Strange Discoveries!

Some things are just hard to explain…, or can’t be explained.

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The “watch” from the future?

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In 2008, archeologists in Shangsi, China were filming a documentary at a dig at a sealed tomb dating back 400 years to the Ming Dynasty.  However, while excavating a sealed tomb, a piece of rock fell from a coffin, hitting the ground with a metallic sound.  What the experts found was a 100-year-old Swiss ring watch, with the time frozen on 10:06, but to this day, no explanation has been discovered.

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The Voynich Manuscript

This odd book has been called “the world’s most mysterious medieval manuscript,” and for good reason.  It’s written in an unknown “language.”

The Voynich manuscript has been studied by countless experts, including American and British codebreakers from both World War I and World War II.  No one has yet been able to decipher the text.

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The book has been dated to the early 1400’s, but it disappeared from public record until 1912 when an antique book dealer bought it in Italy. Some believe the book is full of ancient herbal remedies, although why some pages feature images of bathing naked ladies remains unclear!

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The Terracotta Army

Discovered by accident in Xian, China in 1974, when local farmers digging a well broke into an underground area containing 6,000 life-size terracotta (clay) figures.  Further excavation in 1976 unveiled two other areas filled with warriors. The “army” was guarding the tomb of the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang di, who become famous for unifying the various Chinese states into what is now China.

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It makes you wonder what else might be under our feet just waiting to be discovered.

 

The Baghdad Battery

When several jars, a tube of metal, and a rod of another metal, believed to be over 2,000 years old were found near Baghdad, Iraq, no one paid much attention to them.  Soon after, a German museum curator published a paper claiming that the three things combined could have been used as galvanic cells or batteries.

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Their suspicions were confirmed later on when they found a scroll depicting, what appeared to be, an ad with the “energizer” camel on it!

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Ancient Greek “Computer”

Although the Ancient Greeks have long been known as the parents of many modern inventions, nothing prepared researchers for the Antikythera Mechanism.  This complex mechanical structure is a sort of analog computer.  It involves a series of gears and mechanisms that allowed the users to predict the orbits of the planets, when eclipses would take place, and mark the solar and zodiac calendars.  The machine, which was found in a shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera in 1900, hails from at least 100 BCE and predates similar technology by almost 1,000 years.

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The Sumerian King List

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An ancient cuneiform clay tablet lists every single one of the Sumer kings, going all the way back to the third millennium BCE (back as far as 3,000 BC) and is a veritable who’s who of power rulers of the ancient Sumerians. What makes the Sumerian King List some intriguing is the reigns of many of the prehistoric rulers.

Some kings, according to the tablet, reigned for thousands of years and some for hundreds of years. Did the people of ancient Sumer live an incredibly long time? Was this proof of their divinity? Or is it simply a mathematical error? It seems unlikely that so many mistakes were made…the keepers of the Sumerian Kings List took great care to be as accurate as possible in their record keeping.

 

The Egyptian (Dendera) Light Bulb?

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At the Temple of Hathor, Dendera, are stone carvings showing a large lightbulb type object being used by Egyptians. The relief’s version of this light bulb shows a snake Inside the glass bulb in the form of a wavy line. This is believed to represent the hot filament.  A wire leads from the “socket” to a small box on which Shu, the Egyptian air god, is kneeling. Shu was the deity tasked with cooling and maintaining the air. How fitting that we see this god being put in charge of the likely extremely hot powering system for this amazing creation.

Beside the “bulb” stands a two-armed pillar, which is connected to the filament. This pillar is believed to be the power source for the light bulb. This pillar looks like an electric capacitor that we see today in power plants and it’s hard to believe the Egyptians possessed this technology.

The presence of electrical light would explain how the tomb hieroglyphs and inscriptions found under the Temple of Hathor were created without the use of burning torch light.

Torches were used to give light to the artisans that created the reliefs and hieroglyphs found in the many tombs and temples of Egypt. These artisans would go to work after the construction was done. Evidence of torch use is often found in the blackened ash on the ceilings of temples and tombs. However, in Hathor, there is absolutely no ash and no burned oil markings. There is no evidence of underground fires ever having been used. And, archeologists confirm these reliefs were not carried in and placed on the walls. They are actually carved into the building stones of the structures. This work could only have been completed on-site and after construction was complete. So, then, how could the artisans spend the hundreds of hours required to produce their works in absolute darkness?

 

The incredible sound effects of Malta’s Hypogeum (underground chamber) of Hal Saflieni

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The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni in Malta is believed to be the oldest prehistoric underground temple in the world.  The subterranean structure is shrouded in mystery, from the discovery of elongated skulls to stories of paranormal phenomena. But the characteristic that has been attracting experts from around the globe is the unique acoustic properties found within the underground chambers of the Hypogeum.

The Hal Saflieni Hypogeum dates back back approximately 5,000 years.

The “labyrinth,” as it is often called, consists of a series of elliptical chambers and small pockets of varying importance across three levels, to which access is gained by different corridors.  The principal rooms distinguish themselves by their domed ceilings.

A unique chamber carved out of solid limestone and demonstrating incredible acoustic properties has been called “the Oracle Chamber.”  According to William Arthur Griffiths, who wrote about the chamber, “A word spoken in the Oracle room is magnified a hundredfold and is audible throughout the entire structure.”

It is said that standing in the Hypogeum is like being inside a giant bell. At certain pitches, one feels the sound vibrating in bone and tissue as much as hearing it in the ear.  Sarasota arts and architecture critic Richard Storm explained the sensation: “Because you sense something coming from somewhere else you can’t identify, you are transfixed.”

It has been reported that some sounds in the Hypogeum reverberated (or echoed) for as much as 7 to 8 seconds after the original sound had stopped.

 

The Devils’s Bible, or the “Codex Gigas” is the largest illuminated manuscript in the world, but that’s not what makes it famous.

An “illuminated manuscript” is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented with decorations, borders, illustrations.

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Did you ever wonder what the Devil really looks like? If the legend is to believed, an image in the Codex Gigas, an 800-year-old book, is a portrait painted from life–maybe even a self-portrait by Beelzebub himself.

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The giant book was created in a Benedictine Monastery in Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic) in the early 13th Century.  At three feet tall and 165 pounds, it is the largest illuminated manuscript known–codex gigas means “giant book.” The covers are made of wood and metal.  The Codex Gigas contains 310 leaves of vellum—believed to be made from the skins of approximately 160 donkeys or calfskin. They are so large, a single calf would provide enough skin for only two pages. Scholars say the handwriting indicates something fascinating about the Codex Gigas. Through the usage of modern forensic science, it was confirmed that a single person crafted the manuscript. The ink and penmanship indicate that only one person could have written out all 310 pages.

It initially held about 320 pages, but some were removed. No one knows who removed the pages, or why. However, according to popular myth, the missing pages actually contained an apocalyptic text known as “The Devil’s Prayer,” which was intentionally removed to avoid destruction.

But the most remarkable thing about the book is the full-page image of Lucifer, the Fallen Angel, at page 290. That page gives the book its nickname and its sinister reputation. The Devil is shown crouching, as if ready to jump out of the page. He has a green face, small red eyes, red horns, red claws, and two red tongues.

The Devil’s Bible was said to have been written entirely in one night by a monk who sold his soul to the Devil in order to meet his deadline. According to the legend surrounding the Devil’s Bible, the author monk was convicted of breaking his vows and sentenced to a grisly fate. He was going to be walled up alive, left to starve to death in his own tomb. The monk struck a plea deal with the monastery. He would write a single book containing all the knowledge in the world and he would accomplish this impossible feat in one day and night. Left alone to his work, the monk struck a deal with the Devil. In the morning, the monk presented his finished book, with 310 filled pages, to the monastery to secure his release.

Research has shown it would take five years of non-stop writing just to create the text, not even including the numerous illustrations.

 

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