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The World’s Most Mysterious Places: Can We Explain Everything?

Many popular experts suggest possibility that mysterious sites around the world were created with help of advanced knowledge and technology (possibly more advanced than our current one) possessed by lost civilizations. Others do not believe that there ever was very advanced civilization on earth and all of the superb knowledge was handed down to us by ancient astronauts who came down from heaven. Most scientists do not subscribe to any of these ideas and try to explain ancient enigmas on the ground of religion and ritual.

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Discovery Channel names these 3 places as the Most Enigmatic Places in the World, but there are much more mysterious sites around the world that capture our imagination because they seem to be so otherworld.

Stonehenge

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Who has never heard about Stonehenge? I guess it is one of the most popular mysteries. So, what’s the point about this megalithic wonder? Why does this place cause controversy in the scientific community?

Stonehenge is a megalithic monument on the Salisbury Plain in Southern England, composed mainly of thirty upright stones (sarsens, each over ten feet tall and weighing up to 45 tons), aligned in a circle, with thirty lintels (6 tons each) perched horizontally atop the sarsens in a continuous circle. There is also an inner circle composed of similar stones, also constructed in post-and-lintel fashion. You can say that there are a lot of great monuments all over the world, many of them are more interesting. What is special about Stonehenge? All those questions that have no exact answers. What was its function: an astronomical observatory, a religious site, or something supernatural? Who built it, and how?

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Some have suggested that Stonehenge was built by Druids, but we don't really know much about the builders. The archaeology points to a construction date between 5,000 and 3,000 years ago, so it was built even before the first metal tools were used by humankind.

Regardless of who built the stone monument, the design and construction involved thousands of people. To drag huge stones from Marlborough Downs, 30 kilometres to the south of Stonehenge, would have been quite a feat. And how was it possible to erect those stones? It is an amazing feat of engineering, and there are many legends that reflect the inability to explain how the heavy stones could have ever been transported by primitive humans. Stonehenge is even mentioned within Arthurian legend, that names Merlin as the engineer.

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One more interesting thing is that Stonehenge is angled such that on the equinoxes and the solstices, the sun rising over the horizon appears to be perfectly placed between gaps in the megaliths. This is doubtless not an accident, and probably contributed to the stories of its mysterious origins.

Nazca Lines

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Nazca Lines are the most outstanding group of geoglyphs in the world, they are located in the Nazca Desert, between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on the Pampas de Jumana in Peru. Etched in the surface of the desert pampa sand about 300 hundred figures made of straight lines, geometric shapes and pictures of animals and birds - and their patterns are only clearly visible from the air.

There are 3 mysterious aspects to Nazca Plateau:

  • First, the straight lines, many kilometers long, crisscross sectors of the pampas in all directions.
  • Second, many of the lines form geometric figures: angles, triangles, bunches, spirals, rectangles, wavy lines, etc.
  • Third, many lines form animal patterns.

Nazca Lines Map Extract:

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It is believed that the geoglyphs were built by a people called the Nasca- but why and how they created these wonders of the world has defied explanation. Since the Nazca lines cannot be recognized as coherent figures except from the air, it is presumed the Nazca people could never have seen their work from this vantage point, there has been much speculation on the builders' abilities and motivations.

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Could these geoglyphs be effigies of ancient animal gods or patterns of constellations? Are they roads, star pointers, maybe even a gigantic map? If the people who lived here 2,000 years ago had only a simple technology, how did they manage to construct such precise figures? Did they have a plan? If so, who ordained it? It all seems so otherworldly. To comprehend the Nasca lines, created by the removal of desert rock to reveal the pale pink sand beneath, visitors have proposed every imaginable explanation - from runways for spaceships to tracks for Olympic athletes, from op art to pop art, to astronomical observatories.

Easter Island

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Easter Island (Rapa Nui in the indigenous language), is a Chilean-governed island in the south eastern Pacific Ocean. Rapa Nui is a small, hilly, now treeless island of volcanic origin. It's been called the most isolated inhabited territory on Earth, but there is another aspect that sets it apart from any other place on Earth - its hundreds of megalithic human-like statues that face inland from the shore. These enigmatic statues are called moai.

Almost all moais were carved out of distinctive, compressed, easily worked volcanic ash. The largest one weights up to 165 tons, and its height is almost 22 meters. Some upright moai have become buried up to their necks by shifting soils.

This massive production of megalithic works on an island that is absolutely barren, with just grass, immediately captures our imagination. How did it all happen? Who built these statues? And why did they build them?

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Some scientists suggest that Easter Island inhabitants, the Rapanui, came from Polynesia. But similarities to Indian stone statues around Lake Titicaca in South America are striking. Is this accidental or not? Scholars are unable to definitively explain the function and use of the moai statues. Some of them suggest that the statues were symbols of authority and power, both religious and political.

One of the biggest riddles about Easter Island is how the statues 'traveled' from the quarry to their platforms or ahus, sometimes as far as 20 or 25 kilometres away? Rapa Nui legend has it that the moai "walked from the quarry". But less than one third of all carved moai actually made it to a final ceremonial ahus site. Was this due to the inherent difficulties in transporting them? Were the ones that remain in the quarry deemed culturally unworthy of transport? Or had the islanders run out of the resources necessary to complete the Herculean task of carving and moving the moai?

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Easter Island is more well known as Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua, meaning ‘The Navel of the World’ and as Mata-Ki-Te-Rani, meaning ‘Eyes Looking at Heaven’. These ancient names and a host of mythological details point to the possibility that the remote island may once have been both a geodetic marker and the site of an astronomical observatory of a long forgotten civilization.

 


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