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Top 10 Unsolved Internet Mysteries

VO: RB WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands

Script written by Michael Wynands

We may never now the answers to these digital mysteries. From the Jack Froese e-mails and the origins of bitcoin to internet black holes, the world wide web is full of intrigue and unanswered questions. WatchMojo counts down the top unsolved internet mysteries.

Special thanks to our user travistenbrunsel for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Unsolved+Internet+Mysteries

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Transcript
Script written by Michael Wynands

Top 10 Unsolved Internet Mysteries


Even with an entire community of online amateur detectives on the case, some answers continue to elude us. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Unsolved Internet Mysteries.

For this list, we’re looking at some of the most popular, odd and puzzlingly pervasive mysteries to ever surface on the internet or be intimately linked with it.

#10: The Jack Froese Emails

We’ve all heard spooky tales of spirits communicating from the other side, but such messages are usually conveyed via a psychic, Ouija board, or other transcendental medium. It would seem, however, that Jack Froese, who died suddenly of a heart arrhythmia at the age of 32 in 2011, believed in taking a more modern and direct approach to contact those he left behind: email. Roughly six months after his passing, friends began receiving messages from his personal email. We know what you’re thinking… the average email isn’t tough to hack. The thing is… the email made reference to private, in-person conversations. Theories have been thrown around, but no definitive explanation was ever found.

#9: Valor por Tamaulipas [aka Courage for Tamaulipas]

It’s a well-known fact that going up against the Mexican cartels usually only ends one way - with the meddler’s demise. In the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico however, some brave soul decided to take that ultimate risk. He started a Facebook page to document and share information about cartel activity to keep the citizens informed and safe. By embracing the world of social media, this mystery admin was able to get the word out without losing their head; a feat many journalists have tried and failed using traditional media. Though a massive bounty was put on the operator’s life, their identity remains a secret, even after their retirement in 2014.

#8: Bitcoin

By now, you’re likely familiar with bitcoin; the cryptocurrency that’s captured the attention of the mainstream media. It’s been embraced by the technologically savvy, the financially progressive and the criminal underworld alike. And yet, its origin story is still largely unknown. Sure, the bitcoin system is credited to one Satoshi Nakamoto, but that’s just a pseudonym for someone whose true identity remains concealed. In fact some believe that Satoshi is not one visionary programmer, but rather a clandestine group of programmers. With the current value of bitcoins however, whoever Nakamoto is, they’re in possession of the equivalent of roughly over 2.7 billion USD in bitcoins as of mid-2017.

#7: Oct282011.com

So many questions - literally NO answers. This strange URL and its even stranger content captured the imagination of internet sleuths and conspiracy theorists when it launched in 2011. The date of Oct. 28, 2011 does coincide with what many believed to be a significant landmark on the Mayan calendar. But that date seemed to have little bearing on the content of the website itself. The landing page consisted of a few cryptic lines and a phone number that led to weird and disturbing messages. Its confusing, broken site structure changed regularly and hid a variety of images, instructions and codes. Today, Oct282011.com continues to captivate online communities even after going down in 2015.

#6: 973-eht-namuh-973

Welcome to the world’s most dense, confusing, and labyrinthine website. Alright… maybe we can’t say that definitively, because, you know, there are well over 1 billion websites out there. Still, this one certainly makes a strong, and mysterious bid for the title. Simply attempting to navigate the website is a feat unto itself, as there are what appear to be thousands of pages of dense content available. But parsing meaning from this overwhelming mélange of verse, paintings and numerology could very well drive a curious mind insane. By the looks of the site, the creator may have lost it already!

#5: Internet Black Holes

Some areas of space are so dense that neither matter nor light can escape. What goes in… does not come back out. These fascinating celestial powers have inspired many a science-fiction story, but they’ve also lent their title to an earthly mystery - internet black holes. Have you ever sent an email that didn’t make it to the recipient, but didn’t “fail to send” or trigger some sort of error response - rather, it just sort of… disappeared? Well, it may have been caught in an internet black hole - a phenomenon that has researchers stumped. Essentially, information has a habit of getting lost en route, with no conceivable explanation as to where it went.

#4: John Titor’s Posts

Everyone loves a hero… but that goes double for a time-traveling one. In 2000, an individual began posting in online forums about time travel and describing, in relative detail, his functional time machine. Later identifying himself as John Titor, he offered the world warnings from the future, his future... the year 2036. Though many of his predictions have failed to come true, he did stipulate that his future was a parallel one, and therefore not guaranteed for us. Some claim to have found the pranksters responsible, Larry and John Haber. However, there are many online who still have faith in Titor as the real deal. The truth? We may never know.

#3: Markovian Parallax Denigrate

Usenet, an early precursor to the internet, debuted in 1980 as the first network system that allowed computers to communicate with one another. It popularized such terms as “FAQ,” “flame” and most importantly for our case… “spam.” The “Markovian Parallax Denigrate” is the name given to a massive bit of spam that hit Usenet accounts in 1996 - a seemingly random string of words that people are still trying to interpret decades later. It became associated with Susan Lindauer, an antiwar activist whom many believe was forwarding coded messages. Is this strange assemblage of words encrypted government information or just an early example of nonsensical spam? You tell us.

#2: Cicada 3301

Everyone loves a good mystery… it’s why we as a culture read books like The DaVinci Code and watch shows like “Sherlock.” Cicada 3301 however… is a mystery that, despite bearing all the markings of a work of fiction, is very much grounded in reality. No one knows who they are or what their purpose is, but this secret group posts some of the most challenging puzzles imaginable online, and then begins to vet those very few who succeed. To what end? Well, at that point, anyone who makes the cut stops talking to the press, so we don’t know. Some think they’re hackers, others call it a CIA recruiting tool.

#1: A858

Since Reddit is THE community-based online problem-solving hub, it’s only fitting that it’s home to the greatest of all unsolved internet mysteries. “A858” is actually short for “A858DE45F56D9BC9,” the name of a user and subreddit, responsible for posting complex cyphers. Since 2011, new lines of code were updated daily until 2016, and though some have been broken, when taken as individual pieces of information… they didn’t amount to much. A858 once even held an extensive AMA, but it resulted in more questions than answers. Whatever the project was, it’s now over, but the purpose of it all is still far from being uncovered. Talk about a mystery for the internet age!
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