Weird History
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Mysteries We Just Learned About That Actually Have Answers

Updated October 14, 2021 9.2k votes 1.8k voters 171.5k views11 items

List RulesVote up the mysteries with the most unexpected answers.

What makes for a good mystery? Is it the seemingly unsolvable puzzle? Or is it the catharsis that comes when it's finally solved? There are tons of mysteries throughout history, many of which have never been explained. But as good as they may be, it's far more exciting when the truth behind them is uncovered. Granted, it may take time, resources, and committed researchers to find the true explanations behind them, but the process of finding the truth is as much a part of the mystery's story as the mystery itself.

From lesser-known puzzles to history-making questions, some mysteries have surprising solutions that make them all the more incredible. Did the town of Leeds have a chicken that laid eggs with apocalyptic messages, or was it just some devious money-making plot? Did Franklin's Expedition lose its way, or did they succumb to something far more sinister?

Well, ponder no longer. These mysteries have answers.

  • 1

    A Man That Appeared To Have Died Of Natural Causes Was Actually Shot Through The Scrotum

    Sometimes a murder victim is deemed to have died of natural causes. Although rare in modern times, this happened to be the case with the murder of Greg Fleniken. In 2010, Fleniken was discovered dead in his hotel room. It was presumed that it was due to a heart attack, but the medical examiner uncovered severe internal trauma and a small incision on his scrotum and deemed the death a homicide.

    Due to the lack of forthcoming results or evidence after almost a year, Fleniken's wife decided to hire a private investigator. While working alongside the police, the private investigator examined the hotel room that Fleniken stayed in, where he found small indentations in the wall. These indentations had been filled with toothpaste. Upon further examination, it was uncovered that a bullet had left the room next door and had entered Fleniken's room, piercing his scrotum and traveling through his body, causing severe internal damage.

    Police investigated the three men who were staying in the next room over, where they learned that the men had been drinking and fooling around with a loaded gun. The gun accidentally discharged and killed Fleniken, but they were unaware of his death until the next day.

    The man responsible for accidentally discharging the gun was charged with 10 years in prison. 

    Surprising solution?
  • 2

    The Poisoning Of A Child Proved To Be A Medical Condition

     In 1989, Patty Stallings was arrested under allegations that she had poisoned her son Ryan Stallings. Stallings had her son admitted to the hospital when she noticed he had been ill. After running tests, doctors concluded that he had high levels of a substance known as ethylene glycol in his blood. This compound is most commonly found in antifreeze. Stallings and her husband were questioned, but they both profusely denied allegations of poisoning their son.

    After two weeks, Ryan was released but placed in foster care, where Stallings and her husband were only allowed to visit him for an hour every week. But during the sixth week, when Stallings spent a short time alone with her son, he became sick again and was rushed to the hospital, where doctors believed that he was allegedly poisoned again. This evidence allowed police to make an arrest, and two days later, her son died. Doctors and police were adamant that she had poisoned her son despite her claims of innocence.

    While awaiting trial in prison, Stallings had her second child. This child also became sick and had symptoms similar to Ryan. The baby was diagnosed with a rare condition known as methylmalonic acidemia, which allows the body to produce a compound known as propionic acid, similar to ethylene glycol. Despite this finding, Stallings was still convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1991.

    However, a couple of years later, the charges against Stallings were dismissed when renowned scientists investigating the case revealed their findings. They deemed her innocent, because Ryan also had methylmalonic acidemia and was never poisoned.

    Surprising solution?
  • Photo: El Dorado Sheriff's Office / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    A Girl Was Finally Found When Her Kidnapper Went Out With Their Children

    Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped in 1991, but the mystery of her whereabouts wasn't solved until 2009 when she was found and rescued from the clutches of her kidnappers, Phillip and Nancy Garrido.

    Dugard was 11 when Phillip kidnapped her as she walked to the school bus stop in her California neighborhood. Dugard was held in captivity in a labyrinth of sheds and outbuildings that Philip had built in his backyard. Phillip regularly sexually assaulted her and forced her to raise two children that she had with him.

    In August 2009, Phillip went to the UC Berkeley campus to inquire about hosting religious events on the campus and brought along his two children. A campus staff member, Lisa Campbell, immediately became suspicious of him and requested a background check. This check revealed that Phillip was a registered sex offender. He was required to attend a parole meeting where it was uncovered that the children were indeed Dugard's, and that Dugard was the girl who had been kidnapped in 1991.

    Shortly after, police raided the Garrido home and arrested Phillip and his wife Nancy. The couple was charged with 29 felony counts, and Phillip was sentenced to 431 years in prison while Nancy was sentenced to only 36 years to life. Dugard was reunited with her family.

    Surprising solution?
  • Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    The Lost Franklin Expedition Was Found Trapped In Ice

    In 1845, the Franklin expedition to the Northwest Passage and all its crew disappeared without a trace. Despite numerous searches through the years, no one was able to determine what happened to the HMS Terror, the HMS Erebus, or those who were on board the ships. Theories about what happened emerged, the most outlandish and grisly being that the crew had turned to cannibalism.

    However, in 2014, a Canadian expedition team successfully uncovered the Erebus and found it perfectly preserved. The only part of the ship that was damaged was the stern, where a note was found proclaiming Franklin had perished on board his vessel.

    It is believed that the ship was abandoned after being trapped in the ice for approximately 18 months. Although much of the crew presumably died of scurvy, those who survived set out on land where they met their untimely fate.

    In 2016, the Terror was discovered in the arctic, miles away from where the expedition was presumed to have been.

    Surprising solution?