In 1885, Reidl, an employee at an Austrian foundry, discovered the mysterious Salzburg Cube (also known as the Wolfsegg Iron). He cracked open a seam of coal to find a strange-looking iron cube inside it. It had many cracks and little holes in it, as well as a strange color and a deep fissure down the middle. Reidl had never seen anything like it before, so after showing it to his boss, they turned it over to the Heimathaus Museum.The next year, a professor at the museum named Adolf Gurlt studied the cube and determined it to be part of a meteorite. But further studies by the Natural History Museum in Vienna proved that it was not in fact a meteorite, but artificially manufactured from an unknown source. It is thought that the coal that “produced” the Salzburg Cube was at least 60 million years old.Adding to the mystery of the Cube is how some people actually believe it to have vanished. The reasons for this range from it being part of a shadowy conspiracy to it simply being debunked as a worthless piece of rock and tossed away as such. This, of course ignores the fact that the Cube does in fact exist, and can be found safely on display at its usual home, the Heimathaus Museum in Vienna.
Discovered in 1886, a mummy with an agonized expression on his face has long since been the object of speculation. This mummy has all his organs intact, which is not customary with mummification. Many interesting theories have arisen, though none have been proven right or wrong.Bob Brier, a University of Long Island archaeologist, speculated that two parties were responsible for the mummy’s agonized expression. One was the murderer, while the other ensured full preservation of the body (possibly due to a personal relationship with the victim). Other researchers and archaeologists have come up with theories ranging from cold-blooded murder to poisoning to being buried alive. A 2008 National Geographic documentary special investigated the possibility that the mummy could be Prince Pentewere (son of Pharaoh Ramses III), who was suspected of planning his father’s murder. Ancient documents from the 12th century claimed one of Pharaoh Ramses III’s wives was tried for conspiring to kill him, due to her desire for Pentewere to take over the throne. It is thought that when this plan was discovered, she poisoned Pentewere as punishment and rolled him up in sheepskin after being mummified. If that was the case, the “scream” could have been due to the pain from the poison ingested. However, only a CT scan had been done of the screaming mummy, and it remains pure speculation whether the mummy was in fact Prince Pentewere.Less sensational theories suggest that the mummy’s jaw is open simply because his head most likely rolled back after death occurred. But even that bit of realism is as good a guess as anybody else’s.
Lamps that kept on burning without using any fuel were discovered all over the world during the Middle Ages. These lamps were sealed into tombs, supposedly to ensure the deceased had light to guide them on their way to the afterlife. Some of these tombs were opened years later, and the lamps were still burning.Superstitious types became terrified of this phenomenon, destroying any ever-burning lamp they came across. People accused pagan priests of trickery. Others simply refused to believe that a lamp could burn for an indefinite period of time. The vast majority claimed that the Devil was to blame.Speculation was also rife that Hebrew communities had discovered and preserved what today is known as electricity. According to the legend, a French rabbi named Jechiele possessed a lamp that could light up by itself, with no fuel or wick. Jechiele, according to this tale, invented a special button that would discharge an electric current to his metal door knocker. If someone touched the door knocker at the same time the rabbi touched the nail, the person would receive a shock and double over.Even with electricity being a common thing nowadays, all who have tried to replicate the ever-burning lamps have failed. Therefore the question remains: How were these lamps able to keep burning for hundreds of years without fuel?
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