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Secrets of the Aral Sea

In former times, the Aral Sea was one of the largest bodies of water on the planet. Now this sea is almost completely disappearing from the face of the planet, turning into a chain of individual lakes.

In 1989, the Aral Sea split into two separate bodies of water – the Northern (small) and Southern (large) Aral Sea. At the same time, the South Aral Sea was divided into two more parts: eastern and western. In 2014, the eastern part of the South Sea dried out completely.

The drying process of the Aral Sea by years
The drying process of the Aral Sea by years

The name of the Aral Sea has changed several times. The first mention of this sea is found in the works of ancient historians. Herodotus in 448 BC described the Aral Sea as associated with the Caspian, calling it the “Saki Gulf of the Caspian Sea.” In the XI century, the Arab geographer Istraha described the sea as “Lake Khorezm” in his book “Climate”. In the XVII century, Russian scientists conducted a complete study of the Aral Sea, including it in the Big Drawing Book and a map of the Russian state. The Aral Sea was then called the Blue Sea. The current name of the sea appeared only in the twentieth century. When the sea decreased in size and several islands became immediately available to the eyes of local residents, it was called the Aral Sea, which means “island sea”.

Aral Sea from space
Aerial view of the Aral Sea, 2010

The Aral Sea islands have become a kind of natural reserves, and the unique location and inaccessibility has attracted the attention of the USSR authorities. At one time, these islands were called the most “closed” reserves of the entire Soviet Union because of the strict access regime. It is known that on the Renaissance Island in Soviet times there was a laboratory where scientists worked with the bacteria typhoid, plague, anthrax. As a result of testing bacteriological weapons, there was a ban on residents of neighboring villages from approaching the island for more than 60 km. This military facility operated for almost 45 years until 1992, until it was closed.

Once travelers who managed to visit there even before the shallowing, described the water surface of the Aral Sea infinitely blue and merging with the sky. It is not surprising that in Russian chronicles the Aral Sea was called the Blue Sea. It is believed that the famous wreck of the ships of Sadko (the hero of epics from Slavic mythology) took place there.

Aral Sea from satellite in 2019
Satellite image of the Aral Sea, 2019

Satellite images of 2018-2019 show that the sea has essentially ceased to exist, having turned into a chain of separate reservoirs that are doomed to final drying out without feeding with river water.

Sands and ships on the site of the Aral Sea

Natural riddles of the Aral Sea

By the way, the Aral Sea is also called the “wrong sea”. This was facilitated by a number of natural puzzles:

  • According to physical laws, due to the influence of the Earth’s rotation, all seas, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water in the Northern Hemisphere deviate to the right. And the current of the Aral Sea, on the contrary, deviates to the left and moves clockwise.
  • Also, in all water bodies, with increasing depth, the oxygen saturation of the water decreases, and in the Aral Sea, the opposite happens – oxygen only increases in depth.
  • In the Aral Sea, sulfates and carbonates prevail (sea salt contains sulfate anions (0.82%) and calcium cation (0.03%). This means that the composition of its water is different from typical sea water, but it cannot be considered river. Thus, the Aral Sea is the only sea in the description of which the concept of semi-sea and semi-river water is used.

Aral Sea - sulfates

This amazing pond holds many other mysteries. On June 19-20, 1990, aerial photography was carried out at a level of the Big Sea of ​​about 38 meters abs., That is, after a decrease of 15 meters. In photographs taken on a scale of 251 meters in 1 centimeter, hundreds of giant figures suddenly appeared, shining through shallow water and lying on the dried up areas of the seabed. A variety of figures consisted of single or several parallel lines of an unusual shape and suggested the idea of ​​their artificial origin. Therefore, the figures were given the name “Traces of unknown activity at the bottom of the Aral Sea” or simply “Aral Traces”. In the pictures, they cover an area of ​​about 500 square kilometers, but it seems to continue beyond the boundaries of aerial photography. Before the sea level began to fall, the figures were at depths of 10-15 meters, and were not visible from the surface of the sea.

Bottom of the aral sea

For different figures, the lines have a length from 100-200 meters to 6-8 kilometers, and their width, strictly constant within each figure, varies from 2 to 100 meters. Some figures can contain up to several tens of parallel lines resembling a stroke of a comb up to 1-2 km long.

Under water, the lines look like black stripes with narrow light fringes, similar to the dumps of soil of earth channels, and when drying on the shore, they become whitish, low-contrast. The black color of the lines along their length upon reaching the drained shore indicates their concave relief, similar to the cross-section of the channels, and their fullness with water. According to indirect signs in the pictures and measurements of two figures on the ground, it was found that the lines of the figures are furrows with an initial depth of 0.4-0.5 meters formed in sandy-silty soil of the seabed. Light spots on the surface of the water are sun glare. The black lines that come against their background are the convex parts of the furrows in the form of dumps of soil, towering above the surface of the water.

The age of the furrows, if it is supposed to be estimated on the pictures according to the degree of contouring of their contours and taking into account the relatively low rate of accumulation of bottom organic sediments, can be roughly determined up to several hundred years. And the pictures of mutual intersection of furrows (up to four times in succession) speak of cases of their successive formation (conduction) at different times on top of previously created ones.

Now it looks like this:

Parallel grooves at the bottom of the sea were also discovered, which appeared relatively recently, as the water receded. The nature of these furrows is not clear, but, in fact, these are recesses / furrows, the width of which is on average 100-200 meters.

Furrows at the bottom of the Aral Sea

The indicated location on the Goole Maps:

Interestingly, in addition to settlements, saxaul trunks are still found at the bottom, which grew 200-300 years before the arrival of sea water. These trunks are preserved and in some places protrude on the surface of a dry bottom, merging with the current steppe landscape. And only specialists understand the value of such finds.

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Findings of saxaul at the bottom of the sea also shows that the Aral Sea is very young and formed by catastrophic processes, and its disappearance is not necessarily related to human activities.

Human settlements on the site of the Aral Sea

In the Aral Sea, there are about 60 historical and architectural monuments. According to the researchers, the sea water left there and replenished more than once before, in ancient times. Found at the beginning of the 21st century on the seabed, the remains of the Kerderi mausoleum dating from the 11th-14th centuries, and the Aral Asar settlement, which dates back to the Golden Horde period, testify to the medieval culture and civilization that once reigned there. Traces of caravan roads, stones, a brick workshop, candles and coins, large mill and granaries were also found on the seabed. In general, there are remains of ancient settlements and religious buildings from the 11th to the 16th centuries. Other architectural monuments reveal themselves gradually, as the Aral Sea becomes shallow. Therefore, the largest finds, according to archaeologists, are ahead. These places are called the Aral Atlantis.

Excavations of the Kerderi Mausoleum, the bottom of the Aral Sea
Excavations of the Kerderi Mausoleum, the bottom of the Aral Sea

According to scientists, the ancient settlement, conditionally called Aral-Asar, covers an area of ​​6 hectares. The building structures of the city today are almost indistinguishable, they are blurred and smoothed by the waters of the Aral. But archaeologists in large numbers found household items: millstone, ceramic vessels and their fragments, fragments of iron and bronze products. Found 14 millstones and adjacent premises for the storage of flour – Khumdanov. Apparently, flour milling was developed. There was an irrigation canal 2-2.5 meters wide, passing through the hillfort, indicating a developed irrigation system and the fact that residents stretched water, apparently, from the channels of the ancient channels of the Amu Darya or Syr Darya for many tens of kilometers.

Gold jewelry

The evidence of those who lived in the south of the Aral Sea is also interesting. Here is what Viktor Lukyanov writes:

I remember that in the year 1972-76, my father’s friend, a land reclamation machine operator who worked in the Ellikalinsky district of Karakalpakstan to develop virgin lands (it seems under rice cultivation), returned from the shift and said: “We remove the dune with a bulldozer, and there are beds! It turns out that before people lived and there was water! The desert turns out to be approaching. ”

At about the same time, the tugboat captain, a distant relative who was transporting barges from Muynak to Aralsk, was surprised to note that at the bottom of the building are visible – the ruins of houses and duvals. Then the problem of drying out of the Aral Sea was already manifested and he noted what it means, in the past the sea was even smaller. Recently, scientists found a mosque on a dry bottom. There was a legend in that locality that the local khan defeated his neighbor Amudarya in dice for three days to water the land, but it was not possible to return it to its former course (Uzboy).

Two examples of the sandy settlements can still be seen on satellite maps in the Takhtakpyr district of Karakalpakstan (Republic of Uzbekistan) at coordinates 42.616329 61.200814 and 42.632005, 61.083315:

Sandy populated areas of Karakalpakstan

Of particular interest is the fact that bones of people and animals living in settlements are found at excavation sites within the boundaries of the former bottom of the Aral Sea. Their chaotic location at the time of death suggests that death came relatively quickly and inevitably, most likely as a result of some kind of cataclysm.

There is also reason to believe that the Aral Sea was filled and dried up not the first time. This gives hope that the water in the sea will return, perhaps in centuries. The cyclic nature of this process has not yet been studied.

Geoglyphs of the Aral Sea

Around the drying up Aral Sea, a lot of talk arose about the manifestation of signs and symbols (geoglyphs), appearing from under the water column as it dries. However, the most common examples of such geoglyphs with more thorough verification turned out to be fakes.

The following message is quite common on the Internet:

In 1990, employees of the Kazakh Research Institute, surveying the coastal zones of the Aral Sea, took dozens of large geometric patterns similar to the famous images in the Nazca desert at a depth of 15 meters. Surprisingly correct geometric shapes were made in one direction and covered about 500 square meters, and the width of the drawings ranged from 2 to 50 meters. Immediately after the discovery of these mysterious geoglyphs, a sand dam broke, and the water flooded the place of shooting, and their origin was never found out.

All such messages are usually accompanied by photographs of geoglyphs of rather poor quality, without indicating their exact location. However, a deeper study of this topic will lead those interested in the following results:

1. The figure is visible on Google Maps at the coordinates 46 ° 40’50.0 ″ N 61 ° 26’13.0 ″ E (46.680556, 61.436944).

Geoglyph at the bottom of the Aral Sea

2. The figure is not observed on other cards, for example, on more detailed Bing cards.

Geoglyph at the bottom of the Aral Sea

3. The dimensions of the figure do not match what is given in the message. Actual dimensions: the figure is 250 meters wide and 230 meters high.

4. The thickness of the lines matches the standard width that a classic car leaves. It is significant that to the southeast of the figure a trace from the car is visible, part of the path of which is “painted over” in the same color as the geoglyph. As if in this place they trained or didn’t have time to “finish” another geoglyph. It can be assumed that this could technically be done, for example, by tying something massive and heavy to the car, which would leave a mark on the steppe surface. There is nothing supernatural in this.

Car tracks

You can form your own opinion by examining the indicated location on the Goole Maps:

Another example is no less remarkable. Here is the source text of the message:

The most amazing and most understandable symbol is the “pointing arrow”. Unfortunately, no full-scale studies of these formations have been carried out so far, which means where the giant arrow points and whether the rest of the symbols mean anything at all, remains a mystery.

Arrow symbol at the bottom of the Aral Sea

Studies have shown that:

1. The figure is located at 45 ° 12’13.2 ″ N 58 ° 20’30.4 ″ E (45.203658, 58.341767). This is not the bottom of the Aral Sea, but the steppe on its western shore.

2. The figure was indeed “drawn” on the surface, but in such a way that it becomes less noticeable every year. For example, on Google Maps it is no longer visible, but on Bing maps it is still distinguishable.

Arrow symbol at the bottom of the Aral Sea

This allows two conclusions:

  • The technology for creating a symbol on the surface of the steppe is less stable than traces from the wheels of cars, which quite nearby created a round shape with roads going to the sides.
  • If a figure became barely distinguishable in just a few years, it could not be created centuries or millennia ago – this is a remake.

Thus, the figure of the “arrow” is in fact real, but not having any relation to ancient symbols.

The image of another figure from the territory of the Aral Sea “wanders” on the Internet and causes various associations – this is the figure of a “star”. Here is the image:

Airport near the village Aralsk-7 (Kantubek)

In fact, there is nothing mystical in it, since we are talking about the territory of the airport near the village of Aralsk-7 (Kantubek), the Republic of Uzbekistan. This is an abandoned closed city on the former Renaissance island. The city of Kantubek was an administrative-residential zone of the training ground, where 1.5 thousand people lived (employees of the training ground with families, as well as about 800 military servicemen). Currently, the city is uninhabited and is in ruined condition. From 1942 to 1992, a military biochemical training ground with the code name “Barkhan” operated on Renaissance Island.

3 kilometers west of the city of Kantubek in the early 1960s, a military airfield was built, consisting of four runways (initially unpaved) in the form of a wind rose. In the 1980s, aerodrome runways were equipped with concrete slabs.

The landfill with the city of Kantubek functioned until 1992. In October-November 1992, the military contingent (along with their families) was relocated to Russia (the city of Kirov), the biological laboratory was dismantled, the documentation and some of the equipment were removed, the rest was abandoned on the island and over time the city gradually collapsed.

What it looks like now can be viewed on Google Maps at coordinates 45.158434, 59.296239.

In conclusion, it should be noted that the Aral Sea is indeed a very interesting and mysterious place where many mysteries remain. But these riddles are mostly natural and such that require more in-depth scientific research with field expeditions.



The mystery of Atlantis in a mysterious Nazi bunker

This story began in the summer of 1945 when Hitler’s faithful ally, Obergruppenführer SA Ley, who was being held as a war criminal in Nuremberg, alarmed the Allied command with the message that the south of Germany was in danger of disaster. 

He told the Americans that in one of the underground bunkers, code-named Z3, where until the last days of the war the development of Nazi top-secret weapons continued, right before the surrender of Germany, containers with some very dangerous substance were depressurized due to sabotage of prisoners of war. If you do not enter the bunker and do not eliminate the leak, at least a third of the country’s population will die. To prevent so many deaths, Robert Ley, is ready to go down into the dungeon.

Mysterious bunker

Photo © Steffi Loos / Getty Images

The Americans are alarmed. During the war years, the Nazis really launched a stormy activity underground, having built more than 130 underground factories. Obviously, Lei, who held prominent posts and was responsible not only for the Labor Front, but also for the organization of forced labor of prisoners of war and other foreign workers, really could know a lot about the Nazi secret designs.

The Z3 bunker was located in Weimar, and, according to the Americans, the Nazis were engaged in the development of new engines for aircraft. For the manufacture of fuel, they used previously unknown substances and a huge amount of mercury.

The Americans could not let Ley go down to the bunker himself, he had to play a prominent role in the Nuremberg trials – the Nazi was accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Americans did not want to risk a prominent captive, therefore, under the guise of fulfilling allied agreements, Soviet specialists were invited to participate in the liquidation of the accident. They didn’t talk about the real state of things, they threw disinformation on the Soviet command about the development by the Nazis of engines for submarines working on hydrogen peroxide.

Of course, the leadership of the USSR was interested in the new product. Despite the victory, the Soviet Union still lagged behind in a number of research and development. For example, the Nazis in 1941 for the first time launched an underwater rocket from the U-511 submarine. In the USSR, even after four years, they could only dream about it. The Soviet leadership was interested in the Nazi development of plasma weapons, new disk-shaped aircraft and climate weapons. Therefore, in the USSR, it was decided to participate in the inspection of the Z3 bunker. As a performer, they decided to send a self-taught chemist, a specialist in the synthesis of phosphors (substances capable of converting energy into light), senior lieutenant Nikolai Zhirov to Weimar.

Orders are not discussed

Nikolai Zhirov was truly passionate about science. Due to the death of his father, he could not get higher education, but at the age of 25 he published the first scientific articles on the synthesis of phosphors. He had a very noble origin for the USSR, graduated from high school and independently mastered a chemistry course that was not taught at the educational institution. Before the war, he graduated from the Kiev school of command personnel for artillerymen, then retired, worked at the Moscow Research Institute of the Commissariat of Ammunition, and in 1940 published a monograph on phosphors. During the war years, Zhirov developed phosphors of blue glow for the needs of air defense.

When he was called to the Lubyanka on July 6, 1945, Zhirov was sure that he would be offered to work with the archives of the Nazis, because he had excellent knowledge of German at the gymnasium. However, they issued him a certificate of the specially authorized State Defense Committee of the USSR, took a non-disclosure subscription and sent him on a business trip to Weimar. From it, a 42-year-old scientist returned a completely different person.

Nikolai Zhirov. Photo © Wikipedia

It is known that in Weimar, Robert Ley personally indicated a hidden entrance to the bunker, after which specialists in chemical protection suits cleared the rubble and found that the lifts were working. However, neither the Americans nor the British decided to go down. And then Nikolai Zhirov did it.

But neither the protective suit, nor the gas mask that Zhirov prudently put on, helped the scientist. After the chemist completed the task and rose to the surface, he became ill. Zhirov was immediately taken to the hospital.

The historian Alexander Voronin in the film “Berlin – Atlantis” mentioned that Zhirov admitted:

In the Nazi dungeon he experienced damage to the nervous system by chemicals unknown to him. But what he saw in the bunker, Zhirov, bound by a state secret, never told anyone.

Patient Zhirov was urgently taken to Moscow and put in the Botkin hospital, where he was until April 1947. The diagnosis, which was given to him by Soviet doctors, did not explain anything: a viral lesion of the central nervous system. At the hospital, Zhirov raved about Atlantis and read excerpts from Plato as a keepsake.

It was here, in a hospital bed, that he found a new meaning in life – the search for an ancient civilization. Zhirov was sure that the Nazis found the source of ancient knowledge, which means that in the USSR it was necessary to open a department similar to the Nazi research organization Anenerbe and find out where, in what source the Nazis drew ideas for new discoveries.

Finding Atlantis

Photo © Wikipedia

Zhirov was discharged from the hospital as a disabled person of group I, but the scientist was not discouraged – he surrounded himself with textbooks on geology, geography and history and began to search for Atlantis. Despite the fact that in 1948 Zhirov was awarded the degree of Doctor of Chemistry for the totality of works, his new activity did not arouse enthusiasm among the authorities. The chemist continually sent articles to magazines in France and Britain, wrote to foreign colleagues, and therefore was closely monitored by the KGB.

By the second half of the 1950s, Zhirov was sure: Atlantis existed and should rightfully occupy one of the sections of the biogeography of the Quaternary – the geological segment of time, which continues to this day. The bride in a circle. How did the ancient Slavs treat women?

In 1957, his work “Atlantis” was completed, and in 1964 the scientific publication “Atlantis. The main problems of Atlantology” saw the light, in which the author examined the civilization of Atlantis as a period of the formation of mankind and argued that Atlantis really existed, and in the Atlantic when then there was a huge continent, which, as a result of the disaster, plunged into the abyss. Zhirov was sure: the Nazis had somehow found and used the knowledge of this civilization, ahead of the world by decades.

A terminally ill chemist hoped that in the USSR his work would be appreciated, but this did not happen. Soviet science was aimed only at the future, for a great civilization of the past there was no place in it. When Nikolai Zhirov died in 1970, his entire archive was seized and kept secret. Whether this was made out of the principle “no matter what happens” or if the leadership of the USSR really tried to hide something that became known from the archives of the Nazis, we may never know.

But the idea of ​​searching for the ancient Atlantean civilization was eagerly picked up by other Soviet scientists and writers. In 1961, with the introduction of academician Vasily Struve, the book by Atlantis. In Search of the Lost World was published by Ekaterina Andreeva. The search for the mythical Hyperborea took up the famous geologist and geographer Vladimir Obruchev.

In 1974, when researching Mount Amper in the Atlantic Ocean at a depth of 80 meters, the MSU Academician Petrovsky research vessel found clear evidence of the existence of an ancient civilization that was destroyed by a cataclysm and sunk under water. Mount Amper is located about 380 kilometers southwest of Cape San Vicente on the Iberian Peninsula (coordinates 35 ° 03 ‘N, 12 ° 54’ W, minimum depth 59 meters). Repeated pictures of the mountain were taken in 1980 by the Paisys underwater vehicle, and in 1981 even an underwater bell with divers was lowered to Mount Amper. According to scientists, Atlantis was located between the mountain and the mainland and plunged into the sea about eight and a half thousand years ago.

But, unfortunately, shortly after this, the scientific community of the USSR considered research in the Atlantic an empty diversion, and all research was curtailed. The Atlantis of Nikolai Zhirov remained closed. Materials on the Z3 bunker are also still classified.

Source: Life

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Area 51 Myths Behind Real Secrets

The US does not hold aliens at the most famous top-secret military base, but what is happening there is no less interesting

An unnamed dusty road leads to the main gateway to the mythical Area 51 in the center of the barren Nevada desert. It seems that the area is almost not guarded, but there is no need to cheat, PopularMechanics writes.

Camcorders look over every corner of the surroundings here. According to local residents, each crawling desert turtle and a hare jumping over the fence are known at the base.

Area 51 from above

For decades around Area 51, the most wild rumors and hypotheses have arisen. The fact that since 1947 UFO debris and the remains of aliens who died in the Roswell accident have been stored at the base is not the most colorful version. Some believe that in fact it is the wreckage of a secret Soviet aircraft, which was piloted by dwarf mutants.

Only a select few are dedicated to what is actually happening at the base, says Peter Merlin, a science and technology historian who has been studying Site 51 for 30 years.

The launch of Area 51 is directly related to the secret development of the U-2 spy plane, which began in November 1954 by order of President Eisenhower. A secret place for the implementation of the project was found in southern Nevada near the air artillery range of World War II.

Tests of the spy plane began in July 1955. Almost immediately, the first reports of UFOs appeared. From the CIA report, which was fully declassified in 2013, it can be seen that these messages came from pilots of commercial airlines, who had never seen before, so that military aircraft could take off as high as the U-2.

The U-2 program ended in the late 1950s, but in Area 51, tests continued for other top-secret military aircraft: A-12, Bird of Prey, F-117A and TACIT BLUE.

Attempts were made in the skies over Nevada to study and master the Soviet MiGs secretly trapped in the USA in the 1970s. According to some reports, such flights continue today. In September 2017, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force died in Nevada, crashing on a plane identified as foreign.

Area 51 is currently under active construction, as seen on Google Earth maps. The strange lights in the sky in the zone are explained simply – these are local airline planes with the call sign Janett transporting employees under a semi-secret contract to the base from McCarran Airport.

Merlin and other researchers believe that now they are testing improved stealth technologies, electronic warfare systems, drones, directional energy weapons and lasers.

Whatever the case, the inventions around the base are actively used by the local residents and local authorities to attract tourists. As far back as 1996, Nevada renamed Highway 375 to “Extraterrestrial Highway,” and the “Alien Research Center,” alien sculptures, grew around, even to the west of Area 51, “The Only Alien Themed Brothel in the World.”


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The Tommyknockers: Mysterious Green Men

When the inhabitants of Wales and the county of Devon went to work in the mines, they often heard strange taps there, and after they saw little green men in a mining robe and with a pickaxe in their hands. At the word “Tommyknocker”, most people recall the famous science fiction novel by Stephen King, while the original meaning of this term is almost forgotten today.

However, hundreds of years ago, Tommyknockers were no less popular than leprechauns, with which they have a lot in common. The difference is that Tommyknockers live in caves and dungeons, like European gnomes.

Most often, Tommyknockers (originally just knockers) are described in Welsh and Devonian folklore. Their name can be translated as “Those who knock” – it was believed that it was the knockers who knock on the walls of the mines to cause deadly collapses. Local miners have repeatedly heard these mysterious taps. Some are convinced that the knockers are vicious and long for death, but many of the miners themselves, who personally saw strange little men in underground tunnels, assured that the knockers, on the contrary, try to warn people about the danger and that if they hear these taps, leave in time then you can happily avoid a rock collapse.

Eyewitnesses described Tomminokers as tiny men half a meter tall, with greenish skin, normal human body proportions, and dressed in dirty clothes that looked like a typical mining robe. All tomminokers seen were men. When the gold rush began in California in the 19th century and everyone began to dig mines and look for gold, many British miners went to the United States and brought with them faith in the Knockers. When they began to meet strange little men in American mines, stories about this quickly spread throughout the states and at some point they began to call the Knockers tomminokers.

At the same time, it was believed that strange knocks in a mine might not portend a blockage, but rather indicate rich deposits of ore or other valuable minerals. And when someone heard these sounds, he set off to wander through the tunnels in search of their source. Most often, such miners then simply went missing, but there were also those who really came across a rich mine. That is why it is difficult to say unequivocally whether Tommyknockers were considered bad or good creatures. When collapses occurred, people died or disappeared, Tommyknockers were scolded, but if thanks to their knocks they managed to find a vein or get out of the labyrinth of tunnels, they were called good and thanked.

After a few decades, a whole layer of “urban legends” appeared, according to which strange knocks in mines produce ghosts of dead miners and they do this to warn the living of danger. It was after this that folklore about Tomminokers began to be forgotten gradually, yielding to faith in ghosts. Now the miners began trying to appease the ghosts and brought pieces of bread or cake with them to the mine to leave them in some niche and ask the ghosts for protection and mercy.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, Tommyknockers had almost sunk into oblivion. They were remembered only by collectors of fairy tales or by locals whose houses stood next to the mines and who sometimes also heard strange taps.

There were rumors that when the mine closes, Tommyknockers “go live” to the nearest houses and knock already there, now predicting not collapses, but the death of family members or accidents.

Today, many researchers believe that centuries ago, small children often worked in mines, including illegally, and that it was precisely the miners who faced them underground. The greenish skin of children could become so from contact with copper.

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