Since the beginning of its existence humanity has been curious about the surrounding world trying to figure out how things work and why the Universe is the way it is. All kinds of sciences appeared to answer the most baffling questions, but sometimes instead of answering them scientists just find another bunch of questions that make the world seem even more mysterious. With the string theory and quantum physics it would seem that we’re on the right track, but the Universe is still a huge enigma and there’s just so much we don’t understand. Here are 10 crazy mysteries that baffle scientists all over the world.
Think this one’s pretty easy? We all thought that continents kind of drifted in the ocean, occasionally crashing into one another and creating mountains. And while that’s pretty accurate, scientists still don’t know what made those tectonic plates move in the first place. Some kind of convection current in the mantle of the Earth? We still can’t figure that one out.
The placebo effect
Despite numerous experiments that prove that placebo effect is a real thing, scientists still can’t explain why it works. The healing that starts in the mind of a person actually affects the body, even if the medicine is not real. It gets even crazier – the placebo still works even when the person knows the medicine isn’t real. Pain meds are currently being banned in the U.S. as trials show that they are not more effective than placebo. This is just crazy!
The cause of cancer
It’s one of the most dreadful diseases of the last century and we still don’t know what causes it. According to newspapers and research cancer can be caused by literally anything. But in reality? We only know how cancer progresses – from a genetic mutation to a tumor, but all scientists agree that the true cause of cancer is still unknown. Thus, we can’t find the cure.
The origin of life
We all know that life originated on Earth (or maybe it came from space with an asteroid?), but despite hundreds of theories we still don’t know for sure how it all happened. At least 4 billion years ago strings of molecules came together and formed more molecules that eventually formed DNA that formed everything else. But how did it all happen in the first place? Maybe a lightning bolt hit the primordial soup or an asteroid hit the Earth and brought life to it? We still don’t know the facts on that one.
The mystery of sleep
‘Why do we sleep?’ is one of the most baffling problems scientists are facing every day. Obviously the answer ‘Because we get tired’ is not enough, but what’s really the case? Our evolved brain has the need to completely shut down consciousness every now and then – that’s a fact. Some think it has to do with brain plasticity, memory consolidation, and repair work that’s done by the body while we sleep. But that’s not a good enough reason for us to completely shut down for at least 5 hours every day in order to stay sane.
Matter and antimatter
Did you know there’s more matter than antimatter? Ideally the amount should be equal, but in that case they would annihilate each other. Obviously that hasn’t happened and we know that there’s much more matter than antimatter floating around in space. It has something to do with subatomic particles called mesons that tipped the balance in favor of a material Universe, but we still don’t know for sure.
We can observe 92 billion light-years of time and space, but no matter how far we look and send our space explorers, we never find any intelligent life. With so many planets and galaxies finding sentient beings seems inevitable, yet here we are, completely alone in the Universe until proven otherwise. This is what scientists call the Fermi Paradox. It’s something that still baffles millions of researchers all over the world.
Dark matter comprises more than 85% of the whole Universe, but that’s about everything we know. It’s completely invisible, at least to the naked eye, it doesn’t absorb or emit light, it doesn’t smell or have taste. Yet it plays an important part in the lives of galaxies and influences everything in space. It’s the most mysterious thing in the Universe!
Gravity works, that’s a fact. Otherwise we would be clouds of atoms floating in space instead of living and breathing human beings. Yet there’s so much we don’t understand about gravity: does it have an opposing force, what generates it and is it actually a particle? Neither relative nor Newtonian models of gravity can answer these questions. There’s the new quantum field theory, but it’s still wobbly and doesn’t have enough supporters.
If we take the laws of relativity, there’s no actual distinction between time and space, yet we experience them in very different ways. We move through time second after second, from one point to another and not backwards. The thing is the laws of physics don’t specify that this should be this way and not another. But then why can’t we remember the future? When humanity cracks this puzzle we’ll probably be able to travel through space and time.