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7 of the Weirdest Human Enigmas

Unsolved mysteries of people of unknown origin, fate and astonishing abilities

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MOST KIDS love reading the color funny papers on Sundays. As a kid, one of my favorite strips was "Ripley's Believe It or Not." It always featured some fantastic facts or coincidences. Often it would tell of people with unusual abilities, characteristics, or circumstances: a man with a birthmark in the shape of a perfect heart on his chest; a woman whose head was shaped like a Ming vase; twins with six ears between them. Stuff like that.

It makes interesting reading and, of course, I'm still fascinated by such amazing tales. Here are 7 of the strangest stories of most mysterious people of unknown origin, fate or astonishing, unexplained abilities.

The Green Children

In 1887, two small children were found alone near the town of Banjos, Spain. But these were no ordinary children who had been lost or abandoned by parents. They were discovered by field hands who were distracted from their work by frightened cries. Upon investigation, they found a small boy and girl, scared and crying, huddled near the entrance to a cave. Their language was unknown to the workers - it certainly wasn't Spanish. More mysterious still, they wore clothes made of a strange metallic cloth... and their skin had an odd green tint.

After being taken to the village to be cared for, the boy soon died since it was difficult to get either of them to eat anything. But the girl survived, and when at last she was able to communicate in Spanish with her caregivers, she told them that she and her brother had come from a place that had no sun, but a land of perpetual twilight. When asked how they came to be at the cave, she said that they had heard a loud bang, were pushed through "something," and then were in the cave.

A Modern Jonah

The Bible records the account of Jonah who was swallowed by a whale or a great fish, but was later freed from the beast. In 1891, a British sailor lived through the same fate. The seamen aboard the whaling ship The Star of the East struggled to kill a great sperm whale and bring it on board. In the battle between man and beast, two sailors disappeared. But when the whale's stomach and liver were hoisted onto the deck of the ship, it was noticed that something was moving inside the stomach. Cutting open the stomach, the crew found James Bartley, one of the missing men, curled up, unconscious, but still alive.

The Disappearance of Bernardo Vazquez

Twenty-year-old Bernardo Vazquez was obsessed with the unknown and black magic, as well as getting rich. People who knew him in San Juan, Puerto Rico say he may have succeeded with a bizarre experiment that made him invisible. After consulting his books on the occult, he one day told his mother that he had learned how to become invisible - through a strange ritual involving a black cat, wood from an old coffin and a tin can. He believed that by boiling the cat and using a resulting bone to place under his tongue he could be invisible at will.

One night be barricaded himself in his room at the back of the house to carry out the ritual. His mother became concerned when he never came out, and she called the authorities. They had to break into his room where they found the disturbing remnants of his ritual - the burned wood and a disemboweled black cat. But Bernardo was nowhere to be found. Did he indeed become invisible... or did he vanish into the unknown?

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