Mysteries of the Unknown: Inside the world of the strange and unexplained

As a kid, I devoured cheap paperback books about “strange but true” phenomena. The short stories were anthologized from men’s adventure magazines of the 40s-60s and recounted mysteries such as: Who made the eerie statues on Easter Island? What happened on Amelia Earhart’s final flight? How do rocks in the desert move by themselves and leave trails in the mud? How do people spontaneously combust? Why did hundreds and hundreds of fish rain from the sky onto the heads of astonished residents of a small town in Australia? These stories set my imagination on fire.

Unfortunately, as I learned years later by going online, most of the stories turned out to be poorly researched or outright bogus. Mysteries of the Unknown is like these old books, but the stories are backed by solid research and a healthy amount of skepticism that does not detract from the fun. In fact, it makes the stories more fun. As an added bonus, the ample photos and illustrations bring the mysteries to life, making them even more mysterious.

Mysteries of the Unknown
by Time-Life Books
Time Life
2014, 272 pages, 9.8 x 8 x 0.8 inches, Softcover

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