You Are Getting Puzzled... Very Puzzled!

It’s not often that I run across a true mystery anymore, at least not one that seems very interesting. In the course of rummaging through the dusty corners of the internet, however, I have come across a couple within the last few months. And now, thanks to the marvel of Wikipedia, it’s easy to find possibly-accurate information about them.

For example, there’s the “bloop.” It’s a mysterious sound recorded in 1997 by undersea microphones off the southwest coast of South America. Analysts say it fits the profile of a sound made by a living creature, but the nature of the sound is such that it would have to be made by something with a much larger vocal apparatus than any known animal. The sound apparently recurred several times over a few months, but it hasn’t been heard since.

The second is something called the Voynich manuscript. This is an illustrated book which is thought to have been written in the late 15th or early 16th century, but it’s written in a language that is undecipherable. Some people think it is just a hoax (but at hundreds of pages, that seems unlikely to me), and others think it is some sort of cipher. People have been trying to decipher it for about 100 years, and there still hasn’t been any real success.

I think mysteries like this are fun. They underscore human curiosity and fuel our thirst for knowledge. Even when mysteries go unsolved, they can bring out the best in us.

I guess I’d better go buy that ancient gum being sold on Ebay by an archaeologist, so I can puzzle over whether or not it was really chewed by Ramses.

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