In today’s digital age, the Internet has answers to all our questions. If we look for any term or puzzle, we will surely find a solution. There are millions of websites and forums to provide us with a wealth of knowledge. In rare cases or if the question is extremely difficult, people still find out the answers by discussing it with random users on the Internet.
There are some mysteries, however, that even the Internet has been not able to solve yet. Netizens have been looking for some answers for years, however, the truth never came out. We present to you 10 of the strangest unsolved internet mysteries of all time.
1. An unidentified man named Satoshi Nakamoto launched the Bitcoin cryptocurrency in 2009. Some netizens raised speculations about him. One of them was that instead of a single man, there could be a whole group behind this. Many people have claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, but none have been able to prove their identity yet.
Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym of the creator of Bitcoin. He also devised the first blockchain database. At the time of its launch in 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto’s account had 50 bitcoins. In December 2017, those bitcoins increased to $19 billion dollars in value.
Satoshi never spent the money until March 2019. Much to everyone’s surprise, on 11 October 2020, he moved at least 1,000 bitcoins to another account.
However, he never revealed his true identity. According to some cryptocurrency enthusiasts, there might be a whole team behind this name. Due to the Japanese name, people continued to look for the Bitcoin creator in Japan. Interestingly, Stefan Thomas, a Swiss coder, analyzed the timestamps of Nakamoto’s Bitcoin forum posts.
He found that almost none of the posts were posted between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Japanese time. Also, Satoshi used very well-constructed, native-level English in his posts. Therefore, Satoshi was highly unlikely to be a Japanese man.
A blogger connected Nick Szabo, a computer scientist, to a Bitcoin whitepaper in 2013. A journalist published an article in the magazine Newsweek in 2014. According to the article, Dorian Nakamoto was the creator. However, later in an interview, he completely denied any association. Another name on the list is Hal Finney, a cryptography pioneer.
He died in 2014. Wired magazine added another name to the debate. Investigations by Wired suggested that Craig Steven Wright might have been the inventor of Bitcoin. Wright registered a US copyright on the Bitcoin white paper in 2019. He sued many people that called him a fraud. However, he has not been able to prove his identity as Satoshi Nakamoto yet. The search is still on. (1, 2)
2. The “Publius Enigma” is an unsolved riddle posted along with cryptic messages on the Internet. A user named “Publius” posted these messages. The riddle was related to the Pink Floyd album The Division Bell. It promised that whoever solved this puzzle would get a reward. The band denied any association with this riddle. It is still an unsolved mystery.
The Publius Enigma is an alternate reality game connected with Pink Floyd’s album The Division Bell. An anonymous user started posting cryptic messages on the unmoderated Usenet newsgroup, alt.music.pink-floyd in 1994.
The messages encouraged Pink Floyd’s fans to solve a puzzle and win rewards. However, no one knew about the man posting these messages. This whole story took a completely new turn on the night of 18 July 1994. On that night, the light patterns on the front of the stage at the Pink Floyd concert spelled out the words “Enigma Publius.”
According to some people, it was the band itself behind this alternate reality game. During an interview in 2002, guitarist David Gilmour said that the puzzle was “some silly record company thing that they thought up to puzzle people with.”
During a book signing of his biographical work Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd, Nick Mason, the drummer, mentioned that Publius Enigma had been instigated by the record company. However, no one is sure whether it was just to confuse people or he actually meant it. The band never made any official statements. (source)
3. Cicada 3301, an organization, posted three puzzles on the Internet. It posted the third puzzle on 4 January 2013. This 60-page puzzle confused everyone. It was so complicated that no one has been able to solve the puzzle yet. Some said it is a recruitment tool for the CIA or NSA. Others suggested that it is an alternate reality game. Nobody knows about the man or company behind these puzzles.
Cicada 3301’s third puzzle is one of the hottest debates among internet users. Cicada 3301 is an unidentified organization that has posted three puzzles. For three continuous years, starting from 2012, the organization posted a puzzle on the 4th of January.
It published the last puzzle on Twitter in 2014. While the first two puzzles were solved within a year, no one has been able to solve the third puzzle yet. After 2014, except for a few messages, no new puzzle was posted online.
Cicada 3301 never mentioned the purpose of posting these puzzles. There are many conspiracy theories around it. Many have claimed that these puzzles were a recruitment tool for the NSA and CIA. Some speculated that they were an alternate-reality game. Others claimed that they were a secret society that aimed to improve cryptography and anonymity.
Tim Dailey, a senior research fellow with the conservative Christian Family Research Council, analyzed the teachings of Cicada 3301, and stated, “The enigmatic Cicada 3301 appears to be drawing participants inexorably into the dark web of the occult à la Blavatsky and Crowley. At the heart of the enchantment is the counterfeit promise of ultimate meaning through self-divination.”
According to the winner of the first puzzle, Marcus Wanner, he was invited to an anonymous chat server. He worked on the software created by the Cicada 3301 organization.
The project was called “Dead Man’s Switch” that could be used by whistle-blowers to release information if they were imprisoned or killed. However, they had no idea about the people behind the chat. They maintained complete anonymity. (1, 2)
4. 11B-X-1371 is a viral video sent to GadgetZZ.com, the Swedish tech blog. They published it in 2015. It depicted a person wearing a plague-doctor costume. He was walking and standing around in an old abandoned building. Many people claimed to have found hidden messages in the videos related to murder. There is no substantial proof to identify the man that made it.
GadgetZZ.com, a Swedish tech blog, received a video with the title 11B-X-1371 in 2015. The blog posted the video, and it went viral. John-Erik Krahbichler, the creator of GadgetZZ, explained that he received this video on a DVD sent from Poland.
The video had a person wearing a plague-doctor costume. He was moving around in an old abandoned building. Later, an Internet user identified the building as a psychiatric hospital closed in the 1900s. It was located in the small town of Otwock, Poland.
Netizens uncovered some horrifying messages from the video using a spectrogram. One of the images contained the message “You are already dead,” while another depicted a human skull with strange characters around it. A man with a pseudonym, Parker Warner Wright, claimed that he created the video.
He provided few proofs like the photos of the mask, robe, and gloves used in the video. He also showed photos of the DVDs he mailed out. However, he never revealed his identity. Some users said that he was a fraud. Nothing has been proved up to now. (1, 2)
5. Markovian Parallax Denigrate is a series of unexplained texts posted to Usenet in 1996. An anonymous user posted hundreds of messages online. Netizens initially dismissed these as SPAM. Later, some Usenet users hypothesized that the words were a secret code or broadcast of Cold War numbers stations. Despite multiple attempts to crack the messages, no one has been able to detect any kind of hidden meaning in them.
A user started posting hundreds of bizarre posts to Usenet in 1996. These posts consisted of blocks with strings of words. Overall, nobody seemed to understand the meaning behind these posts. All the posts had one thing in common, their subject line: “Markovian parallax denigrate.”
At that time, Usenet allowed users to communicate only by posting chronologically ordered messages. Therefore, Usenet denizens felt that it was a secret code. They made several attempts to decode it.
One of the hypotheses was that these were the Cold War numbers stations. It also seemed like an early attempt at making a bot. Netizens connected the word “Markovian” with a calculating process called a “Markov chain,” which is used for programming chatbots.
On a website, Daily Dot, Kevin Morris published an article in 2016. He proposed that these messages were the work of a controversial alleged spy, Susan Lindauer. He also mentioned that on contacting Susan, she denied any association with the messages. Until now, neither the messages have been decoded nor has the creator been found. (1, 2)