The Bimini Road, Tatzelworms, Ica Stones and all the rest.
This week I’m going to cover a whole host of unexplained and mysterious phenomena. Well, some of them are more explained than others, and some of them the only mystery is how anyone ever took the topic in question seriously. Still, lots of fun to be had, I’ve loved stuff like this since I was a kid. And no matter what, things like this shows us that some peoples are still capable of imagination and wonder, if there’s anything that separates us from the animals it’s that. These topics are presented in no particular order. I will however classify them in one of four ways. Things can either be real or unreal, explained or unexplained. By real I mean there is actual empirical evidence to examine. When I say explained I mean there is a perfectly rational explanation and there’s really nothing mysterious going on here. My classifications are based on my evidence at hand, and am perfectly happy if someone argues otherwise. I may even change my mind, it’s been known to happen.
First off, the Bimini Road. Real/explained. This is a half mile long “road” made of interconnected stone blocks located underwater near Bimini island in the Bahamas. They blocks are “beach rock,” a type of stone that is created in beach environments. There’s a lot that can be said about the idea that this is a road, pro and con. However, we can cut to the chase. Beach rock is such that one can examine a piece of it and it has very distinct layers and orientation on a fine scale. And if one drills cores of a bunch of these rocks, as geologists have done, it turns out that their layers and orientation are all in complete match with each other. This is what we would expect to find if they were created in situ by geologic processes, but not what we would expect to find if they were cut and placed by human hands. Sadly there’s a lot of “mysteries” like this, just because something looks like it may have been made by humans doesn’t mean it was.
And here we have the Tatzelwurm. Possibly real/unexplained. The Tatzelwurm (means clawed worm) has been reported from the European Alps for centuries. It’s a big lizard-like thing with two clawed feet and a cat-like head by some descriptions. No one has caught one that has ever been examined by modern science. I’d say it was firmly in the folklore category, but there’s at least a small chance that there is some sort of unknown lizard or salamander that is the basis for the legend. Who knows, other weird things have been found in the Alps.
Lastly, the Ica Stones. Real/Explained. There’s a lovely one pictured above. A fellow riding on a dinosaur it appears. The Ica Stones, there are thousands of them, depict all sorts of wonderful things. Brain surgery, telescopes, and lots and lots of dinosaurs. Where did they come from? Peru. Who made them? Who knows, but you can go there today and the locals will gladly make new ones for you. The problem with the Ica Stones is simple, we don’t know where they came from. A doctor in the sixties claims he got them from a farmer, who claims he found them in a cave. The doctor has made a pile of money off the stones and writing a book about them, in fact there’s a big Ica Stone Museum one can go visit on the way to Machu Pichu. (OK, I made that last part up, I have no idea if the Museum is anywhere near Machu Pichu.) The claim is that the stones were made by some ancient civilization that not only had high technology, they co-existed with dinosaurs. (The the Christian fundamentalist creationists love the Ica stones.) The stones are real, but until we can find them in an archaeological context, they can’t be taken seriously. There’s a number of other reasons not to take them seriously, but “I found them in a cave,” yeah, that’s right on up there with “My dog ate my homework.” Well, just below that, dogs probably do occasionally eat homework.
Three down, hundreds to go. Most of them are similar to the ones above. That is to say, the only real mystery is that some people think these are mysterious. Part of the problem is that the people promulgating stuff like this usually exaggerate aspects of the case that make it more mysterious and/or omit inconvenient details. Or they simply make up details that make their case more convincing. Yeah, that’s scholarly. In any event, these are three relatively obscure earth mysteries. There’s not a whole lot more to be said about them. If someone can make a case that one of them deserves more investigation, I’d be curious to hear their reasoning.
Tuesday, mysterious disappearances. Cue Twilight Zone music.
(The above images are all claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. They’re not being used for profit, they are central to illustrating the post, and their use here in no way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image. And if any gentle reader wants me to write about a mysterious thing of their choice, this would definitely be the week to make a request. No UFOs though, I’m aliened out as it were.)