Cliffhangers and Cryptograms: The Unsolved Mystery Quiz

By: Staff

What is the name of the mysterious statue that sits outside the CIA headquarters in Washington D.C.?

Installed in 1991, Kryptos features four panels covered in code. The cryptic fourth panel has yet to be deciphered -- despite the fact that some of the world's best code breakers pass by it everyday.

In 1959, nine skiers met their mysterious end in these Russian mountains.

Nine skiers were found dead in the Ural Mountains in 1959, an event known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Their tents were ripped open from the inside, and some suffered strange injuries. While some speculate that they were surprised by an avalanche, others pose more sinister explanations.

True or False? In 1940, searchers found the skeletal remains of a woman near the spot where Amelia Earhart may have disappeared.

Searchers found a female skeleton on Nikumaroro in 1940. The bones were sent to Fiji for testing but were eventually lost, never to resurface, leaving the mystery of her fate still unresolved.

In 1941, the Nazis stole a priceless room made of this material.

The Nazis snatched the legendary Amber Room from outside of St. Petersburg in 1941. Some speculate that it was destroyed in the war, while others believe it still lies hidden in some long-forgotten bunker.

What phrase provides the only clue to a mysterious corpse found in Australia in December 1948?

Police near Adelaide found the body of a man in 1948. He carried no wallet and has yet to be identified. A scrap of paper in his pocket serves as the only clue to his identity, and features the phrase "Taman Shud," Persian for "It ended."

Who committed the only unsolved skyjacking in U.S. history?

In 1971, D.B. Cooper demanded $200,000 and a pair of parachutes while on board a Northwest Airlines flight. He jumped out of the plane somewhere over the northwest U.S., never to be seen again. Though Cooper was never identified, scraps of the ransom money washed up in an Oregon river.

Where can you find the Oak Island Money Pit?

Since 1795, people have sought the fortune supposedly hidden beneath the ground on Oak Island in Nova Scotia. While some speculate that the hole contains pirate treasure or the Holy Grail, others believe it's simply a natural sinkhole containing nothing more exciting than dirt.

What yet-to-be-deciphered language was used on Easter Island around the late 18th or early 19th century?

The Rapanui of Easter Island carved Rongorongo onto wooden tablets, but no one living on the island was able to decipher the language by 1860. Fun fact: Rongorongo alternates directions, so you must turn the tablet upside down after every line -- if you could actually read it, that is.

Some point to a series of these out-of-place artifacts in China as proof that aliens have visited the Earth.

A cave in China contains a set of mysterious metal pipes, some more than a foot in diameter, which date back 140,000 years or more. Could the Baigong pipes serve as signs of extraterrestrial life or simply ironstone fossils that formed around long-dead trees?

What did the lost colony of Roanoke leave behind when they disappeared around 1587?

The so-called lost colony left beyond a single word, Croatoan, carved into a tree. Did they fall victim to disease or violence -- or simply move in with the nearby Croatoan tribe that lived nearby?

What was the real name of the Black Dahlia?

Elizabeth Short was struggling to find work in film when she was murdered in Los Angeles in 1947. Her case remains one of the oldest unsolved murders in L.A. to this day.

Where can the mysterious code OUOSVAVV be found?

This strange series of letters can be found at Shepard's Monument in Stafford, England. It's featured in "The Da Vinci Code," and some speculate it contains clues to the location of the Holy Grail.

Which institution holds the Voynich manuscript, a bizarre medieval text that has yet to be deciphered?

You can find this puzzling 240-page text at Yale University. It contains elaborate illustrations and coded text. A high-resolution copy can be found on Yale's website if you'd like to take a crack at decoding it.

Which U.S. state contains a series of 20-foot high slabs of granite inscribed with some peculiar rules for humanity?

Known as "America's Stonehenge," the Georgia Guidestones contain some bizarre advice, including limiting the global population to less than half a billion. No one knows who commissioned the stones, and theories suggest everyone from the Illuminati to a satanic cult could be responsible.

How many victims did Jack the Ripper claim in 1888?

Despite the fact that he claimed just 5 or 6 victims -- hardly prolific for a serial killer -- the case of Jack the Ripper continues to draw interest around the globe.

Who was Mary Celeste?

The vessel Mary Celeste was found floating at sea in 1872, her cargo intact, but her crew gone without a trace. To this day, no one knows what happened to the people onboard, or why they abandoned ship.

The Beale Ciphers allegedly contain clues to the location of a treasure buried in this U.S. state.

In the late 19th century, Thomas Jefferson Beale left a series of ciphers with a Virginia innkeeper. The yet-to-be-cracked code supposedly contains directions to a fortune in gold and silver hidden in Bedford County, Virginia.

What is UVB-76?

Short wave radio station UVB-76 has broadcast series of beeps and buzzes from somewhere in Russia since the early '80s. Every few weeks, the transmission is interrupted by a creepy voice reading out a list of names.

What former teamster president mysteriously disappeared in 1975 after meeting a union boss (with alleged mob connections) for lunch?

Jimmy Hoffa likely met his end after that fateful meeting, but to this date, no one has managed to find his body.

What name is used to describe a supposed signal from space that reached the Earth in 1977?

The Wow signal got its name when scientist Jerry Ehman jotted his impressions of the sound on the paper output from the radio telescope he was manning at the time. The bizarre noise lasted 72 seconds and has never been repeated.

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About This Quiz

Unsolved mysteries appeal to our curious side, leaving us hoping that maybe we can be the one to finally crack the code, find the killer or track down some priceless artifact. Put on your sleuthing hat and take our unsolved mystery quiz!

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