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Mysteries

Most Mysterious Islands On Earth!

Most of the world’s islands are well-explored, their secrets learned long ago, but a few remain mysterious. Islands shown on maps for centuries suddenly appear to vanish. Dangerous, top secret facilities on remote islands are abandoned or destroyed. Sometimes, islands behave in ways seemingly inexplicable to those who discover or study them. An island seems to appear as if by magic, leaving experts to wonder what created it and how.

Islands all but completely cut off from the rest of the world produce flora that are not only unique but also look as though they could grow only on an alien world. Other islands are mysterious because of their inhabitants’ origin or fate. All of these ten strange and mysterious islands are truly amazing for these reasons and more.

Isla Bermeja, The Lost Island

Photo credit: Henry S. Tanner

On maps dating as far back as the 1700s, Isla Bermeja was shown off the Yucatan Peninsula’s coast, at a greater distance than any other island claimed by Mexico. The island was just what the country needed to extend its claim on offshore oil and stop the United States’ encroachment on Mexico’s interests in that department. There was just one problem: A 2009 National Autonomous University of Mexico study concluded the island doesn’t exist—at least not where it’s supposed to be. The search team, using underwater sensing devices and aerial reconnaissance assets, couldn’t find the island anywhere in the area in which maps indicated it should be.

The island is supposed to lie 55 nautical miles farther than Mexico’s 200-nautical-mile territorial limit. By claiming it, Mexico would extend its oil claims into the middle of the Gulf. Although the lost island wasn’t found, Elias Cardenas, the head of Mexico’s congressional Maritime Committee, planned to continue his country’s search for it, hoping it might turn up elsewhere. Perhaps the island had sunk or submerged, he said.

Mexican conspiracy theorists had their own ideas about what happened to Isla Bermeja. Maybe the US bombed it, or it could have been a victim of global warming or an earthquake. Cardenas is certain that bombing didn’t account for the mysterious island’s disappearance. “That would have been [ . . . ] very noticeable,” he said.

The elusive island was first reported missing in 1997, when a Navy fishing expedition was unable to find it. Until it disappeared, Isla Bermeja, which supposedly measured 80 square kilometers (31 mi2), had been the point from which Mexico’s 200 nautical-mile limit started. Currently, the Alacranes islands have determined the end of the country’s territorial limits. As a result, Mexico’s “economic zone” has been “sharply reduced.”[1]

Vozrozhdeniya Island

Photo credit: Amusing Planet

During the 1920s, Soviet Union officials were seeking a location with specific attributes. It had to be isolated, it had to be surrounded by desert, and it had to be within the borders of the Soviet empire. Two islands fit the bill. The Soviets chose Vozrozhdeniya, situated in the Aral Sea. There, a top secret biological weapons laboratory was constructed, where the plague, anthrax, smallpox, brucellosis, tularemia, botulinum, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis pathogens were genetically modified to resist medical treatment.

Gennadi Lepyoshkin, physician, microbiologist, and Soviet Army colonel, spent 18 years of his career on the island, where, in a year’s time, he said as many as 300 monkeys would be caged on a range, next to instruments that measured the concentrations of pathogens in the air. Following the monkeys’ exposure to the germs, they’d be taken to labs, where their bloodwas tested, and the progression of the diseases in their bodies would be monitored. “They would die within weeks, and we would perform autopsies,” Lepyoshkin said. The 1,500 people involved in the project not only worked on the island but lived there as well in the only town, Kantubek, which provided “a social club, a stadium, a couple of schools and shops,” Lepyoshkin said. It was a “beautiful” place, where workers could swim in the Aral Sea or sunbathe on its shore.

As the Aral Sea dried up, the island simply became part of the surrounding desert, and today, Kantubek lies in ruins, having been looted after it was abandoned by the Soviet Union. Scientists don’t believe the biological weapons laboratory poses much of a threat anymore. All the pathogens except anthrax, which can survive for centuries, have been destroyed by the area’s high temperatures and harsh conditions.

When they left, the Soviets buried the laboratory’s anthrax spores to conceal the project’s violation of the 1972 treaty banning biological weapons. In the 21st century, US and Uzbek officials visited the site, burning warehouses that contained “remains of the previous experiments.” US Defense Department officials believe the anthrax spores have been destroyed, although no one can know for certain that such is the case.[2]

Bannerman Island

Photo credit: Antony-22

Bannerman Island, in the Hudson River, is a half-hour boat ride from New York City. There’s no other way to get there. Visitors to the mysterious island are likely to wonder why there’s a castle on it. The edifice was built by Frank Bannerman VI, who made a fortune by reselling surplus military equipment he bought at government auctions at the end of the US Civil War.

He was in need of a place to store the huge quantities of black powder he’d purchased, along with other surplus items, when his son, David, mentioned Pollopel Island. Bannerman bought it in 1900, built a large arsenal there the next spring, and constructed a small castle atop the island, next to the arsenal, as his home, renaming the island after himself.

When Bannerman died in 1918, construction ceased. The ferryboat was destroyed in a storm in 1950, and the island was abandoned. On August 8, 1969, a fire gutted the arsenal, and New York state, which had bought Bannerman Island and its buildings in 1967, declared the island off-limits. It reopened in 2017, and tour guides now recount the island’s mysterious history to curious visitors.[3]

Earthquake Island

Photo credit: NASA

The powerful earthquake that killed 39 people and toppled homes in Pakistan in September 2013 also created an island.[4] According to Pakistan’s chief meteorologist, Mohammed Riaz, it was magnitude 7.7, while the US Geological Survey in Colorado claimed it was magnitude 7.8.

The island didn’t exist before the earthquake, but after the event, the Pakistan Meteorological Department’s director general, Arif Mahmood, said locals reported witnessing the creation of the tiny island, measuring 100 meters (330 ft) in length and 9 meters (30 ft) high, near the port of Gwadar. Pakistani officials said it was possible that the earthquake buckled land under the sea, creating the island, but further investigation would be conducted to determine the cause.

Magic Island

Astronomers spied a mysterious anomaly while analyzing data from NASA’sCassini probe photographing Saturn and its moons. Comparing older photos to the most current ones to see whether there were any changes, Jason Hofgartner, a planetary scientist at Cornell University, and his colleagues spotted what they dubbed a “magic island,” in one of Titan’s seas. The island was approximately 20 kilometers (12 mi) by 10 kilometers (6 mi).

While it’s possible that the “island” is nothing more than waves caused by winds that have strengthened enough to produce such effects or bubbles from gases rising from the seafloor, it’s also possible that the apparent mass actually is an island of sorts: It could be “solids becoming buoyant with the onset of warmer temperatures and floating on the surface, or solids that are neither sunken nor floating, but rather suspended in the sea like silt in a delta on Earth,” according to Hofgartner. To determine for sure what’s going on, NASA plans to “put a boat or raft on Titan’s seas” to better study the moon and its seas.[5]

Floating Eye Island

Photo credit: Elojo Project

Located in the Parana Delta, between the cities of Campana and Zarate in Buenos Aires Province in Argentina, is an island shaped like a nearly perfect circle with a diameter of 120 meters (390 ft). It is surrounded by a channel that also forms a nearly perfect circle. Thanks to the presence of the round land mass inside it, the channel looks much like a crescent moon. Together, the island and channel resemble an eye, an appearance that suggested the island’s nickname. “The Eye” floats; it also rotates on its own axis, film director director Sergio Neuspiller said. The filmmaker discovered the Eye in 2016, while he was scouting locations for a science fiction movie.

Having made the astonishing discovery of the mysterious island, Neuspiller and his crew, including Richard Petroni, a hydraulic and civil engineer from New York who’s become involved in the project, decided to make a crowd-funded documentary about the Eye, instead of filming the science fiction movie Neuspiller had originally intended to make.[6]

Socotra Island

Photo credit: Reuters/Alistair Lyon

Socotra Island, off the coast of Yemen, looks for all the world like an alien planet. Its endangered flora is unique due to the remote location’s isolation, temperature extremes, and arid conditions. A third of its plant life can be found nowhere else on Earth. Fortunately, 70 percent of the island has been set aside as a national park.

Some of the plants look like turnips planted upside down. The branches of another, the crimson sap of which has earned it the name Dragon’s Blood Tree, are devoid of leaves, except at their tips, which makes it look as though the branches are the tree’s roots and the tree is growing upside down. The strange tree is used for its supposed medicinal value, to produce fabric dye, to make incense, and to stain wood. The island’s bottle tree, adapted to store water in a dry climate, has a thick trunk, and its few limbs, thick near the trunk, give rise to clusters of much thinner branches ending in thick clumps of green leaves.

Surrounded by turquoise water, the island features huge limestone caves, homes to bats, the only mammal native to Socotra. Messages in a variety of languages have been carved into the caves’ walls. Researchers attribute them to sailors who stayed on the island between AD 1 and 6. The residents of the mysterious island are also unique: They all have a DNA haplogroup possessed by no other people on Earth, and some contend that the Garden of Eden was originally located on Socotra. In 2008, the UNESCO named Socotra a World Heritage Site.[7]

Diego Garcia

Photo credit: NASA

The vaguely U-shaped, 44-square-kilometer (17 mi2) atoll in the Indian Ocean known as Diego Garcia has thick, tropical jungles and white sand beaches. It was home to 2,000 native Chagossians, until the British government forcibly relocated them between 1968 and 1973 so that the US could build a naval base there in exchange for Britain’s agreement to lease the island, which is of strategic importance because it’s located between East Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, allowing the US to strike locations in both Asia and the Middle East.

Diego Garcia was used to stage air support operations during the 1991 Gulf War, the 2001 Afghanistan war, and the 2003 Iraq war. The remote, restricted island, some contend, is also the site of a secret US prison camp, although American authorities deny the truth of such speculations.[8]

Partridge Island

Photo credit: Fralambert

Canada’s Partridge Island, located off the coast of Saint John Harbour, New Brunswick, became a quarantine station in 1830. Immigrants stayed there, upon their arrival in Canada, to ensure that they didn’t spread shipboard diseases to Canadian citizens. Thousands of immigrants came to Canada during 1847’s Great Famine, and 2,500 Irish immigrants were quarantined on Partridge Island.

The diseases against which the quarantine guarded from spreading included cholera, typhus, smallpox, scarlet fever, yellow fever, and measles. Newly arrived immigrants were subjected to kerosene showers followed by showers in hot water. Many were sick, and Partridge Island couldn’t handle the huge numbers who came to Canada during the peak of the Irish Potato Famine. The influx of thousands of Irish earned the island the nickname “Canada’s Emerald Isle.”

Quarantined immigrants who died of disease were buried on the island, on one occasion in a mass grave, the grass over which was rumored to be of a more intense green than the surrounding lawn because the bones of the dead had nourished it. Closed in 1941, Partridge Island became a mysterious place “visited” only through photographs.[9]

Easter Island


Hoping Easter Island would give up its answer to their question as to how islanders had once lived there, farming thousands of miles from any continent, a team of researchers from the University of California at Santa Cruz used paleogenomic research to determine the genetic history of the Rapa Nui, as Easter Island’s lost people are known.

It was believed the Rapa Nui interbred with South Americans well before Europeans arrived on Easter Island in 1772, but to the surprise of the UC Santa Cruz team, the materials from museums they tested indicated no contact between the Rapa Nui and South Americans before the arrival of Europeans, which earlier studies had, making the team’s finding somewhat controversial. If the results of their research prove to be correct, it’s clear that the Rapa Nui didn’t have help from South Americans in creating and moving the island’s heavy moai. Unaided, the Rapa Nui carved and moved them themselves.

Raiders who kidnapped Rapa Nui to sell as slaves reduced their population from thousands to barely more than 100, and infighting and disease wiped out the rest, leaving their origin and, until recently, the creation of their statues, secrets as mysterious as the island itself.[10]

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Mysteries

Untangling the Mysteries of Egypt’s Great Pyramid

Although the gigantic Giza structures are a famed tourist trap, with anyone making their way to Cairo by all means dropping by to see the towering granite and limestone structures, little is known about the logistics behind the construction work as well as exactly which ingredients were used in the concrete mixture to bring together the stones.

Whatever the intrigue around the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza, which has been shrouded in mystery for virtually all the 4,000 years that the colossal structure has existed, it has now been revealed how a series of intact scrolls could shed a bit of light on it.

Channel 4’s documentary titled “Egypt’s Great Pyramid: The New Evidence” focuses on remarkable findings by archaeologist Pierre Tallet, who luckily stumbled upon a number of ancient papyrus scrolls in a cave in Wadi al-Jarf, later dubbing the discovery “the oldest and completely preserved papyrus ever found in the world”.

According to Dr Tallet, who spent almost four painstaking years trying to decipher the papyrus inscriptions, the unearthed document provides “very precious information about the way the workers were able to build such big constructions”.

“It reveals, in detail, how sailors worked on the pyramid’s construction”, the narrator in the series remarked, specifying even the name of the person who had allegedly authored the scrolls – Merer, who was “an overseer in charge of a cargo boat and a team of 40 elite workmen”. The latter, as it was revealed in the “only first-hand account” of those days, were performing “a daunting job of transporting the pyramid’s precious white casing stones along the River Nile”, with boatmen making two to three round trips along the Nile every ten days “from July to November”.

“Inspector” Merer’s diary is believed to date back to the 26th year of the reign of Pharaoh Khufu, who was buried inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest and largest of the three pyramids of the landmark architectural complex, and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The chronicle depicts several months of work involving the transportation of limestone from Tura to Giza, however, without specifying the place where the material was used. Yet, given that the document dates back to what is considered by historians to be the finishing years of Pharaoh Khufu’s reign, Dr Tallet believes the tonnes of transported limestone were used for cladding the exterior of the legendary pyramid.

{end of Sputniknews article}

Egypt’s Great Pyramid: The new evidence

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Mysteries

They find in Utah a Spanish coin minted 200 years before the arrival of Columbus to the New World

The American naturalist and cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson coined the term OOPArt , which means artifact out of place (out of place artifact in English). These are objects of historical, archaeological or paleontological interest that have been found in a very unusual place, considered too advanced for their time or that demonstrate the presence of humans before it was known that they existed. The acronym is rarely used by historians or scientists and is limited mainly to the terminology of cryptozoologists, defenders of the theories of ancient astronauts and travel in time.

Detractors argue that some experts use questionable methods to interpret these surprising findings. They believe that most OOPArts are simply misinterpretations or the assumption that a particular culture could not have created an artifact or technology due to its lack of knowledge. But even then hundreds of OOPArts have been discovered around the world that continue without explanation. That said, if Christopher Columbus discovered the New World in 1492, then how did a Spanish coin minted 200 years before his arrival end up in Utah?

That is the question that National Park Service (NPS) officials are trying to answer after the recent discovery of two mysterious coins near Lake Powell.

The strange coins

As reported by the US media KSL, last September a hiker was walking near Halls Crossing Marina when he found two circular metal objects that he thought were garbage, one the size of “25 cents” and the other smaller than a coin of “10 cents” . But when he looked more closely at them later, I note with astonishment that they were really two Spanish coins from hundreds of years ago.

Spanish currency - Utah coin found in a Spanish coin minted 200 years before the arrival of Columbus to the New World

The hiker began to search for coins online and discovered that the largest coincided with the Spanish coins minted in Madrid in the 1660s, while the smallest one seems to date back to the 1290s.

Controversy with timelines

It seems that the smallest coin is the one that has created mystery to the discovery since it predates the arrival of Columbus to the New World. It is also curious how Spanish coins have ended up in Utah since subsequent exploration trips through the American West are not close to the area where the coin was found. According to historians, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Vázquez de Coronado was the first to travel near Utah in his search for the mythical “Seven Golden Cities” in the early 1540s. But the closest he came was to the Hopi villages in northern Arizona, more than 160 kilometers to the south.

The hiker handed the coins to the National Park Service after the discovery, and officials are now looking for experts to help them figure out if the coins are real and, if so, how they ended up in the park.

Various theories

Brian Harmon, the archaeologist with the National Park Service, told  Business Insider that there are some different possibilities that are being investigated. Those possibilities include scenarios in which the coins are real and were brought to the area by the first Spanish explorers or settlers, and ended up in Utah after being exchanged. Another option is for them to be real, but they were accidentally lost in the lake, perhaps by a treasure hunt. Finally, there is a possibility that the coins are false or reproductions. While Harmon admits that he is not a currency expert, he believes they are true and that they ended up in Utah because of a former Spanish settler or explorer, since it would mean that there was a Spanish presence in the area much earlier than initially thought.

Park officials kept the discovery secret until recently, and have not wanted to reveal the exact location where the coins were discovered. They also warn that the use of metal detectors in national parks is illegal. The American archaeologist said he is thinking of traveling to the place where the coins were found to look for clues about how the coins arrived.

utah moneda espanola colon - They find in Utah a Spanish coin minted 200 years before the arrival of Columbus to the New World

And this has provoked a heated debate in social networks about the true origin of the moneadas. It is true that many agree with Brian Harmon’s theory, but it is also true that others point out that the coins are OOPArts, out of place and time artifacts. Also, remember that the find in Utah is similar to the mysterious coin found in a work in Mexico in 2018. In this case what caught his attention most was the inscriptions he had engraved on it: 2039, the symbol of the Nazi Party, the eagle and the swastika, as well as some words written in Spanish that said “New Germany”.

What do you think about the currencies of Utah? Is it about OOPArts? A test of time travelers? Or is there a logical and rational explanation?

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Mysteries

26 electricity poles in a row collapse on a street in Seattle for no apparent reason

© Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times

Mike Lindblom
Seattle Times

Two people were trapped in their car, center, for more than an hour after 26 power poles came crashing down on East Marginal Way on Friday afternoon. The two were discharged from the hospital late Friday.

The more than two dozen power poles that collapsed near the Museum of Flight on Friday underwent a “full inspection” three years ago, and showed no risks of a mass failure, said Debra Smith, the recently-hired CEO of Seattle City Light.

Some were replaced in 2016 as a result, some were due to be replaced within five years, and others had many years remaining, “but there were none that were outside of the identified life span,” Smith said in an interview Saturday.

Engineers this weekend are examining the 26 snapped wooden poles for clues, and walking East Marginal Way South to determine how and where to rebuild lines west of the huge roadway, she said.

City Light doesn’t have an explanation yet about why any of the poles suddenly toppled at 4 p.m. Friday, causing a domino effect where not just one but an entire row snapped.

The incident – which included the astonishing rescue of two people trapped inside a car by a tangle of live wires and a pole that had smashed through the windshield – raises questions: Why did poles break on the west side of the six-lane road but not the east side? Why would so many topple together? Were they carrying an excessive weight or number of distribution lines?

Some people who work nearby, or took photos, have conjectured that rotten wood succumbed during spring gusts.

Weather may have triggered the failure, but the showers and wind Friday weren’t unusual for spring in Seattle. According to the National Weather Service, gusts reached 30 mph. Further review didn’t show strong evidence of any freak “microburst,” and no other structures near Boeing Field were damaged, said meteorologist Carly Kovacik.

A witness reported seeing lightning, but that may have been a spark near a pole, a City Light spokesman said. The weather service said there were no lightning strikes.

The Tukwila Police Department released video of power lines striking a car in Tukwila on Friday, April 5, 2019. A couple in the car suffered minor injuries.

A possible factor, Smith said, is the posts are 90 feet tall to allow Boeing to roll airplanes out of hangars and cross the road to King County International Airport. If a pole falls, the torque is much greater than with shorter utility poles, she said. In addition, they carry large, heavy distribution lines from Tukwila toward central Seattle.

Utility workers quickly cleared the tangle of wires and broken posts overnight, and by Saturday only 13 customers remained without electricity. Power was out at some Boeing offices and buildings, while a few businesses in the area were using temporary generators, said City Light spokeswoman Julie Moore.

The street was fully reopened around 2:30 p.m. Saturday, with four-way stops replacing some traffic signals, Tukwila police said. The corridor is within Tukwila city limits but supplied by Seattle’s electric utility.

On Friday, officials reported 24 poles fell, but increased the count to 26 on Saturday.

Some metal streetlights and traffic signals were also pulled or knocked down, pictures show. For a time, live wires draped the museum’s tubular pedestrian bridge. The two people trapped in the car Friday were discharged from Harborview Medical Center late Friday, and Smith said she’s thankful they weren’t hurt seriously.

Read the rest here

About the author

Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631 or mlindblom@seattletimes.com; on Twitter: @MikeLindblom. Staff reporter Mike Lindblom covers transportation for The Seattle Times.

Comment: Ok, now that is weird.

Some kind of power surge? Perhaps not via the power grid per se (which utilities and companies would have noticed), but from the atmosphere? From below ground? But then why would such an externally-sourced surge snap strong wooden poles in the same manner along a discrete, specific area?

An eyewitness in this King 5 Seattle News report describes seeing “a flash of light” and hearing “an explosion” just before “they all came tumbling down…”

This ABC News report includes footage from people’s camera-phones, recorded shortly aft it happened. The weather doesn’t look particularly windy, though there could still have been a super-brief meteorological micro-burst moments before…

Here’s CCTV footage of the moment it happened. It is overcast, raining, and somewhat windy, but the trees in the background don’t move as much as one might expect during the intensity of a micro-burst:

Also notice how, in the second angle CCTV view, beginning at 00:35, there’s a flash, followed by the pole in view beginning to keel over. Note also that it broke right at its base, at ground level…

More info from another Seattle Times report:

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Seattle said there were no Boeoi strikes in Western Washington on Friday.

There was a decent burst of wind accompanied by moderate rain earlier in the day, but nothing particularly alarming, said Carly Kovacik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

Around 16,500 customers in South Seattle, Tukwila, Burien and White Center lost power as a result of the incident, but power was restored to all but 300 of them by 6 p.m., according to Seattle City Light. Some Boeing offices in the area lost power, White said.

David Drum, a structural engineer who works at Boeing, said he left his office around 4:15 p.m. and saw at least 10 poles on the ground on the west side of the street.

“It was really dramatic. Really dystopian. The poles were snapped. They hit the ground with enough force and splintered,” he said. “It must have taken a lot of force to do what I saw.”

Indeed, it’s as if some powerful EM force bent everything – power poles, street signs, a couple of trees, street lights – over, in one direction and on one side of the street.

Also, Seattle City Light power company has announced that an unnamed “third party” will be conducting an “independent” investigation into what happened. Hmmm…

It’s very interesting that Boeing HQ is located nearby… in fact, it’s located RIGHT THERE!
boeing seattle power poles

Rough location of downed power poles in red. Known Boeing, Inc. facilities marked in yellow…

The mile-long stretch where these poles broke corresponds more or less exactly with the stretch of East Marginal Way in Seattle where Boeing offices, hangars and testing centers are located. Boeing Field airport, named after the founder of the major airplane and weapons company, runs parallel to this stretch of road…

Boeing’s run of bad luck continues…

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