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Mysterious Phenomena

This section of Ancient Origins will help you to discover some of the mysteries and unexplained phenomena of the world that remain unsolved even today.

Aztec ritual human sacrifice portrayed in the Codex Magliabechiano

Aztec Death Whistles Sound like Human Screams and May Have Been Used as Psychological Warfare

When odd, skull-shaped grave items were found by archaeologists decades ago at an Aztec temple in Mexico, they were assumed to be mere toys or ornaments, and were catalogued and stored in warehouses...
Detail of a mural from an Eastern Han tomb with artificial pigment

Han Purple: A 2,800-year-old artificial pigment that quantum physicists are trying to understand

Han purple is an artificial pigment created by the Chinese over 2,500 years ago, which was used in wall paintings and to decorate the famous terracotta warriors, as well as ceramics, metal ware, and...
mermaid

Are tales of mythical mermaids inspired by a real-life medical condition?

Mermaids have occupied our imagination for thousands of years, originating in ancient Assyria with the legend of goddess Atargatis, whose worship spread to Greece and Rome. In one account, Atargatis...
The mythological Kappa

Are mummified remains of unidentified creature proof of the mythological Kappa?

In ancient Japanese folklore, the Kappa is a water demon that inhabits rivers and lakes and devours disobedient little children. While some believe the legend originated from sightings of the...
Artistic representations of the Paracas people

Ancient rock lines created by enigmatic Paracas culture predate Nazca geoglyphs

A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , has revealed the discovery of a complex set of geoglyphs constructed by the mysterious Paracas people of Peru...
Loch Ness

Buddhist Lama says Loch Ness monster is mythological water deity

The first Buddhist Lama in Britain, who is leading the project to create a new Buddhist centre in the Highlands of Scotland said the famous Loch Ness monster is a naga, a water deity which brings...
Voynich Manuscript

Can Mexican plant unravel the enigma of the Voynich manuscript?

The 15th Century Voynich manuscript is considered to be the most mysterious text ever uncovered as it has never been deciphered despite over a century of attempts to uncover its meaning and more than...
Hypogeum of Malta

The incredible sound effects of Malta’s Hypogeum Hal Saflieni

The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni in Malta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is believed to be the oldest prehistoric underground temple in the world. The subterranean structure is shrouded in mystery...
Spinello Aretino Exorcism of St Benedict

Demonic possession and the ancient practice of exorcism

Last year, the Roman Catholic Church announced that they were training up a new army of exorcists to meet the growing demand for experts to rid people of evil spirits. The Church claims that the “...
Legendary sea monsters - Kraken

Legendary sea monsters of the past may not be myth after all

According to Scandinavian mythology, the Kraken was a giant sea creature (said to be 1 mile long) believed to eat whales and devour entire ships, and generally described as being similar to an...
Lost City of Giants - Ecuador

Have explorers in Ecuador found ‘Lost City of Giants'? – Part 2

Further to the article published a few days ago relating to the discovery of a pyramid structure in the Ecuadorian jungle, author and researcher Bruce Fenton has released further details about this...
The Lost city of the Giants

Have explorers in Ecuador found ‘Lost City of Giants'?

Last year, a team of explorers and researchers discovered what they believed to be an ancient pyramid complex in a remote area of the Ecuador Amazonian jungle, one not known to the general public...
Alien Slime - Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum sets up unit to investigate unexplained phenomena

It is reassuring to see that there are still some brave scientists around willing to investigate the less conventional findings rather than simply placing them in the ‘too hard to solve’ basket – the...
Agra Fortress

Archaeologists Dig For Treasure after Tip From Hindu Holy Man

Archaeologists have launched a furious dig for treasure beneath a 19 th century fort in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in India after a well-known Hindu holy man predicted a substantial cache of...
Sea Monsters

The Evolution of Sea Monsters on Medieval Maps

A recently published book published by the British Library charts the evolution of iconic sea serpents, mermaids and other mythical creatures found on world maps from the 10 th century through to...
Evil Eye

A 1,800-year-old ring and the curse of the ‘evil eye’

Last year, archaeologists in Croatia found a remarkable 1,800-year-old ring with an ‘eye’ that was used to protect the wearer from spells or a bad curse, often referred to as the ‘evil eye’. The...

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