The Most Mysterious Archaeological Discoveries Ever Found On Earth

Thanks to countless archaeological discoveries, our understanding of our history have become more detailed. But some discoveries have left us scratching our heads. Is our history more complex than we know?

Our scholars agree that we are a specie with an intense case of amnesia. Despite having a detailed understanding of our history, there are some things we cannot explain. Here are some of the most mysterious archaeological discoveries we have ever made.

The Underground City of Derinkuyu

Derinkuyu: Mysterious Underground City In Turkey Found In Man’s Basement
In 1963, a man knocked down a wall and found a mysterious underground city.

Key Takeaways

  • In 1963, a man knocked down a wall in his basement and discovered a mysterious underground city.
  • The subterranean city is up to 18 stories and 280 feet deep in places and probably thousands of years old.
  • The Derinkuyu Underground City is the largest of its kind: It could house 20,000 people.

We live cheek by jowl with undiscovered worlds. Sometimes the barriers that separate us are thick, sometimes they’re thin, and sometimes they’re breached. That’s when a wardrobe turns into a portal to Narnia, a rabbit-hole leads to Wonderland, and a Raquel Welch poster is all that separates a prison cell from the tunnel to freedom.

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Giant Stone Spheres

Stone sphere made by the Diquis culture. Credit: Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) – CC BY-SA 4.0
Stone sphere made by the Diquis culture. Credit: Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) – CC BY-SA 4.0

The ancient giant stone spheres in Costa Rica in the Diquís Delta, in southern Costa Rica, are considered unique examples of the complex social, economic, and political systems of the period AD 500–1500.

Varying in size from between 0.7m and 2.57m in diameter, the purpose of the unique Pre-Columbian stone spheres has long fascinated scientists.

Researchers from INAH now report they have recovered six ancient stone spheres from the Chiriquí period (800–1550 AD), and two of them have undergone a ‘major surgery due to notorious deterioration.

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Malta’s Cart Ruts

Cart Ruts at Misrah Ghar il-Kbir
Cart Ruts at Misrah Ghar il-Kbir

‘What exactly are Cart Ruts?’ you might ask. Cart ruts are parallel tracks that run through rock and are typically the width of a small vehicle or cart, roughly 140 centimetres or so. Malta has these strange tracks in over 150 different locations. Some may mistake these ruts to be made in soft clay, however they are formed in rock and in most cases, very hard rock. This is where the puzzle begins.

Why are so many places in Malta with these deep tracks worn into hard rock? Who did it? Why? Was there a very active society years ago moving lots of heavy material around? Are they manmade or even prehistoric? Erich von Daniken theorised in his book ‘Chariots of the Gods’ that these tracks were alien influenced or built. Others suggest it was some form of irrigation system or field furrows.

There is evidence to suggest that the deep grooves in the rock are at least 2700 years old as some of the tracks run through Punic tombs that date back at least that long ago and could not have been there when the tracks were made.

The width between the parallel ruts remain fairly consistent similar to modern day railway tracks. They run in lines, around curves, up and down hills and even switch back and forth on steeper slopes in parallel with modern roads. Intriguingly, some of the cart rusts run straight off the edges of ridges and cliffs.

Some are as long as 2 – 3km in a single stretch. However tying them to a specific function raises further questions. The ruts don’t lead to any obvious destinations, prehistoric or ancient, and have left no dateable material. Some of the ruts look random and carelessly bumpy, others look intentionally carved. Its mystery remains unsolved to this day and has been in debate since 1647 when Abela, A Maltese historian, first puzzled over them.

Malta is not the only place where cart ruts can be found in the world. However there are more curt ruts in Malta than anywhere else. Even if you were to count all the cart ruts in the world and combine them, Malta still has more and they are rarely the same as seen in Malta. Looking elsewhere is thus counter-productive into solving this mystery.

“Japan’s Atlantis”

Divers inspecting the underwater site of Yonaguni in Japan.
Divers inspecting the underwater site of Yonaguni in Japan.

The “Yonaguni Monument” or also known as the “Yonaguni Submarine Ruins” is a prehistoric submerged rock formation that is formed in weird large clusters up to 5 floors high and it is highly believed to be a ‘completely man-made’ artificial structure.

The terraced formations were discovered off the Coast of Yonaguni Island in Japan by the divers in 1986. It was already known as a popular diving location during the winter months because of its large population of hammerhead sharks.

Apart from its strange appearance, there were found some artefacts that prove the existence of humans at the region in the distant past.

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Great Pyramids

Nikola Tesla had numerous unusual obsessions. One of his beliefs was that the Great Pyramids of Egypt were giant transmitters of energy. He built Tesla Towers according to laws inspired by studying the Pyramids.
Nikola Tesla had numerous unusual obsessions. One of his beliefs was that the Great Pyramids of Egypt were giant transmitters of energy. He built Tesla Towers according to laws inspired by studying the Pyramids.

Nikola Tesla died somewhat unappreciated but his fame and the myth around him has continued to grow tremendously into our times. He is now perceived as the ultimate mad scientist, the one who essentially invented our times, credited with key ideas leading to smartphones, wi-fi, AC electrical supply system, and more.

Besides ideas that Tesla implemented and patented, he also had many other interests in different fields of research, some quite esoteric. One of the most unusual was his preoccupation with Egyptian pyramids, one of humanity’s most mysterious and magnificent constructions.

Tesla believed they served a higher purpose and was investigating them throughout his life. What did he find so alluring about the pyramids? He wondered if they weren’t giant transmitters of energy – a thought that coincided with his investigation into how to send energy wirelessly.

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El Tajín

The Pyramid of the Niches at El Tajín, Veracruz, Mexico – 6th century CE.
Big Stock | Photo ID: 12405452

El Tajín, an entrancing archaeological site located in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, offers an intriguing glimpse into the ancient civilization that once thrived in the region. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, El Tajín fascinates visitors with its impressive architectural structures, intricately carved artwork, and deep cultural significance.

Culturally and historically, there are a number of fascinating aspects of this ancient city that hold the legacy of the enigmatic people who once called it home.

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The Terracotta Warriors

The Terracotta Warriors
Army of the First Emperor, Qin dynasty, Lintong, China, c. 210 B.C.E.

The tomb of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, despite being involved in one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all times, endures as a mystery to archaeologists and historians as it remains largely sealed up and unexplored. The strange and deadly history of the tomb and its contents was sealed within and buried beneath vegetation for thousands of years.

The two decades following 218 BC was a period of instability in the Mediterranean as the Roman Republic went to war with the Carthaginians. In the Far East, by contrast, this period was relatively stable, as a unified China emerged from the chaos of the Warring States Period. Qin Shi Huang was the man responsible for uniting the seven warring states to form the first imperial dynasty of China. The first emperor of China was as obsessed with life as he was with the afterlife. Whilst occupied with the search for the elixir of immortality, Qin Shi Huang was also busy building his tomb.

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Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?

Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in south-eastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years.

The place is called Gobekli Tepe, and Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working here more than a decade, is convinced it’s the site of the world’s oldest temple.

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READ MORE: This Ancient Maya City Was Hidden In The Jungle For More Than 1,000 Years

Interesting! 3,000-Year-Old Wooden Structure Found In Hittite Tunnel Mentioned On Cuneiform Tablets

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