Monday, January 28, 2019

Potpourri of the Peculiar

The oddly named Quackers (a Russian onomatopoeia for the sound of frogs) are strange, croaking noises reported by Russian submariners. Most of these reports came out of the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean. Icebergs calving? Ultra Low Frequency broadcasts? The jury is out, but Quackers joins other oceanic anomalies such as the famous "Bloop" in showing us how weird the oceans are.

It is thought by some that a Roman legion was captured in a failed attack at the Battle of Carrhae early in the First Century. The victorious Parthians (an ancient Iranian culture) conscripted these Romans into fighting as mercenaries at the Battle of Zhizhi along the border between present day Kazakhstan and China. From here, the Romans may have settled in Zhelaizhai (now Liqian), as many of the modern-day residents of this area claim to be descended from Roman soldiers.

A mastodon discovered in 2017 at the Cerutti site in San Diego County, California dates to 130,000 years ago. But the remarkable thing are the indicators that suggest the animal may have been killed by humans, pushing the known timeline of the Americas back far beyond the current consensus.

Off the west coast of Cuba lies an unusual feature that some believe is a lost sunken city. Sonar scans of the area in 2001 revealed structures that could be interpreted as a city with pyramids. National Geographic editor John Echave said the scans showed "interesting anomalies." So far no one has taken samples or dived on the site, so perhaps in the future we will learn more of this intriguing enigma.

In August 2005, a small mummified body was found in the ruins of the ancient Persian settlement of Makhunik in present-day Iran. According to some reports, the village was replete with scaled-down architecture, suggesting this may have been the home of a dwarf people. A similar site is rumored to exist in Iran's Kerman Province as well. Archaeologists who have studies these sites dismiss the notion these are dwarf cities. Others state the mummy wasn't a dwarf either; it was simply the body of an infant.

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