Secrets From the Past: 9 Mysterious Ancient Ruins We Still Know Almost Nothing About

Ruins at Ggantija. Visit Gozo

Much of what we know about ancient cultures today comes from the pictures and written documents left behind. In some cases, artifacts can leave clues as to who the people were that created ancient monuments that are now ruins, but in other instances, there are more questions than answers. Historians, archaeologists, and geologists have many theories about the ruins on this list, but they are just that: theories. These ancient ruins most hold more questions than answers and in some cases, experts are not even certain that they are man-made.

Pictures of the rock formation found at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan Stonehenge

In 2007, Mark Holley was scanning the floor of Lake Michigan in search of shipwrecks. Instead he found what some have dubbed to be the Lake Michigan Stonehenge. 40 feet below the surface are large stones arranged in a circular formation. There is very little known about who built this structure and why it was built. The location of the site has been kept secret in order to follow the wishes of the Traverse Bay American Indian community who seek to preserve the site.

The stones may not look remarkable, but they are almost perfectly aligned with each other. If they were placed by humans, then the circular rock formation would have to date back between 6,000 and 10,000 years. It was 6,000 years ago that this area of Lake Michigan was dry and served as a home for hunter-gatherers. The reason why some suggest the rock formation may be older than 6,000 years has to do with what was discovered on one of the outer rings of the rock circle.

Divers found carved into a large block of granite a petroglyph that looks like a mastodon. The ancient elephant went extinct 10,000 years ago, so for an ancient human to have carved it, they would have needed to be alive at the same time. Unfortunately, petroglyph experts are not typically divers and therefore have not been able to view the carving in person. But if it is verified, it only raises more questions, such as how were the ancient people able to carve so deeply and precisely into granite?

The site stands out because it is understood that humans did not have the capacity for structures such as this until they settled down into villages and moved out of the hunter-gather phase. While there are very few answers about the site it would not be the first formation or the first petroglyph to be found underwater or found in the Lake Michigan area, so it is possible that the formation is real.

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  • JoseanFigueroa

    Not Brazil; Bolivia…

    • Taggart Snyder

      I do like these articles, but so many of them have grammatical and factual errors that it makes me wonder about ANY of their accuracy. It took me a 30 second visit to Wikipedia to confirm what you said: Not Brazil, Bolivia! Evidently, people just don’t care about quality anymore.

      • Thomas Hunter

        You bothered to research this? I skimmed it and replied to the first comment i saw because I just finished a fifth of bad whiskey as a matter of principle but come on…

  • Göbekli Tepe isn’t a *complete* mystery. We know quite a bit more than “almost nothing”, as the title claims. There is a theory with broad support as to its purpose: it was a temple, a place of worship. This is why I hate the press’s tendency to sensationalize historical and archæological discoveries. People built a house for God before building houses for themselves: who needs a sexy title when you have a story like that?

    • Gene Vickery

      Technically, the article is correct. A theory is just that, a theory. Take Stonehenge for example. They’ve been studying it for decades and still don’t know it’s exact purpose. Theories abound concerning it. Same goes for Gobekli Tepe. We “think” we know, but we don’t really and are left with nothing but supposition and theories. Oh, and the title states ALMOST NOTHING, not absolutely nothing.

      • Kurt S

        There is a definite difference between theory and hypothesis

        A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena. Most theories that are accepted by scientists have been repeatedly tested by experiments and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena. See Note at hypothesis.

      • If you insist on being “technically” correct, well — two can play that game: Stonehenge makes poor support for your argument, since its alignments with the summer and winter solstices have been well known for decades. Further astronomical alignments are still debated, but its status as a calendar is not open to dispute. The burial mounds both on-site and nearby are self-explanatory.

    • Thomas Hunter

      If we’re gonna play who is the best skeptic (super fun game- don’t get me wrong) is it true that all domesticated wheat comes from the same region and time period as gobekli tepe, that their monuments include species not found within walking distance, and that they intentionally buried it after attempting and failing to smash and burn it? I can see that being some ancient aliens bs, but if those basic assertions I’ve heard are true, we’ve got a real mystery even if it doesn’t prove anything cool. Though i am a Christian reformed to atheism i can’t help thinking that the idea of what gobleki tepe is raises the spectre of a prehistoric conflict between farmer and hunter reminiscent of Cain and Abel, not to mention the pillars of Enoch. Not that i believe it, just that I’m aware of the myths and mysteries and would like a more rational answer if anyone can offer it.

  • Lon Diggs
  • Tracy Edmondson

    the japan monoliths have no “doors” and they guy who discovered them doe$ dive expedition$… why have a building with no doors ? Inscriptions before they went underwater easily explained… done before they went underwater…

  • Kurt S

    Making sure that I am hiding this from my FB page. Most of this is bad science at best. And deliberate misinformation at worst. Either way, I’m not gonna help this page be spread.

    • patriot_act

      Yet you took all trouble to post THAT!

  • John Dailey

    oh there is a date the wheel was invented? i didn’t know that. wow scientists are incredibly good at making up dates for things

  • TREP

    Question, since the Great Lakes were formed by glaciers please explain how the rock were not destroyed by the ice sheets? Please explain how they were placed there After the ice age since it was under water at that time?

    • patriot_act

      Because. It. Was. Not. Underwater.

      • TREP

        The Lakes were formed by Ice sheets during the ice age, if this site was not under water then the stones would have been ground into rubble by the ice sheets.

        • 2197_uxo_1

          The lakes were formed by ice sheets when the ice sheets receded forming the depressions and before the depressions filled with water, ancient peoples built the place.

  • Chrissie MacAlister

    I love it that we keep coming across evidence of the cleverness and resourcefulness of our remote ancestors!