Top 10 Famous Pictures Of Children That Will Break Your Heart

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Top 10 Famous Pictures Of Children That Will Break Your Heart


They can be soulful, they can be sad, and they can reach millions of hearts. Great photos say more than a volume of words can. Photos have the ability to record miracles and disasters. Children have often been pictured in both, from joyful moments to tragic ones. They speak directly to the heart without barrier of language or distance. This list looks at some of the most enduring images and how they changed thousands of lives.


10Vulture Waiting For Girl To Die


Title: The Vulture and the Little Girl, Ayod, South Sudan, 1993

Pictures can tell the truth with light and timing. In the bright day, the child was too weak to stand. She was only one of many in a South Sudan that was gradually starving to death. A vulture landed nearby to watch and wait for her to die.

With the photographer nearby and the child still crawling, the vulture did not draw nearer. The girl supposedly made it to the feeding center nearby. Yet the picture became a “metaphor of Africa’s despair.”

People knew that the Sudanese were starving. But when this was published in The New York Times in 1993, it opened many eyes. And it made hundreds ask: Why didn’t the photographer help the child?

He chased the vulture away but left her to continue her painful crawl. Not everyone realized that photojournalists were told not to touch famine victims for fear of spreading disease.

There was an outpouring of accusation toward Kevin Carter. Was it a photojournalist’s duty to intervene? A year after taking the picture, Carter took his own life.

9Young Syrian Refugee After A Failed Smuggling


Photo credit: Nilufer Demir

Title: Death of Alan Kurdi, Bodrum, Turkey, 2015

When photographer Nilufer Demir came across the two-year-old Syrian boy washed up on the shore, Alan looked like he was sleeping. Demir took the pictures because that was “the only way to express the scream of his silent body.” Alan was a Syrian refugee of the ongoing civil war that has already killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

Millions more are refugees, and the story of Alan’s family is a common one. Syrians who escape the fighting have reached refugee camps, only to find them overflowing and hungry. Chances to be transferred to a safer country can be frighteningly slim when the refugees have no connections or good source of income. Alan’s family was denied multiple times.

In a last, desperate act, they paid to be smuggled out on an inflatable raft over open waters. The raft, holding twice its recommended capacity, capsized several minutes in, and bodies began to wash up on the Greek coast.

It’s easier than ever to share a picture with the world. When Alan Kurdi’s picture was released, millions were viewing it within the day. It’s one of the most telling images in an ongoing war that many prefer to ignore.


8A Family In A Pea Pickers’ Camp During The Great Depression


Photo credit: Library Of Congress

Title: Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936

It became the most famous picture of an American era and showed the power of storytelling that an image could have. The Great Depression left many people lost on the roadside, like the woman and her children in the picture.

The picture was almost never taken. But as photographer Dorothea Lange drove past scenes of desperation and hunger, she felt as if she were drawn by a magnet. She turned around and headed back to a pea pickers’ camp. The crops were frozen, leaving thousands with no food and no work.

Lange approached one of the families. There were the parents and seven children. Lange said that 32-year-old Florence Owens Thompson had sold the tires of her car for food. The family also ate birds killed by Frances’s children. Her face, worn with resignation and hunger, looked past the camera. It represented the desperation caused by the Depression.

When the picture Migrant Mother was released, 9,100 kilograms (20,000 lb) of food were sent to the pea pickers’ camp.

7A Fall From A Building Captured On Camera


Photo credit: BBC

Title: Fire Escape Collapse, Boston, Massachusetts, 1975

Where should the line be drawn for releasing disturbing images? The photographer thought he was taking pictures of a routine rescue. The godmother and her goddaughter were crowded on the fire escape where a firefighter was moving to help.

In the midst of the rescue, the fire escape collapsed. The photographer continued to take photos, freezing the terrible fall in picture. The victims seemed to be swimming through the air, their expressions clear in that instant.

Photographer Stanley Forman turned away before they hit the ground because he didn’t want to see their deaths. The godmother, Diana Bryant, died when she hit the ground. But miraculously, she cushioned the fall for her two-year-old goddaughter, Tiare, who survives to this day.

Forman won the Pulitzer Prize for his work. Almost overnight, fire escape safety became a nationwide debate. It led to numerous municipalities throughout the US changing their fire escape safety codes.

6Girl Works In Cotton Factory Despite Child Labor Laws


Photo credit: Time

Title: Sadie Pfeifer, Lancaster, South Carolina, 1908

Lewis Hine was a muckraker with a plan. He wanted to expose the nightmarish reality of child labor laws and how much they were abused daily. He went from Massachusetts to North Carolina, taking pictures of children in factories and newsboys on the streets.

To get into factories and onto private property, Hine would claim to be anything from a Bible seller to an insurance agent. He was regularly threatened with violence and even death.

Hine recalled many of the children’s harrowing cases. Children weren’t taught to read and were often punished for failing to meet quotas. Their earnings were appalling, especially for operating such heavy machinery.

The girl in the picture is Sadie Pfeifer. She was manning a massive cotton machine. Some places were too high to operate, and she’d need to climb up the equipment to reach it.

The picture that showed the wispy girl surrounded by crushing, cold machinery was used with Hine’s other work to help expose child labor. That iconic picture and others were the lynchpin in the campaign to spark debates about child labor laws.


5Iraqi Girl Crying After Her Family Died At A Checkpoint


Photo credit:

Title: Iraqi Girl at Checkpoint, Tal Afar, Iraq, 2005

The blood-spattered, five-year-old girl at the Iraqi checkpoint showed a glimpse of a wider story. Samar Hassan’s parents were driving her brother back from the hospital when US soldiers opened fire. The soldiers had feared that the car was full of suicide bombers and gunned them down.

Only afterward did they see that it was a civilian family. These kinds of arbitrary civilian casualties were common during the Iraq War because soldiers were given liberal rights to take any means necessary to protect themselves.

In 2005, photographer Chris Hondros took one of the few images of this nature that reached popular imagination in the West. He delivered the picture despite orders to keep it. The order was due to the tight control over war photography at the time and because photographers found it too dangerous to travel there. Hondros died in the 2011 civil war in Libya.

The child’s face represented the civilian’s pain during the war. It is one of the most important photographs of the Iraq War. It also sowed skepticism in the public when they saw the people they were supposedly trying to help. The photo reached the Pentagon, and policies about checkpoints were changed due to the image.

4Jewish Boy Surrenders In A Ghetto Roundup


Photo credit:

Title: Jewish Boy Surrenders in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland, 1943

Although there are theories, no name has been confirmed for the Jewish boy whose arms were raised in surrender. He was in a Warsaw ghetto, which was a prison of death and starvation. The prisoners saw little hope or chance of rescue. So on April 19, 1943, they led a sparsely armed rebellion.

The Germans answered with tanks and flamethrowers. After that, the 56,000 survivors faced either summary execution or deportation to concentration camps. The boy, who could not have been older than 10, was led to his awful fate.

The picture was taken by Nazi SS Major General Jurgen Stroop. He was so boastful and proud of clearing out the ghetto that he put many photos into what he named the Stroop Report to document his accomplishments.

It eventually led to his downfall. During the war crime trials, the photos were used as evidence against him. They gave faces to the sufferings the Jews had undergone.

Other photos were presented as evidence, but none had the evidentiary impact of the report. Stroop was hanged outside of Warsaw. The Jewish boy in the photograph now represents the face of the six million Jews who died defenselessly.

3Children Fleeing From Mistaken Bombing


Photo credit: NPR

Title: Napalm Girl, Trang Bang, Vietnam, 1972

US bombers mistook Vietnamese children for enemy fighters. They rained down napalm on the village, sending the children fleeing for their lives. Friendly fire is common in war, but few pictures up to that point captured it so closely and graphically.

Nick Ut stood with other photographers as the children ran toward them. As he took pictures, he saw that the screaming girl in the middle wore no clothes. He realized that her clothes had been burned off by napalm. She was screaming, “Too hot! Too hot!” He doused her with water while the other photographers rushed to help the children.

The picture, now called Napalm Girl, showed war as it had rarely been seen. It showed that the Vietnam War was doing more bad than good. Napalm Girlremains among the most influential pictures in war photography.

2First Picture Of Fetus Within The Womb


Photo credit:

Title: The Drama of Life Before Birth, Stockholm, Sweden, 1965

It was the first time the public could see a developing fetus. Many myths about pregnancy were dispelled. People wondered how the photographer had accomplished this. Eight million copies published by Life magazine sold out in an instant. Then the question rose up: When did a fetus become a real human?

Lennart Nilsson devoted 12 years of his life to documenting the development of the fetus during pregnancy. Taking a picture of a fetus within the womb was thought to be impossible. Despite the skepticism, Nilsson accomplished the impossible.

Not even he could predict that he had created a moment of history. It’s become one of the most iconic images used by antiabortionists over the issue of the right to life vs. the right to choose. Nilsson has never taken an open stand on abortion. He said, “I am grateful if I have contributed to increasing the respect for life.”

1Japanese Bombing Of Fleeing Chinese Refugees


Title: Bloody Saturday, Shanghai, China, 1937

It remains one of the most influential photos of all time. Japan was openly bombing and killing its way across China. But to most Americans, it was a distant conflict and not their problem.

The picture was taken after Japanese bombers attacked Shanghai in the middle of the day on Saturday, August 28, 1937. Bombs were dropped on a railway station where Japanese refugees were crowded.

The picture was taken minutes after the bombs had fallen. Chinese photographer H.S. Wong recalled the horror as the dead and the living crowded the terminal. “My shoes were soaked with blood,” he said.

He saw a baby alone on the railroad tracks with the mother lying dead nearby. He took pictures before going to help the baby, who was soon taken by his father. The pictures released in the Chinese press made their way overseas to the US.

The Bloody Saturday (aka Shanghai Baby) photo caught the sympathy and shock of the public as it was released on every major news venue. Over 130 million people could now put a face to the tragedy.

The Shanghai baby shocked the country, and condemnation of the war crashed down on Japan. It showed the devastation, death, and sorrow the war was bringing. It was one of the landmarks leading toward America’s entry into the war.

Kellie McIntyre is a freelance writer working over social media and websites. An author of lists and articles, she has her niche in history, science, and pop culture. She’s found a slight niche in writing reviews for books and movies.

10 Recently Discovered Ancient Skeletons That Tell Curious Tales

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10 Recently Discovered Ancient Skeletons That Tell Curious Tales


Human skeletons can be strange, even in the most normal of positions. Ancient bones have a particular knack for dropping jaws and not just their own. Societies who lived long ago sometimes buried their dead in strange ways for reasons that defy even what the experts know of their culture. But enigmatic skeletons are not the only ones found at odd angles. Victims of feuds, murder, and failed rebellions make a tragic return, while double graves reveal people with unexpected gestures and placements.


10Hand Holding Men


The bubonic plague that swept through London was something out of a nightmare. The 1348 wave slaughtered more than half of the population. Nearly 50,000 victims received hasty burials in Smithfield.

One grave held two men holding hands; their heads turned to look to the right. Another skull was also found with the pair. The men were aged in their 40s and arranged in identical positions, with one man’s left hand holding the right of his companion. They died sometime in the early 15th century, meaning they were born after the horrors of 1348, but since they were interred in a plague field, it appears they did not survive the later waves that continued to cull London’s citizens.

While the grave had been dug with care, no remnants of coffins or burial cloth were found. If they were placed directly in the ground, it is possible that the hand holding might be accidental. Who they were, why they faced the same way or how the older man received a defensive arm fracture remains a mystery. The extra skull appears to be from an older grave disturbed by gravediggers.

9The Gender Bender


The Corded Ware culture was a Stone Age people who buried their dead according to gender. When men died, the grave was filled with weapons and tools, and the body was placed facing west. Women went into the afterlife with domestic ware while looking into the opposite direction.

In 2011, researchers found a Corded Ware man outside of Prague. When he died about 5,000 years ago, his community arranged the grave, and him, as a woman. Resting on his left side, the caveman faced east, and household jugs and pots kept him company. Considering that his people, who lived from 2,800-2,500 B.C., were very strict about funeral rites, this is unlikely to be a blunder on their part.

The archaeologists who discovered the strange skeleton believe it could signify the earliest discovery in the Czech Republic of somebody with a different sexual orientation and that it was accepted by the community. Skeptic scholars say that identification of a skeleton’s gender (by looking at pelvic differences) is about 90 percent accurate but not infallible.


8Feuds In The Desert


Over the course of 20 years, archaeologists studied 170 bodies in the Sonoran Desert. They were all laid to rest between 2100 B.C. and A.D. 50. Throughout the ages, burial customs in the Sonoran changed little. The dead were respectfully placed on their side in a curled-up position. The final resting place was then decorated with shells, crystals, bone tools, and pipes of stone.

Eight of the graves, found near the Mexican-US border, did not fit any known tradition. The skeletons were in awkward poses, almost looking disrespectfully discarded. Some died violently. There were broken bones, and one woman’s head had been set alight. A younger man was found with four apparent arrowheads inside him.

There were no ritual or preventative measures such as heavy stones or dismemberment that might have explained the corpses as victims of witch hunts or sacrifices. The way that the brutal treatment continued after death indicated the funeral was not a happy one. Researchers believe the desecration was reserved for victims of blood feuds.


headless skeltons

Recently, an ancient cemetery called Beshtasheni turned up two headless corpses and a head without a body. The graveyard consisted of 16 graves left behind by Late Bronze Age and early Iron Age tribes in southeastern Georgia. A young couple occupied a double tomb. The man was aged between 19-25, and the woman was around 23-25 years old. Their headless skeletons were in the fetal position. Resting on her right side, similar to her partner, the probable cause of the woman’s death came in the painful form of two bronze arrowheads. One had struck her in the leg and the other lodged close to the heart.

Their heads were never found, but another showed up in its own grave. The girl it once belonged to was around 17-25 when she died. Her skull was displayed on a plate and surrounded by offerings of ceramics, beads, and metal objects. Nearly all the tombs contained such a wealth of artifacts that it surprised even the experts. It remains unclear whether the missing body parts were intentionally removed before burial, or somehow not available due to some misfortune.

6Cylon’s Men


When developers began digging outside of Athens, the idea was to start clearing the land for new cultural centers. Instead, some human bones rose to the surface. After all were dusted and cleared, a tragic sight met the living. Eighty men, nearly half of them shackled, were sitting in neat rows. The majority were healthy, young individuals in the prime of their lives. Two vases unearthed from the mass grave allowed researchers to date the site to 650-625 B.C. The date range placed the group in a volatile era for Athens.

One notable event occurred in 632 B.C. An Olympic champion called Cylon dreamed of taking over the city. To accomplish this, he raised an army, but when the people of Athens failed to join his rebellion, Cylon and his men were trapped inside a temple and massacred. There is no better evidence that these were Cylon’s followers, other than the time bracket being right and the shackles. The creepy, unearthly collection of skeletons is rare, though. Not many remains from the lower social classes have ever been found, and these make for a rich haul to study.


5The Murdered Pict


Excavations in Scotland delivered an unexpected skeleton in a cave. The man was on his back and cross-legged. Beach stones weighed down his limbs. Found in the Black Isle, Ross-shire, the presence of human remains was surprising. They also found fireplaces and rubble from iron-working dating back to the time when he died.

Finding a burial inside what was probably a smithing workshop is a mystery to archaeologists. When forensic anthropologists took over, they made agrisly discovery. The 1,400-year-old man was murdered sometime between A.D. 430-630, also known as Scotland’s Pictish era. The attack he suffered was methodical and vicious. An object with a circular cross section was smashed into the right side of his face, shattering the teeth. A second swing, bearing traces of the same weapon, broke his jaw from the left. As he toppled down, a brutal blow was delivered to the back of his head. Once on the ground, a final thrust pierced his skull from one side to the other. It is unknown why he was killed, but he was buried with care, inside a dark alcove. A recent reconstruction of his face showed that he was young and handsome.

4Dark Side Of The Etruscans


The Etruscan civilization remains one of the most fascinating cultures. Peaking around 900 B.C., they were advanced and artistic. From them, the French learned about wine making and the Romans how to built roads. Their grave goods and art revealed an eclectic, good-natured people who respected their women. One skeleton brings a little-known aspect about the Etruscans to the fore—that they also had a cruel side.

In Tuscany, archaeologists found an Etruscan burial with a 20-30-year-old man inside. He was still in the chains he had died in 2,500 years ago, leaving one arm awkwardly twisted. Iron around his neck and ankles weighed almost five pounds. The shackles were a complex system designed to prevent normal walking. The metal collar was once attached to a wooden object (now gone) that ran behind the neck. Also long since degraded, were leather or material cords that connected the punishing device from his neck to the feet. This first-ever Etruscan grave with a shackled person was unexpectedly found in a necropolis containing normal burials.

3The Yamal Four


When scientists opened medieval graves in the Yamal peninsula, they found something odd. The archaeological site Yur-Yakha III is an 11th-century cemetery where four graves defied the norm. Unique for the time, the skeletons were crouching in a fetal-like fold. There are no similar graves on the peninsula. Other sites produced bodies in extended positions, which was normal for Yamal’s medieval period.

Between the man and three women existed an abnormal amount of serious physical ailments. Just some of the conditions included shoulder dislocation, dental abnormalities, sinusitis, and lower spinal trauma caused by giving birth. The women were young, in their late teens or early twenties and the man around 50. His state was particularly diseased—and scorched. He had hyperostosis, a condition where bone tissue cannot stop growing, and as a child, he experienced more illness and starvation. After death, his body had been briefly set on fire. Enough to burn soft tissue but not the bones. There is no record of such a ritual or sacrifice from the region, which deepens the puzzle even more.

2Sacrificial Twist


Along Peru’s north coast, ancient prisoners-of-war could look forward to one fate. During gory ceremonies, such men were sacrificed. Recently, researchers encountered a different version when they found six skeletons near the city of Chiclayo. Found at a temple in Pucalá, they had clearly been sacrificed.

Surprisingly, the remains belonged to healthy young women. They were killed around A.D. 850, and their bodies arranged in odd positions. Four were piled into one grave. The other two were on sloping platforms, feet in the air. Also breaking with tradition is that it appears to have been a private event held within the temple. Sacrifice was often public, but the women apparently died behind high walls obscuring the ritual. They were buried beneath the floor of the mud-brick complex, but unlike other north-south Moche burials, they were aligned in an east-west line. The only thing they had in common with their male counterparts was that the bodies lacked several ribs. This fits with a known purification ritual of sacrificed individuals being left outside so vultures could consume their organs.

1The Mesolithic Half-Burial


During the Mesolithic, hunter-gatherers never remained in one location for long. When nine skeletons were found just 50 miles north of Berlin, archaeologists excitedly realized they were looking at one of the earliest permanent cemeteries in Europe. It was used between 6400-500 B.C., and the oddest resident was a man who had been buried upright. Not only does he stand in a vertical grave but he was only partially covered up.

After the young man died, about 7,000 years ago, he was placed in a standing position with his back against the wall of the five-foot pit. To steady the body, the hole was filled with sand to above knee level. The most bizarre behavior was that his community left him there, half exposed, until the upper body disintegrated from decay, and predators had a good nibble on his arms. Only then was the tomb completed. The strange sight was filled up and sealed by lighting a fire on top. Since the skeleton was respectfully surrounded with grave goods, researchers believe the unique funeral was not a form of punishment.

10 Unexplained Mysteries Of The Jungle

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10 Unexplained Mysteries Of The Jungle


The jungles and forests of Earth have terrified the human race for years. There’s just something unsettling about not knowing what could be lurking behind the next tree. That hasn’t stopped us from exploring them and searching for the lost cities and treasures rumored to be inside. In recent years, the world has become a much smaller place, with everything mapped out and no location hidden from satellites. However, the jungles still hold their secrets, with large amounts of land still unexplored, tribes unmet, creatures undocumented, and things never seen before hidden beneath their thick canopies.


10The Amazon Rings

Amazon Ring

Photo credit: Heiko Prumers

A series of ring-shaped ditches can be found throughout the Brazilian Amazon, which predate the rain forest itself. These structures remain a complete mystery, and archaeologists are unsure what to make of them. It is suggested that they served as burial grounds or a form of defense, but no one knows for sure. A further-fetched theory is that they are marks left by UFOs that once landed there before the forest grew. These blemishes are similar to the Nazca lines in that there is no confirmed reason as to why they exist. It is assumed that these rings were constructed by the early people who inhabited the area.

A further question is, “How did the early men get the tools to create them?” This is also unanswerable, as there is no proof that any tools sophisticated enough to have created the rings even existed at the time they were constructed.


The Maricoxi are essentially the sasquatches of South America. They are reported to be huge, ape-like beings that can stand up to 3.7 meters (12 ft) tall. Although they appear primitive, they’re said to be fairly intelligent, wielding bows and arrows and even living in villages.

According to British explorer Colonel Percival H. Fawcett, who allegedly encountered the creatures while mapping out the jungles of South America in 1914, they were extremely hairy and lived north of a tribe called the Maxubi. They could only speak in grunts and were extremely hostile toward humans. In the colonel’s book, Lost Trails, Lost Cities, he describes how he and his men were nearly attacked by the beasts when they got close to their village. However, they were able to keep the beasts away by firing their guns into the ground by the creatures’ feet, sending them running in terror.

In 1925, Fawcett disappeared along with all his men while on an expedition to find a lost city. Theories suggest that they were killed by local tribes or died of starvation. However, some say they were killed by the Maricoxi, although there is no evidence to back this up.


8The Sentinelese People

Sentinelese People

Photo credit: Iles liontaines

The Sentinelese tribe are the most isolated known tribe on Earth. They inhabit the jungle of North Sentinel Island in the Indian Ocean and are believed to have lived there for 60,000 years. The have refused every attempt the Western world makes to reach out to them and have been known to kill people who get too close. They speak an unclassified language and drive away any research teams with arrows and spears.

The tribe is estimated to have no more than 500 people, but they still manage to do extremely well, crafting metal tools and appearing to be in good health. The real mystery of this tribe is how they managed to survive the 2004 tsunami that wrecked many of the Andaman Islands. The tribe were presumed to have perished, as they live in the direct path of the tsunami. Soon after the tsunami, a helicopter flew very low above the island, looking for signs of life, expecting to find none. However, a Sentinelese man ran out of the jungle and onto the beach waving his spear and gesturing for the helicopter to leave.

It is incredible that while the tsunami affected millions of civilized people, the Sentinelese tribe managed to survive without any help from the outside world at all. How they did it will likely forever remain a mystery, as no one is going to be getting very close to them in the foreseeable future.

7Prehistoric Stone Balls

Costa Rican Spheres

Photo credit:

Hundreds of these large stone spheres are scattered across the Costa Rican jungle and are thought to have been constructed by prehistoric humans. For years, they have baffled scientists and archaeologists as to why they are there and how they were built. The spheres range up to 2.4 meters (8 ft) in diameter and are almost perfectly round.

It has been suggested that they were built for religious purposes, but there isn’t enough evidence to confirm this. To this day, it remains a mystery as to why the stones are there and how prehistoric humans managed to shape them with the most basic of tools. It is also a mystery as to how the stones were moved up hills and through the jungle, thick with trees. The resources required for making them cannot be found for miles around their locations, making the mystery even more confusing.

6The Boiling River

Boiling River

There is a river in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon that kills everything that falls into it. It can reach temperatures of over 93 degrees Celsius (200 °F), and steam often rises from the surface. There is no confirmation regarding how the phenomenon came to be, but it is hypothesized that a drilling company accidentally ruptured a geothermal system, releasing gasses from inside the Earth into the river.

According to the locals, the river is a place of huge spiritual power, and natives often gather on its banks to sing songs and pray. This boiling river is incredible just to hear about and is apparently breathtaking to see.


5The Lost City Of Giants

Lost City of Giants

Photo credit: Tales From Out There

Deep in the Ecuadorian jungle, a lost city was discovered in 2012. However, it certainly wasn’t any normal ancient city. It is known as the “Lost City of Giants.”

A group of explorers were accompanied by a number of natives, who were familiar with the area and strongly believed that the city existed. According to reports, upon arrival, the explorers found a set of massive structures, the largest being a 79-meter-tall by 79-meter-wide (260 ft x 260 ft) pyramid of unusual shape. At the top of the pyramid is a flat, polished stone, believed to have been a sacrificial altar.

The magnitude of these buildings is what gives the city its name and leads many archaeologists to believe that the city was indeed built and inhabited by giants, although many others are skeptical on that point.

What makes this discovery even more peculiar is not just the buildings themselves but also the tools and artifacts found there. Many oversized, manufactured tools were said to have been discovered, allegedly so big that it would be impossible for humans to use them. The team that discovered the city believes that the tools are a crucial piece of evidence that in the distant past, giants once walked the Earth.

4The Stone Head Of Guatemala

Guatemala Stone Head

Photo credit: Ancient Origins

In the 1950s, in the jungles of Guatemala, a colossal stone head was discovered. The face had unusual features, such as thin lips and a large nose, and was found directed up at the sky. The features resembled a Caucasian man, which did not fit with any other art works of the time, as contact with Caucasians would have been nonexistent.

Years after its original discovery, it was found destroyed by Dr. Oscar Padilla, a doctor of philosophy and an ancient history enthusiast. He claimed that the head had been destroyed by anti-government rebels, who used it as target practice. The story of the stone head was recently picked up again by the filmmakers behind the documentary Revelations of the Mayans: 2012 and Beyond, who claimed that the photograph proved that extraterrestrials had contacted past civilizations.

During the filming of this documentary, a Guatemalan archaeologist, Hector E. Majia, was interviewed. He stated: “I certify that this monument presents no characteristics of Maya, Nahuatl, Olmec or any other pre-Hispanic civilization. It was created by an extraordinary and superior civilization with awesome knowledge of which there is no record of existence on this planet.”

The region the head was found in is famous for stone heads, but none resemble in any way the one found by Dr. Padilla. The head has raised many questions as to why it is there and who exactly built it. It is likely that we will never know the answers.

3The Disappearance Of Michael Rockefeller

Michael Rockefeller

Michael Rockefeller, the son of eventual US vice president Nelson Rockefeller, disappeared mysteriously in 1961 while searching for tribal artworks in the jungles of New Guinea. The 23-year-old Harvard graduate was a keen explorer and was fascinated by travel. On his expedition to retrieve artwork from various tribes, he encountered 13 tribal villages.

During the expedition, Michael’s boat overturned, leaving him and his partner, Rene Wassing, stranded 16 kilometers (10 mi) offshore. Rockefeller decided that he could swim to the mainland and get help. His last words to Wassing were, “I think I can make it.”

No one knows whether Michael made it to shore or not, but there are many theories. Some have suggested that he had simply drowned on his way to the mainland, while another theory states that he made it to shore, only to be ruthlessly murdered and eaten by the Asmat tribe. The Rockefellers launched an investigation into Michael’s disappearance and claimed that they had found nothing.

The mystery is still talked about today, with many choosing to believe that Michael made it ashore and was cannibalized at the hands of the Asmat tribe in their jungle-swamp home.

2Amazon Rainforest Alien

Amazon Alien

In 2011, two British tourists visiting Brazil’s Mamaus region accidentally captured a picture of what appears to be an extraterrestrial being. The being was spotted in the background of a picture taken by a renowned paranormal writer Michael Cohen.

The shape of the being does not resemble any life-form currently known to mankind but does appear humanoid. What makes this mystery even more chilling is the fact that the area is known for frequent UFO sightings, with many speculating that aliens are interested in the area due to its biodiversity. The region was also targeted by a high-level Brazilian government investigation (Operation Prato), in which the army was sent to monitor an alien presence in the region. This operation was covered up by the government for years until it was eventually declassified.

Michael Cohen has since been contacted by Hollywood producers, requesting to use his proof. The footage is due to be used in collaboration with an upcoming film.

1Flesh-Eating Parasite

Lost City Monkey God

In 2011, a team of explorers uncovered the legendary Lost City of the Monkey God in the Honduran “La Mosquitia” jungle. The city was believed to have been deserted by the Aztecs in 1520 after a flesh-eating disease broke out and has remained untouched ever since. The inhabitants of the city believed that it was cursed by the Gods, who had sent plagues to kill them. Among the team of explorers was Douglas Preston, a world-famous author and explorer who wrote a book on the team’s findings.

While the discovery itself was shocking, an even greater shock came when the team discovered that they had contracted the flesh-eating disease. They needed immediate treatment and very nearly lost their faces. Preston explained in an interview, “The parasite migrates to the mucous membranes of your mouth and your nose and basically eats them away. Your nose falls off, your lips fall off, and eventually your face becomes a gigantic, open sore.”

While excavating the city, the group also encountered venomous snakes that had made their way into the camp at night. The team narrowly escaped horrific poisoning. They took a number of artifacts and decided not to return to the city, feeling it was just too dangerous, even though they’re sure it still has many secrets to uncover. Perhaps the disastrous obstructions that the team had to face were the monkey god’s attempts at striking back at the explorers for discovering the lost city. Either way, it is likely that the city will hold on to its secrets for a while longer, leaving it a true mystery of jungle.

I’m Joe, a researcher of ancient knowledge and the unexplained. I am the author of the popular truck driver stories on Reddit’s r/nosleep.