Mysterious mysteries

As a break from everything important and terrible, I wanted to make a topic inspired by this:

For those who don’t know, that’s about Anguilla, which get called freshwater eels because you find them in lakes and rivers. But they only spend part of their lives there and some have been caught with isotopes showing they never left the ocean. A famous and great discovery was that North American and European eel larvae come from the Sargasso sea, but I don’t think exactly what kind of places they spawn is known, and for most other species even the region has not been worked out.

Now there are all sorts of things we don’t know about; we are still guessing what most of the universe is made from. But on some level it isn’t too surprising we are having a tough time figuring out invisible matter beyond our reach. Anguilla are things people catch all the time and have ordinary recipes for eating, and in some respects researchers know them really well. But not their lives. They leave the rivers and go from everyday creatures to arcane mysteries.

I was curious if people had any other favorite mysteries like this. Not so much the great questions about the unreachable depths of space and time, but things that it was kind of fascinating to realize we still know little or nothing about. Those criteria of course to be compromised or deviated from however you like.


allow me to recommend the sourcebooks of anomalies collected by william corliss. those are outstanding sources of fascinating and boring mysteries.


Maybe its hubris to think that human consciousness needs to have a purpose for it to exist, and yet it seems pertinent to ask why it does. What chain of reactions, evolution, and effects led to what we know as ‘consciousness’?

Steven Weinberg, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979, concedes in his book “Dreams of a Final Theory” that there’s a problem with consciousness, and despite the power of physical theory, the existence of consciousness doesn’t seem derivable from physical laws.


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