The world is full of bizarre and mysterious artifacts. The history of humanity spans several millennia, and historians will never know all of its secrets. The artefacts found during the course of archaeological excavation sometimes throw up questions which baffle even the most learned experts. Even some of the better-known artifacts have mysteries or bizarre features attached to them that are far more interesting than “aliens did it” or “Atlantis.”
Here are a compilation of a few of the most remarkable historical objects discovered over the years, which historians and archaeologists still can’t explain.
The giant stone spheres of Costa Rica
These mysterious stone formations are intriguing not only for their perfectly spherical shape, but also on account of their unknown origins and purpose.
They were discovered in the 1930s by workers clearing the jungle from a banana plantation. Local legends suggested that the mysterious spheres contained hidden gold, but when some of them were blown open with dynamite, they turned out to be empty.
No one knows who made the spheres or why they did so. It’s possible that they symbolised celestial bodies observed by an ancient culture, or served as markers between the territories of different tribes.
The Baghdad Battery
It seems that the Mesopotamians gave us a head start on how to produce electricity long before it was discovered. In the 1930s, a mysterious artefact was discovered during an archaeological dig not far from Baghdad. The so-called ’Baghdad Battery’ was a 13-centimetre jar, with a corroded iron rod protruding from the mouth. A copper cylinder was found inside the vessel…and inside the cylinder there was another iron rod.
Having examined its construction, experts came to the conclusion that this was an ancient battery, capable of producing an electrical current of 1 volt.
According to one theory, such a battery may have been used for electroplating gold. But experts are still at a loss as to how such a technological development was later forgotten, and why nothing similar has ever been found in neighbouring regions.
The Voynich manuscript
The Voynich manuscript is perhaps the most mysterious book in the world. Its author is unknown, it’s written in an indecipherable language, and its pages are full of inexplicable symbols and strange illustrations.
What makes the manuscript so unusual is the fact that it’s written using an utterly unique alphabet which has nothing in common with any known writing system. This impenetrable script stumped cryptographers throughout the 20th century and still hasn’t been decoded to this day.
Incan golden figurines
These golden figurines of mysterious animals found in South America immediately remind one of flying machines, which is difficult to believe. Precisely what served as the inspiration for them remains unknown.
In 1996, the German model aircraft constructors Algund Eeboom and Peter Belting appeared to confirm the hypothesis that the figurines were flying machines. They constructed exact replicas increased in size by a factor of 16 and equipped with engines and radio control systems.
The two models were not only able to lift off successfully, but also performed manoeuvres even with their engines switched off.
The genetic disc
This remarkable artefact appears to depict objects and processes which modern scientists have only been able to observe through microscopes. In particular, as incredible as it may seem the ’genetic disc’ appears to show the conception and development of a human embryo. Besides this, the images depict a truly bizarre version of the human head.
The disc is made from an exceptionally strong material which no one can understand how to produce, and which theoretically would have been impossible for an ancient society to make use of.
The Antikythera mechanism
The Antikythera mechanism is one of the oldest known computing mechanisms, perhaps the first analog computer in history, which has a highly complex design.
After decades of research, historians determined that the mechanism was meant to show the position of the Sun and Moon and the movement of the planets across the sky, as well as predict solar and lunar eclipses and even key events on Earth, such as the ancient Olympic Games.
Controvery still exists, however, over the issue of whether ancient civilisations were able to produce such complex devices in the period before the Antikythera mechanism appeared. Some experts assert that its design — a collection of bronze gears — influenced that of similar devices for the following millenium.