In the late s, the architect of the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, died unexpectedly during construction and only after much of the church had been completed. Then the builders realized that no staircase had been planned for the choir loft.
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A standard staircase would not have sufficed, considering the small size of the chapel, and carpenters were at a loss as to how to create a staircase in such a small space. The nuns at the church prayed to St.
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Joseph for nine days straight. The day after their marathon prayer session, a strange-looking man appeared at the door of the chapel. He told the sisters he was able to build them a staircase that would fit into the chapel, but they would have to give him complete privacy during the time it took to complete the task. Therefore, he worked alone in the chapel for three months, with only the basic tools he carried with him: a saw, a square, warm water, and also wood.
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When the staircase was completed, the man disappeared without ever giving his name to anyone. The staircase itself rose to 6. However, there were no nails or center support for this to even be possible. The shape of the helix should not have been able to bear the weight of people using the stairs, considering there was no middle column. Ten years after this strange incident, a railing was added to the staircase. In later years, the wood was tested by the manager of the chapel, and it was found to be an unknown variety of spruce not found in the area. The nuns at the time attributed the staircase as being the work of St.
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Joseph himself and insisted on referring to it as a miracle. Who the man was and how he was able to built the staircase so perfectly with basic tools remains a mystery. Is it just a legend that endured through the years, or is there something more to the story? Near the town of Pomorie in Bulgaria, among vineyards and orchards sits a man-made mystery. Named the Pomorie tomb or Dome Tomb, the structure is a semi-cylindrical vault with an empty column in the middle that is bigger at its top where it comes together with the external wall. The tomb is estimated to have been built between the second and fourth centuries AD.
The place was reconstructed in the late s. Experts have been unable to establish a specific name for the structure or how it was so accurately built during that time. When research into the tomb began at the end of the 19th century, Czech brothers and archaeologists Karel and Hermann Skorpil made several drawings and notes about the structure.
They assumed it was a tomb, as do most historians today. However, some researchers believe that it is actually a mausoleum built as a monument for a hero of those times. Research is ongoing to establish just what the purpose of this ancient structure was and who exactly built it.
Some believe it was built by a wealthy Thracian family. Renovations of an apartment building in Chicago in yielded a little more than the plumber carrying out the work was expecting.
He immediately set out to find the first owners of the building. They claimed that their son had stolen the motorcycle from its original owner before leaving to fight in World War I. They also said their son was the one who hid the motorcycle in the wall, but he was killed during the war, and therefore, the motorcycle remained hidden until the plumber discovered it.
The bike was sold to several different people after its discovery, eventually landing up at the Wheels Through Time Museum. Founder Dale Walksler uses the bike to this day, amazed that it still runs perfectly. Experts say that the complex engineering of the Traub motorcycle surpasses all of the classic motorcycles that came after it, and its parts have not been seen on any other motorcycles. Its engine is one of a kind, as is its brake system.
However, the biggest mystery seems to be the creator of the Traub. This is in spite of a letter that Traub wrote to Motorcycle Illustrated in , in which he claimed to have built a 4-horsepower motorcycle. But you don't have to always fall for them: Here are 9 former unsolved mysteries for which we now have a solution. You're welcome. Cooper still alive?
Myth Unexplained Phenomena. Start the Countdown. Smith, which depicts that small sliver of moon in the sky. Smith didn't stumble on this design by accident; he actually consulted colonial almanacs to get the phase of the moon just right. Olson also notes, with some amusement, that their calculations also showed that the tide was extremely low that night on December 16, That means the revolutionaries were dumping the tea crates in a great deal of muck.
If you're familiar with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem about Paul Revere's Midnight Ride, you may recall a great many references to moonlight:. Then he said "Good-night! But was this true?
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Was the moon rising as Revere crossed the harbor? And if so, why wasn't Revere spotted?
Well, it is true that a bright moon rose as Revere made his crossing on April 18, But it was a very unusual moon. According to calculating, the moon was in the southern extreme of its orbit that night, rising to the south of east instead of due east. Thanks to that little bit of luck, Revere was much harder to spot than he might have been otherwise.
The 16th President of the United States may have been nicknamed "Honest Abe," but many people called his honesty into question in the wake of the famous "Almanac Trial.
The key witness in the case claimed that he had seen the brawl in full moonlight, but Lincoln produced an almanac that showed that, at the time of the brawl, the moon would have been near the horizon, nearly out of sight. Armstrong was acquitted, but after the trial, people began to wonder if the almanac was a fake.
After all, numerous people remembered seeing a bright moon that night. Should we start calling him "Dishonest Abe"? Probably not, although there is a reason the townsfolk remember seeing such a bright moon. It turns our that the night of the brawl, the moon was at a very special point in a The tilt of the Earth's axis and the tilt of the lunar orbit resulted in a very unusual, extreme passage through the sky.
So early in the evening, the moon did indeed cross the meridian of the sky, but just a few hours later — at the time of the brawl — it was nearly out of view. Both the almanac and the townsfolk were correct.
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Olson's team has done a lot of investigations into paintings — the works of Claude Monet, Edvard Munch, and more. Naturally, Vincent van Gogh, with his brilliant celestial paintings, is of particular interest, and the team decided to look into his White House at Night to figure out what the brilliant, star-like object that he painted in the sky actually is. Interestingly, Olson's team discovered that the house in Auvers-sur-Oise commonly identified as the White House is not, in fact, the house Van Gogh painted.
Rather, it was a different house in the town which has since been renovated. Once they were able to identify the correct location, the team was able to calculate the position of the objects in the sky while Van Gogh painted it. The brilliant object, they concluded, is Venus. The sinking of the USS Indianapolis was one of the most infamous naval disasters of World War II, in large part because the survivors floated for days in shark-infested waters.
But Olson and other researchers have studied the role that moonlight played in the sinking of the ship. After the cruiser delivered the Hiroshima atomic bomb to Tinian, the Japanese submarine I fired upon the boat, sinking it.
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