THE NAZCA LINES

Etched into the earth on the Nazca Plains in Peru are giant symbols
drawn perfectly straight. Some are hundreds of metres long. They look
as if they were drawn by some giant hand two thousand years ago. And
the strange thing is, they can only be seen from the air. So how did the
ancient Nazcans draw them? Researchers say they could have created
hot air balloon or kites to fly and view their work. Indeed, an experiment
was carried out and it proved that the Nazcans could have made a
working balloon. The symbols themselves are of animals and plants. Yet
some are long strips of land without any direct meaning. A writer named
Erich Von Daniken believed that these were landing strips for alien
spacecraft, and that aliens could have drawn them. They may also be
for contacting these aliens. Maria Reiche, an astronomer, says that
these lines may be used as a calendar, or to keep track of the stars and
planets. There is a monkey drawing that has a coiled tail that looks
similar to the orbital lines of our solar system. There are even more
obscure theories that suggest that there were giant people 2,000 years
ago. Yet, they are still a mystery.
-MEGHNA MULLERPATEN.
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THE GREATEST UNSOLVED MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE – ACCORDING TO THE SCIENTISTS WHO CAN’T WORK THEM OUT

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Just like everyone else, I too love gazing at the stars in the night sky and trying
to name the constellations….As a small kid I was intrigued by the complexity of
the universe. I used to read about space and even play the board games that are
related to space. I assumed that I knew everything there is to know about the
universe and why things are the way they are. Turns out I did not. 😛
There are a few things that cannot be explained by the scientists themselves.
Here they are:
Dark Energy, which appears to make up 73% of everything that exists, and still it
can’t be seen, or even measured. The energy is ‘needed’ to balance out the
mathematics of the universe, but may not ever be able to be detected.
Dark Matter, which is closely linked to Dark Energy, is the term used to describe
the ‘glue’ which holds everything in the universe together.
However, Adrian Cho, who wrote Science’s essay on the subject, believes that
unlike dark energy, scientists stand a reasonably good chance of one day
actually detecting a particle of the stuff.
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Why do stars explode? Many of the processes of star formation and solar
system formation are known – but researchers admit they still don’t really
understand what goes on in a star when it explodes, forming what is known as a
supernova.
What re-ionized the universe? For a few hundred thousand years after the Big
Bang, electrons were stripped from atoms – we have no idea why.
What is the source of the most energetic cosmic rays? We’re bombarded with
them every day, yet researchers can’t agree on where they come from. Our
atmosphere shields us from most of the rays.
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Why is our solar system so odd? Did our solar system form the way it did by
following logical steps, or was it all just chaos and chance? Nobody really
knows.
Why is the sun’s corona so hot? Those that study the sun still really don’t know.
The corona is the furthest layer from the sun’s core, but it’s still incredibly hot –
and the reasons for this strange ‘layering’ of our nearest star are still a mystery.
-SHRUTHI RAMESH.

The loch Ness Monster.

The Loch Ness Monster is a cryptid (a existence has been suggested but has not been discovered or documented by  the scientific community) that  inhabits Loch Ness, a lake in  the Scottish Highlands.

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It is similar to other supposed lake monsters in Scotland  and elsewhere, though its description varies from one account to the next, with  most describing it as large. Popular interest and belief in the creature’s  existence has varied since it was first brought to the world’s attention in 1933.

Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with minimal and much-disputed  photographic material and  Much of the scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a modern- day myth, and explains sightings as including misidentifications of more  mundane objects, outright hoaxes, and wishful thinking. Despite this, it remains one of the most famous examples of cryptozoology.

The creature has been   affectionately referred to by the nickname Nessie. The Loch Ness monster is most probably a misidentification of other known  animals or inanimate objects.

-Shruthi Ramesh.

The mysterioud seath of Alan Jeal.

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On February 25, 2014, a nude, male body washed ashore on a beach in Perranporth, England. The man was wearing only socks and one shoe, but the police also made another peculiar discovery. “A set of headphones were found in [the man’s] mouth, as well as a rolled-up sock,” said a police spokesman in an official statement in May 2014. “The white Apple iPhone or iPod style headphones, with volume control, were looped around the back of the sock and were trailing out of his mouth.”

A number of items were found nearby, including a jacket, a wallet, and a photo of a toddler. The victim was identified as 64-year-old Wadebridge resident Alan Jeal, and the toddler in the photo was Alan when he was two. While Alan did have surviving family, he was a loner, so suicide was considered to be a possibility. Alan had recently purchased a weighted training vest and ankle weights, which suggested that he may have been planning to drown himself. However, these weights were never found, and the unexplained injuries to Alan’s chest and head meant that foul play couldn’t be ruled out.

The day before his body was found, Alan had traveled from Wadebridge to Truro and was seen wandering through the area on closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage. The most intriguing video showed him speaking with individuals at a bus station in Truro, but they have never been identified. Alan also traveled to Newquay before taking a bus trip to Perranporth. He was last photographed in Perranporth at 10:27 PM on February 24, 2014.

The strangest detail from the CCTV footage showed Alan wearing a completely different jacket than the one found on the beach! The jacket that he wore in the footage was never recovered. The rest of his clothing and his bank and credit cards are also missing. No one knows what Alan was doing in Perranporth that night or how his body ended up in the water.

-Shailasri Srinivas

OUR VERY OWN ‘ATLANTIS’!!

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We go viral on news of the lost cities of Atlantis, the legendary sunken city as
described by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, but how many of us know a
place called kumari kandam and its story? “LEMURIA” in Tamil nationalist
mysticism literature,  connecting Madagascar, South India and Australia
(covering most of the Indian Ocean). The distance from Madagascar to
Australia is about 4,200 miles.
KUMARI KANDAM OR LEMURIA is the name of supposed sunken landmass
referred to in existing ancient Tamil literature. It is said to have been located in
Indian Ocean, to the south of present-day kanyakumari district at the southern
tip of India.
The term Lemuria has its origins in the latter part of the 19thcentury. The
English geologist Philip Sclater was puzzled by the presence of lemur fossils in
Madagascar and India but not in mainland Africa and the Middle East. Sclater
proposed that Madagascar and India were once part of a larger continent, and
named this missing landmass ‘Lemuria’. Yet, the idea of a lost continent
refused to die, and some still believe that Lemuria was an actual continent that
existed in the past.
                               The term Kumari Kandam first appeared in the 15th century
Kanda Puranam, the Tamil version of the Skanda Puranam. Yet, stories about
an ancient land submerged by the Indian Ocean have been recorded in many
earlier Tamil literary works. According to the stories, there was a portion of
land that was once ruled by the Pandiyan kings and was swallowed by the sea.
When narratives about Lemuria arrived in colonial India, the country was going
through a period when folklore was beginning to permeate historic knowledge
as facts. As a result, Lemuria was quickly equated with Kumari Kandam.
                   So, how much truth is there in the story of Kumari Kandam?
According to researchers at India’s National Institute of Oceanography, the sea
level was lower by 100 m about 14,500 years ago and by 60 m about 10,000
years ago. Hence, it is entirely possible that there was once a land bridge
connecting the island of Sri Lanka to mainland India. As the rate of global
warming increased between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago, the rising sea levels
resulted in periodic flooding. This would have submerged prehistoric
settlements that were located around the low-lying coastal areas of India and
Sri Lanka. Stories of these catastrophic events may have been transmitted
orally from one generation to another and finally written down as the story of
Kumari Kandam.
One piece of evidence used to support the existence of Kumari Kandam is
Adam’s bridge (also called Rama’s Bridge), a chain of limestone shoals made up
of sand, silt and small pebbles located in the Palk Strait extending 18 miles
from mainland India to Sri Lanka.  This strip of land was once believed to be a
natural formation; however, others argue that images taken by a NASA
satellite depict this land formation to be a long broken bridge under the
ocean’s surface.
The existence of a bridge in this location is also supported by another ancient
legend.  The Ramayana tells the tale of Sita, Rama’s wife, being held captive on
the island of Lanka. Rama commissions a massive building project to construct
a bridge to transport his army of Vanara (ape men) across the ocean to Lanka.
As with most so-called myths, it seems likely that there is at least some truth to
the ancient Tamil legends of Kumari Kandam, but just how much, is yet to be
determined.
-SORNA PRIYA.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF STEVEN KOECHER

In April 2009, Steven Koecher quit his job in Salt Lake City and moved to St. George, Utah. After spending several months struggling to find a job, Steven abruptly left St. George on December 12, 2009. The following day, he telephoned two of his friends and claimed that he was in Las Vegas. Steven never offered any explanation for his trip, but his family believes that he may have been looking for a job.

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These phone calls were the last time anyone ever heard from Steven before he mysteriously vanished without a trace. His abandoned car was located in a residential neighborhood in Henderson, Nevada, with wrapped Christmas presents that Steven had purchased for his family in the back of the vehicle.

Investigators eventually uncovered some surveillance footage of Steven taken on December 14, 2009, from a camera at a residence in the Henderson neighborhood. The video showed Steven parking his car, crossing the street, walking down the sidewalk, and then disappearing out of the frame. This was the last confirmed sighting of him.

No one understands why Steven parked his vehicle in this upscale neighborhood, which seemed like an unlikely place for him to become the victim of a violent crime. His cell phone signal was picked up at various locations by a tower several miles away, but the signal died after two days. With his employment and financial difficulties, some people have speculated that Steven may have staged his disappearance to start a new life. However, there has been no trace of him for nearly six years.

-Shailasri Srinivas

THE ZODIAC KILLER

An unidentified  serial killer who operated in northern California in the late 1960s and 1970s called himself the ‘Zodiac killer’. This mysterious killer sent for four cryptograms(letters with coded words) to the press, out of which only one could be deciphered. At the end of the letter, the signature was a Zodiac symbol. The letters sent to the press were taunting letters, and the writer claimed himself/herself to be the ‘Zodiac killer’.
A series of murders took place between December 1968 and October 1969. The murders took place in four different places – Benicia, Vallejo, Lake Berryessa, and San Francisco. Numerous investigations were carried out, but the murderer could not be traced.
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Out of the four cryptograms, only one has been deciphered. The attempt to decipher the rest is still on.
The Zodiac stopped operating after the 1970s,and the Zodiac Killer was never heard of again. The mystery of the Zodiac Killer is one of the most peculiar ones in the history of the United States…..
-AARUSHI MATHUR.

Power of the Subconscious?

Let me tell you a story. This happened when I was a small kid, maybe 2 or 3. We were living in a rented house back then and the bedroom was really small. So, my mom and I slept on the bed and my dad slept on the floor below us. I was a really adamant kid back then (still am: P). I wanted to sleep on the edge of the bed but my mom made me sleep on the other side (for obvious reasons). She didn’t want me to fall down and hit my head: P. Anyway, after everyone had slept, I shifted to the other side and then sometime later, I fell asleep. And then I fell down. But, at the very same moment, my dad woke up, suddenly, and caught me. Yes, he just woke up and there I was falling down and he just caught me.

Later, when asked about it, he said he didn’t feel anything, he just woke up.

Was it coincidence? Was it just a dad’s unconditional love for his daughter? Or was it just the sub conscious being aware of each and every happening around even when one is sleeping?

 

-Janani.

Curious case of BENJAMAN KYLE

It was 5am on 31 August 2004.
Employees at a branch of Burger King in the US town of Richmond Hill, Georgia, were preparing for the day ahead. After cleaning up, a female worker took a bag of rubbish outside to the bins – just like any other day… But, as she approached the bins, she let out a deafening scream. Behind the bins lay a badly beaten, unconscious man, stripped down to his underwear and covered in red ant bites. There were three depressions in his skull, appeared to be caused by blunt force to his head. He was taken to hospital, where he woke up a couple of weeks later.
But he was missing something. His memory. He’d no idea who he was, anything about his past or even how he’d come to be in Richmond Hill. He had no identification papers on him, either. The doctors and investigators were stumped. Just who was he?
The mystery man knew his first name was Benjaman, but didn’t have a second name. Instead, he came up with Benjaman Kyle – with BK as his initials, after
where he was found.
Surprise reflection While he was in hospital, he received treatment for cataracts in both eyes, which had left him almost blind. Looking into the mirror for the first time, he was surprised at the image staring back at him. ‘I thought I was 20 years younger than I actually was,’ he later confessed.
Over time, a few vague memories began to return… Benjaman said he knew he was born 10 years to the day before Michael Jackson, on 29 August 1948. He had blurred and fragmented visions of him being in Indianapolis and Denver…buying grilled cheese sandwiches from a state fair. He also had a good knowledge of food-preparation techniques and regulations which could point to him working in a restaurant before his memory loss.
After being released from hospital, Benjaman spent some time homeless or living at the homes of friends he’d met while in hospital. As he had no social-security number, he couldn’t get full-time work, and had to take menial, cash-in-hand jobs instead. Meanwhile, there were countless efforts to find out who Benjaman really was. From searching the FBI fingerprint database, to using facial-recognition software and DNA test upon DNA test. These yielded nothing.
No leads stood up.
Benjaman also appeared on the TV show Dr Phil in 2008, in front of seven million viewers and, though there were some leads, again, none of them stood up. And who had attacked Benjaman in the first place? Richmond Hill police failed to find an attacker. They were criticised for leaving it too late to open the case, and it was suggested this was because they’d just assumed Benjaman to be a homeless man.
So where did his memory go? Although a few people have suggested Benjamin is a fake, the amount of medical and FBI scrutiny he’s received makes his memory loss unlikely to be a hoax. There’s no motivation for it. It seems the most likely explanation is that he suffers from a rare condition known as ‘retrograde amnesia’, where old memories are forgotten but new ones can be formed. The condition can occur after a head injury, such as the bashes to the skull he’d endured before being found.
-Meghna Mullerpaten

THE TWIN VILLAGE

At first glance one might not notice anything particularly odd the village of Kodinhi, small remote village located in the Malappuram district in Kerala. It is a sleepy, quiet place that one could drive by without giving a second thought with just 2000 families. However, spend some time walking through the street you may start to notice something peculiar about this village.
You may start having a case of seeing double, for there are twins everywhere, of all ages, both identical and fraternal. In fact, there is almost a pair of twins for practically in every family of the village. Globally, the rate of twin births is around 6 out of every 1000 live births, while Kodinhi it is more like 52 out of every 1000 births, a striking contrast to the norm.
According to villagers, the twin phenomenon only started occurring three generations ago.
Scientists have yet to figure the reason behind high twinning ratio in this village, while in the rest of the country it is markedly low. Local doctor Krishnan
Sribiju has spent a great deal of time studying the twins of Kodinhi and believes that the rate of twin births is even higher than official records suggests.
Dr. Sribiju said: “To the best of my knowledge this medical marvel began somewhere between 60 to 70 years ago. “Without access to detailed biochemical analysis equipment I cannot say for certain what the reason for the twinning is, but I feel that it is something to do with what the villagers eat and drink.”
Doctors have long been baffled as to why this village has so many twins, and no one as of yet has been able to unravel the mystery. Researchers have delved into genetic, biological, molecular, hereditary and climatic factors and still have not come to a satisfactory conclusion to this enigma.
           Fortunately for the villagers here, the twinning phenomenon has had no real negative effects expect for perhaps people not being able to always quickly ascertain just which twin they are talking to. School teachers here like to joke that they are never sure if a student is really the one attending the class, or their twin. Mistaken identity is probably a real headache here, yet for the most part there have been no health concerns and the village even seems to be proud of their unique status.
What is the reason they have so many twins? For now, no one really knows. If you ever find yourself in this village and start seeing double yourself, just remember that it is not just your imagination playing tricks on you!!!!
-SORNA PRIYA.