35 Of The Strangest Unsolved Mysteries Of All Time, As Shared On This Online Thread
Truth is stranger than fiction, especially when it comes to unsolved mysteries. After all, there’s something about the untold, unanswered, and all sorts of unexplainable happenings around the world that deeply captivates us. We binge-watch tantalizing TV shows and documentaries, devour numerous books and podcasts, indulge in research and go down rabbit holes all because of our morbid fascination with the unknown.
History buffs and true crime aficionados love the thrill that comes with exploring the perplexities of these events. So when Redditor PitifulWay6371 reached out to 'Ask Reddit' and wondered, "What is the strangest unsolved mystery?", they immediately jumped to the comment section to share their discoveries with fellow members of the community.
From spine-chilling disappearances to unthinkable crimes, Bored Panda has gathered some of the best stories that may make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. Continue scrolling to read through these responses, but be warned — the eeriness-level in some of them is off the charts. Upvote your favorite examples, and if you know of any other unsolved cases that keep you up at night, be sure to share them with us in the comments.
The disappearance of Brandon Swanson.
He was driving home from a party and drove into a ditch. He called his parents and was on the phone with them as he was unsure of his exact location. He told his parents he was outside of a town and they drove over to pick him up. They were on the phone with him as they were driving, but were unable to locate him. He went silent after saying “Oh s**t” and was never to be seen again.
Asha Degree.. lived in my town :( In 2000, she walked out of her home willingly at age 9 in the middle of the night on Valentines Day during a massive storm. She was sighted multiple times walking down an extremely rural and desolate highway by herself in the pouring rain and then was never seen again. Her book bag was discovered miles away buried in a trash bag a year later. How was a 9 year old convinced to leave her home alone in the middle of the night, in a storm, to walk down a deserted highway? How has there been no substantive leads at all since 2001?
There's a star called "Przybylski’s Star" that's full of plutonium, an element that should not exist anymore in nature as it would have all decayed into other elements.
Even if you assume aliens, where did they get so much plutonium? And why would they use it to change the composition of an entire star?
Nothing makes sense about it.
Bored Panda got in touch with Redditor PitifulWay6371 who was kind enough to have a chat about this thread and their curiosity about unsolved mysteries in general. When asked about what originally sparked this conversation, they told us the idea came to them simply because they were bored. "[I] needed new content to consume," the user said. "There was no big thought behind that."
But the way their post reached thousands of people who wasted no time in sharing stories with fellow members of 'Ask Reddit' caught them by surprise. "I'm a bit overwhelmed because I didn't do a big thing. I just asked the 'right question at the right time'. It feels weird when people like an anonymous question you anonymously asked on Reddit. I didn't do anything great, this isn't about me because they don't know me. I'm just another stranger on the internet," PitifulWay6371 told us.
On December 4, 1872, a British-American ship called “the Mary Celeste” was found empty and drifting in the Atlantic. It was found to be seaworthy and with its cargo intact, except for a lifeboat, which it appeared had been boarded in an orderly fashion.
No one knows what happened to the crew or why they left the ship.
I always thought the mysterious green children from Woolpit was interesting. The legend of the green children of Woolpit concerns two children of unusual skin colour who reportedly appeared in the village of Woolpit in Suffolk, England, sometime in the 12th century, perhaps during the reign of King Stephen. The children, brother and sister, were of generally normal appearance except for the green colour of their skin. They spoke in an unknown language and would eat only raw broad beans. Eventually, they learned to eat other food and lost their green colour, but the boy was sickly and died soon after his sister was baptized. The girl adjusted to her new life, but she was considered to be "rather loose and wanton in her conduct". After she learned to speak English, the girl explained that she and her brother had come from a land where the sun never shone. According to one version of the story, she said that everything there was green; according to another, she said it was called Saint Martin's Land.
I am assuming the kids suffered from some sort of nutritional deficiency but the story is interesting either way
The gelatinous blobs that rained from the sky in Oakville Washington 6 times over a span of three weeks.
Not only did no one know where they came from or what they were, they discovered the blobs shared similar DNA with humans and multiple people in the town that had close contact with the blobs reported feeling ill a couple hours afterwards.
The Washington State Department took all known samples and somehow misplaced them.
edit: the blobs contained similar white blood cells as humans not similar DNA
"The internet is a nice thing but there are a lot of people out there, who are like me. We're just trying to escape the loneliness and the miserable thoughts with pseudo-socializing on social media. But life out there has much more to give," the user said. "If you feel lonely, you are not alone. If you're not lonely then look after those who are."
The user mentioned that they are drawn to these stories because it’s entertaining. "Going down a rabbit hole is consuming and I don't have to think about my life. I believe there are more people out there like me." Guessing from the number of comments their post has received, the user seems to have a point.
The disappearance of the Anasazi. It’s still baffling how an entire tribe can just completely vanish from the face of the world and only some traces have been found since.
Tim Molnar. Sends chills down my spine. Young kid from Florida, family oriented and in college, all the good stuff. One day (in 1984), instead of taking his usual route to school, he decides to drive 50 miles in the opposite direction. He stopped to get gas, and continued on. Four months after he had disappeared, his folks received a letter from an auto impound company in Atlanta, Georgia which said that he had left his car in a parking lot six days after he had initially vanished. They also discovered that he had pretty much emptied his bank account just before he left. On January 31, 1996, a show about unsolved mysteries aired, and Tim Molnar was on it. A guy named Steven Cull who had seen it called and told them that he recognized Tim's clothes as the ones he had found on a body frozen in an ice block lot in Neosho, Wisconsin 10 years earlier. Through DNA testing, the body was confirmed to be Tim’s. So tell me: how does this 24 year old kid who was incredibly close with his family end up 1,300 miles away from his home frozen in an ice block in bumf**k Wisconsin?
The disappearance of an extra from Scarface. There's a scene in the movie where Tony and others are upstairs in an apartment while Manny is supposed to keep watch from his car. Manny gets distracted by a blonde girl in a bikini and starts hitting on her. It's a disturbing scene, but there's also an even more disturbing backstory behind something seemingly innocuous: the blonde girl, who was Tami Lynn Leppert.
Tami was a Florida beauty queen and model who, near the time of shooting the movie, went to a party and didn't come back the same person. It's like she changed over night. She became paranoid, began isolating herself, and was convinced someone was trying to kill her.
On the fourth day of filming, a character in the movie was shot, and she saw the blood packet get activated. She had a breakdown on set and began to hysterically cry. Tami eventually quit the film, and went back home. According to Unsolved Mysteries, her mother claimed there were good and bad days with Tami, but eventually, she snapped and began smashing the windows in their home and attacking family members, fearing they were trying to poison her.
Tami went in for a psych eval and showed no signs of drug or alcohol use. The following day, she and her friend went for a drive to the beach, and Tami never came home. The friend told the police they'd gotten into an argument, and Tami wanted to get out of the car, and he let her. She was left near Cocoa Beach, five miles from her home, with no shoes and her purse. She was never seen again.
Moreover, many devour stories about mysteries and evil because it lets them see the uneasy side of the human experience from the comfort of their own homes. Whether their life is too bland or they aim to be prepared for the worst, threads like these allow people to consume terrifying tales while staying completely secure. And PitifulWay6371 agrees with this line of thinking. "These mysteries (not urban legends) are a confrontation with the dark and uncomfortable things but in a safe space," they added.
But this does beg the question, though, why do strange unsolved mysteries grab our attention and don’t let it go? "We just learn that we have no control over the things that are happening and that the world can be a dark place," the user told us. "It's eerie to think about it but that's the truth. Anything can happen anytime and we need to deal with it."
There was a girl in the 19th century who was murdered after a party. She went to a friends to get dressed, then they went to the party. It was on a particular holiday I don’t remember. She met a man named Thornton at the party and left with him. She was found the next day in a park, she had been r*ped and strangled. Thornton was put on trial but acquitted due to lack of evidence and it was never solved. The weirdest thing was that in the 1970’s it happened again, and both crimes were nearly identical. It was the same holiday, the same town, the girl went to a friend’s to get dressed and they then went to the party. She met a man named Thornton and left with him, and was found the next day r*ped and strangled in the same park, very close to where the first girl was found. Again, Thornton was put on trial but acquitted due to lack of evidence. That story is just weird. Also, both girls had the same birthday.
The 'Dog S*icide' bridge, also known as Overtoun Bridge in Scotland. According to VICE, approximately 50 dogs have died by leaping to their death off the 50-foot bridge since the 1950s, and 600 have jumped but survived. Some dogs are even reported to have survived the jump, returned to the bridge, and attempted to jump again.
There are tons of theories as to what lures dogs to do this, from the scientific to the paranormal. Some believe the bridge is haunted due to a man throwing his baby off the bridge, believing he was the antichrist. Others think a specific scent is drawing dogs over the edge, such as the smell of mink or squirrels who live under the bridge.
The lost A-bomb off the coast of America, which the US government said not to worry about in the 50's and tried to cover up. Was dumped in the ocean in an aviation accident and it's still lost to this day.
100x more powerful then what was dropped in Japan.
One thing, however, that can explain this fascination with the unknown is our curiosity. As human beings, we constantly seek to explore and observe our surroundings to make sense of the world. We especially pay attention to the abnormal side of life. As Dr. Jesse Matthews, a licensed clinical psychologist based in Chester Springs, PA, explained in our earlier interview, we are simply drawn to the dark and mysterious.
"We find human nature to be fascinating, particularly things we don’t understand like organized crime, cults, or conspiracies. And of course, this applies to things other than humans, like Bigfoot, aliens, ghosts, demon possession, or the Bermuda Triangle," he told Bored Panda.
Probably Terrence Woods Jr.
He was a 26 year old production assistant on scene in rural Idaho with his crew filming a documentary about an abandoned mine in late 2018. The project was slated for completion in mid November but he texted his father early morning on Oct 5th 2018 telling him that he would be heading home on the 10th of October, cutting his stay short by weeks. Later that day when filming concluded for the day he was seen speaking to one of the miners who used to operate the mine when Terrence said he was going to go into the foliage to relieve himself. The Prod Manager thought this was strange because apparently he had been acting odd all day, so the Prod Manager when to check on him. When he did, he noticed that Terrence's radio was on the ground and suddenly noticed Terrence break into a full on sprint into the woods down small ledge. The manager tried to chase him but lost him in the woods shortly after trying. He returned to his crew and alerted the authorities, who launched a full scale SAR mission that's turned up no clues. The authorities noted how odd it was that he was able to run in such thick foliage. He has never been seen nor heard from again.
Who was Kaspar Hauser. A feral child found in 1820's germany, who dies a violent death after revealing that he had spent his youth in a darkened cellar.
Brian Schaffer, a medical student who disappeared from a Columbus OH bar without a trace. There is absolutely no footage of him leaving the bar on the cameras and he has never been heard of since. It seems as if he fell off the face of the earth. Crazy case
According to Dr. Matthews, anything that challenges our understanding captures our interest. "This certainly explains the popularity of the true crime genre of TV, books, podcasts, and movies. This is a great outlet for many people to look at the darker side of life or to think about things we don’t easily understand," he added.
The 169th victim of the Oklahoma City bombing. They found an additional leg in the rubble. DNA tests showed it belonged to another victim who had already been buried but with the wrong leg. The wrong leg had already been embalmed, so they could not get DNA at the time. So who did this leg belong to? All other legs had been accounted for in other victims. They found no other body parts, and nobody else had been reported missing. It was only until 2015 they could get DNA from the leg, but it's still classified as a John Doe. A few conspiracy theories had popup like maybe a second bomber that got caught in the blast but it's still unknown.
The "Wow!" Signal.
Astronomers have speculated for years that, if intelligent alien life were real, they would have similar or better understandings of physical sciences as we do. One thing that is universal in chemistry and physical sciences is frequencies emitted by certain atomic elements. Therefore, intelligent alien life would most likely have an understanding of these frequencies as we do. So, if intelligent life wanted to communicate in a way which was universal between planets (i.e. not a special language or numeric system), then emitting a signal at a certain requency would be an excellent way of doing that. As hydrogen is the building block of all other elements -- due to its simplicity and integral nature -- astronomers speculate that, if intelligent life wanted to communicate through frequencies, they would do so in the hydrogen frequency.
In the 70's, radio telescopes in the US were pointed up towards the sky collecting any radio data that came in. Most of the data collected are seemingly nothing, just random radio noise. However, in the early morning of August 15, 1977, one of these radio telescope centers began to get a TON of data. And, it was all at or near the frequency of hydrogen. And, the signal was strong and fairly consistent, meaning that it would be incredibly unlikely it was random radio noise or passing radiation.
Technicians monitoring the data were dumbfounded by the signal, and had no explanation for why it was coming or how it was so consistent. So, they just wrote "Wow!" on the data sheet.
We still don't know how such a powerful signal could have even penetrated our atmosphere and remain consistently transmitted for as long as it did. Some people believe it could have been military testing nearby, but, again, it would be incredibly unlikely such a consistent message could be transmitted through simple interference (plus, no military testing was reported in the surrounding area).
The same or similar data has not been reported since, leading many to believe that the single could have been an "S.O.S." signal from a dying planet, or just a passing coincidence that we may never see again.
The case of the Somerton Man. This man was found dead on an Australian beach in 1948, and to this day, no one knows who he was or how he died. The case has baffled investigators for over 70 years, and it remains one of the world's most mysterious unsolved cases.
"Humans are hardwired to notice," the psychologist said. "This is certainly true in our environment, as it is important to take notice of potential threats, even though survival isn’t something most people need to be concerned about."
"This explains anxiety, though, which relates to us worrying about potential threats or perceiving things as threatening that may not be. Not everyone has an issue with anxiety, of course, but we all pay attention to our surroundings and make some effort to make sense of them. This may also apply to things we find to be mysterious, as we have an innate desire to want to understand." Dr. Matthews added that when it comes to less common things in life, our interest can jump to a whole new level.
Idk if this has been posted already or not. 1986 "Missing Boy of Somosierra", Juan Pedro Martínez.
Kid's father is a truck driver. He is tasked with taking a semi carrying a tank of sulfuric acid from Cartagena to Bilbao, and brings his wife and son to make it a little family trip. When they pass through the Somosierra Mountain pass, the truck is reported as driving erratically, and then it crashes. The cabin is destroyed, both parents are killed in the crash, but kid apparently just f*****g *vanishes off the face of the earth*
The "obvious" explanation is he somehow survived the crash and wandered off, but the area was thoroughly searched, and no trace of him was found.
Some have theorized that the sulfuric acid dissolved his body. This wouldn't work either, because it would take longer than that to dissolve a body, and because it would have left traces.
There are a few unexplained and unusual details as well:
* Andrés was apparently a decent driver and in good health, and there was nothing wrong with the truck. Why was he driving so badly, especially through mountains with steep cliffs, with his whole family on board?
* The truck's tachometer recorded a number of unexplained starts and stops that didn't match the traffic patterns. What's that about?
* There were traces of cocaine found, not in the cabin, but inside the tank with the sulfuric acid. Why?
* Unverified reports claim that two people arrived at the scene before emergency services and removed a small package from the cabin. Is this true, and if so, who were they, and what are they doing?
* Almost a year later, in 1987, a boy matching Juan Pedro's description was reported in Madrid. He was accompanying an elderly woman, and they were asking about the location of the US Embassy. Was this Juan Pedro, and if so, who is he with, and why?
"The Money Pit" on Oak Island in Nova Scotia is a pretty big mystery. In 1795, Daniel McGinnis saw lights coming from the uninhabited Oak Island (named that because, well, it's full of oak trees). He and some friends went to the island and found a large circular depression in the ground. So, they started digging and discovered layers of logs between the dirt at 10-feet intervals. Eventually, they realized they'd need to finance this excavation, so the Onslow company picked up where McGinnis and his friends left off. They reached a depth of 90 feet, finding layers of logs every 10 feet and layers of charcoal, putty, and coconut fibre at 40, 50, and 60 feet. It should be noted that coconuts — and thus their fibers — aren't native to anywhere near Nova Scotia.
At 90 feet, they found a greenish gray slab with strange markings amongst the oak logs. They appeared to be hieroglyphics, perhaps that of an ancient language. When they pulled the slab up, though, it triggered some kind of booby trap, which flooded the shaft with ocean water and made it impossible to dig further down. Many, many people and companies have tried to reach the bottom, but with no success.
Houston Tx Lovers Lane Murders.
During the summer of 1990, 22-year-old Cheryl Henry met 21-year-old Andy Atkinson through friends at Yucatan Liquor. Andy was home for the summer from Stephen F. Austin State University and the two started dating. On August 22, 1990, the two, who had been dating now for around two weeks, had planned a double date with Cheryl’s younger sister Shane.
Each couple went their separate ways to continue the night. Shane said she kissed her sister goodnight and told her “I love you” around 11:30 PM. It was what they always did. But when Shane woke up in the morning, Cheryl still wasn’t home. And over at Andy’s house, he also hadn’t returned home. Both families contacted the police.
A search was conducted for the couple and for the car they were in--Andy’s white Honda civic. In the early evening of August 23rd, Houston police located Andy’s car after a guard--who was doing a sweep of an industrial area-- called it in. It was parked in an isolated cul de sac on Enclave Road, an area often used as a Lovers’ Lane.
When police approached the car, it was clear something awful had happened. The windows were rolled down. The key was still in the ignition. The seats were laid back and a cassette was in the dash. On the floorboard of the passenger side was a woman’s shoes and purse. But most chillingly, there were fresh signs of blood in the car.
Just before midnight, the dogs led police to an area roughly 200 yards from Andy’s car. A golf club and three golf balls seemed to have been purposefully placed, pointing to pieces of a rotting cedar fence on the ground. Police looked under the pieces of fence, and found the body of Cheryl. She was face down. Her clothes had been cut off and tossed near her remains. Her hands were bound behind her back with hemp rope. She had been sexually assaulted and her throat was slashed with three gashes. Near her body was also a twenty dollar bill.
The search continued for Andy. The next morning, about 100 yards from Cheryl’s body in the tree line, authorities discovered Andy’s body. He was fully clothed with his back against a tree and his hands bound, like Cheryl’s. And like Cheryl, his throat had also been slashed. But the slash was so deep he was nearly decapitated. His watch and money were still on his person, ruling out the possibility of robbery as the primary motive. After 32 years this mystery is still unsolved
Whether it’s to gather practical information to protect themselves or simply enjoy going through cold cases, people can’t seem to get enough of mysterious stories that baffle them for years to come. Or, as Laura Cavanagh, a psychotherapist and psychology professor at Seneca College in Toronto, previously explained, "people like to get a little freaked out!"
Being drawn to the mysterious and dark elements of life "is really a cross-cultural phenomenon that stands over historical time," she told us. "Some evolutionary psychologists say that sharing horror stories helps to promote the survival of our species: We get to warn people how to avoid or survive danger without them actually having to be in harm’s way. We get to learn how to cope in the face of fear, in the absence of an actual threat to our survival."
The case of Branson Perry in 2001 he was cleaning out a house and he told a friend he was going to return a pair a jumper cables to the shed and he never was seen again.
I wanna know about Cicada 3301.
Basically in 2012, an image was posted on 4 Chan saying “We are trying to find intelligent individuals for our organization. If you have what it takes the first clue is in this image.” It was an incredibly elaborate puzzle, and solving the puzzle led to another puzzle. And another. And another.
These puzzles ended up leading all around the world, in tons of different forms “including the internet, telephone, original music, bootable Linux CDs, digital images, physical paper signs, and pages of unpublished cryptic books written in runes.”
The Phoenix Lights. On March 13, 1997, thousands of people — including the Governor of Arizona at the time — saw "a v-shaped light formation." The governor was a pilot, and when the government came out with their report claiming they were flairs, the Governor — once out of office, of course — called bulls**t. According to NBC News, he said, "I know just about every machine that flies. ... It was bigger than anything that I've ever seen. It remains a great mystery."
The Catman of Greenock. He’s a peculiar, non-verbal man who crawls around on his stomach, is covered in dirt and survives through eating rats. There was reported sightings in the 70’s and 80’s. There was no hard evidence of his existence until someone recorded him on their phone during 2007. There’s lots of mixed opinions on him. Some swear that they encountered him. Others are certain that the whole thing is just a myth. But, a fair amount of people think that there might have been an original one and the guy who was spotted more recently is an imposter (or, it was a myth but someone pretended to be him for a laugh).
The Max Headroom incident. Basically there was a tv station whose signal was hijacked by a mysterious man wearing a mask and doing crazy stuff. It happened like two separate times and then stopped completely. No one knows who it was.
The murders of billionaires Barry & Honey Sherman found dead in their mansion in Toronto by their realtor. They were found with their necks tied, fully clothed on their pool deck with no signs of a break in. Well known philanthropists, Barry was in the pharmaceutical industry and they donated millions annually to multiple charities. The police originally believed it was a murder s*icide and didn't pursue other leads.
The family launched a private investigation that found the evidence didn't support that theory and thus proved police incompetence.
As the public became more interested, it was discovered there was a whole family dispute over inherited shares of the apotex company. The Sherman's nieces and nephews had launched lawsuit over their right to inherit shares which they lost and most accepted.
The Sherman's children hired private investigators bc of the inept toronto police. It uncovered an unknown man leaving the property around the time of the murders.
The case is fascinating and is the subject of multiple podcasts, a book, and movie
The Yuba City 5. Five men vanished from a car on a snowy mountian road. Several months later the remains of 4 of them were found in the woods between the abandoned car and a Foresty trailer 20 away.
Ireland’s most beloved, Derby-winning racehorse, Shergar. Shergar was kidnapped by a gang on February 8, 1983. It's widely believed the IRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army) was behind it. They were believed to be seeking ransom money — Shergar was valued at £10 million — and allegedly ended up shooting him to death as he got too much to deal with. According to the BBC, though, little actual evidence was found at the scene, the gang never contacted them for ransom, and no one has ever officially admitted responsibility of the crime.
The story of the Ourang Medan always gives me chills for some reason
According to the story, at some point of time in or around June 1947, two American vessels navigating the Straits of Malacca, the City of Baltimore and the Silver Star, among others passing by, picked up several distress messages from the nearby Dutch merchant ship Ourang Medan. A radio operator aboard the troubled vessel sent the following message in Morse code: "S.O.S. from Ourang Medan * * * We float. All officers including the captain, dead in chartroom and on the bridge. Probably whole of crew dead * * *." A few confused dots and dashes (of Morse code) later, two words came through clearly. They were "I die." Then, after that chilling message, there was nothing more heard of. When the Silver Star crew eventually located and boarded the apparently-undamaged Ourang Medan in an attempt at a rescue, the ship was found littered with corpses (including the carcass of a dog) everywhere, with the dead bodies found sprawled on their backs, the frozen (and allegedly badly-frightened) faces of the deceased upturned to the sun above with mouths gaping open and eyes staring straight ahead, with the corpses resembling horrible caricatures. No survivors were located and no visible signs of injuries on the dead bodies were observed. Just as the ship was to be prepared for a tow by the Silver Star to a nearby port, a fire then suddenly broke out in the ship's No. 4 cargo-hold, forcing the boarding party to hastily evacuate the doomed Dutch freighter, thus preventing any further investigations to be carried out. Soon after, the Ourang Medan was witnessed exploding before finally sinking.
The mysterious case of D.B. Cooper ? I mean there are a lot of theories but then there is a fact or two to question the validity of a particular theory. Its interesting but very confusing as to how a person could pull that off and leave no record despite a prompt investigation and intensive steps to mark/recover the cash.
Mohammed Atta (lead hijacker on 9/11 put almost 4 THOUSAND miles on a rental in 4 days right before 9/11. Where did he go and why.
Follow up: this is on his Wikipedia page.
the location of Heinrich Mueller, the final Gestapo chief.
He was last seen in Berlin, roughly three days before it fell. At the time, he claimed to be fully aware of what the Russians did to POWs and that he had no intention of being taken prisoner. He most likely had access to foreign documents as the Gestapo leader and knew how to duplicate them.
He was sought after by the CIA and the KGB, but nothing of him has ever been discovered.
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