4The Fate of Atlantis
Atlantis sure is one hell of a tantalizing story. First documented by the ancient Greek philosophers, it serves constantly as a warning for modern society against every possible threat from war to climate change to alien invasion, where applicable. They were the most advanced civilization on Earth, but even they couldn't stop whatever catastrophe managed to sink their island into the Atlantic. For centuries we have dreamed about finding this lost city and unlocking the secrets to its fate, so that we might prevent the same thing happening to us!
And make an Indiana Jones video game with a better plot than two of the movies.
Unfortunately, the search for Atlantis has yielded exactly no results ever. Plato is pretty much all we have to work with, and he's too dead to return any of our calls. However, this hasn't stopped proponents of the theory of the lost city to draw fancy maps of it, which sure does feel like a step in the right direction for some reason.
The fact that they avoided Oklahoma is clear evidence of their status as a super-advanced society.
Nevertheless, Atlantis has turned into a bit of a super-conspiracy theory which absorbs just about anything you throw at it, and has served as a tentative answer to basically every other mystery in this article.
Atlantis is not a thing.
First of all, our knowledge of plate tectonics rules out the possibility of sunken mystery continents. But there's a far more convincing reason than even this: That is, Atlantis was something that Plato completely pulled out of his ass just so Socrates could have something to talk about, and he specifically mentions in his writing that Atlantis is a completely hypothetical city.
"No one will take this 'Atlantis' shit seriously. They'd have to be even more drunk and ignorant than ancient Greeks."
This is part of the reason why Atlantis was not taken seriously until modern times. Most ancients actually took Plato's dialogues as the thought experiments they really were.
What's more, the book that mentions Atlantis, the Timaeus, is fewer than 100 pages long. This is shit you can seriously knock out while you're killing time at the bus station. Though it should not come as much surprise that countless books and god knows how many hours of the History Channel have been dedicated to asking a riddle as easy to solve as looking up a word in the dictionary. It's pretty damn easy to pass yourself as an expert in a book that most people have never actually read past the first few pages.
The History Channel: For People Who Hate Reading.
3The Tunguska Explosion
On June 30, 1908, a mysterious explosion occurred several miles in the air over a spot of land known as Middle Of Nowhere, Siberia. That's right, because real life falls short of the spectacle demanded in disaster movies, this explosion pancaked over 80 million trees over an area comparable to Rhode Island but failed to decapitate a single Statue of Liberty.
Tough luck, Michael Bay.
Eyewitnesses as far off as Great Britain reported that the skies lit up like the Fourth of July, and since an event as awesome as the Tunguska explosion had flooded the human imagination with countless questions, thousands of hypotheses have been offered surrounding this phenomenon. Suspected culprits ranged from meteorites and natural gas to a natural H-bomb explosion, antimatter, black holes, aliens and Nikola Tesla.
Winner of Cracked Awards in "Mad Science" and "Coy Grins."
It took over 100 years and god only knows how much bullshitting, but in 2009, some researchers at Cornell University finally found something else to brag about besides being researchers at Cornell University.
Just because they didn't pay for their degrees in cocaine and lap dances they think they're somehow better than us.
Those bright skies over Britain? It turns out they were noctilucent clouds, which are like the plumes of cigarette smoke that a comet would puff out after a wild weekend playing hot and cold with Mother Earth. They realized this entirely by accident after watching a space shuttle launch create the exact same effect, and because these clouds are only produced by comets and space shuttles, it considerably narrows down the list of culprits for a phenomenon that occurred in 1908.
As spectacular as Hollywood likes to portray the idea of an honest-to-god comet collision, the reality is decidedly more mundane. No New York tsunami, no ragtag team of deep-core drillers; just a mere 5.0 on the Richter Scale.