25 Unexplained Mysteries From Around The World

Published May 24, 2018
Updated July 25, 2022

From missing children to surprising treasures to cryptic cold cases, these unexplained mysteries continue to baffle the world.

The Last Cruise Of Amy Lynn Bradley

Amy Lynn Bradley Unexplained Mysteries
Within a period of half an hour in 1998, Amy Lynn Bradley went missing from her cruise ship cabin, never to be seen or heard from again. Her brother Brad claimed that the crew in the ship’s nightclub was giving her “special attention,” which led the family to believe Amy was smuggled off the ship and into sexual slavery. Several sightings of a woman with the same tattoos as Amy were reported in Barbados with one man saying a woman he met in a brothel had the same name. However, no one has been able to locate her since. YouTube

The Unlikely Construction Of Florida's Coral Castle

Coral Castle Florida
Many find it hard to explain how Ed Leedskalnin, who stood just over five feet tall, was able to carve and manipulate 1,100 tons of coral into this monument for his unrequited love. Had he mastered the skills of the pyramid builders or was there black magic involved, as a few people claimed to witness? Leedskalnin worked under the cover of night for 28 years to construct this mysterious and beautiful coral castle. He died in 1951 - the year it was finished.Pixabay

Whatever Happened To Little Bobby Dunbar?

Bobby Dunbar Unexplained Mysteries
Four-year-old Bobby Dunbar vanished from Louisiana in 1912. His reappearance led to a custody battle, an incredible DNA test 90 years later, and a wrongly convicted man. As it turned out, the Bobby that returned was not who the family believed he was, and the whereabouts of the real Bobby Dunbar is still a complete mystery. Wikimedia Commons

The Disappearance Of Kris Kremers And Lisanne Froon

Kris Kremers And Lisanne Froon Unexplained Mysteries
On April 1, 2014, Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon left their host family’s home in Panama, and it would be the last time anyone would see them alive. More than 10 weeks later, a backpack was found near a rice paddy containing the girls’ cell phones and the camera roll revealing a recognizable trail, along with some disturbing details. Police searched the area and found bones from both women, but no suspects were ever apprehended.YouTube

Who Did The Saddle Ridge Hoard Belong To?

Saddle Ridge Hoard
A California couple discovered 1,411 old gold coins while walking their dog in 2013. The half-buried treasure found in a tin can, now referred to as the Saddle Ridge Hoard, is worth $10 million dollars - yet no one knows who buried it. The coins are in pristine condition, appearing to have never reached circulation, which lends greatly to both their value and the mystery of who they belonged to.Wikimedia Commons

Nicholas Barclay And His Imposter, Frederic Bourdin

Nicholas Barclay And Frederic Bourdin
Nicholas Barclay, 13, was a troubled kid who went missing in 1994 and turned up three years later. But after being reunited with his family, not all was as it seemed. This Nicholas had a different eye color and a new attitude, yet the family had zero doubts that this was their missing son and sibling. One suspicious suicide and a crazy story later, this mystery is no closer to unraveling than it was in 1994.YouTube

The Bone Collector Of West Mesa, New Mexico

West Mesa Bone Collector Victims
In 2009, police discovered the skeletal remains of 11 women and one unborn baby in makeshift graves along a trail in Albuquerque, N.M., prompting a massive manhunt for the serial killer deemed the West Mesa Bone Collector. The victims were women between the ages of 15 and 32, died between 2003 and 2005, and were involved in prostitution and/or drugs. No official suspects have ever been named in the serial killings, so the perpetrator may still be lurking. Official Cold Case Investigations

Who Killed Chuck Morgan?

Chuck Morgan Unexplained Mysteries
Tucson escrow company owner Charles “Chuck” Morgan disappeared for three days in 1977, and upon his return, he indicated that he could not speak because his throat was painted with a hallucinogenic drug. Two months later he disappeared again, and despite his wife receiving a call from a woman who called herself “Green Eyes” saying Morgan was ok, his body was discovered in the desert, shot in the back of the head with his own gun. Though it was ruled a suicide, it didn't add up. Morgan's body was found in a bulletproof vest and one of his teeth was found in his car.YouTube

This Antikythera Mechanism, An Ancient Computer From The Bottom Of The Sea

Antikythera Mechanism
The Antikythera mechanism is a 2,000-year-old device that is thought to be history's first computer. The tool is so advanced, its technology wouldn't be seen again for 1,000 years. It was found in the Aegean Sea in 1900 and was used in astronomy to take measurements so precise that it enabled its user to predict celestial events like eclipses. The next closest technology was the clock in the 14th century. So, the question remains, how was this mysterious contraption made? Flickr

Who Was The Cleveland Torso Murderer?

Cleveland Torso Murderer
In four years, the Cleveland Torso Murderer killed, dismembered, and castrated 12 different victims, and was never identified. Some victims were found with their dismembered limbs near each other, while others took days to piece together, like a morbid jigsaw puzzle. There were a couple arrests that led nowhere, and despite the well-known detective Eliot Ness becoming involved, the case went cold. Bettman/Getty Images

The Baffling And Deadly Dyatlov Pass Incident

Dyatlov Pass
In January 1959, nine Soviet college students were killed under mysterious circumstances while hiking through the Ural Mountains in what's now known as the Dyatlov Pass incident. The 23-year-old ski hiker Igor Alekseievich Dyatlov and his team embarked on a journey to reach a mountain peak in the Northern Urals and never to returned. Instead, investigators would only find their diaries, photos, and frozen mangled corpses. From a Yeti attack to secret military tests, hundreds of theories have popped up, yet there have been no conclusive answers.Krivonischenko’s camera

The Hauntings And Murders At The Cecil Hotel

Hotel Cecil In Los Angeles
From the Black Dahlia to Elisa Lam, Los Angeles' Cecil Hotel is one the most infamous buildings in horror history. Over 16 different deaths by non-natural or strange occurrences have taken place at the hotel over the years. At one point, serial killers Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger even called it home. Ghost stories and rumors still abound, the hotel served as the inspiration for season 5 of American Horror Story.Wikimedia Commons

The Spontaneous Human Combustion Of Mary Reeser

Mary Reeser Combustion Photo
On July 2, 1951, Mary Reeser’s landlady dropped by to deliver a telegram and found her doorknob unusually hot and feared a fire. She called the police who entered Reeser’s apartment and found it warm but intact. However, Reeser’s body was nearly disintegrated in her chair by a blaze of “white-hot intensity.” Since it requires three or four hours of temperatures around 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit for a body to be cremated, the case baffled authorities, and it was thought to be a case of spontaneous human combustion.YouTube

The Vortex Of The Mirny Diamond Mine

Mirny Diamond Mine
Tucked into the remote wilderness of Siberia, the town of Mirny would be entirely unremarkable, save for one thing. There’s a giant hole in the middle of it that’s over 1,000 feet deep and half a mile wide which in its heyday, churned out a suspiciously unnatural amount of diamonds. Oh, and it’s also a vortex that sucks in anything that flies overhead.Wikimedia Commons

$43 Million In U.S. Cash Found

Nigerian Cash Pile
On April 12, 2017 agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission found $43.4 million in U.S. cash (as well as some British sterling and Nigerian naira) inside an otherwise empty apartment in Lagos. Authorities don’t yet appear to have an explanation for its presence, save one disguised woman reportedly seen visiting the apartment while carrying bags.Economic and Financial Crimes Commission/Facebook

The Oak Island Treasure

Oak Island
The mystery of the Oak Island treasure has existed for centuries, but is the mysterious part how nobody has managed to find this buried treasure or whether it exists at all? Oak Island is a 140-acre piece of land located along Canada’s Atlantic coast off the shores of Nova Scotia. Treasure hunters are drawn there for what has been dubbed the “money pit,” believing there are riches left over from the Golden Age of Piracy (1650 and 1730). Wikimedia Commons

The South Pole's Only Murder

Rodney Marks
Posted at a U.S. scientific research station at the South Pole in 2000, Australian scientist Rodney Marks fell ill with nausea and fever. Just 36 hours later he was dead, and while unfortunate, nobody expected foul play. However, doctors later found methanol in Marks’ system, with no explanation or cooperation from the station's other inhabitants. To this day, no one knows how far the investigation went, or how much the U.S. was able to discover about the poisoning of Rodney Marks.YouTube

The Lost Colony Of Roanoke

Roanoke Drawing
It’s been the subject of fascination for centuries; what really became of the missing first colonists that settled in Roanoke in the 1580s? Did they get killed by disease, leave on a boat, or assimilated into a nearby Indian tribe? Recently, new clues have been uncovered on colonist John White’s 428-year-old map of the area as there are patches that could indicate where citizens of Roanoke relocated. Wikimedia Commons

Robert The Doll's Haunting

Robert The Doll
For almost 115 years, Robert the Doll has fascinated, spooked, and mystified the public. Even today, strange occurrences continue to happen in the allegedly haunted doll’s presence. Robert can apparently move across the room on his own, follow you with his creepy eyes, and wreak havoc on your life if you disrespect him. The mysterious Robert the Doll now sits safely behind glass in a Florida museum and is rarely taken from his case.YouTube

The Gruesome Murder In Room 1046

Roland Owen Paper
On Jan. 2nd, 1935, a lone man checked into room 1046 of the Hotel President in downtown Kansas City under the name Roland T. Owen. Possessing only a comb and a toothbrush, the staff said he displayed odd behaviors such as sitting alone in the dark with the door locked from the outside. Some mysterious phone calls, notes, and room visits later, the mystery culminated with a bellhop finding a bloodied and tortured Owen, whose death is still unexplained.YouTube

Whose Dismembered Feet Are Washing Up On Beaches?

Shoe By Ocean
Since 2007, 16 severed feet, still in shoes, have washed up on the beaches of the Pacific Northwest. Some suggest we’re finally seeing the remains of victims who went down in a nearby plane crash in 2005. Others suggest we’re seeing victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami; their bodies pulled northwards over the course of ten-plus years by the strong Pacific current. Others still suggest, of course, a serial killer. Law enforcement generally suggests a far more basic answer: suicides and accidents.Pixabay

The Vanishing Of The Sodder Children

Sodder Children Poster
The chilling story of the Fayetteville, West Virginia Sodder children leaves more questions than answers. On Christmas day, 1945, a fire consumed the home of George and Jennie Sodder, leaving five of the couple’s 10 children dead. Or were they? Their remains were not found charred in the home, and there were sightings of them reported to police. Nevertheless, the children at the center of one of American history’s most infamous unsolved cases were never found.Smithsonian

The Bizarre Case Of The "Somerton Man"

Somerton Man
Of all the cold cases, the mystery of the "Somerton Man" could be the most bizarre and unsolvable. In late 1948, a couple found an immaculately dressed dead man on Australia’s Somerton Beach; outside of these simple facts, any new evidence collected only seems to lead investigators in circles. For instance, inside a secretive inner pocket in the man’s pants was a tightly rolled scrap of paper that read ‘Tamám Shud’; Persian for ‘it is ended.’Wikimedia Commons

The Tree-Flattening Tunguska Event

Tunguska Event Trees
One day in 1908, an explosion 1,000 times greater than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima erupted in the remote Siberian wilderness, flattening 80 million trees in the area. While some signs point to a meteor, there was no crater at the epicenter of the blast. Other theories include a small comet or a natural gas explosion from the Earth’s crust. What caused this devastating blast is still being questioned. Sovfoto/UIG/Getty Images

Wayne Williams And The Atlanta Child Murders

Wayne Williams
Though Wayne Williams was officially convicted of two unrelated murders, he was also thought to be the Atlanta Child murderer who killed 27 kids between the late 1970s and early 1980s. A lack of evidence prevents further prosecution in those cases, and Williams maintains his innocence in the case of the Atlanta Child Murders to this day. Wikimedia Commons

Unexplained mysteries never fail to pique our curiosity.

While supernatural events and conspiracy theories are fascinating, it's the murders and disappearances that are especially antagonizing. It's hard not to insist that someone out there knows the truth; that somebody holds the key that could bring any of these unexplained mysteries to light. After all, it's not unheard of for modern forensics to uncover elusive truths.

Yet, in some cases, despite all of our modern technology, some mysteries are still left unsolved. Take for example the case of the "Somerton Man," who was found dead and immaculately dressed on an Australian beach. While we have DNA and many clues were found, including a note in a secret pocket of his pants, the cold case remains frozen solid.

Listen above to the History Uncovered podcast, episode 30: The Tamám Shud Case, also available on iTunes and Spotify.

Then there's the case of tourists Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon who vanished into a Panamanian jungle and seemingly died there. Although investigators found some of their remains, bags, and camera photos, the circumstances around the deaths remain baffling.

These twenty-five cold case murders, disappearances, scientific anomalies, and other discoveries are some of the most enduring in history and it's possible they may never be fully explained. For those who have lost family members and loved ones, it's a hard pill to swallow. But perhaps reading the details of some of these crimes and occurrences will spark a memory - one that could change the status of one these mysteries from unexplained to solved.

If you enjoy mysteries, next up read about the unsolved Wonderland murders and then immerse yourself in some of the greatest mysteries of human history.

Erin Kelly
An All That’s Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she’s designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.