1. Mount Owen Moa
The Upland Moa was a giant flightless bird that was endemic to New Zealand. The Maori people hunted the birds, which could grow up to 12 feet in height, to extinction in the 15th Century. The huge claw you see here belonged to a specimen that lived some 3,000 years ago. It was found in a cave on the island nation’s Mount Owen.
2. Longyou Grottoes
This series of man-made caves, which are thought to date back to the 3rd century BC, are a bit of a mystery. There is no mention of them in Qin Dynasty historic records, and it’s not understood why they were built and what they were used for.
3. The Gate of the Sun
Located near Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, this gate was constructed by the ancient Tiwanaku culture, and lies at an altitude of almost 13,000 feet. While it’s unclear what its actual use was, the likelihood is that it had some sort of astrological significance to the Tiwanaku people.
4. L'Anse aux Meadows
Although many people are told that Christopher Columbus was the first European to set foot in the Americas, this site provides clear evidence that the Vikings crossed the Atlantic at least 500 years before he did. It consists of multiple houses and was first discovered in the 1960s.
5. Gobekli Tepe
One of the oldest archaeological sites known to man is so old that it pre-dates the famous Stonehenge in England by almost 6,000 years. Lying on a hillside in Turkey, the actual purpose for Gobekli Tepe’s construction is unclear, however it’s believed to have been used as a temple complex. Excavations at the enormous site are ongoing.
6. The Voynich Manuscript
This enigmatic manuscript is written in a language or code that no-one has able to decipher to this very day. It is named after a Polish book dealer who came across it, bought it and brought it to public attention back in 1912. It is believed to have been created in northern Italy, during the Italian Renaissance period.
7. Yonaguni Monument
Archeologists and geologists the world over debate the origin of these mysterious stone formations. One side of the argument states that Yonaguni is man-made, however the other says that it is entirely natural, with no human intervention occurring.
8. Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
This 5,000-year-old underground structure is the only known prehistoric underground temple in the entire world. Located on the Mediterranean island of Malta, it was discovered by chance back in 1902 when cisterns were being dug for a new housing development. The temple also doubled up as a necropolis, with the remains of over 7,000 individuals being found in its confines.
9. Costa Rica’s Stone Spheres
Researchers and historians haven’t got a clue as to why there is a series of more than 300 stone spheres scattered throughout the Costa Rican countryside. The spheres are between 500 and 1,500 years old. Some even say that the spheres originated in the legendary Atlantis.
10. An Unfinished Obelisk
This unfinished obelisk was known to have been commissioned by the very first female Ancient Egyptian pharaoh, Hatshepsut. Sadly, it was never completed and erected, and this is due to the formation of large cracks in the obelisk’s granite as it was being carved. It would have stood at least one-third higher than any known Egyptian obelisk.
Built circa 2500 BC, this site is the location for one of the earliest major urban settlements in the world. The people of the ancient Indus Valley civilization, one of the Old World’s three early civilizations. It was inhabited continuously for 600 years prior to its abandonment circa 1,900 BC.
This elaborate stone citadel lies on the edge of Cusco, which is the historic capital of the Incan Empire. It’s constructed with massive stone blocks that fit so well together, no mortar or other binding substances were required for the structure to keep its shape. It’s one of the most famous Incan sites.
Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12