These are 9 Mysterious places that leave scientists confused by Bright Side. Ever looked at something and thought, “How is that actually possible?” Yeah, like when you just open a bag of chips and the next second, they’re all gone! Gets me every time… But besides that, there are some real places out there that even leave scientists completely baffled! I mean, just look at…
1. Blood Falls.
When you think about Antarctica, you probably imagine a vast land of sheer frozen whiteness. Well, that’s pretty spot on …until your eye gets caught by a blood-red waterfall spilling from the icy walls! Located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, this rust-colored liquid runs out of fissures in the Taylor Glacier looking like something straight out of a horror movie.
For a very long time, scientists couldn’t figure out what the reason was behind this crimson fall. At first, they believed that red algae gave the water its gory tint. But new studies found that iron oxides (or, basically, rust) are present in the water.
2. Floating Islands.
Islands are not supposed to move, right? Psh, tell that to the mobile islands on Loktak Lake! It’s the largest freshwater lake in northeast India and home to floating islands called “phumdis” that move in the water during the rainy season and sink during the dry months.
These patches of grassland consist of matted vegetation and soil that’ve been thickened into a solid form. And if you walk on their spongy surface, it kinda feels like walking on a trampoline. Despite these islands constantly moving, locals build their huts on them because most people in the area earn money by fishing in the lake. There’s even one with a school on it and another with an entire national park!
3. Fiery Gates.
What do you think, how long can one fire burn? Well, in the hot Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan, there’s a 226-foot-wide hole that’s been on fire for almost 50 years! The Darvaza Crater isn’t volcanic or anything like that – it’s actually man-made.
In 1971, there was an accident as engineers were setting up an oil-drilling rig on the site. The ground beneath the rig collapsed into a wide crater which started releasing potentially poisonous gas into the air. That’s why the engineers decided to set the crater on fire hoping that the gas would burn out within a few weeks. But weeks turned into months, which then became years. Decades passed, and it’s still burning today. And, yes, you can visit this place, so don’t forget your marshmallows!
4. Never-ending Lightning Storm.
If “lightning never strikes the same place twice” then apparently this unique spot in Venezuela where the Catatumbo River meets Lake Maracaibo didn’t get the memo. Here, there’s an average of 260 storm days and about 1.2 million lightning bolts striking it a year.
Yep, that makes it the most lightning-struck place on earth, and the energy produced in this one spot by pure lightning strikes is enough to power 100 million light bulbs! Decades ago, it was believed uranium deposits in the bedrock were what caused the phenomenon. Later, scientists suggested methane from oilfields below boosted conductivity in the air above the lake. However, now they say this never-ending light show happens because of the region’s unique topography and wind patterns. Whatever it is, I’m staying far away!
5. Boiling River.
Located deep in the Peruvian Amazon, this 4-mile-long river known as Shanay-Timpishka gets as hot as 196°F, which obviously means no swimming if you don’t wanna become soup! Hey, it’s happened to wildlife that cluelessly decide to take a dip…
Usually, only close proximity to a volcano can make a river so hot, but the nearest one is more than 430 miles away. According to local legend, a giant serpent spirit called Yacumama (or “Mother of the Waters”) heats the river up. Scientists, however, believe that the water seeps deep into the earth through fault lines, gets heated up by underground hot springs, and finally comes back to the surface. That’s kinda boring, I like the snake story better!
6. Split Sea.
The devastating flood that hit Kerala, India last year almost submerged the whole state underwater. But once the flood finally receded, the locals of the coastal city of Ponnani were really surprised when they saw a narrow strip of sand that had surfaced from the water along the beach and literally split the sea into two.
This sand strip is now attracting a lot of visitors who, despite the danger, wanna walk its 1,600 feet length before the strip gets washed away by high tide. This natural phenomenon still remains unexplained but some believe that sand swept away from a nearby river formed the stretch. But the state of Kerala is also famous for another mystery…
7. Twin Town.
Kodinhi, a remote village in Kerala’s Malappuram District, continues to puzzle scientists because of how many twins are born there! It was estimated that there are more than 450 pairs of twins in a village where only 2,000 families live.
While the national average of twin births is no more than 9 in 1,000, the number is as high as 45 in 1,000 in Kodinhi. In 2016, a team of researchers from different institutions came to the village to explain this bizarre phenomenon. They collected saliva and hair samples from the twins to study their DNA but didn’t find any conclusive answers. Oh, boy, I can’t even imagine how people there can tell who’s who!
8. Sleeping City.
Speaking of mysterious villages, this real-life and literal sleepy hollow is the remote town of Kalachi in Kazakhstan. In 2013, locals couldn’t stop falling asleep while they were doing everyday activities. I mean, I also doze off when I’m riding the bus or just having a peaceful picnic in the park, but these people would have bouts of slumber that could last for a few days in a row and hit them right as they were walking!
More and more residents fell prey to this weird sleepy sickness over the course of time. The people’s health, the town’s air quality, and the food and water locals were consuming were all analyzed in a massive investigation. Still, nothing was out of the ordinary on those fronts.
Finally, two years later in 2015, the big mystery was solved. The authorities stated that high concentrations of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons coming from old uranium mines nearby had caused oxygen levels in the town to drop. The city started a relocation program, and I’m just glad they figured it out and got people to safety!
9. The Petrifying Well.
This mystical well is located near the River Nidd, which runs through Knaresborough in North Yorkshire, UK. Oh yeah, and its water is known for turning objects into stone! For many centuries, locals believed that the Petrifying Well was cursed.
In fact, you’ll find the well inside a cave named after a 16th-century seer and supposed witch known has Mother Shipton because it’s where she was possibly born. Anyway, nowadays people leave different items there – from teddy bears to bicycles – in order to witness this unusual transformation.
But scientists analyzed water samples from the Petrifying Well, dispelling the supernatural vibe surrounding this place. It turns out that the water contains a high mineral content that forms a coating around objects. This coating creates a hard mineral shell that makes them look like they’re made of stone.
Basically, the same process happens when stalactites and stalagmites form, which are those icicle-shaped things you see hanging up above in most caves. But it can take centuries for those to form, while the petrification of these items only happens in weeks or sometimes months depending on the size.
And this is something scientists have yet to explain! Hmm, perhaps it’s Mother Shipton’s curse, after all! Which of these places would you like to visit? Let everybody know in the comments below! Don’t forget to rate this article “9 Mysterious places that leave scientists confused” by Bright share it with your friends!
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