There are plenty of strange mysteries from the past that are begging to be solved. And who better to unravel the secrets of the unknown than the Reddit community r/todayilearned, where users regularly share stories about strange things happening and no one has any answers? For this article, we’ve selected six of these stories, along with our favorite Reddit theories.
1. The Secret Treasure of Oak Island.
Looking for a real-life legend involving creepy skeletons and clever, wacky pirates? We can’t help you with that, but we can tell you about mysterious things that are supposedly happening on Oak Island, Nova Scotia. Supposedly, in 1799, a settler named Daniel McGinnis was looking for a place to start a farm, and noticed an unusual circular depression in the ground. He guessed it must be a chest containing £2 million worth of treasure buried by Captain Kidd some 100 years earlier because, come on, why wouldn’t it be that?
The fact that countless people have spent the last 200+ years digging without any success hasn’t stopped Reddit users from coming up with their own fanciful theories about what’s waiting to be rediscovered. Shakespeare’s lost manuscripts? The Ark of the Covenant? Some claim that the treasure will only be revealed once seven riches-seeking adventurers have met their end in the quest. Which begs the question: Why seven and not, say, 700? Answer: Who has the patience to wait for so many bodies to wash ashore?
2. The Disappearance of the Roanoke Colony.
1587 was a very good year… maybe? Evidently, it was for the 120 English settlers who sailed across the Atlantic and reached Roanoke Island, present-day North Carolina, in one piece. However, it would not remain that way. Just three years later, they disappeared without a trace, and the mystery has never been solved.
If you ask Reddit users, most will insist that zombies played a role in their disappearance because that would be both the coolest and scariest explanation. But unfortunately, they likely assimilated with or died at the hands of local Native American tribes.
3. The enigma of the Voynich Manuscript
The Voynich Manuscript is as mysterious as a manuscript owned by Wilfrid Voynich could be. This book contains all kinds of seemingly fictional plant species, astronomical diagrams, and human figures. Based on carbon dating, it has been confirmed that it was made in the early 1400s, but that is literally all we can confirm.
The world’s leading cryptographers have attempted to decipher the unusual scripts, but at this point they have thrown in the towel. Could it be an elaborate farce? A medieval science book? What do Reddit users think about this matter? You guessed it: written by aliens.
4. The Unexplained Dance Plague Phenomenon
Location: Strasbourg, France. Year: 1518. Event: People celebrating as one would be inclined to do on New Year’s Eve 481 years later. Individuals simply couldn’t stop dancing. Whatever was happening, it was contagious. Over several weeks, hundreds of people were reported to have contracted the dancing plague, and the only “cure” seemed to be death from exhaustion.
The valuable users of Reddit have offered some reasonable theories, our favorite being ergot poisoning. Hallucinating on mushrooms, basically.
5. The Lost Roman Legion of Carrhae
Far be it from us to question the brilliance of Marcus Licinius Crassus, a Roman general who is credited with transforming the Roman Republic into the Great Empire it became, but it can be objectively stated that 53 BC was not one of his best years. More specifically, it is when he was killed in combat while leading tens of thousands of his men to a catastrophic defeat at the Battle of Carrhae in modern-day Turkey. We know that around 20,000 Roman soldiers were killed, but the fate of the remaining 10,000 captured by the Parthians will likely remain a mystery.
What do Reddit users think happened to them? Speculation abounds about slavery, assimilation, or perhaps even migration to places as far away as China, where the walls are said to be magnificent.
6. The Mysterious Disappearance of the USS Cyclops
In March 1918, the USS Cyclops, one of the largest cargo ships in the US Navy at the time, simply disappeared while in transit from the West Indies to Baltimore. The ship, carrying a crew of 236 officers and enlisted men, along with about 70 others, and a precious cargo of sweet, sweet manganese ore, was last sighted off the coast of Virginia, but unsuccessful attempts to find remains or debris have led to much head scratching.
Was it sunk by a German attacker or a submarine? For what it’s worth, they denied it at the time and there has never been any subsequent evidence pointing to our WWI enemies as the culprits. Structural failure or weather conditions appear to be the most likely explanations. But if Reddit users are to be believed, it’s virtually certain that they strayed into the Bermuda Triangle and were sent to another dimension where pop music is probably much, much better than the garbage we have to listen to in our own version of reality. .