The internet has breathed new life into many of the world’s great unsolved mysteries, giving amateur detectives and self-directed sleuths the tools they needed to scrounge for new clues and fresh leads long after official authorities stopped searching for answers. Along the way, public fascination inevitably led to wild speculation, fantastical theories, and a hazy blur between facts as they actually happened and outrageous rumors that the media and public adopt as reality.

Here are 31 of the most enduring and perplexing unsolved mysteries, from grisly murders and ghost ships to great escapes and entire colonies of people disappearing without a trace. In some cases, the information came from law enforcement agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who have been working directly on solving the case the whole time. Other times, the source material was news reports surrounding new developments in the cases. Occasionally, organizations or individuals like authors or amateur detectives came up with the best information after dedicating years or even decades to studying and researching these baffling and unsolved scenarios on their own.

If the facts and fictions surrounding the most salacious and unbelievably true whodunnits pique your interest and stir your passions, you are not alone. Keep reading to learn about some of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries and the leading theories about what really happened.

Leading Theories About D.B. Cooper and 30 other unsolved mysteries

Thanks to the American fascination with confounding unsolved cases, mystery is among the most popular genres of books, movies, and television. From heists and capers to murders and robberies, the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries spark media frenzies that grab headlines around the globe. Some cases compel so much public intrigue that the facts and theories surrounding them become the basis of books, movies, plays, and documentaries decades or even centuries after the cases go cold.

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