Art of human face and brain
Unsplash | David Matos

People Share The Greatest Mysteries That Have Never Been Solved

The allure of a great mystery comes in trying to solve it: sorting out the pieces in an effort to make sense of it all.

Despite our curiosity and our best efforts, though, some cases remain hard to crack. A thread on r/AskReddit offered a fantastic sampling of some of our most enduring mysteries — and they're definitely worth a good ponder.

How did Australia get its original inhabitants?

Map of Australia
Unsplash | Joey Csunyo

"How did Aboriginals get to Australia 50,000 years ago? This was very recently after humans started to leave Africa and they would have only had the most primitive rafts for a very tough 7 day voyage. But what’s weird is that Aboriginals then had no history of seafaring after. So it’s like this group hopped on a raft and by some miracle (or mistake) made it Australia and then were like [expletive] that we’re never doing that again. Must have been a traumatic voyage."

-u/pumperthruster

Who was the Somerton man?

Photo of the Somerton Man
Wikipedia | Australian police

"The case of Tamam Shud is about an unidentified man found dead on Somerton Beach, South Australia, 1948. Among the belongings found with the man's body was a scrap of paper reading 'Tamam shud,' meaning 'it's finished' or 'it's over' in Persian."

-u/Pineapple_Monster01

Who were the Sea People?

Ancient image depicting Sea Peoples
Wikipedia | Unknown

"It’s quite likely they weren’t one group of people, but instead were multiple migratory groups seeking safety/food. While in the past historians thought that war alone caused the Bronze Age collapse, more modern scholarship focuses on how systemic failures within the eastern Mediterranean caused a ripple effect that destabilized or destroyed multiple situations. War was probably more a consequence, as opposed to the root cause of the collapse."

-u/ColdNotion

What happened to the crew of the Kaz II?

The Kaz II 'ghost yacht
Wikipedia | Unknown

"Kaz II is still very bizarre and a scary mystery. Basically the story goes that a small boat about 10 meters long drifted near the Great Barrier Reef in 2007. Three people were onboard, they disappeared. The strange part was when the coast guard boarded it, they've found no signs of distress. Food was on the table, laptop was on. Everything on the boat worked in perfect condition, but the crew were nowhere to be found."

-u/Frenki808

What happened to the Sodder children?

Billboard asking for help in Sodder children disappearance
Wikipedia | Unknown

"I grew up 2 miles from the Sodder house and my grandfather did business with Mr Sodder for most of his adult life. According to my grandad, Mr. Sodder was 'mixed up with some bad Italians in the valley (Montgomery, WV)' and they’re the ones that burned him out. What happened to those kids is anyone's guess. Ask anyone from Oak Ridge to Beckwith and you’ll get 1000 different stories of what happened but they’ll all agree the fire chief and some other officials acted shady af after it happened."

-u/BestVirginia0

When does consciousness begin?

Art of human face and brain
Unsplash | David Matos

"A child is conceived, and at some point, once the brain becomes complex enough, it starts to develop a feeling of self. It starts to perceive itself as the center of something, and everything else is outside. We naturally distinguish the 'I' from the rest of the world. This is a light that goes on in the head at some point. In deep sleep, under narcotics or after injury, the light can flicker or go out. When we die, the thing that is me is gone forever. Or is it, religion says it’s not."

-u/Speedperson

What ate this massive shark?

A great white shark
Unsplash | Francesco Califano

"In 2003 researchers tagged a 3 meter (9-foot) female great white shark to measure water temperature and at what depth. However, the shark disappeared 4 months later. The tag was washed ashore and the researchers found out that the shark dived to a depth of around 610 meters (2000 feet) where the temperature shot up from 7°C to 25°C (46°F to 78°F). This caused them to believe that the shark was eaten and are now on the hunt for the creature."

-u/ThatGuyMatt08

What was the motive of the Las Vegas shooter?

View of the Las Vegas strip
Wikipedia | Jennifer Morrow

"The Vegas mass shooter was especially odd. To a degree there is no logic or reason behind damned near all terroristic attacks. My father is a retired Fed, him and I talked about that one a lot. A guy that was a fed for 20+ years, seen a lot, and worked the Atlanta park bombing as well as OKC. The Vegas one shook him the most, just because of how 'odd' it was to him."

-u/Regular_Sample_5197

Where is Alexander the Great's tomb?

Roman mosaic depicting Alexander the Great
Wikipedia | Unknown

"My absolute favorite theory is that with the rise in Christianity people didn’t want to venerate a pagan anymore, so they stopped taking care of the tomb. Later someone claimed that the abandoned tomb was actually the tomb of St. Mark the Evangelist, the patron saint of Alexandria.

For centuries after his death people routinely wrote about visiting Alexander’s tomb in the city. Then all mentions of it go dark. Then people start talking about visiting St. Mark’s tomb in the city. I think it was convenient to reframe the grand tomb to a venerate a new person."

-u/CaptainVorkosigan

Why did Lars Mittank flee?

Missing man Lars Joachim Mittank
Wikipedia | BKA Germany/ Federal Criminal Police Office (Germany)

"It was definitely psychosis...but it could have been brought on by any number of things. Could have been concussion, could have been a reaction to drugs that might have been taken while clubbing, could have just been the onset of latent schizophrenia - I've seen that happen to adults his age. The 'how' of it is kinda immaterial, the facts of what happened make it painfully obvious that he was experiencing paranoid psychosis one way or another."

-u/Tel-aran-rhiod

Where did Kasper Hauser come from?

Painting of Kasper Hauser
Wikipedia | Carl Kreul

"The mystery of Kasper Hauser, a youth found wandering Germany in 1828 wearing undersized clothes and no communication skills. After being educated, he claimed to have grown up in the total isolation of a darkened cell. Years later he died after being stabbed by 'a stranger' who gave Kasper a cryptic note, but officials suspected he stabbed himself."

-u/Neon_Parrott

What happened to the Yuba County Five?

1969 Mercury Montego
Wikipedia | Bull-Doser

"I’ve listened to several podcasts on this topic, and I’m inclined to believe that one of them was having an unfortunately timed schizophrenic episode (the one who was living in a trailer in the woods) that ultimately resulted in their deaths."

-u/awhimaway-awhimaway

Did prisoners really escape Alcatraz?

Alcatraz ISland
Wikipedia | Jdreed

"Saw a documentary produced only a few years ago that theorized that they did in fact make it off the island, but not how every one typically thinks they did. The theory is that they hitched a ride on the last outbound ferry that left the island that night; not onboard, but rather being towed behind it. Apparently the Anglin brothers grew up body surfing the lakes and rivers by their hometown, being pulled by motorboats, so had experience with it. And an electrical extension cord was reported missing iirc."

-u/scottishzombie

Where did Brian Shaffer go?

Missing student Brian Shaffer with his mother
Wikipedia | Findbrianshaffer

"One I’m always fascinated with is I believe in the mid 2000’s a student at Ohio state mysteriously disappeared and to this day they have no idea what happened to him. Basically he went out to a popular bar with friends, the security camera sees him walking into the bar and this is the only entrance/exit as the bar is in a larger building but it never sees him leave the bar at the end of the night. His name was Brian Shaffer. It’s an interesting story/mystery to take a look at."

-u/TrainingRegistration

Who was behind the Max Headroom incident?

Still of the Max Headroom incident
Wikipedia | Unknown

"During a Dr. Who rerun in 1987 somebody dressed as Max Headroom hijacked the tv signal for a minute and a half during which he exposed his ass and got spanked by a woman and mocked Coca-Cola. FCC has been investigating for years and nobody has been charged."

-u/KhaosKake

What was up with the aerial school landings in Zimbabwe?

Art showing a flying saucer
Unsplash | Gianluca Carenza

"60+ school children saw crafts landing and beings coming out of them. The kids interacted with the beings. They were put under evaluation by a Harvard psychiatrist. They all told virtually the same story and drew the same drawings. It was concluded that they were telling the truth."

-u/Equivalent-Quail3995

Why haven't we found the Springfield Three?

Missing women: 'Springfield Three'
Wikipedia | Springfield PD

"Long story short, in the early morning hours of June 7, 1992, these three women, Sherrill Levitt (47), her daughter Suzanne 'Suzie' Streeter (19), and Suzie's friend Stacy McCall (18) all vanished from Sherrill and Suzie's home following a night of fun and partying as it was the girl's high school graduation.

All their personal belongings, their cars, purses, and even the little dog was left behind. There were no signs of a struggle or foul play, however, the front porch light's glass globe was broken and not swept up, and there was a weird message of the answering machine that accidentally got deleted."

-u/Bjnboy

Who killed Missy Bevers?

A Christian cross at dusk
Unsplash | Aaron Burden

"I love unsolved mysteries but one that always gets me is the murder of Missy Bevers. She was killed in the early morning at a church that she taught yoga at. Security footage from the church showed the murderer roaming the halls of the church all night but that’s not what’s weird. What’s weird is that the murderer was dressed head to toe in police riot gear. It is the weirdest and eeriest video footage and is just unsettling. There’s lots of theories but her murder has never been solved and I believe there hasn’t even been a real suspect in the case."

-u/norminthedorm

Who carried out the Chicago Tylenol murders?

Pile of white pills
Unsplash | James Yarema

"The Chicago Tylenol murders in 1982. Who would do such a thing and why? Was it one person acting alone? Did they do it at the distribution center, or did they go to different locations to tamper with the bottles?"

-u/kboody22

What happened to Asha Degree?

Missing child Asha Degree
Wikipedia | Unknown

"In 2000, 9 year old girl that packed a bag in the middle of a storm and was last seen walking down a highway. A driver approached her to help and she ran into the woods and was never seen again.

Nothing suggest why she would run away. Her book bag was found a year later. Most likely she was abducted while walking but why did she leave her house in the middle of a 'raging storm?'"

-u/palabear