The Top 10 Greatest Russian Mysteries of All Time

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Russia is a vast country, by far the largest country on earth in terms of land mass. The Soviet Union was much larger even. It’s not surprise that some of the most famous unsolved mysteries in the world come out of that part of the planet. Join us as we glance at 10 of the most famous unsolved mysteries from there.

10 – Arkaim

Photo of Arkaim by Rafikova m – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Arkaim is an ancient citadel built nearly 4,000 years ago that is full of mystery. The entire city was built around the spiritual idea of “reproducing the model of the universe” which was derived from ancient Indian literature. It was built in three concentric rings and featured the ancient swastika religious symbol found throughout the region at the time. It held as many as 2,500 people at the time, making it the largest citadel in the region. The city has also been associated with ancient Aryan culture (not the Hitler variety) and may have been the source of Vedic knowledge in India as well as the Asgard mentioned in ancient Germanic literature.

9 – Russian Ghost Cities

Photo By Laika ac from USA – Kadykchan, CC BY-SA 2.0

The USSR or Soviet Union built dozens of cities with controlled access, now known as Ghost Cities. These cities were completely cut off from the outside world except for gated roads coming in and out of the towns. Most were built around nuclear power or research centers. These towns are nearly all abandoned now, a testament to the iconic Brutalist architecture of the period.

8 – Lake Vostok

Lake Vostok is by far the most remote location heavily researched by Russian scientists.

Lake Vostok is not in Russia. It is a lake under about 2.5 miles of ice. Bizarrely enough, Russian researchers have been fascinated with drilling through the ice to see what was underneath. Beginning in the 1950s until 2011, from the height of the Cold War to Putin’s Russia, they drilled through the ice to see what ancient forms of life may lie underneath. The unrelenting focus on getting through the ice of a lake in Antarctica has left many of us scratching our heads.

7 – The Petrozavodsk Phenomenon

The Petrozavodsk object stands out in UFO research as one of the most puzzling and well documented cases of all time.

On September 20th, 1977, one of the most widely viewed celestial events of all time unfolded over the city of Petrozavodsk, Russia (The USSR at the time). The event was witnessed from Copenhagen, Denmark all the way to Helsinki in Finland. According to eyewitnesses, 48 unidentified luminescent objects appeared in the atmosphere starting around 1:00 AM. The objects were observed for over two hours in various cities around the region. They appeared to shift direction abruptly, sometimes being stationary and sometimes traveling at enormous speeds. They were witnessed by military officials as well and there were official investigations into the issue. Nearly all of the eye witnesses also reported that the object emitted other glowing objects and that the objects were entirely silent.

6 – Psychotronics: The Russian MKULTRA

The Russian MKULTRA was as large its American counterpart.

From 1917 to 2003, the Soviet Union and the modern Russian government spent nearly $1 Billion on “psychotronics”, similar to the MKULTRA program in the United States. One area of the program focused on a Soviet idea that the brain emits high-frequency electromagnetic waves which can be received by other brains. Research seemed to show that it could change the magnetic polarity of hydrogen nuclei and stimulate immune systems in various organisms. They even made a device which could store and generate the energy, known as a “cerpan”.

5 – The Voronezh UFO

On September 27th, 1989, a UFO appeared to a group of children in the city of Voronezh in the Soviet Union. The children report taht the craft landed in front of them, a three eyed alien popped out with a robot. The alien mind controlled another witness by freezing them in their tracks. The craft then left and returned five minutes later to abduct a 16 year old boy. There were as many as 12 eyewitnesses to all of that. Interestingly, the craft was also reported by the local police department as well.

4 – UVB-76: The Buzzer

Somewhere in Russia, there is a radio tower which has been broadcasting an inexplicable series of sounds since at least 1973. To really grasp the strangeness of it, listen to the example audio above. The sound has evolved over time. It was mostly a chirping sound until 1990, where it changed to a buzzer sound. Nobody knows what on earth it means. One interesting detail is that, on occasion, conversations have been heard in the background which seems to indicate that the sound is going through an open mic.

3 – Nano Spirals and Coils of the Ural Mountains

An example of a nanocoil found in the Ural Mountains.

In the mysterious Ural Mountains, where our number one mystery also took place, researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences discovered thousands of tiny nano-components which appear to be designed and very precisely manufactured. Dating to about 300,000 years ago, there is no known natural explanation for how they got there or what they were even designed to do. The objects, also known as Out of Place Artifacts or Ooparts, continue to amaze scientists. There are coils, shafts, spirals and other mechanical parts which are so small, they can only be appreciated with a microscope.

2 – The Tunguska Event

The Tunguska Event was a massive explosion in remote Siberia which still baffles scientists.

On June 30th of 1908, there was a massive explosion in Siberia which knocked down 80 million trees, covering an area of 830 square miles. The explosion had the power of as many as 30 megatons of energy, more than 1,000 times the energy of the atomic bomb which was dropped on Heroshima. This is, of course, well before any atomic weapons had been invented by humans. Speculation has ranged from UFOs to a meteorite exploding before it impacted the ground since there is no crater.

1 – The Dyatlov Pass Incident

The Dyatlov Pass Incident is the most mysterious Russian event of modern times.

The Dyatlov Pass Incident is without a doubt one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the 20th Century. 10 skiers from the Ural Polytechnic Institute set out to travel to a nearby ski town. The trip was not thought to be dangerous. One turned back due to illness and the other nine were all killed by an “unknown compelling force”. Camping on the side of Dead Mountain, something forced the hikers to run out of the tent in a hurry. Their tent was cut open from the inside. Two of the hikers were found near a fire pit in only their underwear. One hiker had high levels of radiation on his clothing. Three hikers suffered massive crushing injuries but had no signs of physical violence. Read our full article on The Dyatlov Pass Incident here.

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Penny Royal

A podcast about the weirdest place you have never heard about, Penny Royal begins with questions about a place and ends with questions about reality itself. Go down the rabbit hole with us.