The Biggest Unanswered Questions from 2018 We Want Answered in 2019
Was an alien spaceship really in our solar system?
As we look forward to the new year, many of us are eager to wrap up loose ends. And while for some of us that means deleting our ex’s phone numbers and decluttering our kitchen counters, for the rest of us that means contemplating the biggest viral stories of the past year. I mean… Who bit Beyoncé? What will the newest royal baby name be? Why does romaine lettuce keep getting contaminated?
We don’t want to start the new year until these questions are answered, but as time runs out, it looks like we’ll have to. So read on for the details on these mysteries and more.
Who bit Beyoncé?
If you mess with Beyoncé, you mess with all of us. Or at least that’s what happened in 2018 after we found out someone had bitten Queen Bey. The news broke after GQ published a profile of actress Tiffany Haddish, in which Haddish said she had seen another actress bite Beyoncé on the face at a party in Los Angeles. Obviously, this was the cause of great concern for, literally, everyone in America.
Haddish said she knew the name of the alleged biter but—in an act of restraint we could never replicate—refused to reveal the actress’s name. And because of that, the rumor mill started turning overtime. Performers like Sara Foster, Sanaa Lathan, and Rihanna were all possible suspects—although, to no one’s surprise, they each said the allegations were absolutely ridiculous. So until someone decides to give us the inside scoop on this one, it will likely remain a mystery.
What happened to the U.S. government employees in Cuba?
Nearly two years after American government workers at the United States Embassy in Havana began falling ill with mystifying symptoms, experts are still unsure what caused the episodes.
Back in 2017, some 26 employees described hearing a strange high-pitched sound, followed by dizziness, insomnia, and difficulty concentrating. There were numerous theories about what could have caused the phenomena, ranging from mass hysteria to damage to the otolith, the organ that manages balance and the sensation of gravity.
In mid-December of this year, doctors at the University of Miami published a study that confirmed what the workers have said all along: that they were physically injured, and that their condition wasn’t a symptom of hysteria. Still, the study couldn’t explain what caused the injury, or why the employees were targeted. For everyone’s sake, let’s hope they pinpoint a cause in 2019.
What is the cause of acute flaccid myelitis, the polio-like disease?
Though polio has been eradicated from the U.S. since 1979, a mysterious polio-like disease called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) has been making the rounds since early fall. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there have been 158 confirmed cases of AFM in 36 states. “This is a mystery,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in Atlanta, during a news briefing. “We haven’t solved it yet.” In November, the CDC set up a task force to investigate the causes of the disease and how to better treat patients.
How did that beautiful duck land in Central Park?
New York’s Central Park is beautiful, but it’s even lovelier now that a Mandarin duck has taken residence there. The duck currently receives more publicity than most human celebrities, and his image and movements have been the subject of both late-night television broadcasts and articles in serious news outlets like the New York Times. And, of course, tourists have flocked to see him. No one quite knows how he got there—he’s certainly not a native—but a leading theory is he escaped a private aviary. Stay tuned for more. After all, this gorgeous duck is the most eligible bachelor in town!
Why do human feet keep washing ashore in Canada?
Weird things are afoot in Canada. This year a dismembered foot—the 14th in a decade—washed up on a beach between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland, reported CNN. Nine of the feet were identified and authorities believe they could be from suicides or due to accidental drownings. Thankfully, there’s no indication of foul play. So why just feet and no other body parts? Scientists note that one reason might be that shoes protect feet from decay and damage.
Russian officials probably won’t be able to lend them a hand. Law enforcement officers there are busy determining the source of 27 pairs of hands packed into a bag that a fisherman found in a small river not far from the Chinese border. We’ll leave these two mysteries up to the experts.
Did two Harvard scientists identify an alien probe?
Obviously, some of the most captivating unsolved mysteries of all time have had to do with aliens. So when a mysterious cigar-shaped object was spotted floating through our solar system last year, it’s only natural some believers theorized it was sent by extra-terrestrial beings. Usually, scientists shut those theories down real quick. But this time, two Harvard scientists published a paper that said the object, named Oumuamua, might truly have been an alien probe. Other scientists believe the object was an asteroid, or, even less exciting, a rock.
The object’s odd appearance and seemingly forceful propulsion were among the factors that contributed to the scientists’ conclusion. So what is it? We’ll probably have to wait for an alien sign to know for sure.
How did Knickers the cow get so big?
In late November, a photo of an enormous cow named Knickers stunned the Internet. And though none of us were under the impression that cows were small, Knickers, who hails from Australia, stands an entire head and shoulders above the other cows in his pen.
At 6’4”, he’s the same height as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. And while some will quibble that Knickers is not a “cow,” per se, but a steer (a castrated bull), there’s no question that he’s huge. Plus, he’s part of a growing trend: Both steers and other types of cows weigh about 150 to 170 pounds more than they did about 20 years ago. (Knickers weighs about 2,800 pounds, for reference). So how did Knickers get to be the weight of a Toyota Corolla? Without examining him it’s hard to tell—although one scientist at LiveScience guesses it’s due to growth hormones gone awry.
Does Amethyst Realm’s marriage stand a ghost of a chance?
In late October, the Internet became obsessed by the engagement of British woman Amethyst Realm and her otherworldly lover. According to Realm, her beau of nine months proposed in a “deep, sexy and real” voice. There was only one problem—he couldn’t get down on one knee. And that’s because he doesn’t have any. And that’s because he’s a ghost. The man’s spirit status didn’t keep the two from consummating their relationship, as Realm says she has done with about 20 other paranormal entities.
Plenty of people are mocking the bride-to-be, but can her perception be true? All we know is that 52 percent of Americans that responded to a 2017 survey believe hauntings are possible. Whatever the case, we’re excited to hear an update from the happy couple.
Why was there a car hanging off a bridge in Toronto?
There’s one less attraction in Toronto now that a blue sedan dangling from Leaside Bridge was removed. The good news is the car had no passengers (and no engine). The bad news is that no one has determined if the car’s placement was a movie stunt or a prank. We hope for answers to this creepy occurrence in 2019.
Did a scientist try to murder his coworker after he spoiled the ending to a book?
Reading is one of life’s simplest pleasures. So, of course, it’s annoying when a friend spoils the ending to the novel you just picked up. But in October 2018, one Russian scientist might have gotten carried away.
All we know for sure is that for the past four years, scientists Sergey Savitsky and Oleg Beloguzov have worked together at a remote research outpost on King George Island in Antarctica. To pass the time, Sergey turned to literature. Unfortunately, according to The Sun, his coworker kept spoiling the endings to his books. That’s obnoxious; we get it—but Sergey’s reaction was a bit extreme. On October 9, the 55-year-old man plunged a kitchen knife into his coworker’s chest. Fortunately, the scientist survived the attack. But since the case is still open, and the only source behind the book-spoilers motive was an anonymous one, we’ll have to wait until 2019 to know if a spoiled denouement could really drive someone to kill in cold (very, very cold) blood.
What was that sea creature that washed up in Russia?
When creepy animals wash up on beaches, the world takes notice. That’s what happened in August when a fur-covered “sea monster,” estimated to be three times as large as a human, turned up on the Russian shore of the Bering Sea, according to the Siberian Times. The “smelly, hairy” creature is reportedly covered with “tubular hair.” Yes, it’s just what it sounds like; the hair is described as hollow. Is this creature a giant squid? An octopus? Perhaps an ancient Woolly Mammoth? The creature has a possible tentacle or tail, but no other defined body parts. We hope 2019 will bring us some answers.
What will the royal baby name be?
Since they got married, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have rejected several prominent royal traditions. Unlike other royals, Prince Harry wears a wedding band, and Meghan Markle paints her nails bright colors and (gasp!) doesn’t always wear pantyhose. So with a royal baby on its way in the spring of 2019, we’re wondering if the couple will abandon the royal tradition of naming children after past kings and other royal ancestors. Because their baby will not be in the direct succession, the couple is free to do whatever they’d like. And that’s why we’re hoping for something truly special from these two.
Why does the romaine lettuce keep getting recalled?
In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recalled romaine lettuce due to E.Coli contamination not once but twice. And while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was fairly quick to identify the source of the outbreak, it begs the question: Why can’t we keep our romaine lettuce E.Coli-free? That’s something scientists are racing to figure out.
“Those of us who work in this area, we have much work to do to try to figure out why this apparently seems to keep happening,” Lawrence Goodridge, professor of food safety at McGill University, told CBC.ca. “Is there something specific about romaine lettuce that perhaps now suddenly in the past year has elevated it, or is it just a coincidence?” We’d like to make 2019 the year of healthy living, which means we need this mystery to be solved as soon as possible.
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