For millions of years, the mountains have loomed above us, holding their chilling secrets in the clouds just out of our reach. However, as time goes on, humans make more progress toward unlocking answers to the world’s greatest puzzles. Even so, some of the most unsettling mysteries are lying on the colossal faces of the Earth’s mountains.
10. The Dyatlov Pass Incident
In 1959, on Siberia’s notorious Dyatlov Pass (aka “Death Mountain”), nine young Russian students on a skiing trip disappeared and were later found dead under extremely mysterious circumstances. The group had been missing for weeks, and a rescue team was sent to find them.
However, what they found was not at all what they expected. The group’s tents had been slashed open, with all the equipment still inside in almost pristine condition. Numerous sets of footprints led out into the snow.
The first bodies, which were completely frozen, were found almost 1.6 kilometers (1 mi) away, next to the remnants of a burned-out fire. Another 320 meters (1,050 ft) from the bodies lay the corpse of Igor Dyatlov, the student who had put the expedition together.
The body of Zina Kolmogorova, who lay under 10 centimeters (4 in) of snow, was found next. She was 183 meters (600 ft) from Igor’s body, making it appear as if they had been trying to crawl back to the tents.
Over two months later, the final bodies were discovered under 5 meters (15 ft) of snow in a hollow they had apparently dug out of desperation. They had dreadful injuries, such as broken bones and brain damage, but no external wounds at all.
Even stranger, the clothes contained higher levels of radiation than normal. The perplexing thing was how some bodies were fully clothed, yet some were nearly naked. Most confusing of all was the body of Lyudmila Dubinina, which was missing the tongue and eyes.
Although we still don’t know what happened to the students, some speculate that they had stumbled across a Soviet testing facility and had been killed to keep the location a secret. Others believe that the students were killed by aliens because bright lights were spotted in the sky around the time of the disappearance.
Perhaps the most disturbing theory is that the students had been attacked by an undocumented beast and left in the snow to die. There is no official conclusion to the case, and most likely, there never will be.
9. The Valley Of Headless Men
Nahanni National Park, part of the Mackenzie Mountains region in Canada, has become known as the Valley of Headless Men and with good reason. For thousands of years, the region was said to be evil, with many tribes refusing to settle there. The ones who did told of mysterious creatures inhabiting the vast forests and restless spirits stalking the area.
However, the greatest danger is said to be the violent Naha tribe of the mountains. The tribe allegedly consists of deadly warriors who wear masks and armor. Larger than normal men, these fighters wield strange and unidentifiable weapons. They are notorious for decapitating their victims.
In the 19th century, a whole tribe disappeared without a trace and many attribute their disappearance to the Naha warriors. Another case was the 1908 disappearance of the McLeod brothers, who were searching for gold in the area. They were both found dead, with their heads missing, along a riverbank.
There are a great number of other cases of decapitation in the valley. For example, gold miner Martin Jorgenson’s skeleton was found without the skull in his burned-down cabin in 1917.
More people have simply gone missing, with 44 unexplained disappearances by 1969. A large number of people also claimed to have seen strange lights in the sky or a huge, apelike man walking among the trees.
To this day, there is no explanation for the mysterious goings-on in the Nahanni Valley. An answer is unlikely in the foreseeable future as the region is still largely unexplored.