Unsolved Mysteries That Science Can't Explain

Posted by Sughra Hafeez in Science and Technology

Mankind can be humbled and inspired by these crazy unexplained phenomena, that leave even scientists scratching their heads. Here are natural phenomena from around the globe that science hasn’t yet been able to explain.


The Hum

The Hum is a phenomenon, or collection of phenomena, involving widespread reports of a persistent and invasive low-frequency humming, rumbling, or droning noise not audible to all people. Hums have been widely reported by national media in the UK and the United States. The Hum is sometimes prefixed with the name of a locality where the problem has been particularly publicized: e.g., the "Bristol Hum" or the "Taos Hum". It is unclear whether it is a single phenomenon; different causes have been attributed. In some cases, it may be a manifestation of tinnitus. The Taos Hum was featured on the TV show Unsolved Mysteries. It was also featured in LiveScience's "Top Ten Unexplained Phenomena", where it took tenth place.


Naga fireball

Naga fireballs also known as bung fai paya nak or Mekong lights, are a phenomenon said to be often seen on the Mekong River. Glowing balls are alleged to naturally rise from the water high into the air.The balls are said to be reddish and to range in size from smaller sparkles up to the size of basketballs. They quickly rise up to a couple of hundred meters before disappearing. The number of fireballs reported varies between tens and thousands per night. Thai biologist Jessada Denduangboripant analyzed footage of a Naga fireball event and concluded that the effect was caused by the firing of flare guns from the other side of the river. Some individuals have attempted to scientifically explain the phenomenon. One explanation is that the fireball is a result of flammable phosphine gas generated by the marshy environment.


Star jelly

Star jelly is a gelatinous substance sometimes found on grass or even on branches of trees. According to folklore, it is deposited on the Earth during meteor showers. Star jelly is described as a translucent or grayish-white gelatin that tends to evaporate shortly after having “fallen.” Explanations have ranged from the materials being the remains of frogs, toads, or worms, to the byproducts of cyanobacteria, to the paranormal. There have been reports of 'star-jelly' for centuries. One scientific speculation has pointed towards frog spawn which has been vomited up by amphibian-eating creatures (notably European polecats), though no frog spawn has ever approached the size of some reported cases of star jelly. Scientists commissioned by the National Geographic Society have carried out tests on samples found in the United States, but have failed to find any DNA in the material.


Morning Glory cloud

The Morning Glory cloud is a rare meteorological phenomenon consisting of a low-level atmospheric solitary wave and associated cloud, occasionally observed in different locations around the world. The wave often occurs as an amplitude-ordered series of waves forming bands of roll clouds.

The southern part of the Gulf of Carpentaria in Northern Australia is the only known location where it can be predicted and observed on a more or less regular basis due to the configuration of land and sea in the area. Unusual cloud formations have been noticed here since ancient times.

The Morning Glory cloud of the Gulf of Carpentaria has been studied by multiple teams of scientists since the early 1970s. Multiple studies have followed since then, but other than that explanation, scientists aren’t quite sure how they form.

Floating city

In science fiction, floating cities are settlements that strictly use buoyancy to remain in the atmosphere of a planet. However, the term generally refers to any city that is flying, hovering, or otherwise suspended in the atmosphere.

On April 21, 2017, in Jieyang, China, dozens of citizens stood in awe and stared at what appeared to be a “floating city” in the sky above them. Six years prior to this event, the same floating cities were recorded at five different locations throughout China. A rare weather event is known as Fata Morgana—during which light passes through heat waves and causes a duplication effect—might’ve been the cause, but scientists haven’t confirmed this.


Upper-atmospheric lightning (Blue Jet)

Upper-atmospheric lightning or ionospheric lightning are terms sometimes used by researchers to refer to a family of short-lived electrical-breakdown phenomena that occur well above the altitudes of normal lightning and storm clouds. Upper-atmospheric lightning is believed to be electrically induced forms of luminous plasma. The preferred usage is a transient luminous event (TLE) because the various types of electrical-discharge phenomena in the upper atmosphere lack several characteristics of the more familiar tropospheric lightning. There are several types of TLEs, the most common being sprites. Sprites are flashes of bright red light that occur above storm systems. Other types of TLEs include sprite halos, blue jets, gigantic jets, blue starters, and ELVESs. TLEs generally last anywhere from less than a millisecond to more than 2 seconds. he terms red sprites and blue jets gained popularity after a video clip was circulated following an aircraft research campaign to study sprites in 1994.

Jets also sometimes come in the form of the imaginatively named gigantic jets, which can shoot up as high as 43 miles above the cloud cover and look like something you uppercut your opponent into after a spirited game of Mortal Kombat. For now, science is content to shrug its shoulders and see what else is on The Discovery Channel.


Tabby’s Star

Tabby's Star or Boyajian's Star is an F-type main-sequence star located in the constellation Cygnus approximately 1,280 light-years (390 pc) from Earth. Tabby’s Star is one of 150,000 stars observed by the Kepler telescope. What makes Tabby’s Star so different from the rest is that its light sometimes dulls by up to 20 percent, a substantially higher amount than any other star. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the star's large irregular changes in brightness as measured by its light curve, but none to date fully explain all aspects of the curve. The likely explanation, announced by NASA on 4 October 2017, is that an "uneven ring of dust" orbits KIC 8462852. Another hypothesis, based on a lack of observed infrared light, posits a swarm of cold, dusty comet fragments in a highly eccentric orbit.

Fairy Circles

Fairy circles are circular patches of land barren of plants, These circles form mysteriously with diameters as large as 15 meters and continue to stump the scientific community. The phenomenon was only known to occur in the arid grasslands of the Namib desert in western parts of Southern Africa, is particularly common in Namibia. In that year, ecologists were alerted to similar rings of vegetation outside of Africa, in a part of the Pilbara in Western Australia. The cause of fairy circles has long been a puzzle and the investigation has proved challenging.


Loch Ness Monster

The Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie, is an aquatic being which reputedly inhabits Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It is similar to other supposed lake monsters in Scotland and elsewhere and is often described as being large in size, with a long neck and one or more humps protruding from the water. Popular interest and belief in the creature have varied since it was brought to worldwide attention in 1933. Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with a few disputed photographs and sonar readings.

The creature commonly appears in Western media where it manifests in a variety of ways. The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a being from folklore without biological basis, explaining sightings as hoaxes, wishful thinking, and the misidentification of mundane objects.


Earthquake light

An earthquake light (EQL) is a luminous aerial phenomenon that reportedly appears in the sky at or near areas of tectonic stress, seismic activity, or volcanic eruptions. The lights are reported to appear while an earthquake is occurring, although there are reports of lights before or after earthquakes, such as reports concerning the 1975 Kalapana earthquake.

There's much speculation as to why these two unrelated disasters emit the same striking light effect. This century-old occurrence was first captured on film in the 1960s. Ever since then scientists have been working on finding a reason why.

People have claimed to see weird lights in the sky during earthquakes, as seen in this video: