Finding the answer...

This may be the wrong forum, so David, you call it…

I never watch Unsolved Mysteries. It drives me crazy to not know the answer to things.
Why does light have the speed it does?

Who killed Jon Benet Ramsey? Are they really covering something up?

What is the real explanation for crop circles and the like?

Will we find out in 100 years that gravity isn’t really what we think it is?

What really happened to that tribe of Indians in the eastern US a long time ago? (the name escapes me).

These are rhetorical questions, but does this kind of thing bother anyone else? Am I just…weird? I actually lay awake at night thinking about all the mysteries in our world. Not worrying, not at all. Just wanting to know.


Maybe you should read more often.

“Unsolved Mysteries” isn’t the only source of information on these things.

Hey, Okay, thanks for the useful input.

I never said that Unsolved Mysteries was more than entertainment. I was merely using it to state what I was feeling.

I read all the time. Maybe you should spend a little more time being less judgemental.


Because God wanted it that way.

Crop circles were originated by two bored drunks in England. They have been copied by college students all over the world. What is included in “the like?”

Probably, as I have not yet heard a good explanation of what gravity is, although we have some excellent descriptions of what it does. The various models I have seen for gravity are mutually exclusive (gravitons/bent space/etc) and the “real” answer may be something we haven’t thought of yet.

They opened a casino.

Dr. Fidelius, Charlatan
Associate Curator Anomalous Paleontology, Miskatonic University
“You cannot reason a man out of a position he did not reach through reason.”

We apologise for the fault in the sig files. Those responsible have been sacked.

Well, one of the answers you seek is pretty mundane and pointless and one of your questions is just a bit too vague (but may have answers).

The crop circles began with a couple of old coots playing pranks. Once they had gotten a lot of attention, copycats sprang up all over. The “there is no way to explain this” dribble was pretty easily debunked (except for those who needed a mystery) when the old coots went out and made some circles for a news crew–leaving exactly the same amount of “no evidence” behind.

Indian tribes? Lots and lots of Indian tribes in New England died of various European diseases brought by earlier explorers (accidentally, in this case) just prior to the landings by the Mayflower contingent and their followers. The diseases and the dead tribes were pretty well recorded by the earliest colonists, but the stories were later played down so that the European invasion could be portrayed as a colonization of empty forests with a few scattered Indians rather than a massive land grab.

The Pequod tribe was pretty thoroughly destroyed in battle with the New England colonists.

The Mohicans were sandwiched between invading whites and angry Iroquois and they didn’t survive, either.

The other Indian-related disappearance story is that of the Roanoke colony. They were a small group living in a swampy area that was not particularly healthy for Northern Europeans. A group of 15 soldiers/explorers who had been left to guard a fort from a 1586 exploration had disappeared (and the fort razed) when the next group of 150 people arrived in 1587. The organizers of the colony took their ships back to England to get more supplies, but were gone for quite a while. (Sixteenth century ships were pretty slow and raising funds for a colony while trying not to get caught up in England’s war with Spain was a hassle.) When the resupply ships finally returned in 1590, there were no people in the abandoned colony. The word “croatan” was found carved in a tree, but no one knows what it means. Since the original 15 men holding the fort apparently died violently, it may be assumed that the survivors of the 150 also were attacked. On the other hand, they may have simply died of disease and hunger. An indian tribe living some distance away was later discovered wearing clothing that resembled late sixteenth century English garb. They may have taken clothing from the dead colonists, they may have offered shelter to the dying colonists and picked up the clothing styles before the colonists finally died, it may be pure coincidence.

Do any of these indian stories ring a bell?


I think many people have similar questions about unanswerables. Probably why those shows are so popular.
Maybe, not the particular cases you speak of. (I for one, don’t care that much about Jon Benet Ramsey)
But, there are questions we all wonder about.

“What happens after this life?”

Is something that is truly unanswerable. Only one way to find out, and its kind of hard to come back and report.

Then there are other questions that aren’t quite as universal, but many people ask.
“Who was Jack the Ripper?”
“What is on the other side of the universe?”
“What is in that box in Pulp Fiction?”
“Who was involved in the JFK conspiracy?”
“Was there a conspiracy?”
“What happened to Mickey Rourke’s career?”

I guess this post makes more questoins than answers them.

Just to say, that I think alot of people wonder about unanswerable questions, and if they will ever be answered.


“Why do I always get back one less sock than I put into a washing machine.”

I think answering this is the key to understanding the universe. Or maybe it’s just me.

pricciar - thank you, you actually acted like you read the OP.

Guys…they were rhetorical questions. But thanks anyway.

DrFi says


Evidently I should crawl back into the whole I came from :slight_smile: Starting a post is definitely not one of my talents, and expressing what I mean is more difficult than I had thought.


Jazzy, if I understand you, you are asking if other people are bothered by unanswerable questions.

I am definitely bothered by questions that have not been or cannot be answered. Though I am sure that some people are not bothered by such questions.

While I definitely do not know the answers to a lot of questions, some questions really bug me until I find an answer to them.

Questions like why is light the speed it is, do not bother me, because that is just the way it is.

Questions like who killed Jean-Benett do because of the situation.

Questions that are like puzzles or mysteries do, because I enjoy puzzles and mysteries.

But, yes, I like to know the answers.


I did notice your point on the rhetorical questions, but I have a compulsion to answer (some) questions and I couldn’t figure out what indians you were asking about–so I threw out some answers for you to reject.

I’d guess this isn’t really going to wind up as a Great Debate, but I certainly wouldn’t put it down as Mundane or Pointless.

It probably would work as a General Question: “Do you ever ponder the mysteries of the universe?” or “Does not knowing something/anything drive you nuts?”


Yes, you guys have it now! :slight_smile:

Tom, I’m gonna have you write my topics from now on. Something so simple seems to elude me nonetheless. Your suggestions were exactly what I wanted.


You better believe I ponder unanswerable questions. And if it’s a character fault of mine, I also have little respect for those people who DON’T ponder them.

It’s because they’re afraid of what the answers might be.

Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

Certainly the Gravity question gets me frustrated - i wish I knew what it was too. Though it fascinates me that we still don’t know something so basic as what gravity is and how it works.

But unanswerable questions, or mysteries interest me - I don’t usually go out and research things to get answers, but occasionally if I come across something I will read up on it.

I like reading The Skeptical Enquirer, or James Randi et al, to see how some mysterious goings on can be or have been explained.

Or watching a new dinosaur documentary to learn about new discoveries or theories on how they lived. Usually the implications in any given article anywhere covers many subjects - e.g. learning more about dinosaurs tells me that we know tons about animals, or that the theories generated are still just educated guesses, but are the current line of thinking, sometimes radically different to how we used to think.

I’m rambling. What I mean is, not knowing something tells us things about ourselves, and discovering new theories or answers does also. So it fascinates me.

“Vyvyan! Where did you get that Howitzer?” “…I found it.”

The Legend Of PigeonMan - updates every Wed & Sat

Not those in particular, but yeah, it does.

What I always wonder about is what’s gonna happen in the future. I don’t mean the near future - not 5, 10, or even 100 years. Minimum of a 1000 - going up to millions, even billions. The questions like just how long will humanity last? Will our current rate of technological process slow down any time soon, and either way, what sort of technology will we have 1000, 10000, or 100000 years from now? How long will the human race last, and what will eventually do us in? Will we ever make contact with intelligence from another world? How will historians in 1000 or 10000 years look back on our time? What, physically, will descendents of humans (if there are any) look like in a million years, or 10 million? How will our understanding of physics progress over the next 10000 years?

Not being able to know this sort of thing drives me nuts.

peas on earth

While we’re here…

Perhaps Jazzy’s plan was to derive the answer to the (valid) question:

How many posts will a thread devoted to (a) rhetorical question(s) get?

jazzmine wrote:

The square of the speed of light is equal to the inverse of: the electrostatic permittivity constant of a vacuum, multiplied by the magnetic permeability constant of a vacuum. This derivation comes from the four Maxwell Equations that describe the propagation of electromagnetic waves.

So the real question you want to ask is, why do the permittivity and permeability constants have the values they do?

Tom said:

[Moderator Hat: On]
Actually, no. Those would be MPSIMS questions. Questions for General Questions should have factual answers, though answers that the asker doesn’t know. Asking opinions should be in MPSIMS or, well, here. :slight_smile:
[Moderator Hat: Off]

Bantmof said:

You summed up my feelings almost to the letter.

Gravity does not exist, the earth sucks.

“What happens after this life?”

I usually dont get bothered by questions like these because there is nothing I can do to find out for sure. But then again that might be the part that bothers you. :slight_smile:

“What is in that box in Pulp Fiction?”

I heard that it was supposed to be the big bosses soul which he had sold and was reclaiming. That was also supposed to be the reason for the band-aid on the back of his head, that is the devil poking a claw at the base of his skull.

I once heard that the suitcase in Pulp Fiction contains the diamonds that were stolen in Reservoir(sp?) Dogs.
I have also heard that the graviton theory is pretty much over with, and that it is theorized that gravity may be part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Hmmmmmmm how about let’s talk about the real meaning of the OP
Jazz, in my experience, way too many people have absolutely no curiousity about anything that isn’t vitally important to them. Questions like, “Why does wind blow?” or “What causes gravity?” or “How come men go bald and women don’t (usually)?” are unimportant to most people. When you try to spend time looking up answers to things like this, you get labled a bit weird, at a minimum.

I do know that there are a few people like you and me who enjoy the mysteries of life and unravelling them. Trust me, you are not alone. :slight_smile: