In a country that could fit pretty much all of the nations within Europe inside its borders, there’s bound to be a few hidden corners and abnormal happenings going on. Turns out, Australia actually has its fair share of head scratching mysteries. From the strange but true story of the Somerton Man, to an ancient drawing that occupies acres of land in the outback, the team here at Fair Go have trawled the net looking for some of Australia’s most inexplicable ambiguities.

If you love nothing more than trying to decode the secrets of the universe, this article is right up your alley. Check it out now and feel free to let us know in the comments section about other great Australian mysteries we may have missed.

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1. The Somerton Man

The story of the Somerton Man is comparable to the story of DB Cooper in Australia, in the sense that it’s internationally renowned and that it’s never been solved. Also known as the Tamam Shud case, the Somerton Man refers to the body of a middle-aged male that was found on Somerton beach in Adelaide on the 1st of December, 1948.

The case of the Somerton man is famous due to the scrap of paper that investigators found within his pocket that had the words “taman shud”, meaning “ended” or “finished” in Persian, printed on it. This scrap was found to have come from a rare New Zealand book of poetry, which was later tracked down and discovered stashed in a car. Inside were indentations of other words, which were believed to be a code of some sort. In the end, police weren’t able to identify the man, however they did discover his death was actually caused by poison.

Beyond these findings, other clues were few and far between, and even when they did surface, they only muddied the case even more. A suitcase that showed up at a local train station 6 weeks after his body was found with similar writings was but one clue that generated more questions than answers.

These days, the Somerton Man remains an unsolved Australian mystery and one of the country’s most renowned stories. There’s still no closure as to who the man was or how he came to die at a popular Adelaide beach. Some theorists speculate he was a spy tasked with carrying out covert operations on Australian soil. The only real truth though is that we’ll never really know.

2. The Devil’s Pool

Located at the base of a series of streams in the Babinda Boulders in Queensland, the Devil’s Pool is a body of water that’s as deadly as it is beautiful. People come here to hike, to swim and explore the lush surroundings. However, over 17 people have also perished within the Devil’s Pool since 1959, which also makes it one of the deadliest swimming holes in the country.

In addition to this grizzly fact, there are also plenty of legends that seek to explain the pool’s baffling body count. One of these is a local story told by the Yidinji people who have long called the area home. This tale talks about a stunning girl by the name of Oolana, who married an elder from her tribe before falling in love with a younger man by the name of Dyga. After it become clear that Oolana and Dyga were breaking tribal law by committing adultery, they fled to the surrounding valleys.

Unfortunately, the elders soon found them, and they were brought back to be sentenced. On their way to the village though, Oolana broke free from her captors and in a fit of Romeo and Juliette style passion, she threw herself into the still waters of what we now call the Devil’s Pool, begging Dyga to follow. Dyga then leapt in after Oolana just as the calm waters turned into a raging torrent. Oolan was said to have disappeared and her body was never recovered. Aboriginal folklore maintains that Oolana’s spirit still roams the area, calling for her lover and luring men to their deaths like the sirens of ancient Greek mythology.

Of course, the pools themselves are hardly safe for swimming due to flash flooding that can occur at a moment’s notice and the numerous snags beneath the surface. Even a naval seaman was thought to have fallen into the pool and drowned, with a report in the Townsville Bulletin stating that his friends saw him being pulled backwards, “as if by an invisible hand”.

What’s more, of the 17 people who have been lost to the Devil’s Pool, 16 of them were male. This lends more weight to the Aboriginal legend that Oolan’s spirit remains tied to this eerie area. 

3. Wailing Wilga Water Hole

This story begins in 1941 when a worker on a cattle station in Queensland built a hut for himself and his wife to live in on the banks of the water hole. After heading to work one day and returning home late in the evening, the worker was shocked to find his wife paralysed with fear. Before he could ask her what the problem was, he noticed there was a strange noise coming from outside. He quickly ran from the house to investigate and upon leaving the front door, he heard blood-curdling screams emanating from the water hole.

It was initially thought to be a simple case of birds crying out from inside the hole, however as time went on the screams became more and more extreme, the man and his wife made the decision to leave the hut and never return.

Since then many people have beared witness to the unearthly sounds that seem to radiate outwards from Wilga water hole. With some brave locals even camping out in an attempt to hear them, only to be sent packing when a high-pitch shrieking began to fill the night.

It’s believed that the culprit behind the wailing Wilga water hole could be a species of owl, while others speculate that it’s the ghost of a young boy who was killed by wild pigs. In the end, there have been many investigations into the direct cause of the strange noises, however, no one has ever managed to explain them away.

4. Stuart’s Giant

Many people have heard of Peru’s Nazca lines: those incredibly large geoglyphs formed by depressions and shallow incisions made in the soil of the Nazca Desert. What most people haven’t heard of though is the Marree Man, also known as Stuart’s Giant. Another equally as imposing and mysterious geoglyph located in the arid South Australian landscape.

First discovered in 1998 by a charter pilot, the Marree Man depicts an indigenous Australian male with a boomerang. It is 2.7 kilometres tall with a perimeter that runs for 28 kilometres. It also covers an area roughly 620 acres big and is only visible when viewed from high altitudes or space. Despite its magnitude, no single person or group of people have ever come forward to claim this as their own.

The anonymity of its creators has given rise to many conspiracy theories. One such idea relates to the many press release that were sent out when the Marree Man was first found. These press releases included descriptions of the man in feet instead of metres and talked about it being located on an Aboriginal “reservation”, which is a term we don’t use in Australia. There was also a plaque discovered near the Marree Man’s head that featured an American flag, Olympic rings and a quote from a book on Aboriginal hunting techniques.

Access to the site that the Marree Man is located on is not permitted to the public due to Native Title claims, although flyovers are permitted. For many mystery hunters, this means that it’s still possible to see the Marree Man in all his glory. What’s more, the site was restored by local in 2016, making it even more evident in the bleak landscape.

5. Lasseter’s Lost Reef

You can’t surf this reef, but you can definitely get rich on it. The reason being that Lasseter’s Lost Reef isn’t a bombora located off the Australian coastline, it’s actually a large strip of gold that’s supposedly located somewhere within the country’s central desert.

The story goes that in 1929, Harold Bell Lasseter claimed he had found a rich vein of gold in inland Australia while riding from Queensland to the goldfields of Western Australia. Of course, he also became hopelessly lost during this trip and had to rescued by an Afghan camel driver. As such, he wasn’t able to pinpoint exactly where these vast reserves of gold were located.

This didn’t stop Lasseter from returning back to the area he believed it to be situated in, and he tried on several occasions to find the gold reef once again. Unfortunately, these attempts were made during the Great Depression and he was unable to secure enough funds to mount a proper expedition. To this day, Lasseter’s accounts of the find are deemed unreliable at best, with many people concluding that it may have been exaggerating. We may never know whether Lasseter was telling the truth. If you dream of striking it rich though, it's nice to know you always have Fair Go.

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