5 Most Mysterious Monuments in the World

At a time when space tourism is as much a reality as underwater hotels, it can be challenging to come up with unique travel ideas that top these other worldly experiences. The five mysterious monuments here are visually spectacular destinations and to this day continue to hold hidden secrets. If you are the adventurous type and plan on venturing into unknown territory consider getting trip insurance to insure that even in the most unusual travel destinations you are covered.

 

1. Yonaguni Monument
Some call it the Asian Atlantis because of its resemblance to the storied sunken city. One geologist who studied Yonaguni Monument in Japan for 15 years surmised that the underwater formation was a sprawling campus of temples, a stadium and castle from an ancient civilization. If correct, the 5,000-year-old city could have met its end when leveled by an earthquake 2,000 years ago. However, not everyone buys that Yonaguni Monument is anything more than sandstone formations created by the Pacific Rim’s tectonic activity. You’ll just have to decide for yourself by donning dive gear and exploring the mysterious murky ruins first hand.
2. Easter Island
The gigantic heads dotting Easter Island are some of the most recognizable mystery monuments around. Located on an oddly barren Pacific Ocean island, up to 1,000 statues – weighing from 82 to 270 tons – have baffled experts for decades. The primary mystery behind the huge figures, known as moai, is how they were erected and transported when materials for making tools were not available. A thriving, ancient Polynesian society that fell victim to vanity, may be the answer. Clan leaders commissioned the creation of these progressively more elaborate monuments and a “carpe diem” mentality eventually depleted the island’s eco-system, wiping out their own civilization with it. But that’s just one theory. Some are convinced the monuments were created by ETs. Both concepts seem entirely plausible if you keep an open mind.
3. Macchu Picchu
Macchu Picchu is a 15th century Inca-built fortress located deep in the Peruvian hills. Discovered in 1911, the hideout qualifies as mysterious due to its ability to exist for so long incognito. Additionally, constructing the metropolis, built by carting 20-ton bricks up the Andes hillside, had to have been a logistical nightmare.
4. Great Zimbabwe
Zimbabwa travel

 

A 1,780-acre royal residence, the Great Zimbabwe ruins are the oldest and largest dwelling of its kind south of the Sahara. The monument was constructed by Shona ancestors– native Africans, and is built from stones strategically stacked on top of each other without any kind of mortar. Now, the 12th century settlement is a place of national pride, and as of 1980, the country’s namesake. A prevailing mystery is what happened to the 20,000 inhabitants. One theory is that they fled after a collapse of power. But with most of its artifacts trading on the black market, out of reach of archaeologists, we may never know.
5. Petra
unusual travel destinations

 

Petra, a first-century B.C. city in western Jordan, is famous for its awe-inspiring, sandstone-carved facades and twisting gorges. Considering that it was ruled by the nomadic Nabateans, some believe an imported workforce built the ancient settlement. But since experts have unearthed few artifacts from the site, Petra is a monument that may remain shrouded in mystery for centuries to come.
Author Bio:Rob loves any experience that puts him in a foreign country and is always looking for that next great travel adventure. He hopes to one day get a foot on every continent, including Antarctica.
All photos via Shutterstock

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