Monday, March 12, 2012

Little Known Mysteries of the World

I thought I would try something off the beaten path for today.  When you think of Earth Mysteries, your first thoughts are usually something like the Great Pyramids, Stonehenge, or the Lock Ness Monster.  Well, the Earth is so full of mysteries, it's impossible to fit them all on one page.  So I compiled a short list of Earth Mysteries I first learned about this year.  I think mysteries are a great part of life, and pursuing the truth behind them is a worthwhile pursuit.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to know more.  Mysteries make life fun.  So here we go, in no particular order, some little known mysteries of Planet Earth.  I highly recommend you look further into these mysteries, because I am not going to put everything here.  Where would the fun be if I did?

The Dogon Culture of West Africa
If you have never heard of these people, I am not surprised.  The Dogon live a traditional centuries-old lifestyle.  Their legends tell of beings who provided them with astronomical knowledge.  You would think that it could be all fake, until you actually listen to what they know.  For centuries their ancestors have passed down knowledge about the Sirius star system, hundreds of years before the advent of modern astronomy.  All of their legends have been accurate.  Like many ancient cultures spanning all 7 continents, the Dogon creation story tells of a being who came down from the sky and either created humanity or gave the existing population knowledge far more advanced than what was available.  Their astronomical knowledge dates from 3200 BC. According to their traditions, Sirius has a companion star which is invisible to the human eye. This companion star has a 50 year elliptical orbit around the visible Sirius and is extremely heavy. It also rotates on its axis. Today, this is known thanks to modern astronomy.  It is true!  But these people have known about it for the last 5000 years.  Where did they get this knowledge?

Palenque Sarcophagus Stone
The ruins of Palenque, Mexico are small compared to larger sites such as Tikal or Copan, but they contain some of the best examples of architecture and carving in the Mayan world.  In particular, there is a carved stone atop the tomb of K'inich Janaab' Pakal.  The tomb was discovered in 1953 after Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruiz Lhullier removed a stone slab in the floor of the back room of the temple superstructure.  The carving was unlike any seen before.  What could it mean?  Mainstream historians claim it is a depiction of Pakal going into the Underworld.

A designer from Lucas Films created a 3D model of the above carving and it looks like this:

Make up your own mind about what that looks like to you.

Derinkuyu is a multi-level underground city located in Turkey.  It is a feat of incredible skill!  Created around 1400 BC by the Hittites, more than 20 floors deep, able to accommodate between 35,000 and 50,000 people at any one time and locked from the inside, this city was used as shelter against attack.  Our ancestors had better building skill than we do!  It has all of the features of any city of the time.  There is even a ventilation shaft that provided air and water to the inhabitants below.  Not surprisingly, this underground city wasn't discovered by modern people until 1965 when a farmer accidentally knocked down a wall while renovating his house.  Engineers today are still baffled by this city.  Learn more at: (it has pictures!)

Puma Punku
By far one of the mysteries of the world that gives me the most creeps, Puma Punku.  Located in Tiahuanaco, Bolivia, Puma Punku is one of four ruined structures located in Tiahuanaco.  They are among the oldest and most baffling mysteries on the planet.  Compared to modern technology and architecture, they defy all logic. 
The first mystery regarding Puma Punku is how were they built?  The stones are carved so precisely, they could not possibly have been carved using the rock-carving tools available to the inhabitants of the area.  The stones are made of granite and diorite.  The only stone stronger than those is diamond and there are no diamonds in that area.  The other mystery is that they are too heavy to have been brought to the site from the quarry located more than 10 miles away.  And the blocks fit so well together, like Tetris pieces.  Even with modern tools and techniques, this site could not be replicated.  But the reason it gives me the creeps.  What destroyed this site?  There are many theories regarding this.  If you look at photographs of the site, the ruins are not just ruined, they are scattered all over the place, suggesting something truly cataclysmic. 

Well, I hope you like this glimpse into some of the most fascinating mysteries the ancient world offers us.  I encourage you to study some more, and if you think there is a mystery that I may not yet be privy to, let me know.  Ciao!

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