Learn about the Bermuda Triangle, Atlantis and other mysteries in Great Mysteries Series from English Plus Podcast, a new series from English Plus Podcast. A new series that will fire up your imagination and lead you to think about some unanswered questions in science, people, history, religion, myth and more.
Mysteries in Episode 1
Great Mysteries Series Episode 1 Transcript
Danny: [00:00:00] Dig deep into history, Peer closely at science. And you realize how little we know of the world. We meet mysteries at every turn who raised the standing stones of Carnac or the Mexican city of Teotihuacán, why do we sleep dream and age? How did the universe come into being and how will it end?
Where did life begin? Will we find it on other planets? Where did they go? The lost men of the Franklin expedition, dashing, Amelia Earhart, crafty DB Cooper can people just vanish even the smallest things, present puzzles. Why can’t code breakers decipher a medieval manuscript. What’s the deal with hiccups in this series, I’m going to present you with these mysteries.
I’m not going to even claim that I have answers to these mysteries because actually most of the world don’t, or at least answers [00:01:00] are divided or explanations for these mysteries are divided. People are divided, whether they have the answer for these mysteries or they don’t, some of them have theories.
We will dive in deep within those things. Those people, places, events, and issues that have baffled and fascinated us over the centuries. In some cases, diligent, sleuthing has answered old questions or at least provided a range of plausible explanations, other mysteries, including some of the biggest still defy understanding.
Would you have it any other way? Certainly most of us would like a solution to cancer or old age, but few people truly want to live in a world in which everything is explained. Where’s the magic in that there is magic in the unknown and a certain freedom in letting your imaginations wander through the darker corners of life on Earth.
This is what great mysteries is all about. That is our quest in this series, in this series, we’re going to [00:02:00] talk about mysteries, concerning people, events, religions, myths, a lot of things that we still don’t have a definitive answer for. And as I told you, sometimes I will present you with some of the plausible explanations, but most of them don’t have a definitive answer yet.
But think about it, the best things in the world are the things unexplained that is just fuel for our imagination. I mean, thousands upon thousands of stories were created based on those mysteries. And in our curious nature, we always seek to know about the unknown. And I hope I will present you in this series with things that will spark your imagination.
Welcome to great mysteries episode one.
And now without further ado, let’s start with our first episode. And let me tell you about the 10 questions we’re going to talk about today. Our first question is going to be about the ancient [00:03:00] Egyptians. How did the ancient Egyptians build the great. Then we will talk about the stone hinge. What was the purpose of stone hing?
Then we’ll talk about king. Arthur was king Arthur, a real British Lord. And then we will talk about the female Pope. Was there ever a female Pope are UFOs, really alien. Spaceships. Is there a curse on the Bermuda triangle are some animals imortal. Why do we sleep? What is the use of hiccups? Was there a real city of Atlantis?
We will talk about all these questions in this episode. So stay tuned. Don’t go away. We will start with our first question. How did the ancient Egyptians build the great pyramid that’s coming next? So
how did the ancient Egyptians build the great. The great pyramid at Giza raised as a tomb for the Pharaoh whohoo around 25, 60 BC is the last of the [00:04:00] ancient seven wonders of the world. Still standing. Egyptian architects, most likely employed tens of thousands of workers to transport its 2.3 million limestone blocks weighing an average of 2.5 tons a piece.
How did they lift and place the heavy blocks on an incredibly tall building? Theories about the methods used to build the great pyramid range from cranes to extraterrestrials. Most scenarios involve a ramp. A straight ramp would have to have been at least a mile or 1.6 kilometers long to reach the pyramid stop without being too steep.
And there is no evidence for such a structure, a winding wrap around the outside would not have allowed engineers to measure the corners, which would’ve been necessary if they were. To meet neatly at the top. Recently, some archeologists have suggested that workers used a straight ramp for the bottom [00:05:00] levels and a spiraling internal ramp for the upper portions surveys of the great pyramids interior, possibly using an infrared camera.
May finally solve the puzzle, but it is still a puzzle. We have a lot of explanations. You might have watched some documentaries talking about this, presenting you with some explanations and maybe some people you will find online on YouTube or other places that claim to have a definitive answer. But for me, I don’t think that we have a definitive answer to that question.
It’s still a mystery. How did that happen? Who know. That was our first mystery. Don’t go away next. We’re going to talk about the second mystery and we will talk about a structure that is as mysterious as the great pyramids, and that is the stone hinge that’s coming next.
Now our question for the Stonehenge might not involve the way they were built because maybe that was not as complicated as the building of the pyramids, [00:06:00] but the purpose, the purpose of the Stonehenge eludes us. What was the purpose of Stonehenge? It was a Dr. Its place of worship and human sacrifice. It was a temple for healing assembled by giants.
It was a vast solar observatory, the capital of bronze age, British culture, a monument of multiple gods or a sacred sight of the ancestral dead, all these meanings and more have been assigned to stone hinge, the famous circle of stones on England Salisbury plane. Many of these theories have subsequently been dis.
But the monument’s purpose is still a mystery. We do know that stone henge is far older than the Druids built in stages between about 3000 BC and 1520 BC. It apparently began as circles of earth, mounds and timber uprights later up to 80 blue stone blocks, sways Bluestone blocks weighing several tons.
Each were transported somehow from. A distant of [00:07:00] 160 miles or 257 kilometers. An outer circle of sandstone sarsens weighing up to 50 tons was queried 20 to 30 miles or 32 to 48 kilometers away on the Malboro downs and set in place around 2,500 BC massive stone cross pieces or lentils. Still top some of the stones, the entire monument was linked via a long avenue to the river.
The circle is aligned to the summer and winter solstice, but seems otherwise not to have an astronomical function. It’s possible that the site was intended for ancestor worship though. Evidence is still scarce. One thing is certain, however, Salisbury, plain. Open to the sky has long been a sacred site.
Prehistoric monuments and burials are common throughout its treeless plateau indicating that for ancient people, the area indeed had a profound purpose, but that remains one [00:08:00] that is still hidden from our eyes. So as I promised you no answers. But that is also a big mystery. Many people have different theories, plausible explanations, but no one definitive answer.
And now for our next question, which will not take us far away from the Stonehenge, we will talk about king Arthur that’s coming next. So our
next question is, was king Arthur, a real British war. Maybe the stories of king Arthur, the art Arthurian legends are some of the favorite stories in, I’m not gonna say history again here, because that is the question, but it’s some of the best stories we’ve ever read or even watched on TV. We all know about the sword in the stone and Merlin and magic and all that kind of things.
And we have different stories, different sources, but the question. Was king Arthur, a real British war. Lord, let’s see what evidence we have so far about this great mystery that we still don’t have a definitive answer [00:09:00] for. Well, let’s start with the Arthur. Most of us know now said, sir, Hector to Arthur. I understand you must be king of this land, where for, I said Arthur, and for what?
Sir said Hector for God will have it. So for there should never man have drawn out the sword, but he, that shall be right wise king of this. That’s the story. We know the one who can pull the sword from the stone is the rightful king of England. By the time Thomas Mallory wrote his 15th century romance lamo DTU king Arthur had become firmly established in British hearts as a ruler of supernatural proportions, modern historians, however, have debated whether the man ever.
Sixth century Celtic months, Gilda wrote of British battles against Saxon invaders around the year 500, but without mentioning Arthur ninth century Welch historian Nez is the first to place him at the scene. As a [00:10:00] war leader, Joffrey of Monmouth, medieval history of the Kings of Britain promotes him to king and adds the figures of Guinevere, Merlin and others.
Historical opinion is now split. Some scholars think that the lack of contemporary accounts of Arthur mean he is a later invention. Others believe that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, early historians also neglect to name other leaders who we know existed. The final decision may await some archeological proof as yet unfound.
So was he a real person? And moreover, was he a real British war, Lord or even king? Who knows, but we will still enjoy the stories. I don’t care if Arthur was a real king or not. I love the art Arthurian legends. I love the stories of Arthur Camelot and the round table. All of that. There’s some of the best stories in the.
But the question remains was king Arthur, a real British LOR who knows? [00:11:00] We might learn about that soon enough. We might never know if king Arthur was a real British LOR. And that was our third question for today’s episode. We have the fourth question now, and that has to do with popes. That’s coming next.
Now, I know this story is not very popular, especially among popes, but there were stories. There were whispers of a female Pope that is still an outrageous thought. I don’t know why, why wouldn’t there be a female Pope with due respect? Why is it only men that are allowed to lead the church or any of the other highest seats in religions?
That was okay for the Greeks and Romans. They have goddesses as well. They have. Yeah. Maybe the king of God’s was a man, but they had powerful goddesses as well. But for us modern people, we don’t accept that, which is a shame to be honest. But anyway, let’s not go there and cause some controversy let’s focus on our question.
Was there ever a [00:12:00] female Pope? The tale took hold in the 13th century and soon became accepted as fact, according to several medieval chronicler, when Pope Leo, the fourth died in 8 55, he was succeeded by a brilliant Englishman, John of mains. John had occupied the seat for something over two years. When during a procession in Rome, he was overcome with pains to the astonishment of onlookers.
He gave birth to a son and died. Pope John had been pop Joan all along. For several centuries, the public believed in the historical truth of the female Pope, her bust stood among others in the Sienna, cathedral and Renaissance. Historians included her in their accounts. People processions avoided the root on which Joan supposedly gave birth Protestant critics of the church in particular enjoyed rehashing the.
Over time. However, scholars pointed out that Pope Leo, the fourth [00:13:00] was actually succeeded in 8 55 by Benedict II, no contemporary accounts mention a female Pope and it is highly unlikely that she ever existed. Still. The legend of unlucky Pope. Joan has persisted, please novels and movies continue to feature the learnt, but all two fertile prelate into the 21st.
Was there ever a female Pope? Yes. Historians now say that there was not, but consider back in the days when it was a lot easier to wipe some people from the pages of history, they didn’t have internet. They didn’t have social media. It’s not like today. I mean, imagine even nowaday. Some things go dark. And when some powers decide to throw a blanket over something, even in our times in this information age, it might be possible.
But back in the days, it was a piece of cake. Anyway, I’m not saying that I do believe it, or I don’t believe it. That’s not what we are here to do. That’s not what I’m trying to say. I’m not trying to make you believe anything. I’m [00:14:00] just presenting you with the greatest mysteries of the. And this is definitely one of them and talking about mysteries cannot pass the idea of aliens.
That may be one of the greatest, if not the greatest mystery of the world that’s coming next. Stay tuned.
So are UFOs really alien spaceships? Well, there is no doubt that UFOs truly exist. And by the way, for the ones of you who don’t understand the word, UFO UFO is unidentified flying object. So dimension of UFO doesn’t necessarily mean alien. It can be anything, something that is flying, but we cannot identify it.
We cannot say that this is a Boeing plane or an Airbus or something else. We don’t know it is something flying unidentified. And it’s an object, obviously. So it is a UFO. So don’t link the word UFO with alien. That’s why I said are UFOs really alien spaceships, because [00:15:00] they may. So, as I told you, there is no doubt about the existence of UFOs.
If we go by strict meaning of the term unidentified flying object, but whether the many sightings of UFOs over the years include spaceships. That’s the question. Mysterious aerial objects have been reported since ancient times, but the trickle of reports swelled into a flawed in the age of. In 1896 and 1897.
For instance, west coast residents from San Francisco to Tacoma, Washington reported a bright, circular shaped original object. Wondering slowly overhead sightings increased in the years after world war II in 1947, pilot, Kenneth Arnold spotted a formation of bright objects skipping over the cascade mountains.
And I quote, hear what he. They flew like a saucer would, if you skipped it across the water, that’s what he told the reporters. Now, although the objects he saw were Crescent shape, the term flying [00:16:00] saucer took cold in the public mind. The us military took such sighting seriously in those cold war days, the air force set up a series of investigations from the 1940s to the 1960s.
The most famous of which was project blue book. It concluded that 94% of some 12,000 sightings could be attributed to natural causes such as the planet, Venus meteors or ordinary aircraft, 6% were unexplained. Certainly some UFO photographs were hoaxes with examinations, revealing wires, holding up the pie plate like saucers, nonetheless, the unexplained sightings, let some sober scientists, including astronomer Jay Allen EK to believe that a few visitors might indeed be extraterrestrial.
High neck center for UFO studies has been joined by other organizations in tracking UFO reports. The jury is still out on whether these unexplained [00:17:00] objects represent alien aircraft, but most scientists seeing no heart proof are still skeptical about it. So the question is, is it possible? Well, why not? I mean, we’ve seen a lot of things we can’t explain in the universe until this very day, and we’re still discovering things.
We have no answers for. So is there life on other planets who knows? And if there is life, have they ever tried to make contact? Have they ever tried to come to earth? Well here, the problem is that because of the many stories and especially this one, because it’s so appealing, fiction, legends, myth, and science all mix up together in one plate.
And it is very difficult to tell, which is true and which is not, but it’s still one of the biggest mysteries of the world. And that’s why we have it in our series. So that was about this question. Now let’s move on to talk about the next question. And the next one is as exciting. It is about the Bermuda triangle.
So many [00:18:00] of you have heard of the Bermuda triangle, but how much do you know about it? How big a mystery. I mean many stories, maybe some movies talked about it, this mysterious triangle where things just disappear. And by saying things, I’m talking about ships and planes and people, so it is mysterious.
What is it Atlantis? Is it extraterrestrial some kind of super power or vortex that sucks you into space or whatever? We’ve heard all these stories, but do we have an answer? Do we have a definitive answer? Well, maybe we do. A kind of a definitive answer for this one, but still it is a mystery. So is there a curse on the Bermuda triangle?
Because that’s the common thought that there is a curse there don’t ever go there because there is a curse. Is there a curse on the Bermuda triangle? Writer Vincent Gaddis was the first to suggest that the region of ocean bounded by Miami Bermuda and Puerto Rico and area, he dubbed the Bermuda triangle [00:19:00] was cursed writing in our goi magazine in 1964, he told the story of the five bombers of ill faded Navy flight 19.
After taking off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on a routine training mission in 1945, the planes reported compass problems and eventually felt silent. Never returning to base 14 men were lost after Gaddy’s story came out. Fans of the paranormal began to collect other tales of ships and planes lost in the Bermuda triangle, portraying it as a region where compasses fail and unusual number of people simply vanish.
Alien abductions space, vortices and energies from Alanis were put forward to explain the disappearances. However, reviews of incidents in the area have shown that there are no more prevalent than any other heavily traveled part of the ocean. Bordered by the Gulf stream. The warm waters are naturally stormy and subject to rogue [00:20:00] waves as the national oceanic and atmospheric administration notes, the combined forces of nature and human fallibility outdo even the most incredulous science fiction.
So that is what scientists say about the Bermuda triangle. And to be honest, I tend to believe in that, but there are still stories. There are still people who were lost there with no good explanation of what happened. So is there really a curse there or not? Is there something supernatural happening in the Bermuda triangle?
That is another question for our greatest mysteries of the world. And now we will move to the next one and we will talk about imortality, but not for humans. Of course, for some animals are some animals. Imortal that’s coming next.
So are some animals. Imortal something in water seems to promote a long life, at least for a few animals among the world’s longest lived [00:21:00] creatures are the row eye rockfish, 205 years. The bowhead whale, 211 years. And the ocean coho. 400 years, a tiny prolific jellyfish has them all beat. However, tu SIS Neri known colloquially as the Benjamin button jellyfish can reverse its life cycle returning to a younger state.
And then growing again, essentially it is imortal tu SIS was discovered in the 19th century, but only in the last few decades have its remarkable abilities. Been Studi. The petite hydrozoan as big as a fingernail may be native to the Caribbean and C, but it has spread around the world, probably hitch hiking on cargo ships.
In the 1980s, researchers discovered that when stressed, the jellyfish will change shape and return to a polyps state, it sells transform into different juvenile forms. The resulting polyp colony can then form new Medusas the [00:22:00] mature jellyfish. The rejuvenation occurs only when the jellyfish are threatened most live and die.
In the usual fashion, scientists are doubtful that studying the Tutsis is radical changes will lead to anything resembling human imortality its ability to genetically transform its own cells may however, give us clues to the mechanisms that control our own cellular destinies. So is it really imortal can cracking its DNA secrets help us live forever.
Who knows? These are questions that scientists may answer in the years to come, but if that ever happens, do we really want to live forever? Well, I mean, In what shape, unless we are young forever. I don’t know. But even though if it doesn’t happen for everyone, you’re not going to want to outlive everybody you love.
Right. But anyway, that is a philosophical question. And we’re not here to talk about philosophy. We’re here to talk about mysteries and next we’re going to talk about something that might not strike you as a mystery, but it is [00:23:00] actually because we don’t actually have all the answers. Of why we understand the, how, but we don’t understand the why 100%.
And that is why do we sleep? That’s coming next.
So why do we sleep? The country’s preeminent sleep scientists, Stanford university’s William Demond puts it this way. The only reason we need to sleep is because we get sleepy. If this sounds circular, it is decades of research into sleep have failed to come up with a reason for its existence. From an evolutionary perspective, sleep seems both wasteful and dangerous sleeping animals don’t reproduce and they could be vulnerable to predator.
Yet sleep also seems to be essential. Humans do it for roughly eight hours a day as do all birds and mammals people with a rare inherited form of insomnia typically die within a few years. Rats kept from sleep also die within[00:24:00]
weeks though. Their autopsies reveal no physical cause many theories have been advanced, but none proven about the reason for. Some scientists believe it must bolster brain functioning experiments have shown that during sleep, the brain may consolidate recently learned information while weeding out other underused connections.
Other researchers think sleep also serves the body by conserving energy and resources while allowing for rapid arousal. If danger threatens one thing, insomniac, snow, if you don’t get enough sleep, oh, how you. So sleep, huh? I bet you didn’t think about that as a mystery, but again, we might all take it for granted.
Some mysteries are not as big as the pyramids or aliens or stuff like that. Some mysteries are out there in our everyday life and we take them for granted. We never think about why we sleep. Because that happens every day. I mean, you get sleepy, you sleep, that’s it. It’s normal. It’s natural. That’s what we think.
We understand how maybe a lot of [00:25:00] studies of the hows and what happens to the body when we sleep. And now with neuroscience research and sleep scientists and researchers, we understand a lot about sleep. We understand a lot about what happens to our body when we sleep, but still the question stands. Why do we.
As I told you, there are many answers, there are many theories, but none of them proven yet. So there it is. You can also find mysteries in your everyday life. And that brings me to the next mystery I will talk about in this episode. And that is about the hiccups. I mean, we’ve all had that, maybe some more than others and we all know how annoying they may be, but what is the use of hiccups that’s coming next?
So, what is the use of hiccups when you were a TA pole? And I was a fish in the Paleozoic time. These lines from the poem evolution by Langdon Smith are meant to evoke an ageless love affair, but they could also apply to the development of hiccups. [00:26:00] These annoying physical ticks have long puzzled biologists, but a recent theory draws upon evolutionary history to explain.
During a hiccup, a nerve spasm causes the diaphragm and other muscles used for inhalation to contract sharply. The GTI, including the vocal cords closes at the top of the airway causing the sharp little hick noise in ancient and modern fish. The nerves that control respiration begin in the brain stem and travel.
Distance to the gills in mammals, they evolve to follow a longer and less efficient pathway to the diaphragm. A route that allows for spasms and irritations, the glottal stop that produces a hiccup can also be seen in animals, such as TA poles that use both lungs and gills. When tent poles pump water across their gills, their Lotus closes off the entrance to their lungs.
So they won’t drown. The ancient brain region that controls this pattern is still [00:27:00] found in human brain. Scientists have found when they stimulate it, they can start a round of hiccups. Now, still unknown, of course, how to reliably stop the spasms. Once they start, of course, we’ve got a lot of ways, drink water, hold your breath, et cetera.
A lot of things, you know, just like you might even want to scare someone to stop those spasms, but why do they even. They don’t have an answer for that. And by the way, talking about the story of TA poles, I’m not suggesting that we were tad poles once. No, no, no, not at all. But were we amphibians once? Um, I don’t know.
I don’t think so. There’s no evidence, but anyway, I’m not suggesting that we were amphibians or we were frogs once. Well, except for the story of the princess and the frog. We were never frogs, I guess, but the question remains, we kind of understand the mechanism of the hiccups, how it happens, but why, what is the use of hiccups?
Nobody really knows. Not yet, actually. And that’s, again, one thing, one mystery that is just around the corner. [00:28:00] You can find it everywhere. You’ve had it a thousand times in your life. So what I’m trying to tell you in this series, that mysteries are all around. And they’re good questions for the brain to start thinking about things that really matter, instead of thinking about who married, whom from those a listers, which I love, but not their personal lives.
I don’t care about their personal lives. I just care about their work. Anyway, that’s also another thing let’s not digress and move on to talk about the last mystery we will discuss in today’s episode. And that has to do with Atlantis. Well, that is a famous mystery. Not like the hiccups in sleep. That is a famous mystery still.
We don’t have good answers for that one. That’s coming next.
So was there a real city of Atlantis? That question is still a mystery. Now, the subject of thousands of books, not to mention articles, poems, films, and even comic books. Atlantis is possibly the most famous of legendary places. Plato was the first to tell its story in [00:29:00] his two dialogues, Tomas and S written about 3 55.
According to these works. Atlantis was a huge island beyond the pillars of Hercules, which is what we call today. The straight of Gibralter. According to Plato, Atlantis had flourished 9,000 years earlier, wealthy and powerful. The inhabitants at first lived an ideal existence and I’m quoting Plato here.
Their hearts were true and in all ways, noble and they showed gentleness joined with. That’s what Plato said about those people or those inhabitants of Atlantis, but in time, however, they became ambitious imp Pius and warlike angry zoos destroyed the island with earthquakes and floods in one grievous day and night, according to Plato.
And Atlantis sank beneath the waves to vanish forever. Now in Plato’s time, most readers understood the story to be a parable of governance and corruption by the middle ages, it began to be [00:30:00] accepted as historical truth. True believers have since placed Atlantis in Spain, Ireland, Sweden Malta, be north Africa, Antarctica, and the distinctly UN watery Sahara as well as in many locations around the Mediterra.
More scholarly speculation about Atlantis focuses on finding Plato’s inspiration for the island and its catastrophic end. The ancient Mediterranean has known its share of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and giant waves. One such disaster was the massive eruption of the island of thera, which destroyed part of the island around 1500 BC and may have critically wounded the nearby civilization on.
Closer to Plato’s own time was the destruction of the city of Haki overcome by earthquakes and flawed in 3 73 BC memories of these sorts of catechisms may explain why the story of Atlantis has such resonance. So was Haki the Atlantis Plato [00:31:00] mentioned, maybe he used the word Atlantis to make it larger than life.
And of course includes zoos and the gods and stuff like that to make a. Is it real? Is there really an Atlantis somewhere sunk in the Mediterranean or the Atlantic ocean? Who knows? Now we may one day discover Atlantis, maybe not with the myths and legends and stuff like that, but maybe there was an island like that because that is not unprecedented.
Islands did disappear because of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes and giant wave. Who knows maybe it was the cradle of a civilization that lived a long time ago, but this is also one of the greatest mysteries of the world. And with this mystery, we come to the end of this episode. I hope you’ll like the mysteries I chose for today.
And every time we’re going to choose 10 mysteries to talk about ranging from places. We have no idea if they ever existed, like at. To things that we take for granted, like sleep and other things, but all of these things share one thing in common. We still don’t have one [00:32:00] definitive answer to know what exactly they are like or why they happen.
With that being said, this is your host, Danny. Thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcast. I will see you next time.