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Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park, CA
The Mystery: People have long scratched their heads over the “Sailing Stones,” which mysteriously move across the sandy playa’s surface on their own, leaving visible tracks in their wake.
Fact: Given that these rocks chart a new course once every three years, it’s no wonder no one has ever seen them in motion. Some theorize that, in winter, wet clay and strong winds—which can reach speeds of up to 90 mph—are to blame, but no one is 100 percent certain what causes this curious natural (or unnatural?) phenomena.
The Mystery: This stunning snow-capped peak in the Cascade Mountain range, 60 miles south of the Oregon border, has long been considered one of the planet’s great “cosmic power spots,” luring everyone from Native Americans to Buddhist monks and hippies. Its sacred slopes are home to a potpourri of mysteries: spontaneous altered states; UFO sightings; crystal caves; encounters with Ascended Masters; underground military bases; even the rumored home to Lemurians, surviving members of a sensitive super-race some believe existed 12,000 years ago during the time of Atlantis.
Fact: A chance encounter with a strange group of warm, seemingly enlightened people in Shasta Valley inspired James Hilton to author the classic 1933 novel Lost Horizon, a tale about the idyllic community of Shangri-La. Others claim similar real-life experiences, but the mountain’s sheer natural beauty is inspiration enough for most.
Coral Castle, Homestead, FL
The Mystery: Made from 1,100 tons of megalithic-style limestone boulders—some heavier than the Pyramids’ and bigger than those at Stonehenge—this unusual structure, located 25 miles south of Miami, was built from 1923 to 1951 by a single man, a diminutive Latvian immigrant named Edward Leedskalnin, as an homage to the love of his life who left him on the eve of their wedding. But how did he do it?
Fact: Leedskalnin claimed he knew the secret to the Great Pyramids’ construction, and was once witnessed levitating stones. Other construction details—no mortar, precision seams, impossible balancing acts—have also stumped scientists for decades.
Mel’s Hole, Manastash Ridge, WA
The Mystery: The nine-foot-wide bottomless hole and former dump site on Mel Waters’s former property near Ellensburg, Washington, is awash in mystery, which includes its professed ability to “reanimate” dead animals. Some speculate the opening is actually a tunnel, giving rise to the “Hollow Earth” theory first proposed by astronomer Edmond Halley (of comet fame) in the 17th century. The most pressing secret: where does the hole lead?
Fact: Waters—who has since moved—reported sinking a fishing line some 15 miles into the pit in an attempt to find the bottom. He never found it. He also claimed the abyss would shoot black rays and could bring animals back to life; a neighbor tossed a dead dog into the hole only to have it return, alive, from out of the woods. Some believe the discovery is a blowhole for Mount Rainier, but no one knows how to account for the high strangeness.
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