11 Mysterious Places Found on Earth That Can't be Explained
History is vital to society for a better understanding of who we are and where we come from. We can use the lessons of yesterday to plan for the future and avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.
We see history all around us in the structures we build and preserve but some things we just aren't sure about. Across the globe, there are many places that were obviously constructed for a purpose but either were built pre-recorded history or the information has been lost or destroyed over time and so historians and archaeologists can only speculate, albeit with educated guesses, as to the mysterious origins of these structures. Here are just a few.
1. Stonehenge - Wiltshire, UK
A pre-historic monument of standing stones, Stonehenge was built by a culture that left no written records or hints about how or why this circle of monolithic pillars was put there. Despite this, it is still inherently linked to the iconography of Great Britain and theories point to it being a ritualistic place of worship or supernatural power.
Dating around sometime between 3000BC and 2000BC, perhaps what is most impressive is the discovery that the stones used in the construction of this English landmark originate from Wales in a pit 160 miles away from where they now stand. No one is quite sure how they were transported there as the technology to do so, seemingly, did not exist at this time.
2. Longyou Caves - Zhejiang Province, China
Discovered in 1922, these caves are clearly of human-made design as they are carved out of the siltstone in Phoenix Hill. Believed to be created sometime before the Qing dynasty, which started around 212 BC, they are extremely large considering the era in which they were carved as the average floor area of each of the 24 caves found to date is over a thousand square metres, with heights of up to 30 metres, and the total area covered is in excess of 30,000 square metres.
No historic records exist to suggest any reasoning behind their existence so whether they were intended as a place of residence or storage remains a mystery today.
3. Gate of The Sun - Tiahuanaco, Bolivia
Sculpted by the Tiwanaku culture some 1500 years ago, the Gate of The Sun was rediscovered by European explorers during the 19th century. A carved stone gateway that apparently opens up to something that is no longer there, it has been left where it was found although there is some debate as to whether this was its original location.
Upon the archway are carvings of winged effigies, condors, and humans that appear beneath rays of the sun. These are thought to be linked to astrological beliefs of the time and are extremely similar to Incan symbols found across South America although their exact significance is yet to be discovered.
4. L'anse aux Meadows - Newfoundland, Canada
Thought to be around 1000 years old, these mounds found in a small fishing village in Canada confirm that Viking Settlers made it to North America some 500 years before Christopher Columbus did. Only discovered to be of Nordic origin in 1960, they were originally thought to belong to an Indigenous peoples but excavation found them to be workshops and dwellings of the Norse.
Because of their fairly recent discovery, little is still known about what happened to the settlers here and how or why they came to the region.
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