Earth can be a tedious and depressing place to reside. After all, the news only seems to cover the grim realities of wars in foreign lands, political ineptitude within our governments and if things couldn't get any worse, a man with a funny hairdo is running for President. But as these twenty exciting and mysterious discoveries prove, Earth can still spring up some incredible stories.
Here are twenty findings that remind us how fascinating Earth still is.
The Voynich Manuscript
An illustrated manuscript, known as 'The Voynich Manuscript,' remains a mystery to historians. In part, this is because the text has no known origin, thus rendering it almost impossible to track.
Still, that hasn't stopped linguists and scholars attempting to solve the writing's meaning. In fact, two people came forward in 2014, with one attributing the text to an ancient dialect, while the other believed it was a coded Asian language. However, through assessing the papers material, historians have at least managed to date the document to the early 15th century.
The Mount Owen Moa Claw
Dating back over 3,000 years, this freaky relic was found in the caves of Mount Owen, New Zealand. The claw belonged to an extinct flightless bird know as the 'Moa,' which became extinct around 500 years ago. However, with the claw relatively preserved, scientists have since question that figure.
Costa Rica's Stone Spheres
Pretty random, huh? Yes, these granodiorite spheres strewn across the Central American country have left scientists and geologists baffled.
The Gate of the Sun
Like the well-known British Stone Structure, Stonehenge, The Gate of the Sun's solid arch construction, which sits over 12,500 feet above sea-level, is just as mysterious. Some scientists even believe the Bolivian location was home to some of earliest first forms of human civilisation.
The London Hammer
In 1936, a couple from London, Texas, came across an odd structure. it wasn't until their son cracked the rock a decade later, however, that they discovered what appeared to be an ancient hammer.
Taking it to archaeologists, scientists determined the object was crafted 400 million plus years ago during the Ordovician period. They also concluded that the hammer was 96.6% iron- a remarkable finding considering no natural object could achieve such purity without the aid of modern technology.
But it appears scientists have dismissed their initial findings. Instead, it is widely believed the hammer was simply moulded in concrete.
European Stone Age Tunnels
Labelled the 'Ancient European Highways' by Dr Heinrich Kusch, the 12,000-year-old tunnels were found in many areas of Europe, including Scotland and countries as far as Turkey.
What makes these human structures fascinating is how people could build such underground structures with no modern technology- a reality that still baffles academics to this day.
Britain's SS Gairsoppa was the victim of numerous Nazi Torpedo strikes in 1941. Though, aside from human fatalities and the drowning of the ship, 240 tonnes of pure silver bullion also plunged to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. However, in 2012, the Odyssey Marine Exploration of Tampa, Florida recovered forty-eight tonnes of the solid silver blocks, as the photo above illustrates. It's believed the find's value was $38m!
New Shark Species Discovered
It may look strange and slightly fictitious, but the picture shows an unknown, yet certain species of deep-sea shark. Hauled from the depths of the Indian Ocean, the crew aboard the expedition collected over 300 sharks over a two-month period. After evaluating their findings, eight new kinds were discovered, with many pulled from around 2,000 meters below sea-level.
Discovered in the 1920s, the 490-acre Mohenjo-Daro settlement in Pakistan is thought to be one of the world's earliest and most sophisticated towns. There is even evidence of a draining system, which in 2500 BC, was highly impressive!
L'Anse aux Meadows
Only discovered in 1960, the World Heritage Site is the only evidence of pre-Columbus exploration to North America. Indeed, based on this archaeological site in Newfoundland, Canada, it was, in fact, the Vikings who first discovered the continent.
Located off the coast of Yonaguni, the southernmost part of the Ryukyu Islands, the mysterious underwater site has led to various disputes between scientists and academics around whether the rock formations of Yonaguni Monument are man-made or naturally formed. But with the Japanese government refusing to send out any research teams to survey the site, it's unlikely any definitive conclusion will be reached.
An Unfinished Obelisk
Though incomplete, the Obelisk, which is located in Northern Egypt, is the largest of its kind and is carved solely from bedrock. It was later abandoned after cracks appeared in the granite, but thousands of years later, people flock from all over the world to marvel at its wonder.
This ancient settlement lies atop of a mountain ridge in Turkey and is believed to have housed the world's first temple as well the world's oldest pictograph.
The beauty of these stones lies not in their appearance but their making. Located in Peru, the boulders were constructed by people within the Killke culture by cutting the stones in a way which would join them neatly together. But achieving such a construction without any mortar puzzles scientists to this day and might always remain a mystery.
The Antikythera Mechanism
The Antikythera mechanism was a device designed to predict astronomical positions as well as astrological eclipses. After being discovered near a shipwreck off the coast of Greece, scientists realised the ancient relic dated back to around 100BC and contained a plethora of gears and structures that scientists believe were the first of their kind, as no other evidence for such components dates back that far.
In fact, historians can only track similar objects a thousand years after the mechanisms period, which could suggest the Antikythera mechanism was one of the first ever analogue computers.
The Baigong Pipes
It may look like a modern art installation, but this site is far from new. Located in Mount Baigong in China’s Qinghai province and thought to be 150,000 years old, the Baigong Pipes form a magnificent structure of three triangular caves and stretch right through the mountains and even the nearby salt lake.
But how can such a historic structure have been made in times where the only tools were those of your limbs? That seems to be the million dollar question....
The Baghdad Batteries
The Iraqi capital, Baghdad, has long been thought of as the birthplace of mathematics and was once deemed the cultural capital of the world. Perhaps one such example of the city's rich history and esteemed past are these strange artefacts. Discovered while examining 2,000-year-old ruins of a village in Baghdad, workers, by sheer chance stumbled upon three vase-like objects. But what made the discovery significant was the red copper interior- evidence of acid erosion.
From this, scientists deciphered that the acid erosion was probably the remains of a liquid which would interact with the copper to create an electrical charge. If true, the finding could be one of the world's first examples of a battery.
Found in the 1898 evacuation of a tomb in Egypt, the artwork went missing until Dr Khalil Messiha rediscovered it. From his research, Messiha believed the object, which dates back to 200 BC, represented the first signs of aviation. Since the theory, the museum of Cairo has labelled the artefact 'model aeroplane.'
However, the consensus among historians is that the Saqqara Bird is nothing more than a well-carved Falcon- a species of bird associated with Egyptian mythology due to the bird's significance to the gods.
Over 15,000 famous geoglyphs are located in the Southern Peruvian desert. The works are believed to be those of the Nazca culture, who are thought to have existed around 500 BCE- 500 CE.
Only visible by air, generations of scientists and historians continue to be baffled by how such etchings were possible when no form of aviation existed.
Famed around the world for the islands 887 headstones, as well as being one of the most remote places on Earth, (the closest inhabited neighbour to the Chilean territory is the Pitcairn Islands- over 1289 miles away) historians can credit the sculptures to the early Rapa Nui settlers. But how they were carved remains a mystery.
Bocksten Man from the 14th century.
A sea creature that lives on the rocky coast of Chile and Peru.