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Strange Findings in the Wild That'll Make You Scratch Your Head

Deep in the jungles and forests lies the secrets of humanity – whether that be the ruins of an ancient civilization, or simply a bizarre item left in an odd place. If one thing’s for certain, we have so much left to learn about the people of today and of the past. Whether mysterious or comical, the following strange findings have baffled humans at one point or another!

'The White City,' Honduras

La Cuidad Blanca, also known as “The White City” or “The City of the Monkey God,” was a legendary paradise for Native pre-Colombian people of now-Honduras to take refuge from the Spanish Conquistadors hundreds of years ago. The city has long been thought to be mythical, but in 2012 an aerial survey revealed the city’s ruins, some of which date back thousands of years!

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

As the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat is surely one of the greatest archeological wonders we have today. It was largely left to be engulfed by the jungle until the late 1800s, when preservation efforts were put forth by the French. Originally it was commissioned by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century as the main monument of the Khmer empire, and while it is generally flooded with tourists on any given day, its mystery and wonder is still evident to anyone who visits.

Quimbaya 'Airplanes,' Colombia

One peculiar finding from pre-Columbian South America is the Quimbaya “airplanes” of the Quimbaya Civilization (now Colombia), which are small golden artifacts that look eerily similar to modern airplanes. Of course, these “airplanes” could actually be depictions of butterflies or birds, but their likeness to modern-day airplanes is pretty strange, and it’s far more interesting to posit a conspiracy theory leading back to aliens, isn’t it?

El Mirador, Guatemala

The ruins of the lost city of El Mirador were discovered in 1926 and date back to 1,000 AD. Considered one of the greatest archeological discoveries ever in Central America, the city is seven miles wide and was once home to around 80,000 people. It also holds La Danta Temple (pictured), one of the world’s largest pyramids.

Mysterious Rings of the Amazon

Experts don’t know exactly what these giant ditches shaped like rings in the Amazon Rainforest were used for by early people – perhaps defense, irrigation, or religious ceremonies – but they do now know that these rings are older than the rainforest itself! They also bring up some interesting questions about how prehistoric people may have altered the region before the arrival of European settlers in the 1400s.

Stone Spheres in Costa Rica

Does anyone else think that perfectly spherical objects are incredibly satisfying to look at? There are about 300 of these spherical beauties sprinkled throughout the Diquis Delta region of Costa Rica, and it’s thought that they were probably constructed around 600 AD. To this day, no one really knows why they’re there!

Fun fact: They were the inspiration behind the giant stone ball that nearly crushes Indiana Jones in the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark!

Lost City of Giants, Ecuador

Ecuadorian legends speak of a lost city inhabited by giant humans, and in 2012, researchers discovered ruins in the Ecuadorian jungle with giant structures that would’ve been far too big for average-sized humans. The ruins, which were unknown to most people in Ecuador at the time, contained massive pyramids and tools that would’ve been impossible for humans to use. Giant human bones have also been found in nearby caves, leading us to wonder: was there a giant species of human that once walked the earth?

Man-Made Rainforest on Ascension Island

Normally, a thriving rainforest would’ve taken thousands or even millions of years to develop, so scientists have been stumped (no pun intended) by this rainforest on Green Mountain, Ascension Island that has supposedly grown to what it is now in just 150 years. It came to be when the Royal Navy brought in a bunch of botanical scrap in 1843, and has since left researchers baffled as to how it has managed to thrive in such a short amount of time.

Underground Cities in Cambodia

Beneath the Cambodian jungles lie giant underground cities that no one really knew about until Dr. Damian Evans discovered them. Using lasers and a helicopter, Evans and his team were able to map them out, and discovered that one of such cities might be even bigger than Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Pretty much everyone knows of Machu Picchu, the fortified Inca city in the Andes in Peru, but it’s so famous for good reason: its discovery was one of the biggest archeological finds of the 20th century. There are no records of the site being discovered during the Spanish invasion, so it’s likely that Hiram Bingham III was the first European to find it in 1911.

Exactly what Machu Picchu was used for is still a mystery to some degree, but it’s believed to have been some sort of retreat from the city for upper-class Incas. It dates back to around 1450 AD, and was inhabited by somewhere between 500 to 750 people.

Temple of the Masks, Guatemala

Temple of the Masks is an incredible Mayan structure in the heart of the Guatemalan jungle, built by King Jasaw Chan K’awiil I in honor of his wife, who is buried underneath the temple. The very first expedition to the temple took place in 1848, and now it’s a major tourist attraction. In 2012, 7,000 tourists visited the temple to celebrate the “end of the world” according to the Mayan calendar.

Magic Mountain, Chile

The Montaña Mágica, or “Magic Mountain,” takes the cake for the coolest-looking hotel ever built. Sitting deep in the woods under the Andes Mountains in Patagonia, it’s eco-friendly, has a waterfall running down its side, and is even fairly affordable. Guests can choose from activities such as zip-lining, bird-watching, hot springs, and other nature-y activities.

Abandoned Hotel in Colombia

Not only does this abandoned hotel have a beautiful view of the Colombian jungle, it’s also very secluded. Perfect for the hermits who don’t like being around other people!

A Tree Tunnel in Austin, Texas

“A tree tunnel in Austin” sounds like the name of a rad children’s fantasy book. But in all seriousness, clearly this is a portal to another realm where fairies and goblins live.

The Swamp Ghost

The “Swamp Ghost” is an old B-17 from World War II that crash-landed in a swamp in the Papua New Guinean jungle and was left for years to be overtaken by vegetation. It was discovered in 1972 by American restaurateur David Tallichet, who had a peculiar passion for collecting old warplanes, and transported to America to be put on display.

Las Pozas, Mexico

Las Pozas is an incredible sculpture park in the jungles of Sierra Madre Occidental created by British artist Edward James over the span of about 40 years. James must’ve had a lot of time and money on his hands, because he spent millions completing the park, and his main goal with it was to confuse future generations, apparently. Despite how impressive it is, Las Pozas is actually not very well-known.

Sigiriya Fortress, Sri Lanka

Sigiriya Fortress in Sri Lanka is a gigantic rock that stands over 600 feet tall and has quite an interesting history: It was built as a palace for King Kashyapa in the 5th century AD, and was later used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s no secret why it’s one of Sri Lanka’s top tourist attractions!

The Ruins of Tulum, Mexico

Just outside of the resort town of Cancún in Mexico are the remains of a Mayan cliff-top fortress called Tulum. Tulum was constructed in 564 AD, but didn’t reach its prime until the 13th century, when it became a major trading hub. Tulum survived for 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico, and today it is one of the best-preserved Mayan cities on the coast.

A Giant Stone Head in Guatemala

This mysterious stone head was discovered deep in the jungles of Guatemala in the 1950s, but promptly forgotten about until the late 1980s when Dr. Oscar Rafael Padilla Lara caught word of a giant stone head that was located “somewhere in the jungles of Guatemala.” Tragically, when Dr. Lara went to go looking for it, he found that it had been destroyed by anti-government rebels.

What makes it so mysterious are its Caucasian-like features, which are peculiar because it was constructed sometime before European settlers arrived in South America. This has led conspiracy theorists to assert that aliens had something to do with its construction!

A Mask in Minnesota

This Redditor was out fossil-hunting one day in the woods in Saint Paul, Minnesota when they saw something equally as cool as a fossil – this bizarre-looking mask. After taking it to a curator at the Science Museum of Minnesota, it was determined that the mask was not as ancient as it looks, but rather was most likely someone’s modern art creation. Probably a bit disappointing to hear, but still quite an interesting and unexpected find out in the woods!

We All Live in an Abandoned Submarine

This abandoned submarine has reportedly been used for more…unsavory “smuggling” missions in Colombia, if you catch our drift here. But no matter what it was used for, it’s still pretty cool-looking! Cue having “Yellow Submarine” stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

He is the Chosen One

This dude was walking through Epping Forest in England when he randomly stumbled upon a sword from the Knights of Sherwood Forest, a secretive society with chapters in England and the US, formed in the late 1800s and disbanded by the 1920s. Obviously with a find like that, he is The Chosen One.

Modern Art

And here we have a modern art instillation of pennies cut into a log, that’s worth a grand total of $2.50. All jokes aside, this is actually kind of cool. Can you imagine how much time and effort it took to get all of those pennies lodged into that log? And it was all so that some people could make fun of it on the internet.

Sad Castle Grayskull

This may look like an incredibly sad version of Castle Grayskull on the planet of Eternia, but it also does kind of look like the headquarters for a cult. Would you take that chance? We wouldn’t. Time to get the heck out of there.

A Terrifying Tree Demon

Whoever created this forest monster clearly wanted to see someone have a heart attack. Like, seriously, imagine going for a nice leisurely stroll through the forest and seeing this terrifying thing lurking up in the trees. Yeah, no thanks.

A Flock of Toilets

Either someone was having a little fun trolling with a weird modern-art project, or there’s some weird cult-like activity going on. Either way, walking by a flock of toilets hanging out in the trees is…bizarre, to say the least.

Abandoned House in Russia

This photo is the beginning of a quintessential horror film: A group of four teens is hiking through the secluded forest. It’s starting to get dark, but they’ve lost their way because one of them insisted that they didn’t need to bring a map. They then stumble upon this creepy-looking old house where they’re forced to stay the night, because if they don’t, they’ll be stuck out in the cold all night and who knows what creatures lurk in the woods. Little do they know of the paranormal creatures they’re about to encounter in the old house.

Abandoned Train Tunnel

We appreciate that there are urban explorers out there who are willing to risk it all just to post a cool photo on Reddit. Seriously, we salute you. But if we came across an old abandoned train tunnel in the dead of winter in the forest, our first thought wouldn’t be to go inside.

Stairway to...Nowhere?

You’ve heard of “Stairway to Heaven,” now get ready for the Stairway to Nowhere in Chesterfield, New Hampshire. It was built by an eccentric widow, but unfortunately burned to the ground in 1962. Now all we have left is this eerie-looking skeleton of a staircase. Who knows what kind of ghost stories will come out of it in the future!

Memorial to a Fallen Tree

This person was on a hike when they walked past a memorial for a fallen tree, complete with a framed photo and ceremonial rocks and feathers from those who have paid their respects. RIP.

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