Cromwell’s head vanished
After winning the Civil War, Oliver Cromwell died in 1658 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. But when the monarchy was restored Charles II had him exhumed, hung and decapitated. His head was on a spike outside Westminster Hall until the mid 1680s then passed through many hands until 1960 when it was buried in the grounds of Sydney College, Cambridge. But the college will not reveal its location to allow scientific analysis. It may not be his head at all because there is doubt that his real body was ever buried at Westminster.
The lost city of Z
This supposed city deep in the Amazon forest, described by tribesmen as “enormously rich in gold” evades discovery to this day. Early 20th century British explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett (below) made it his mission to find it in 1925. After five months he disappeared, as did many who followed him.
Undeterred, explorers kept looking for the city nicknamed Z, believed to be in the Mato Grosso region of western Brazil. Most recently, archaeologist Michael Heckenberger discovered a network of ancient settlements in the area… but there is no proof that any of them is Z.
JFK’s brain is missing
When President Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, his brain was key evidence in the quest to find whodunnit. It was preserved at the time but went missing in 1965, the year his brother Robert asked for all the autopsy material to be handed to JFK’s former secretary for safekeeping. By 1966 the brain had gone. One story says Robert had it buried to stop it being put on exhibition. But he was assassinated in 1968 and no explanation was ever given.
THE ROANOKE COLONY
Back in the late 1500’s, Sir Walter Raleigh received a charter from Queen Elizabeth I to colonize the New World. Being the busy explorer he was, Raleigh sent a few people in his place to find a nice place along the Atlantic coast to set up shop and start making big money for the folks back home. When they arrived in what would become America, they established the Roanoke Colony. Over the years, two different groups of settlers made their way to Roanoke, with the second group of 117 landing on Roanoke Island in 1587.
And then they promptly vanished. Because of the Anglo-Spanish War that was being waged at the time, one of the leaders of the expedition and friend to Raleigh, John White, was delayed three years in returning to Roanoke with supplies. When he finally did return, he discovered something more than a little creepy: everyone was gone. There was absolutely no trace of the settlement, as the houses had been taken down and all that remained was the word “Croatoan” carved into a nearby tree. So what did White do? He and his men decided that they didn’t want to actually, you know, search for the missing settlers (which included White’s own daughter and granddaughter). To this day, no one knows what happened to the colonists of Roanoke, all because White was, at his core, really lazy.
Unlike the other civilizations on this list, there’s actually no scientific basis for the continued belief that Lemuria ever actually existed. But hey, since when has that stopped us from speculating and thinking that it’s still a pretty damn cool story? The many stories about Lemuria are as varied as the ideas about where it actually was, but the basic agreement is that it supposedly could be found somewhere around Asia. That really narrows it down, right?
To give you an idea about just how mythical Lemuria is, it’s typically mentioned in the same sentence as Atlantis. Neither has any concrete evidence supporting their existence, and both are said to have sunk into the ocean. Only, there was apparently one giant difference, and that’s the inhabitants. At least, according to Elena Blavatsky, a woman who lived in the 19th century and who claimed that the people of Lemuria reproduced by laying eggs and possessed a third eye which gave them psychic powers and allowed them to function without a brain. According to Blavatsky, it was only after they discovered sex that they met their doom. You know, maybe it’s not such a bad thing they were wiped out after all.