There are so many ‘mysterious’ photos and videos around the Internet that it’s hard to take them seriously. While it’s true that most of them are staged or fake, that’s not all of them, as there are still many unsolved photographic mysteries around the world that remain unsolved.
10. The Babushka Lady
Babushka Lady appears in many bystander photographs and videos of the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy, but to date her identity remains a mystery. Named by the media for her Russian headscarf, she appears to be holding a camera and capturing the entire accident, though that footage has never been found, either.
The weirdest part was her seemingly-professional behavior, as the Babushka Lady kept standing and shooting even after the shots were fired and everyone else was running for cover. In 1970, a woman named Beverly Oliver claimed to be her, and while she did capture some media attention back then, her story was soon discovered to be full of loopholes. That includes the very obvious fact that she’d be 17 years old at the time of the assasination, and wouldn’t look anything like the old lady we see in the footage. Moreover, the camera she claims to have used that day only came into production several years after the assasination, further discrediting her story. As of now, the case remains unsolved.
9. Hessdalen Lights
The Hessdalen valley in Norway is home to one of the weirdest UFO phenomena we’ve observed around the world. Since at least the 1930s, people living in the valley have reported seeing weird balls and streaks of light in the air seemingly originating out of random, unrelated places in the valley, though no one has ever been able to find their true origins.
Some people think that it might not be UFOs or anything concrete at all, and the whole thing could be explained by just bad weather. Or more specifically, as one study puts it, they’re ‘exemplary of anomalous atmospheric luminous phenomena that occur frequently at some locations on Earth’.
While that might be true – and we don’t have the scientific authority to contest it anyway – that still doesn’t explain what’s causing them.
8. Elisa Lam
Elisa Lam’s body was discovered inside a water tank on the rooftop of Cecil Hotel – now Stay on Main – in LA, though at this point, we know nothing about who (or what?) killed her. She was found on February 19, 2013 – 19 days after she was reported missing by her parents – though the autopsy gave no clues about the cause of death. The only reason they even knew about the body was complaints about low water pressure and clogging from the guests.
What we do have, though, is a short footage of her inside the hotel during the last hours of her life – captured by a security CCTV camera in one of the elevators – and it makes the whole thing even creepier. In the video, she could be seen performing weird – almost inhuman – gestures to no one in particular, or at least no one visible.
Obviously, it has sparked a bunch of ghost-related conspiracy theories since then – and the video is admittedly quite creepy – though there are a few explanations here. We know that Elisa had ingested a lot of pills for bipolar disorder that night, as per the autopsy, which might explain her behavior. However, that still tells us nothing about who killed her, the cause of her death, or even how her body made its way into the tank.
7. Tara Calico And Michael Henley
Tara Calico and Michale Henley are separate missing cases from New Mexico, though they come together in an unexpected way some 1,500 miles away, in the form of a photograph. Found by a woman in a random parking lot in Florida in June, 1989, the photograph shows Tara and Michael – 19 and 9 years old, respectively – inside an enclosed place, both gagged with duct tape, and with a resigned look on their faces.
To date, we have no idea where that photograph was taken, or what eventually happened to both of them. We’re not even entirely sure if it’s them, as Michael Henley’s body was discovered a few months after the picture was found, and foul play was entirely ruled out. The girl, though, is almost certainly Tara. Her family seems pretty sure, and the book lying right next to her – My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews – also happens to be Tara’s favorite book.
6. Naga Fireballs
Naga fireballs – also called ‘Mekong lights’ or ‘ghost lights’ – are named after a mythical serpent in Thai mythology, though we really have no idea how they’re produced. While we’re calling them fireballs, there’s no evidence to suggest that they have anything to do with fire, though we do know that they’ve been extensively photographed by travelers. These lights are visible across the Mekong river around the end of fall every year.
Scientists and curious observers online have tried to study the photographs and the phenomenon itself, though no explanation makes sense. Some claim that they’re caused by flamethrowers on the other side of the river, who meticulously come together and throw balls of fire into the air for the world to see every year. It’s possible, though as the event has been happening since at least the 80s, someone would have noticed these mystery shooters.
5. The Giant Congo Snake
The Giant Congo Snake was photographed in 1959 by a colonel in the Belgian air force. While it looks like any ordinary snake found in Congo, the photograph was actually taken from the air. According to Colonel Remy Van Lierde, the snake was at least 50 feet in length, which would make it the largest snake ever discovered anywhere. However, we have no concrete reason to believe that such a snake even exists, as it would likely crumble under its own weight and eventually die out.
It’s still not entirely out of the realm of possibility, though, as the largest snakes – anacondas – can grow to be as long as 30 feet, which isn’t as far off. Moreover, we discover new species all the time, many of them previously thought to be extinct.
While the photograph does hint at the existence of an abnormally large snake – especially compared to the trees around it – some people have theorized that it might not have been that large, and it’s possible that the colonel might have just overestimated the size of a huge African rock python or something.
4. Daylenn Pua
On January 27, 2015, Daylenn Pua, an 18-year-old resident of O?ahu, Hawaii, set out to scale the infamous Haiku stairs – a WW2 era structure built to access the 2,800-feet-high radio station on the top. While it isn’t a particularly attractive hiking spot – as the stairs now lie in a defunct, dilapidated stage – the Haiku Stairs definitely make for some great panoramic views of the surrounding terrain. Pua started his hike around 11:00 am in the morning, and started posting live photographs on his social media accounts almost as soon as he did.
Sadly, that was the last his family – or anyone else, really – heard of him, as Daylenn Pua has been missing since that day. The creepiest part, though, was a barely noticeable detail in one of the photographs. Closer examination by forensic experts revealed the figure of a man lurking on the trail, seemingly following Pua. He’s now the primary suspect in the case, though that’s hardly a lead, as his face is barely recognizable.
3. Charlie Chaplin’s Time Traveler
In 2010, George Clarke – a filmmaker from Belfast – posted a video on YouTube that quickly went viral and gained millions of views within a few days. It was from Charlie Chaplin’s 1928 movie – The Circus – or more precisely, the extra footage that came along with its DVD. It shows an elderly individual wearing an overcoat and doing something no one in 1928 could do: speaking on the phone.
While the footage is brief, it has been the center of many ‘time travel’ conspiracy theories since Clarke published his video, as the first commercial mobile phones were only invented in the early 1980s. Some claim that the phone isn’t a phone at all, but something like a hearing aid. That could be possible, but the person clearly seems to be laughing and smiling – they even stop to look into the distance and complete a sentence, before the camera pans over to something else.
Some say that the footage is fake, and was actually inserted into the DVDs extra section by a clever trickster much later. It’s possible, though it would require changing every DVD of the movie out there.
2. The Hook Island Sea Monster
Hook Island is one of the many quaint, tiny islands just off the coast of northwestern Australia that can kill you in a variety of ways, and we’re not even exaggerating here. There have been multiple cases of deaths by the dangerous jellyfish prowling in the waters there, along with treacherous rocks all along the coast that prevent any sort of water-based activities. Moreover, it’s a sparsely populated region, making rescue efforts difficult and time-consuming.
It would be a wholly unremarkable island, if not for a mysterious creature found in its waters that we know nothing about. First photographed by a Breton photographer – Robert Le Serrec – back in 1964, it seems to be a tadpole-like creature about 80 feet in length, except we don’t know of any marine animal living in those waters that looks like that. While many people have brushed it off as a hoax, or at least some animal we already know about, the mystery still stands.
1. The Victorian Ghost Hand
This Victorian-era photograph has been showing up in online advertisements since at least 2020, though until now, we still can’t adequately explain it. On first look, it’s similar to any other picture of working class women from the era, as it was taken in a Belfast linen mill back in 2000. On further examination, however, a terrifying detail emerges: if you take a closer look at the second row from the bottom, the woman sitting at the far right seems to have a disembodied hand on her shoulder.
There are multiple factors that make this one especially creepy. For one, all the hands in the photograph are accounted for, as all the women – except one on the far-left side of the same row – have their arms crossed. Moreover, it was impossible to tamper a photograph with, say, Photoshop back in 1900, making it a more authentic ‘ghost photograph’ than most we come across on the Internet these days. The hand looks quite real and three-dimensional, too – an effect that’s hard to fake even today, let alone back then.