13 Surprising Historical Findings That Left Us Scratching Our Heads

By: Ene Ayegba | Last updated: Oct 27, 2023

There are many benefits derived from historical discoveries. One of which is the ability to solve long-standing puzzles that have confronted the human race. 

However, a large number of ancient discoveries, some of which we are about to see, go in the opposite direction—they end up deepening the mystery. Let’s explore them!

Mysterious Green Mask Found Sitting Underneath a Mexican Pyramid

Dating back to between 100 and 600 CE, Teotihuacan existed as one of the biggest cities in the world. 


Source: Uncovered History

The metropolis, which is only a 30-minute drive from present-day Mexico City, was filled with temples and was a hub for religious practice. It was within its vicinity that archeologists found a mysterious green mask in 2011.


The Mask Was a Religious Offering

Scientists believe that the mask, discovered at the base of the Pyramid of the Sun (one of the major relics of the ancient city), was a religious sacrifice. Interestingly, the mask wasn’t alone.


Source: Encyclopedia Britannica

Beside it lay pieces of pottery and human figurines made from similar materials. These buried objects, which experts believe to be over 2,000 years old, only amplify the mystery surrounding the pyramid builders.

Discovering an Ambushed Train From World War I

Many believe that the tales of the first world war are yet to be over. That’s because there were too many incidents to unpack, even after all this time. 


Source: Flickr

One of these was the ambush of Ottoman supply chains by war veteran T.E Lawrence, otherwise known as Lawrence of Arabia. The relics of one such train lived to verify the stories.

Thankfully, Lawrence Left the Trains in the Desert

Lawrence, a British envoy to the Arabs, was on a mission to unite the Arabs against a common foe—the Ottoman Empire. In 1917, he set about this task with much success. 


Source: Encyclopedia Britannica

The Welshman became a huge asset to the British and a major worry to the empire. How he was able to accomplish such a great victory without military training remains a mystery, which the discovery of the trains has heightened.

Have You Seen the World’s First Sunglasses?

The need for shields from the sun seems to have dated back thousands of years. This gigantic light and heat source has, for so many years, been a hindrance to several human activities. 

Source: Snakepliskynn/Pinterest

As nations squared off against each other in several terrains including snow, the Inuits devised these eye shields to prevent snow blindness and enhance vision.


Snow Blindness Was As Real a Problem Back Then As It Is Now

If you have lived anywhere near the North or South Pole or in mountainous regions, you know a bit about snow blindness—and probably have experienced it too. 

Source: Reddit

The air is thinner in these areas and offers less protection from the blinding UV rays. In those instances, these goggles with thin slits across them came to the rescue.


Heard About Antoine Fraveau’s Golden Breastplate?

Amidst the numerous confrontations at the Battle of Waterloo, it would have been easy to spot a unique feature amongst Napoleon’s soldiers. They had breastplates made of gold. Shiny gold. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Pieces of armor such as this were pretty useful for soldiers who were in the middle of one of the most intense battles ever witnessed. Both sides had solid scores to settle.


Fraveau’s Breastplate Could Only Do So Much

It was 1815, and soldiers needed protection from swords, arrows, and other battlefield instruments. Antoine Fraveau’s breastplate did a splendid job of protection from sword swipes and other battlefield hazards. 

Source: Tumblr/Pinterest

Unfortunately, the shiny breastplate was no match for the blasts of a cannonball. However, it fared better than the soldier—it was the breastplate that survived to tell the story.


King Tut’s Sandals That Are Still Around Today

Besides the mummified bodies of Egyptian elites and the large pyramids, ancient Egypt has no shortage of astonishing artifacts. One such relic is the sophisticated sandals of King Tutankhamun, one of the early rulers of the Egyptian Empire.

Source: Gabri Prince/Pinterest

One look at this footwear and it will be apparent they were constructed for royalty. Truly, they were only fit for kings.


An Unbelievable Work of Wearable Art

No one needs more than a few seconds to appreciate the work and reverence that went into the production of these sandals. One can easily tell that they were made of the highest-grade materials available at the time (wood and leather).

Source: Quora

The artwork and drawings imprinted on the footwear are a wonder to behold. In addition, these sandals are so iconic because legend has it King Tut never forgot to trample his enemies whenever he put them on.


Behold the Bridge Held By Hands

The Cau Vang Golden Bridge in Vietnam is easily one of the most fascinating sights around the world. Not for its length or height, but for its supports.

Source: StreetArtDream/Twitter

The Cau Vang sits upon two gigantic hands made of stone. These supports are so big travelers on this bridge can rest assured they are in safe hands.


A Breathtaking Surrounding Landscape

We can’t forget to mention the surrounding landscape. The Golden Bridge sits close to the gorgeous dense forests of the Ba Na Hills, close to Da Nang. 

Source: Pubity/Twitter

Visitors can easily access the bridge with the help of cable cars. The hands still remain one of the most stunning and mysterious wonders of architecture today. 


This 1920 Toaster Only Heats One Side of a Slice

After Benjamin Franklin’s 1752 discovery of electricity, many inventions using electricity came to light. Centuries later, the massive wave of inventions was still in full force.

Source: Lyda Van Roijen Leinberger/Pinterest

In 1920, the electric toaster was first invented. The only downside was that it couldn’t toast both sides of bread at the same time. One had to turn the slice over to warm the other side.


The Czech Republic Still Houses the Oldest Astronomical Clock

Ever heard of an astronomical clock? This special kind of clock has functions in addition to just telling the time. 

Source: The Creative Adventurer/Pinterest

The device measures the movement of the sun and planets and helps locate the position of celestial objects. The oldest of its kind, the Prague Orloj or Prague Astronomical Clock is still in use and attracts lots of visitors.


A Time-Tested Wonder to Behold

It takes a lot of genius to come up with such a complex machine. The multi-functional device is made up of multiple layers to form an aesthetically pleasing structure. 

Source: The Traveling Frenchy

This machine has its counterparts scattered around the world—one of the oldest of which can be found at the Strasbourg Cathedral in France.


The Dragon Bench Carved With a Chainsaw

The Dragon Bench is another awe-striking piece of art making our list. The artistic accuracy that went into this work is super-impressive. 

Source: Homecrux/Pinterest

The artist, Igor Loskutow, deserves all the accolades he can get for this piece that is simply out of this world. What’s even more astounding is that he carved this structure with a chainsaw. Unbelievable!


A Peek at American Civil War Surgeries

The battlefield is the least conducive place to perform surgery, especially when lives are at stake. What’s worse is when the physician operate with the crudest of instruments.

Source: Pinterest

People were able to lay their hands on actual American Civil War surgical equipment to better appreciate what medical personnel have to go through on a battlefield. You’ll likely agree that these doctors deserve to be honored as much as the soldiers.


So, Firefighters Once Worked With Bicycles?

If you were told that firefighters once did their jobs with bicycles, you may struggle to believe it. That’s why this fireman’s bicycle from 1905 is such a treasure.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

These bicycles are fitted with their own hoses, which could be connected to a water source. The bicycles also came with powerful flashlights for nighttime fire emergencies.


You Are Likely Seeing This Cassette Player for the First Time

Unless you lived in the 1970s, you are likely to not have come across this cassette radio. Even if you did, you would have needed some loads of cash at your disposal to install one in your car.

Source: Flickr/Pinterest

At the time, only the Ford Motor Company offered these 8-track cartridge players. This car manufacturer probably chose the most exciting shape (oval) for this device.


Trucks That Brought Beer to Doorsteps

In the days when beer had to travel through the railways alongside other cargo, one brewing company decided to do things differently. It was the mid-1940s, and Labatt Brewing came up with a more efficient and promotional way to move this yeast-fermented drink.

Source: Imgur/Pinterest

The bright idea birthed these sleek streamliners. The beauty of these trucks is more than enough to influence patronage and inspire brand loyalty.