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Despite the fact that many people believe history is written in stone, it contains a large number of popular puzzles, many of which remain unsolved. From why 8oo of Genghis Khan’s followers killed 2000 people who came to his funeral to keep his tomb a secret to how Byzantine developed the Greek fire, which was essentially gasoline for flamethrowers, these are some of history’s best-kept secrets.

President Rosevelt and his Hidden Tunnel to hide his wheelchair

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is remembered as the man who led the United States through the Great Depression and World War II. At public appearances, Roosevelt developed a technique for giving the impression that he was strolling by clutching an adviser or his child in one hand, carrying a stick in the other, and swinging his legs forward.

Rare Photograph of Roosevelt in a Wheelchair
Rare photograph of Roosevelt in a wheelchair, with Ruthie Bie and Fala (1941)
Wikimedia Commons
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Roosevelt did everything he could to keep depictions and photographs of his wheelchair out of the press. Roosevelt didn’t want to broadcast his inability after contracting polio and losing a large portion of his leg at the age of 39, and the Secret Service allegedly helped keep the press under control. According to the time:

According to Editor & Publisher, if agents saw a photographer taking a photograph of Roosevelt, say, getting out of his car, they would seize the camera and tear out the film. “I don’t know by what right they do this,” the correspondent wrote, “but I have never seen the right questioned.” A 1946 survey of the White House photography corps found that anyone caught taking prohibited photographs was “having their cameras emptied, their films exposed to sunlight, or their plates smashed.”

According to the Times, there were five instances when prominent newspapers and magazines printed the exact depiction of Roosevelt’s mobility. Some media outlets reported on FDR’s use of mobile devices, while others published photographs of him in a wheelchair.

Roosevelt even took advantage of an existing private underground train terminal at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.

Roosevelt's mystery train used to hide his wheelchair from the world
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s mystery defensively covered train vehicle lies squandering endlessly beneath the Waldorf Astoria inn in Grand Central Terminal. Known as Roosevelt’s Station (Photo: Barcroft Media, Barcroft Media Via Getty Images)
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The train station’s private rail slid beneath the buildings on the 49th and 50th streets. The terminal was used by Roosevelt to travel between Washington and New York. Roosevelt’s train came to a halt at the Waldorf stage, where he could disembark and travel legally to his room.

The secret station underneath the Waldorf Astoria.
The secret station underneath the Waldorf Astoria.
Photographer: Robert Deitchler/Bloomberg

Contrary to popular belief, Roosevelt did not commission the station specifically to conceal his polio; the innkeepers had it run concurrently as a lodging. However, according to Secret Service logs, Roosevelt used the station during his presidency, and his private train – which has since been surrendered – still sits in the passage to this day.

Some believe that his car was specially rigged so that he could control everything with his hands.

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Where is King Tut Buried?

King Tut was the last of his royal family to rule at the end of the 18th dynasty. Tut ascended to the throne at the age of eight or nine. His father was Pharaoh Akhenaten, and his mother is his father’s sister, known as “The Younger Lady.”

King Tut's tomb discovery
Discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain)

King Tut died over 3000 years ago, but no one discovered his tomb until 1922, when Howard Carter discovered his burial chamber in Egypt’s famous Valley of the Kings. Archaeologists mistakenly believed they had discovered each pharaoh’s tomb, but Tut’s was found to be untouched by bandits.

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When they discovered the erroneous tomb, it contained 5,398 items, including a solid gold coffin, thrones, archery bows, trumpets, a lotus chalice, food, wine, sandals, and fresh linen underwear.

So, why has King Tut’s tomb remained untouched for millennia? One explanation for this is as follows:

King Tut died suddenly at the age of 18 or 19, and the tomb they discovered was not designed for him at all and was discovered before the completion of a grander royal tomb, resulting in his mummy being buried in a tomb intended for someone else.

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Golden Buddha in Plain Sight

Buddhism, which was founded in the late sixth century B.C.E. by Siddhartha Gautama (the “Buddha”), is a major religion in most Asian countries.

The Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit.
The Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit. (Image:Wikimedia Commons)

For over 600 years, a 9-foot-tall stucco Buddha Statue known as the Phra Phutta maha Suwan Patimakon sat in Bangkok, Thailand. The statue was so large and heavy that it sat outside for over twenty years, protected only by a tin roof.

When the statue was lifted from its pedestal in 1955, the ropes broke and it broke, causing the stucco to chip, and stunned onlookers realized the entire Buddha was solid 18-Karat gold.

Experts believe the statue was preserved in this manner to protect it from Burmese invaders in the mid-1700s – a successful ploy, as no one noticed it for centuries.

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The Culper Ring — Network of Spies by George Washington

George Washington was the First President of the United States form 1789 to 1797 and the leader of a secret Spy ring.

The Culper Ring

Major Benjamin Tallmadge organized the Cupler ring in the summer of 1778, under orders from General George Washington, during the British occupation of New York City.

Tallmadge had direct contact with the ring, but Washington was often in charge of its operations. The primary mission of the Culper Ring was to inform General Washington about the activities of the British Army in New York City.

By approaching followers in the provinces and adversary powers on Long Island, government agents discovered and passed on information about British troop developments, foe strongholds, and mysterious British plans to attack the French armed force. George Washington, also known as Agent 711, could have won the war with the help of his spies.

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Kyshtym: Nuclear Disaster in 1957

Thirty years before the atomic reactor at Chernobyl exploded, resulting in one of the most devastating atomic disasters ever, there was another significant disaster at another Soviet atomic force plant. Authorities kept it hidden for more than three decades.

the area contaminated by the Kyshtym disaster
Map of the East Urals Radioactive Trace (EURT), the area contaminated by the Kyshtym disaster Wikimedia common

Residents of the Chelyabinsk district in the Southern Urals noticed irregular pale blue-violet hues in the sky on September 29, 1957.

The regional press speculated about polar lights appearing unusually far south. However, within a few days, peasants were forced to abandon their homes, plow their fields, and bury their crops. More than 20 villages with a total population of over 11,000 people were extracted and completely demolished.

The disaster spread hot particles over an area of more than 52,000 square kilometers (20,000 square miles), displacing at least 270,000 people. Because Ozyorsk/Mayak (then Chelyabinsk-40, then Chelyabinsk-65) was not marked on maps, the disaster was named after Kyshtym, the nearest known town.

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Ancient Romans used Herbs as a Contraceptive

The ancient Romans were ahead of the time and lucky for the modern world they even developed birth control methods that relied on a secret recipe.

Ancient Romans

Silphium was used as a form of herbal birth control. They used the herbs so frequently that the plant became extinct before the Roman Empire fell.

According to researchers, they even developed a conception prevention strategy based on a mystery formula utilizing silphium, a herb similar to fennel Silphium was used to prevent pregnancy and “destroy any existing.”

There are still debates about how powerful the plant was at the time of its proposed use, but the advanced world will never know.

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The Multi-Billion Manhattan Project which no one knew about

It is surprising that no one knew about the atomic bombs developed by the United States. The Manhattan Project was a World War II research and development project that produced the first nuclear weapons. It was led by the United States, with support from the United Kingdom and Canada.

The Manhattan Project
The Trinity test of the Manhattan Project was the first detonation of a nuclear weapon(left) a sign for secrecy(right)

To keep the Manhattan Project a secret, every worker underwent a thorough record verification led by the FBI to ensure that the individual in question had no criminal history or suspicious associations with Axis sympathizers. It may take some time for scheduled representatives to be cleared.

Surprisingly, it had remained top-secret despite employing 130,000 people, taking place at 30 different locations, and costing more than $2 million dollars – the equivalent of at least $30 billion today.

Signs and announcements at each location advised workers to keep the project secret: “What you see here, what you do here, what you hear here when you leave here, let it remain here!”

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The British Intelligence invented a Fake man to trick the Nazis : Operation Mincemeat

The purpose of Operation Mincemeat was to conceal the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943.

Naval identity card of Major Martin with photograph of Captain Ronnie Reed
Naval identity card of Major Martin with photograph of Captain Ronnie Reed (Wikimedia Commons)

The British boasted a number of intelligence advantages during World War II, which also included cracking the Enigma Code.

During the operation, British Intelligence disguised the dead body of a tramp who died from eating rat poison as a naval officer, allowing his body to wash ashore in Spain and be discovered by the Germans. Along with an attaché of reports demonstrating a planned British attack on Greece, the distraction figured out how to lose Axis control over Allied intrusion plans.

The British figured out how to attack Sicily effectively by diverting the Germans with plans demonstrating an intrusion in Greece.

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The secret to Rome’s Concrete Recipe

Two of Rome’s most magnificent structures, the Colosseum and the Pantheon, still stand tall in the city. The Roman recipe for concrete, which has remained somewhat a mystery even after 2,000 years, deserves full credit.

Drawing of Colosseum shown at Colosseum and Colosseum in 2007
Drawing of Colosseum shown at Colosseum and Colosseum in 2007. Wikimedia Commons

It is unknown when Roman concrete was invented, but it was clearly in common use by around 150 BC. Researchers now believe that the Romans mixed volcanic ash into their concrete and used saltwater to strengthen it on occasion.

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Where is Genghis Khan Buried?

The mystery began on August 18, 1227, when Mongol pioneer Genghis Khan died of unknown causes while leading a military crusade in China. According to legend, Khan’s replacements murdered anyone who saw his funeral procession on its way back to the Mongol capital of Karakorum.

Wax Sculptures and Original portrayal of Genghis Khan
Wax sculptures of Genghis Khan and his wife Börte (left) in Mongolia and Genghis Khan as portrayed in a 14th-century Yuan era album (Wikimedia Commons)

Approximately 800 fighters are said to have slaughtered the 2,000 people who attended his memorial service before being summarily executed. Khan’s body was then laid to rest in an unmarked grave to ensure his peace. Horses trampled on all evidence of the burial, and some claim a stream was channeled over the site. Because of these outrageous measures, the location of Khan’s tomb has remained a mystery for nearly 900 years.

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Most experts believe Khan was buried somewhere near his birthplace in Khentii Aimag, northeastern Mongolia, and that his relatives may have been buried there as well—but they don’t have much more information than that. Analysts were not permitted to enter the zone until the Soviet Union’s control of Mongolia ended in the 1990s. Moreover, in the decades since, various gatherings have been forced to abandon their ventures due to battles from the Mongolian government and open that unearthing would upset the rest of their national saint.

On the grassy steppe of Khentii Province in 2004, Japanese-Mongolian researchers discovered what they believed to be the remains of the Khan’s palace complex.

Since 2008, the Valley of Khans Project has been searching for Khan’s remains using cutting-edge technology.

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The secret weapon of Byzantines

The Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire used Greek Fire as an incendiary weapon. Greek fire was used to illuminate enemy ships.

Secret weapon of Byzantines
A Byzantine ship uses Greek fire against a ship of the rebel, Thomas the Slav. Wikimedia Commons

The Byzantines invented a weapon that could only be extinguished with sand or vinegar. They also used pressurized nozzles, similar to a flamethrower, to project the liquid into the enemy.

According to some historians, Greek fire could be ignited when it came into contact with water. While the Greek Fire was known as a variety of names by the Byzantines, including Roman Fire, Sea Fire, Sticky Fire, Liquid Fire, Manufactured Fire, and War Fire.

The composition of Greek fire is still a source of conjecture and debate. The Byzantines used a pump to douse enemy boats, or they set it up inside mud pots to toss around like projectiles. The combination even inspired a fictional variant of the weapon: fierce blaze in Game of Thrones.

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The Mystery Cults of Greek and Roman World

Many secret religions rose to prominence in ancient Greece and Rome, some of which met underground. There aren’t many verifiable sources with solid data on these cliques, which are thought to focus on life after death. While speculations claim they practiced a form of proto-Christianity, most researchers agree the gatherings tried a variety of practices and purposes, including inception ceremonies, enchanted customs, and hallowed pictures.

158 meters deep cave used probably for religious reasons - Hierothesion (tomb-sanctuary) of King Mithridates Kallinikos
158 meters deep cave used probably for religious reasons – Hierothesion (tomb-sanctuary) of King Mithridates Kallinikos Wikimedia Commons

A considerable lot of the puzzle religions disappeared after Roman sovereign Theodosius banned polytheism and devastated sanctuaries in 391 CE.

Now that you’ve read about the biggest kept secrets, you might also like reading about 8 Mysterious Ancient Inventions that even Science Can’t explain and then read about 11 Historic Decisions on Last Minute That Changed The World.

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