5: UFOs

In June 2021, the US government released a long-awaited report that summarized information about UFO sightings. It arrived in the wake of viral videos that had been taken by Navy pilots and leaked to the public. Unfortunately, the report was inconclusive, stating just that while some UAPs - Unidentified Aerial Phenomena - could be explained away, others remained mysteries, perhap the result of secret Russian or Chinese tech. So we still don’t know for sure whether or not aliens are visiting Earth! If not, it leads to an even larger question: why haven’t we encountered signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life in the universe?

#4: Animal Migration

To survive seasonal changes, animals from around the world make arduous journeys to other, more suitable locales. But scientists still don’t know how they find their way. When humans struck out for new lands, they needed every navigational tool under the sun and sometimes still ended up lost. But a bunch of swallows can keep coming back to the same spot every year? Research has shown that some animals, such as pigeons, can sense the Earth’s magnetic field. But we still have a lot more questions, like: how many species possess this skill? How does it help them find such specific and faroff locations? We know the why, but we still don’t know the “how”.

#3: Why We Dream

Dreams are a big part of our lives, so it’s shocking that they continue to baffle researchers. How do dreams work and why exactly do we have them? Some have stipulated that dreams assist in memory-processing, as the brain creates links and connections, hence why we might have dreams based on recent events or emotions! But then why do some dreams seem so random? We aren’t really sure, and it opens the door to an even bigger question: why do we even sleep at all? From an evolutionary standpoint, it leaves us vulnerable to predators! It boggles the mind, but regardless of these discoveries, we can all agree that getting cozy and having a nap is not something we’d want to give up.

#2: Dark Matter

It makes up 85% of all matter in the universe, but we have no idea what it is! We can infer that dark matter exists from various indirect means, but it doesn’t interact with electromagnetic radiation, so we can’t observe it directly. Like dark energy however, the universe wouldn’t be the same without it. Together, dark matter and dark energy make up 95% of all mass-energy in the universe … that a lot of stuff to know nothing about! Invisible forces and matter affect us in ways that we don’t even realize. When we finally figure out what dark matter is, it’ll be a giant leap in our understanding of how the universe works.

#1: How Life Began

There’s a strong scientific consensus that evolution explains how different species have changed and separated over time. But how did life come to exist in the first place? How did biological processes emerge from non-living matter? Did all these molecules just fall into place through chance? While there are theories - with water often thought to hold the key - scientists can’t answer this one conclusively. When they do, it will help us understand where we came from, and know whether life is even possible anywhere else. It’s perhaps one of the most crucial questions we’ll ever answer, and life will forever change once we have the key to this mystery.
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