Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mysteries Among Us #14

Welcome back to "Mysteries Among Us." In this feature, we share mysteries that intrigue us. They could be mysteries in the national news, in our own communities, even in our own families. Or they could be mysteries from the past that continue to haunt us. Mysteries are everywhere! Maybe some of what we've found will spark ideas for fictional mysteries. We'd love to know what mysteries fascinate you too!    

Kristen Kittscher: I'd heard of crop circles. But fairy circles? Millions of strange circular barren patches speckle the grassland in Namibia and its closest neighbors, yet no one can figure out why. The patches are very evenly distributed, but disappear and reappear over time. Even though scientists have recently gathered some more convincing hypotheses to explain the phenomenon, it sounds to me like fairies are as good an explanation as any!
Diana Renn: I've always loved how my hometown, Seattle, stands on layers of mystery. After a fire destroyed the city in 1899, Seattle was rebuilt one story higher than it had been. Ground-floor businesses continued to operate, and people climbed ladders to reach the street level, until the "underground" city was condemned in 1907 and eventually paved over. For awhile, though, the "city below the streets" consisted mainly of illegitimate businesses -- flophouses, opium dens, gambling houses, speakeasies. Taking the Underground Tour today, tunneling through downtown, you can glimpse some of the old building facades and streets -- still somewhat intact -- while rats scuttle in the shadows. It's a mystery-lovers delight.

Elisa Ludwig: Lately I am really intrigued by medical mysteries, and one that caught my attention is the unexplained illness that has attacked tourists in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Several people have died since January, all of whom stayed at or near the Downtown Inn. Recently, another couple was hit with the same symptoms as the previous victims: chest pain, vomiting, eyes rolling back in the head and blue lips but they managed to survive. Four of the deaths have been linked to myocarditis or inflammation of heart muscle, while others have been linked to Coxsackie and Echo viruses, but the authorities have yet to explain why there, and why now. 

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