By Hawa Adeyeye
You may have seen, discovered and studied planet ‘Earth’ but haven’t really wondered about the strange place which exists. These places, bring out curious thoughts and wondrous imaginations about how they came to be.
More interesting is the fact that in some locations, people are still debating the importance of the place and that alone can bring about confusion. For example, stories about mythical places shouldn’t exist because they are myths. That’s right. A MYTH. That’s a person or thing existing only in imagination, or whose actual existence is not verifiable. However, the thing that’s really strange is that there are some places or stories that seem to be realistic (why else would they still be passed down stories from generation to generation) and that they are still considered as mythical places. So to discover the truth, there has been a collation of researches from various places from all over the globe and these are the top ten strangest places I have been able to uncover for you!
- Area 51
- This specific word and number has been mentioned many times in movies and books, but what actually is ‘Area 51’? Is it even strange at all? Area 51, also known as the United States Air Force facility is actually a highly classified remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base, within the Nevada Test and Training Range. In the view of the CIA, the correct names for the facility are Homey Airport and Groom Lake. This military base is a little more than 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
The reason why it is so popular is that it is supposedly the top-secret site where alien bodies and technology were taken after a UFO (unidentified flying object) crash-landing in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. There are many other conspiracy theories like meeting extraterrestrials, developing exotic energy weapons, development of weather control, development of time travel and teleportation technology and so much more. The most popular is the UFO technology because several people have claimed knowledge of events supporting it. Some said they had to work with an extraterrestrial being which was named ‘J-Rod’. Now that is strange!
- The Bermuda Triangle
Everyone must have heard of the ocean between Florida’s southern tip, specifically Miami; Bermuda, San Juan and Puerto Rico. It is the mysterious triangle who seems to gobble up ships and aeroplanes without a trace. There is just a little issue with that myth. Most of the disappearances that seem mysterious cited by believers weren’t mysterious at all actually! Some may not even sink within or around the triangle’s borders!
Also Known as the Devil’s Triangle or Hurricane Alley, it is a loosely defined region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean, where a number of ships and aircraft seem to disappear under strange circumstances. The thing is, that most sources dismiss that there is anything strange or mysterious about the place at all. Planes and ships do pass there often and they come out unharmed. The most likely thing that happened is logical things like hurricanes and storms. They are not uncommon there. Most known stories about the mysterious disappearances have been thoroughly studied and human error in the stories has been discovered. The real cause of the popularity of the Bermuda Triangle is that a few people used stories of the disappearance and had a chance to make a whole lot of cash in those stories. Despite all that, the place is still popular today! Isn’t that strange?
Can it be one of the strangest places on Earth if no one knows where it is and is actually just a mythical story? Let’s just go with yes anyway. Why? Because many people are actually convinced that there was actually a nice and peaceful utopia that sunk beneath the sea thousands of years ago before our time and everyone is trying to pinpoint it in spots all over the globe.
Atlantis (from ancient Greek, directly meaning; Island of Atlas) is a mythical country or island that has said to have sunk in the Atlantic Ocean. It is pretty much a fictional island which has been mentioned in Plato’s works named Timaeus and Critias. Although it seems fictional, many people seemed to have believed the story and have been trying to find locations of the possible island. This is so because the story told said that the island had technology that was far greater than those in the day, which must be really special and expensive, giving them an edge from wars and other stuff. Now, some people believe that the location is near, in or around the Mediterranean Sea while others believe that it is in the Atlantic Ocean. The group that supports the Mediterranean side is in support because of the mention of the ‘Pillars of Hercules’, which was mentioned in the story Plato told Aristotle. The group that supports the Atlantic Ocean is in support mainly because of the similar names it has with Atlantis. Either way, the search for olden technology is still on the hunt today even after thousands of years! Strangest thing that’s been heard!
- The Pyramids of Giza
These three groups of the pyramids at Giza are so familiar to us that it can be very easy to forget how unusual they actually are! They consist of the Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu and Cheops and constructed from 2580 – 2560 BC), the Pyramid of Khafre (or Chephren) and the Pyramid of Menkaure (or Mykerinos). Also known as the Giza pyramid complex or the Giza Necropolis, the Pyramids of Giza is known as an archaeological site on the Giza Plateau, outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. It is located in the Western Desert, about 9km west of the River Nile at the old town of Giza.
So what makes the pyramids so special? There are lots of other pyramids, so what’s so great about them? One crazy thing about the pyramids is that Khufu’s pyramid had been the tallest building in the entire globe until the 14th century when England’s Lincoln Cathedral took the record. Another crazy thing is how they were able to construct the enormous pyramids out of 2.5 – ton stones! Apparently, according to evidence it took a workforce of 10,000 labourers working in three-month shifts that took around 30 years to build a pyramid! Another thing that is crazy is that the pyramids of the complex have been listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and it is by far the oldest and still the only one existing in the world! It’s strange that it’s still around for us to visit, right?
- The Nazca Lines
Now this place is one of the strangest places that ever existed and the proof is in the lines. Yup, these enormous geoglyphs in arid costal Peru have strange shallow incisions made in the soil in the Nazca Desert in Southern Peru. They were likely created between 500 BC and 500 AD. They are best seen by air where you would see more than 70 zoomorphic designs and styles of animals such as spider, plant, humans, monkey, hummingbird, and many other shapes. The only thing is that who made them and why?
The answer to the first one is simple. Despite that some local geoglyphs look similar to Paracas motifs, most scholars believe and almost everyone accepts that the Nazca Lines were created by the Nazca culture. The answer to the second question is a lot more difficult than that. Generally, people believed that they have a religious significance to them. In a deeper manner, some people think they had a ritual role or had something to do with the constellations in the sky. At least we know how it was made. Since it was so shallow, ordinary tools could have been used to create the geoglyphs. Sadly, it doesn’t give any more information about why it was created. Now that is an example of strange!
- Loch Ness
Loch Ness (loch meaning a lake in Scotland) is a very beautiful place in the Scottish Highlands, which is notably the largest Scottish loch by volume. It is located in Highland, Scotland, in the United Kingdom. Despite it being a lovely place, the main reason why it is so popular is not because of the lake. It is what is believed to be under the lake, the cryptozoological Loch Ness Monster, also affectionately known as ‘Nessie’.
The monster made the headlines first in 1933 in an article that suggested that a disturbance in the lake’s surface may have been a fight between ducks, and since then, it has been rumors, especially from the popular photograph of a long-necked lake monster, later discovered that the photo was just a canard (a false, fake or misleading report or story, a hoax). It’s strange that we still talk about it till now.
Many people wonder about the existence of Stonehenge. What was the reason of this strange and mysterious icon? It could be many things, from the winter solstice, a strange burial ground, or a UFO landing site! We are not sure what these circle of stones mean to us, and there are no written records about it. We can only imagine the possibilities.
The location is Wiltshire, England, but most know the location as near Salisbury, England. We generally recognize it as a monument with a strange past. Many Archaeologists believed that it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The stones are of bluestones (which in this case are several massive stones that were used to make and construct Stonehenge). In all the stories and fictions about Stonehenge, the most likely realistic thing about it is that it could be a burial ground. This is so because a lot of bones were discovered at the site which gives a more logical explanation of the existence of Stonehenge. Unfortunately, we do not know why it was chosen at that particular location. That’s not all bad though, because stranger things have happened.
- Easter Island
Still, about stones, the giant carvings on Easter Island are another place to talk about strange places across the globe. Easter Island is actually a Chilean island which is mostly uninhabited located at the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania. Also called Rapa Nui in Rapa Nui and Isla de Pascua in Spanish, Easter Island is filled with many monumental statues called Moai which was discovered to be made and created by the early Rapa Nui people. What makes the place so strange is how they were able to carry all those Moai, which were rumoured to be close to a thousand to wherever their destination is?
The Moai were carved around 1100 – 1680AD and most of them were carved from solidified volcanic ash, which was compressed and easily worked. They (the solidified volcanic ash) were found at a site of the extinct volcano RanoRaraku, which shows the location of the building site. One possible theory about the moving of the Moai is that they were walked from quarries on stone platforms, possibly by attaching ropes to the statue and rocking it, tugging it forward as it rocked. This could be mastered by fifteen people easily. At least there is a logical explanation for the movement, although it didn’t explain why there is a need for a thousand statues. Kinda strange, isn’t it?
- Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat, meaning Capital of Temples is actually a temple complex in Cambodia, specifically, SiemReap and is among the largest religious monuments in the world! It stands out for its beautiful towers and intricate artworks. It was built between 1113 and 1150 AD. The towers were meant to elicit the mythological Hindu mountain Mount Meru. Also the temple was originally intended to be dedicated to honor Vishnu, the Hindu god. Later, several hundreds of years later, the place was turned into a Buddhist site.The place is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since the creation of the temple. It is so important that it has become a symbol of Cambodia, which is seen on its national flag. It is also the reason for the country’s main attraction for visitors.
Angkor Wat was created (according to legend) so it could be a palace for PrechaKetMealea. Later it was created for the Hindu god. The construction took action during the reign of Suryavarman II. When he died, the work ended shortly, until 27 years later, when Ankor was sacked by the Chams, enemies of the Khmer. Afterwards, the empire was restored by a new king called Jayavarman VII. Eventually, towards the end of the 12th century, Angkor Wat soon turned from a Hindu center to Buddhism, which is still there today.The reason why Angkor Wat is so important from other temples is that history has surrounded what made Angkor Wat into what it is today, a historical empire. A beautiful historical empire was what it was. And it brought about people from many different areas to fix and rebuild the temple after some parts were stolen from art thieves. Look at how the temple brought people together from around the Earth. Now that is a place worth studying!
This very word is the definition of a great pyramid-filled city that was an ancient Mesopotamian city located in a sub-valley of the valley of Mexico, 40 kilometres from the modern day Mexico City. It went into decline nearly 1,400 years ago and no one knows who the builders were or what they called their home. Eventually, the Aztecs, who would later make pilgrimages to the site, gave it its modern name, which means ‘the place where the gods were created’ or ‘birthplace of the gods’. It began as a religious centre in the first century. After some changes to the ruling dynasty, the city began to be really strong. It was later gone after a series of fire burnt the place, which it was suspected to be internal.The Mayan people began to take notice of its existence later on.
The original name of the city is unknown still, but thanks to hieroglyphic texts from the Maya region, it may suggest that Teotihuacan was understood as a ‘Place of Reeds’, understood and written as ‘puh’. As for the possible builders, a lot of assumptions have been given. Examples are the Cuicuilco, the Totonac, theZapotec, Mixtec and the Maya people.Most people believe it was the Cuicuilio people. Either way, whoever built the place was quite brilliant to start with.That is what makes Teotihuacan known today.
So these were the top ten strangest places I was able to find across the globe, mostly for their secrecy, their importance and the questions that still surround the places. They are still nice places to go for the most part. And almost all are now heritage sites of the world. They are important monuments that speak the history of the past and quite useful to learn about them. Hopefully, we will get the answers we need from them soon. I have no doubt that these locations have proven themselves to be the top ten strangest places across the globe.
Hawa is a student of Mass Communication at Crown Hill University in Kwara State, Nigeria. She is inspired by works of arts and literature and has decided to follow in the footsteps of those before her. She also has a passion for reading and writing novels and is planning to publish a few novels soon.