|Photo credit: Ancient Origins|
The jungles and forests of Earth have terrified the human race for years. There’s just something unsettling about not knowing what could be lurking behind the next tree. That hasn’t stopped us from exploring them and searching for the lost cities and treasures rumored to be inside. In recent years, the world has become a much smaller place, with everything mapped out and no location hidden from satellites. However, the jungles still hold their secrets, with large amounts of land still unexplored, tribes unmet, creatures undocumented, and things never seen before hidden beneath their thick canopies.
10. The Amazon Rings
A series of ring-shaped ditches can be found throughout the Brazilian Amazon, which predate the rain forest itself. These structures remain a complete mystery, and archaeologists are unsure what to make of them. It is suggested that they served as burial grounds or a form of defense, but no one knows for sure. A further-fetched theory is that they are marks left by UFOs that once landed there before the forest grew. These blemishes are similar to the Nazca lines in that there is no confirmed reason as to why they exist. It is assumed that these rings were constructed by the early people who inhabited the area.
A further question is, “How did the early men get the tools to create them?” This is also unanswerable, as there is no proof that any tools sophisticated enough to have created the rings even existed at the time they were constructed.
The Maricoxi are essentially the sasquatches of South America. They are reported to be huge, ape-like beings that can stand up to 3.7 meters (12 ft) tall. Although they appear primitive, they’re said to be fairly intelligent, wielding bows and arrows and even living in villages.
According to British explorer Colonel Percival H. Fawcett, who allegedly encountered the creatures while mapping out the jungles of South America in 1914, they were extremely hairy and lived north of a tribe called the Maxubi. They could only speak in grunts and were extremely hostile toward humans. In the colonel’s book, Lost Trails, Lost Cities, he describes how he and his men were nearly attacked by the beasts when they got close to their village. However, they were able to keep the beasts away by firing their guns into the ground by the creatures’ feet, sending them running in terror.
In 1925, Fawcett disappeared along with all his men while on an expedition to find a lost city. Theories suggest that they were killed by local tribes or died of starvation. However, some say they were killed by the Maricoxi, although there is no evidence to back this up.
8. The Sentinelese People
The Sentinelese tribe are the most isolated known tribe on Earth. They inhabit the jungle of North Sentinel Island in the Indian Ocean and are believed to have lived there for 60,000 years. The have refused every attempt the Western world makes to reach out to them and have been known to kill people who get too close. They speak an unclassified language and drive away any research teams with arrows and spears.
The tribe is estimated to have no more than 500 people, but they still manage to do extremely well, crafting metal tools and appearing to be in good health. The real mystery of this tribe is how they managed to survive the 2004 tsunami that wrecked many of the Andaman Islands. The tribe were presumed to have perished, as they live in the direct path of the tsunami. Soon after the tsunami, a helicopter flew very low above the island, looking for signs of life, expecting to find none. However, a Sentinelese man ran out of the jungle and onto the beach waving his spear and gesturing for the helicopter to leave.
It is incredible that while the tsunami affected millions of civilized people, the Sentinelese tribe managed to survive without any help from the outside world at all. How they did it will likely forever remain a mystery, as no one is going to be getting very close to them in the foreseeable future.
7. Prehistoric Stone Balls
Hundreds of these large stone spheres are scattered across the Costa Rican jungle and are thought to have been constructed by prehistoric humans. For years, they have baffled scientists and archaeologists as to why they are there and how they were built. The spheres range up to 2.4 meters (8 ft) in diameter and are almost perfectly round.
It has been suggested that they were built for religious purposes, but there isn’t enough evidence to confirm this. To this day, it remains a mystery as to why the stones are there and how prehistoric humans managed to shape them with the most basic of tools. It is also a mystery as to how the stones were moved up hills and through the jungle, thick with trees. The resources required for making them cannot be found for miles around their locations, making the mystery even more confusing.
6. The Boiling River
There is a river in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon that kills everything that falls into it. It can reach temperatures of over 93 degrees Celsius (200 °F), and steam often rises from the surface. There is no confirmation regarding how the phenomenon came to be, but it is hypothesized that a drilling company accidentally ruptured a geothermal system, releasing gasses from inside the Earth into the river.
According to the locals, the river is a place of huge spiritual power, and natives often gather on its banks to sing songs and pray. This boiling river is incredible just to hear about and is apparently breathtaking to see.
5. The Lost City Of Giants
Deep in the Ecuadorian jungle, a lost city was discovered in 2012. However, it certainly wasn’t any normal ancient city. It is known as the “Lost City of Giants.”
A group of explorers were accompanied by a number of natives, who were familiar with the area and strongly believed that the city existed. According to reports, upon arrival, the explorers found a set of massive structures, the largest being a 79-meter-tall by 79-meter-wide (260 ft x 260 ft) pyramid of unusual shape. At the top of the pyramid is a flat, polished stone, believed to have been a sacrificial altar.
The magnitude of these buildings is what gives the city its name and leads many archaeologists to believe that the city was indeed built and inhabited by giants, although many others are skeptical on that point.
What makes this discovery even more peculiar is not just the buildings themselves but also the tools and artifacts found there. Many oversized, manufactured tools were said to have been discovered, allegedly so big that it would be impossible for humans to use them. The team that discovered the city believes that the tools are a crucial piece of evidence that in the distant past, giants once walked the Earth.
4. The Stone Head Of Guatemala
In the 1950s, in the jungles of Guatemala, a colossal stone head was discovered. The face had unusual features, such as thin lips and a large nose, and was found directed up at the sky. The features resembled a Caucasian man, which did not fit with any other art works of the time, as contact with Caucasians would have been nonexistent.
Years after its original discovery, it was found destroyed by Dr. Oscar Padilla, a doctor of philosophy and an ancient history enthusiast. He claimed that the head had been destroyed by anti-government rebels, who used it as target practice. The story of the stone head was recently picked up again by the filmmakers behind the documentary Revelations of the Mayans: 2012 and Beyond, who claimed that the photograph proved that extraterrestrials had contacted past civilizations.
During the filming of this documentary, a Guatemalan archaeologist, Hector E. Majia, was interviewed. He stated: “I certify that this monument presents no characteristics of Maya, Nahuatl, Olmec or any other pre-Hispanic civilization. It was created by an extraordinary and superior civilization with awesome knowledge of which there is no record of existence on this planet.”
The region the head was found in is famous for stone heads, but none resemble in any way the one found by Dr. Padilla. The head has raised many questions as to why it is there and who exactly built it. It is likely that we will never know the answers.
3. The Disappearance Of Michael Rockefeller
Michael Rockefeller, the son of eventual US vice president Nelson Rockefeller, disappeared mysteriously in 1961 while searching for tribal artworks in the jungles of New Guinea. The 23-year-old Harvard graduate was a keen explorer and was fascinated by travel. On his expedition to retrieve artwork from various tribes, he encountered 13 tribal villages.
During the expedition, Michael’s boat overturned, leaving him and his partner, Rene Wassing, stranded 16 kilometers (10 mi) offshore. Rockefeller decided that he could swim to the mainland and get help. His last words to Wassing were, “I think I can make it.”
No one knows whether Michael made it to shore or not, but there are many theories. Some have suggested that he had simply drowned on his way to the mainland, while another theory states that he made it to shore, only to be ruthlessly murdered and eaten by the Asmat tribe. The Rockefellers launched an investigation into Michael’s disappearance and claimed that they had found nothing.
The mystery is still talked about today, with many choosing to believe that Michael made it ashore and was cannibalized at the hands of the Asmat tribe in their jungle-swamp home.
2. Amazon Rainforest Alien
In 2011, two British tourists visiting Brazil’s Mamaus region accidentally captured a picture of what appears to be an extraterrestrial being. The being was spotted in the background of a picture taken by a renowned paranormal writer Michael Cohen.
The shape of the being does not resemble any life-form currently known to mankind but does appear humanoid. What makes this mystery even more chilling is the fact that the area is known for frequent UFO sightings, with many speculating that aliens are interested in the area due to its biodiversity. The region was also targeted by a high-level Brazilian government investigation (Operation Prato), in which the army was sent to monitor an alien presence in the region. This operation was covered up by the government for years until it was eventually declassified.
Michael Cohen has since been contacted by Hollywood producers, requesting to use his proof. The footage is due to be used in collaboration with an upcoming film.
1. Flesh-Eating Parasite
In 2011, a team of explorers uncovered the legendary Lost City of the Monkey God in the Honduran “La Mosquitia” jungle. The city was believed to have been deserted by the Aztecs in 1520 after a flesh-eating disease broke out and has remained untouched ever since. The inhabitants of the city believed that it was cursed by the Gods, who had sent plagues to kill them. Among the team of explorers was Douglas Preston, a world-famous author and explorer who wrote a book on the team’s findings.
While the discovery itself was shocking, an even greater shock came when the team discovered that they had contracted the flesh-eating disease. They needed immediate treatment and very nearly lost their faces. Preston explained in an interview, “The parasite migrates to the mucous membranes of your mouth and your nose and basically eats them away. Your nose falls off, your lips fall off, and eventually your face becomes a gigantic, open sore.”
While excavating the city, the group also encountered venomous snakes that had made their way into the camp at night. The team narrowly escaped horrific poisoning. They took a number of artifacts and decided not to return to the city, feeling it was just too dangerous, even though they’re sure it still has many secrets to uncover. Perhaps the disastrous obstructions that the team had to face were the monkey god’s attempts at striking back at the explorers for discovering the lost city. Either way, it is likely that the city will hold on to its secrets for a while longer, leaving it a true mystery of jungle.