10 Strange, Unexpected, and Controversial Discoveries from 2016

10 Strange, Unexpected, and Controversial Discoveries from 2016

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Anomalies have been documented for centuries, and while many odd events or unusual artifacts have been explained over the years, strange happenings continue to incite controversy and imagination. Historians and archaeologists often unearth objects and information they do not expect - and sometimes these discoveries are bizarre, baffling, or at least controversial. 2016 is no exception. Extra-terrestrials, elongated skulls, ghostly happenings, ancient advanced civilizations, the Bermuda Triangle, and weird artifacts – these are some of the topics that made you wonder, shiver, or laugh, as they created a buzz and debate around the world. Read on for the Top 10 of these finds in 2016!

10. Norwegian Scientists Unintentionally Provide Fuel for a Fringe Theory on the Bermuda Triangle

Norwegian Scientists Unintentionally Provide Fuel for a Fringe Theory on the Bermuda Triangle

Scientists in Norway made waves in March with an announcement that unintentionally linked giant craters in the Barents Sea to the controversial Bermuda Triangle. They said that the craters could have been created by exploding natural gas, which some others say has the possibility of being dangerous for ships. The international media ran rampant with the idea and connected it to a fringe theory explaining the odd occurrences in the Bermuda Triangle.

Although the Norwegian scientists did not make these claims, the notion that a sudden release of methane gas could potentially endanger ships, or even bring down aircraft, is not new -  May and Monaghan, the Russian scientist Igor Yeltsov, and some others toyed with the idea in the last few decades. For example, in 2003, May and Monaghan suggested that the methane bubbles could sink ships – depending on the location of the ship to the gas bubble. As for aircraft, National Geographic has previously reported that “methane can escape into the air, making the atmosphere highly turbulent and perhaps causing aircraft to crash.”

9. 300-Year-Old Child Mummy Appears to Open Her Eyes in Creepy Video Shot in Mexican Cathedral

300-Year-Old Child Mummy Appears to Open Her Eyes in Creepy Video Shot in Mexican Cathedral

In September, rumors surged in the media about paranormal events surrounding a young Catholic saint in Guadalajara, Mexico. Called Santa Inocencia, the deceased martyr is said to have opened her eyes and looked into the camera of a tourist visiting her in the Guadalajara Cathedral.

The supposed event is said to have taken place on December 12, 2012 when an [unnamed] person took the video of the corpse with his/her cellphone and was able to capture the little girl opening her eyes. Even though the person says that they didn’t see it while recording, while viewing the video with his/her family they could see the corpse clearly open her eyes in front of the camera. Speaking on the story, Cardinal Juan Francisco Robles apparently told La Obscura Habitacion, “This beatified saint is known for making miracles, and this is just one of the many.”

8. Was This Giant Stone Sphere Crafted by an Advanced Civilization of the Past or the Forces of Nature?

Was This Giant Stone Sphere Crafted by an Advanced Civilization of the Past or the Forces of Nature?

A huge stone sphere discovered in mid-March 2016 in Bosnia may be the largest of its kind in the world, however there is much debate if the feature is man-made or natural. The stone ball was discovered in a forest in Podubravlje and has a radius of between 1.2 – 1.5 meters (3.9-4.9 ft.) Preliminary tests suggest that it could weigh over 30 tons, making it the most massive stone sphere in Europe.

Signs of natural sedimentation are found over the sphere and Dr. Osmanagich asserts that “It takes tens, even hundreds of thousands of years for this sediment to form.” However, some critics have also emerged saying: “The sphere in fact, may not be man-made at all. Describing the process of 'concretion' […] the sphere could have been formed due to precipitation of natural mineral cement within the spaces between sediment grains.”

7. More Evidence that Ancient Romans May Have Made It to Oak Island, Canada

More Evidence that Ancient Romans May Have Made It to Oak Island, Canada

What appears to be an ancient Roman sword was found off the East Coast of Canada, but it is just one of several indications that Romans may have been there around the 2nd century or earlier. That’s at least 800 years before the Vikings landed, which is currently believed to be the first contact between the Old World and the New World.

The sword was discovered off the coast of Oak Island, Nova Scotia, during investigations into local lore of treasure buried on the island, conducted as part of a History Channel show, “The Curse of Oak Island.” Although the sword alone doesn’t mean Romans were there, other artifacts have been found at the site as well including a stone with an ancient language connected to the Roman Empire, burial mounds in the ancient Roman style, crossbow bolts reportedly confirmed by U.S. government labs to have come from ancient Iberia (encompassed by the Roman Empire), coins connected to the Roman Empire, and more.

Comments

It's highly doubtful the Romans were there. They were too busy, in the Med. However, the Phoenicians are known to have been trading with Celts, in the New England area, BCE.

This sword is by no means a roman sword!
First of all, Romans used iron swords not bronze, and the form of te roman gladius is totally different!
Secondly the pommel of this sword seems to remember more certain "Celtic" swords, although, Celts are also known as a iron age people, not bronze...
Do not wish to be unfair, but should I see this sword out of this context I would assume a modern Chinese fake - lots of them, for sale in Ebay...

Simply repeating the wild speculations of fringe and fraudulent "news" sources doesn't count as a "discovery." Probably 2/3 of these were debunked in the Ancient Origins Facebook group. You guys should bother to read your own social media outlet.

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Myths & Legends

Trailer for Ouija Movie. (BagoGames/CC BY 2.0) Insert: Ouija board on your skull: noe valley, san francisco (2015).
Ouija boards, also known as talking boards or spirit boards, are a relatively modern tool/game that strikes fear and wonder in the hearts of many people. Almost everyone has heard stories of someone connecting with malevolent beings or suffering unfortunate events following the use of a Ouija board. But what’s the real story behind these terrifying tales?

Human Origins

A Wa'a Kaulua (double canoe) of Hawaiian Nobility of the 18th Century. Polynesia was inhabited by skilled seafarers.
Oceania was the last region to be settled by humans and the last part of Oceania to be settled by humans was Polynesia. Polynesians are famous for their voyages to remote islands in distant parts of the Pacific. Using outrigger canoes, they founded a society across islands stretching in a triangle from the Hawaiian Islands to Easter Island to New Zealand

Ancient Technology

All images courtesy of Dr Rita Louise
The vajra is the most important ritual implement of Vajrayana Buddhism. In Sanskrit, the word vajra is defined as something hard or mighty, as in a diamond. It symbolizes an impenetrable, immovable and indestructible state of knowledge and enlightenment.

Ancient Places

Antarctica.
On a chilly winter day in 1929, Halil Edhem, the Director of Turkey's National Museum, was hunched over his solitary task of classifying documents. He pulled towards him a map drawn on Roe deer skin. As Halil opened the chart to its full dimensions (two feet by three feet wide or 60 X 90 cm) he was surprised by how much of the New World was depicted on a map which dated from 1513.

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