From World Wars to social history, history is full of interesting and odd stories. There is an era in history that everyone can embrace. With history comes mystery, and some of the world’s greatest historical riddles have ultimately been solved thanks to renowned scientists and intellectuals.
5 – Blood Rain
On the morning of July 25th, 2001, the people of India were witnesses to one of history’s most terrifying events. Rain began to fall from the sky as the occupants awoke and went about their daily routine.
This was to be expected, given that they were in the midst of monsoon season, which meant that significant rain was forecast. What they didn’t expect was for the rain to fall from the sky in a rich, dark red color that looked like blood as it fell onto the ground.
Residents were in a state of shock, unable to believe what they were witnessing. People ran inside, fearful of being injured by the red rain.
It wasn’t only red rain; residents across the state reported seeing yellow, green, and black rain, prompting panic and confusion. The red/yellow/green/black rain began after residents heard a tremendous thunderous roar followed by a bright flash of light, according to witnesses.
Residents also said that following the tremendous flash of light, grey or burned leaves began to fall from the trees on their own. The mystery rain continued for ten days, according to locals. The reddish rain was localized and only lasted for a brief time.
Red rain could be falling from the clouds just a few miles distant in one region and normal rain in another. The Indian government couldn’t figure out what caused the red rain. People began to speculate that the red rain was extraterrestrial in origin, generated by extraterrestrial life or a deep space catastrophe.
Because each millimeter of rain had 9 million red particles, the Indian government hypothesized that the red rain was caused by meteor debris.
Scientists were able to collect and analyze samples of the odd-colored rain. The red specks were found to be spores from a neighboring plant, according to the examination. These spores had risen into the atmosphere, where they had mixed with rain.
Another set of scientists discovered in 2013 that the exact algae was not native to India and had traveled all the way from Austria on the wind. The riddle of Kerala’s blood rain was finally explained, but who knows when one of history’s most terrifying moments may occur again?
4 – What happened to the Mayans?
One of the most hotly debated world-historical mysteries is the Mayan Civilisation and its demise. Hundreds of historians, biologists, and other scholars have spent their lives trying to figure out what happened to the Mayans and why they left their homes.
In 2005, centuries after the Mayan Empire’s abrupt collapse, Jared Diamond proposed an intriguing proposal that inspired Arizona State University to pursue additional research. Jared Diamond speculated in his 2005 book “Collapse” that the Mayans did not leave because of war or disease.
Instead, he urged that they leave out of need, in order to get food and because they were experiencing a severe drought. The Mayans’ ancient civilization is thought to have begun around 1500 BCE. The Mayans prospered by inventing agricultural techniques and gradually settling into larger and larger villages that grew into cities.
Historians estimate that the ancient Mayan civilization had a population of roughly 2 million people at its peak, who benefited from the innovative societal institutions that had been established. The population mysteriously drops around 900 CE, almost as if the Mayans vanished into thin air.
Historians have been trying to figure out what happened to the Mayans for decades, and a 2012 research by the University of Arizona provided some specific answers. Researchers at the University of Arizona were interested in Diamond’s theory and wanted to learn more about it.
They analyzed Yucatan archaeological evidence to discover that the area was suffering from a severe drought around 900 CE. They also discovered that the Mayans had deforested a lot of places to make space for more crops at this time, which further added to their water problems.
“Because cleared land absorbs less solar radiation, less water evaporates from its surface, making clouds and showers more sparse,” according to the Smithsonian. As a result of the accelerated deforestation, an existing severe drought was aggravated.”
We have finally come to a definite conclusion about what happened to the ancient Mayan civilization after decades, if not centuries, of research, hard work, and dedication. They did not flee because of conflict or sickness; rather, they fled in search of more arable land on which to grow food so that their people could live.
3 – David Lee Niles
On October 11th, 2006, 72-year-old David Lee Niles spent the evening at Jake’s Bar in Byron Center, Michigan. David and a friend spent the night in the pub, drinking and conversing casually.
David had been battling cancer and sadness in the months leading up to October 2006, and his friend wanted to do something to cheer him up and take his mind off his difficulties, even if it was only for a few hours.
For a time, the two sat and talked until David abruptly got up and walked away. He didn’t say where he was going or why he was leaving so quickly to his pal.
Sadly, David was never seen again after that. When friends and family realized they hadn’t heard from David in days, they phoned the Kent County Sheriff’s Office to report him missing. An investigation was initiated, but little came of it because David was nowhere to be found.
David’s friends and family never forgot about him over the years, and they often worried about what had happened to him and whether he was still alive. Then, on November 10th, 2015, Brian Houseman uncovered a surprising discovery that would finally put a stop to David Lee Niles’ strange historical mystery.
Houseman was pruning a tree outside the Cook Funeral Home in Byron Centre, which was situated across from a large pond. As Houseman worked, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he could see something submerged at the pond’s bottom.
He attempted to get back to work, but he couldn’t get that bad feeling out of his head. As he approached the pond, he noticed the roof of a car sitting beneath the water’s surface. When he realized what he’d found, he called the Kent County Police Department and requested that they come to the location straight away.
The car was retrieved from the water hours later when detectives discovered yet another horrific revelation. The skeletal remains of an adult guy were found inside the automobile. The remains were sent to the coroner, who utilized dental records to identify that they belonged to David Lee Niles, who had gone missing.
David’s family was notified shortly after and funeral arrangements were arranged. The Kent County Sheriff’s Office has ruled out foul play and has no idea what happened to David on that fateful night. In an odd twist, neighbors and investigators discovered that David’s submerged automobile had been visible on Google Maps since his inexplicable disappearance in 2006.
It turned out that the solution to their puzzle was right in front of their eyes. “I have no idea why God waited nine years, but we’re pleased,” David’s family stated in a statement to the media. It’s wonderful to have him back.”
2 – Delhi’s Iron Pillar
The iron pillar of Delhi has baffled locals and experts for over 1600 years. The pillar is 22 feet tall and weighs around 3 tonnes. Many tourists have observed that the pillar appears unremarkable from afar and that it is only until you get closer that you realize its scale and vastness.
While people continue to argue how the pillar got to be outside of a mosque in New Delhi, India, there is another mystery surrounding the pillar that was recently answered. According to the inscription on the pillar, King Chandragupta, who ruled from 375 to 415 CE, carried it to the place in New Delhi.
Scientists revealed that the pillar is more than 1600 years old, implying that it was built and created somewhere else than New Delhi. No one knows for certain who or how the pillar was moved.
“The remnant of the King’s effort – a flaming glory that entirely killed his enemies- leaves not the land even now, like the residual heat of a burned-out fire in a large forest,” reads the inscription on the pillar. He has abandoned this world as if worn out, and retreated in the actual form to the other world – a place won by the virtue of his achievements – and, though he has fled, he lives on earth via the remembrance of his reputation.”
For the people of India, the pillar has become a significant historical landmark, but the mystery of who placed it there isn’t the only one. The pillar is over 1600 years old, so you’d expect it to be rusted and worn, yet that isn’t the case.
The pillar in New Delhi has never rusted, and inhabitants have been curious about how this is possible given that the pillar is composed of iron for decades. It wasn’t until the 2000s that the Indian people received an answer.
A local doctor revealed that the iron utilized was not pure, but rather had a purity of roughly 98 percent. Because no lime was employed in the smelting process, the phosphorus in the iron was never eliminated.
The phosphorus then oxidized and interacted with the iron impurities, forming a protective barrier around the pillar and solving the unique historical enigma.
The phosphorous would have been eliminated and the contaminants would not have been present in such high proportions if the pillar had been created in a more recent era.
While the building of this pillar used what we could consider “outdated” methods, it is an example of how rudimentary approaches have worked in our favor.
1 – Cangrande della Scala
In the early 1300s, Cangrande Della Scala was a revered figure throughout Italy. Scala had consolidated his position by showing no mercy to his foes, and he marched proudly into Treviso in 1329. He had lately conquered northern Italy and was cementing his position and plotting how to take over the rest of the country. That was until he unexpectedly died on July 22nd, 1329, only days after marching into Treviso.
His death has been the subject of one of the world’s greatest historical mysteries for decades, with historians and scientists poring over the evidence in the hopes of finally cracking the case. Scala began exhibiting symptoms of a mystery disease just days after his triumphal homecoming, vomiting and running a high temperature, but no doctors were able to establish the origin of his strange ailment.
Scala’s health worsened as the hours passed, and others around him remembered that he had drunk from a dirty spring and blamed it for his illness.
Scala died a few hours later, leaving a little power vacuum and a mystery that would last for generations. Some historians believe Scala died as a result of drinking water from a contaminated spring and attributed his death to a water-borne sickness.
Other historians suspected that something more sinister had occurred, and it turns out that they were correct. In 2004, a Museum requested Gino Fornaciari, a forensic pathologist from the University of Pisa, to conduct an exhumation and autopsy of Scala.
Fornaciari agreed, and he and a group of experts began the process of exhuming Scala’s body. The researchers were able to extract biological samples from Scala’s naturally mummified remains, and toxicology studies on these samples revealed alarming results.
Foxglove was discovered in these samples, and it is dangerous to humans if consumed. Other poisons were discovered in these samples, implying that Scala had been poisoned. While we now know what caused the great leader’s downfall, we still don’t know who is to blame. Perhaps that’s one aspect of a historical puzzle we’ll never be able to solve.