We’ve been trained to always look to science for a answers that nothing else can give us, right? For as long as I can remember, science is the ultimate one-stop-shop for all explanations. But even as we pledge our undying love for science, we’ve gotta know of its shortcomings as well. ‘Cause guess what, there’s a whole universe of mysteries that even science still hasn’t quite got a handle on yet.
Here they are, the inexplicable phenomena that have teased science for ages. May they tickle you too, curious one.
1. Spontaneous Human Combustion
Despite hundreds of cases of human bodies (alive as well as recently deceased) catching fire without an apparent external source of ignition, spontaneous human combustion has not adequately been explained past the point of conjecture.
2. Ball Lightning
A not-fully-understood atmospheric electric phenomenon, ball lightning has occurred too often to be dismissed as a myth. The luminous spherical object of varying size, usually associated with thunderstorms, can last far longer than a split-second lightning flash and science has no more than theories to explain it.
3. Star Jelly
Found in several places from Scotland to Texas, this translucent, gooey substance that evaporates soon after it appears has been hypothesised to be the remains of a meteor shower. Also known as astromyxin, astral jelly, star shot or moon poo, this is one that science hasn’t cracked yet.
4. The Hum
About 2 to 11 percent of the older population in locations in the US, Canada, the UK and most recently, New Zealand have reported to hearing a sustained low-pitch hum. Scientists have not successfully discovered the source of this relentless droning sound and explanations are still mostly hypothetical.
5. ‘Morning Glory’ Clouds
This rare atmospheric phenomenon lines the sky with one or more striking, unbroken cloud lines that can stretch up to 1000 kilometers in length. Sightings have been reported 1 to 2 kilometers above various locations such as Berlin, the Arabian Sea, the English channel and in Northern Australia, but none with plausible causes for it.
6. The Giant Stone Balls of Costa Rica
This assortment of over 300 perfect spheres of stone was found in Costa Rica and the giant stones are the best-known sculptures of the Isthmo-Colombian area. The excavation reveal these stones could date as far back as the Chiriquí Period (800–1550 AD), but their exact significance still remains a mystery.
7. The Ice Woman of Minnesota
On a freezing morning in 1980, 19-year-old Jean Hilliard was found severely frostbitten, eyes unresponsive and basically just frozen solid. All the doctors’ needles and elixirs refused to work and when her temperature was slowly brought up, she woke up three days later and eventually had a complete recovery over the next 49 days, much to the incredible surprise of all medical professionals.
8. Deja Vu
While it’s been explained as a mismatch between sensory input and memory-recalling output, the randomness of deja vu occurrences among non-epileptic subjects has made this phenomenon significantly harder to study. Our understanding of this sensation can be anything from the theorised electrical disturbance in the neural circuit to a fantasised glitch in the matrix.
9. Mapimi Silent Zone
A patch of the desert in Bolson de Mapimi, Mexico has been the site of peculiar radio wave occurrences. Said to have been the base for a test missile launch in 1970, the area is inexplicably sealed off from all radio, TV, short wave, microwave, or satellite signals.
10. The Voynich Manuscript
The early 15th century manuscript written in an undecipherable writing system has had scientists, linguists and historians baffled for years. For all its 240 odd pages of left-to-right writing, elaborate illustrations and diagrams, we still haven’t figured out what any of it means.
Pretty cool, huh? Do you have any interesting theories to explain any of these conundrums? Do you know of any other unsolved mysteries of science out there? Tell us in the comments.