The world may be filled with places of natural beauty, but there are also some very weird objects that exist, which sometimes offer no explanation about how they came to be and their purpose. Imagine finding a strange quartzite buried deep beneath the soil, from a stone that is not native to the area? Or an ancient computer with technology so advanced that scientists would typically date it centuries after it’s creation.
The one thing most people can agree on is there are few things as unsettling as those that are shrouded in mystery, and sometimes, these objects even baffle the most brilliant minds. For example, there is a manuscript that dates back to the 15th or 16th century, but its text has not been decoded. And there are small hollow objects dating from the 2nd or 3rd centuries AD, but researchers cannot work out why they exist.
But it’s not just objects of historical importance that are interesting; caves filled with locks of female hair, and a small island which is home to thousands of dolls, are the stuff that nightmares are made of. Below are 25 destinations that are home to strange, mysterious, and sometimes downright eerie things.
23 Mexico's Island Of The Dolls Is A Place Where Some Strange Things Happen
If you have a phobia of dolls, then one place you never want to find yourself in is Mexico’s Island of the Dolls (Isla de las Munecas). This small island is home to thousands of dolls (many of which are incredibly disturbing) which are scattered across the trees and dedicated to the mysterious circumstances in which a young girl lost her life.
According to the Isla de las Munecas, legend states that the dolls can reportedly move their eyes, head, and arms, and some witnesses have stated they’ve heard whispers on the island.
22 Lake Natron Leaves Calcified Animals Behind
It is a pretty eerie sight when you witness the outline of a flamingo that looks as though it has been turned to stone. It is not stone though, but rather the result of an animal being exposed to the high levels of alkaline in the waters of Lake Natron in Tanzania, Live Science reports. The alkaline levels are affected by the runoff of sodium carbonate and other minerals from the surrounding hills, and animals that have been perished in this water remain calcified on the surface.
21 Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum Is Home To Hundreds Of Dummies
Ventriloquism has been used as an act of stagecraft and entertainment for years, but often the dummies that are used are rather creepy looking. So, imagine stepping into an entire museum dedicated to these dummies?
The thought is not a comforting one for many, but the Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum is the biggest collection of ventriloquist memorabilia in the world, with over 900 figures, multiple photographs, scripts, and other keepsakes. It was founded by W.S. Berger, who had spent 40 years on finding pieces for his own personal collection, which has now become a tourist attraction.
20 The Bosnian Sphere's Origin Is Debatable
When the Bosnian Sphere was found in a forest near the Bosnian town of Zavidovici, there was some confusion about how it came to exist. Some believed this ball, which according to The Guardian has a radius of between four and five feet, was a natural formation, while others felt it belonged to a lost civilization.
Bosnian archaeologist Semir Osmanagic felt it was the latter, and that the ball was created by an advanced civilization that existed more than 1,500 years ago, The Guardian reports. The ball is described as being brown and red in color, which suggests a high iron content, and others believe that this means the sphere is a naturally formed concentration.
19 The Stone Spheres In Costa Rica Are Man-Made Structures
The Bosnian sphere is not the only strange sphere to find its way onto this list, because the Stone spheres in Costa Rica are also worth mentioning. The spheres were first discovered in the Diquis Delta of Costa Rica in the 1930s, and now more than 300 of these near-perfect circular stone balls have been located. They range in sizes from a few centimeters to two meters in diameters, and some weigh up to 16 tons, World Mysteries reports.
Scientists claim they are man-made, monolithic sculptures.
18 The Mütter Museum Is Home To A Number Of Oddities
Pennsylvania’s The Mütter Museum is a museum unlike any other because it is home to some of the strangest medical artifacts. It was founded in 1858 when Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter donated his collection of anatomical and pathological specimens, Mental Floss reports.
Now, the museum houses many human specimens preserved in fluid and more than 5,500 medical objects that reflect the history and advancement of medicine. According to the museum’s website, the collection ranges from the seventh century BCE to modern times.
17 Kryziu Kalnas, Or The Hill Of Crosses, Is A Destination That's Not Easy To Miss
Located in the North of Lithuania is a pilgrimage site where people have placed crosses for centuries. It is known as Kryziu Kalnas or Hill Of Crosses, and according to a website in the honor of the site, the reason for the placing of crosses is a religious expression, not one of loss, but of faith, love, and sacrifice.
Each visitor to the site tries to leave across, and although some were reportedly destroyed by the Soviet government in 1961, and later in 1975, thousands exist today. According to the site, there are more than 14,000 big crosses, some of which reach over 4 meters high, and around 41 000 small crosses.
16 Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum Came Complete With A Terracotta Army
The mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, the First Qin Emperor, took 38 years to complete, from 246 to 208 BC (almost two years after the Emperor’s death in 210 BC). He started building it soon after his coronation, and according to Historic Mysteries, the emperor was fascinated with the afterlife, which is why he had such a grand mausoleum designed.
The Emperor wanted to take everything he needed with him to the next life, including treasures and an impressive terracotta army designed to protect him.
15 The Antikythera Mechanism Is The World's First Computer
The Antikythera Mechanism is a Greek analog computer which dates back 2,000 years. According to Vox, the object was located 150 years ago by an archeologist searching through objects on the wreck of a vessel, found off the Greek island Antikythera -- hence the name.
At the time of the object’s creation, the level of technology was incredibly advanced, and scientists would typically date it to the 16th century, not the first. For decades, scientists were baffled by what this object could be, until 1959, when Princeton science historian Derek J. de Solla Price declared it was a computer.
14 Some Feel The Volgograd Discs Are Alien In Origin
In the Volgograd region of Russia, a dozen stone discs were found, but their origin and purpose remain a mystery. According to Ancient Origins, Russian UFOlogy and Cryptozoology group, Kosmopoisk, made the discovery of the discs which reportedly contain a high-density metal known as tungsten. This metal is typically used in military technologies, however, the group has reportedly made claims that the objects could be a million years old and could have been a military drone damaged in an attack on Mars.
According to Ancient Origins, skeptics believe that these objects are not man-made, and simply unusual discs caused by erosion.
13 Witch Bottles Contained A Mixture Of Unusual Ingredients
Witch bottles were often buried in the 16th and 17th century to counteract witchcraft, as a protection device for non-witches. Many of these ancient bottles have been found, but not many have been opened scientifically. That changed when a witch bottle was found 1.5 meters below ground in Greenwich, London.
It dates back to the 17th century, and according to New Scientist, this bottle was the first to be scientifically opened. The contents included human urine, bent nails, and pins (designed to aggravate the witch), fingernail clippings, hair, and navel fluff. It is also believed that sulfur or brimstone was added to the mixture.
12 The Voynich Manuscript Can Still Not Be Deciphered
What makes the Voynich Manuscript so interesting is the language used on it has yet to be decoded. According to the Beinecke Rare Book And Manuscript Library site, the manuscript was written in central Europe in the 15th or 16th century, and was named after the bookseller, Wilfrid M. Voynich, who acquired it in 1912.
The manuscript contains an unknown handwritten language or code, and although it has yet to be decoded, it is believed that it is either magical or scientific. According to Ars Technica, the manuscript is also filled with multiple illustrations of alien planets and unusual objects.
11 The Lycurgus Cup Is One Of The World's Most Beautiful Drinking Cups (And It Changes Color)
The Lycurgus Cup is not like your average 4th-century cup. The drinking cup represents scenes from King Lycurgus of Thrace, and according to the British Museum, it is a Late Roman drinking cup.
But what makes it so fascinating is that it alternates between a green and red coloring; the latter happens when the cup is lit from behind. This change baffled scientists until 1990 when according to Smithsonian, it was revealed that the glass had tiny particles of silver and gold in it, so when hitting with light, the “electrons belonging to the metal flecks vibrate in ways that alter the color depending on the observer’s position.”
10 The Hang Nga Guesthouse Looks Like A Giant Bayan Tree
Although not all of the objects named on this list are able to be viewed, and others require a visit to an island or a museum to do so, the Hang Nga Guesthouse is more accessible.
This guesthouse is often referred to as The Crazy House because of its incredibly strange architecture. The expressionist accommodation was designed by Dang Viet Nga who used drawings instead of blueprints and artisans without specific building skills to build it, Uniq Hotels reports. The hotel is modeled after organic growth and it looks like a giant Banyan Tree.
9 The Copper Scroll May Be A Treasure Map To A Lost Temple
Some objects have an interesting history, others were discovered in an unusual way, but the Dead Sea Copper Scroll is both. It is believed to be 2,000 years old, and was found in 1952 near Qumran (an archaeological site in the West Bank), Breaking Israel News reports. The scroll is written on a thin sheet of copper, unlike other scrolls which were found written on papyrus, but this wasn’t the only thing that made it stand out. It’s also believed to be a treasure map leading to a lost temple.
8 No One Is Certain What The Purpose Of The Roman Dodecahedrons Is
There are many Roman Dodecahedrons (dating from the 2nd or 3rd centuries AD) that have been discovered, but the reason for these small hollow objects, typically crafted using a stone or bronze, is what makes them all the more interesting. And that is because no one really knows what purpose they served.
What we do know is that more than 100 of these objects have been found, spread across Europe, and as far north as Wales, The Gralien Report notes. They are geometrical shapes, with 12 flat pentagon faces, and some believe they were used in a game, or as candlestick holders. Others believe they have religious significance.
7 The Winnipesaukee Stone Is Made From Rock That Doesn't Exist In The Region It Was Found
Another mystery that exists is the Winnipesaukee Stone, which was retrieved near the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire in 1872. According to Vision Times, this was a strange discovery because the artifact appeared to be out of place.
The age of the stone, which is carved with symbols including a human face and spirals, has been the topic of much speculation and research among the scientific community. The stone is about the size of a goose’s egg and has been crafted using a quartzite from sandstone or mylonite which is not native to the New Hampshire area.
6 America's First Leaders Have Their Hair On Display
It’s not every day that you visit an exhibit to marvel at pieces of hair, but there was an exhibit entitled, Presidential Archives: Letters, Hair, and Fossils, set up for this exact reason, as strange as it may be. American citizens can get a glimpse of their founding fathers DNA, which according to Travel + Leisure, includes samples from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Jackson.
The locks of hair are believed to have been collected from a Philadelphia attorney, who entrusted them to the museum after his passing.
5 There Is A Place Where You Can Walk Into A Cave Filled With Human Hair
In keeping with the hair theme, there are thousands of pieces of hair that can be viewed atAvanos Hair Museum in the small town of Avanos in Turkey. Here, more than 16,000 locks of hair cover the walls of the cave, something so weird that it earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
According to Atlas Obscura, the hair on display has been taken by female visitors and is believed to have started when a local potter asked a female friend for something to remember her by. She is said to have given him a piece of her hair, which he hung up in the shop, and women who heard the story wanted to do the same.
4 One Of The Smithsonian Institute's Most Expensive Purchases Was A Nauvoo Temple Sunstone
The Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History purchased a sunstone in the 1980s for $100,000, Desert News reports. It was an unusually expensive purchase for the institute, but they believed the piece to be of significance.
The sunstone was once a part of the Nauvoo Temple, which began construction in 1841, and according to How Stuff Works, the temple was decorated with sunstones, moonstones, and star stones, 30 of each. But the temple, which was built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was later destroyed by arson and a tornado.
3 A Museum Dedicated To Barbed Wire Is Not Your Average Tourist Destination
The steel fencing wire known as the barbed wire is often used as an inexpensive way to secure properties, not to build hats (albeit unwearable ones). But the Museum of Barbed Wire in LaCrosse, Kansas, is something special as it’s dedicated to the history of the wire, and its contribution to western history. According to the website for the museum, there are over 2400 barbed wire varieties on display, including samples created during the late 1800’s.
It has become a tourist destination and has excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, with one reviewer noting that she particularly liked the barbed wire stetson hat.
2 Sewell's Heart Pump Was Created Using An Erector Set
A heart pump built by William H. Sewell for his medical thesis at Yale, the National Museum of American History reports. The heart pump was designed using Erector Set pieces, with the purpose of using a powered pump as an artificial heart.
His first experiment took place in 1949, and he bypassed the right side of a dog’s heart, proving that blood could be circulated with the pump and compressed air, Connecticut History reports. This lead to the dog's full recovery. His creation, using, in part, a metal toy kit, helped in the advancement of cardiac surgery.
1 There Was An Antarctic Shipwreck Which Looked Like A Ghost Ship
There is one shipwreck in Antarctica that is particularly eerie because it looks as though it glows in the dark. In 2012, the 76-foot long vessel, a Brazilian research boat calledMar Sem Fim, became trapped in ice because of adverse weather conditions.
The men aboard were all saved, but according to Daily Mail, over time the vessel was crushed by ice and sunk to the floor of the shallow bay. Because of the extreme cold, the vessel lay submerged and frozen, giving it the appearance of a ghost ship.