Debunk famous unsolved mysteries! 🗿

So here´s the thing. I am fascinated by an unexplained mystery as much as the next person. I love hearing creepy and eerie stories and looking and mysterious pictures or listening to strange sounds.

But I am just as much interested in the debunking and the simple explanation, as well as the real story behind things, healthily applying Occams Razor to solve the mystery. To me this doesn´t spoil the fun at all, because I find it interesting why we choose to believe certain things, and why we work in a way that sometimes chooses the outragous over the easily explained. So both things are equally fascinating to me, I think this goes back to the days of playing Zak McKracken and reading the Mysteries Of The Unknown Time Life books series at the same time.

So here is my little game. I will show you some pictures that have already debunked. Tell me what you think the story behind this image may be, but only if you do not know the official answer yet. I will wait a while before providing the actual explanation for you, if you don´t already guessed it.

So here goes:

The Surgeon´s Photo

This is the most famous photograph of what is said to show the Loch Ness Monster. It was taken by a doctor (who was not actually a surgeon) in 1934. Does it show the famous gigantic sea creature from prehistorical times? Or is it something else?

The Cottingley Fairies


This picture taken in 1917 in Cottingley, England taken by the girl´s cousin that is shown in the picture is said to show her playing with the little fairies in their garden. They said they regulary met with them.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle firmly believed this to be real and genunine evidence that fairies exist.
But what to do you think this actually might be?

The Time Traveller in the Charlie Chaplin movie

This frame is from the 1928 Charlie Chaplin movie “The Circus”.


Here is the whole scene as a gif…NOT!

It shows a woman (or a man in drag) walking through the picture holding to their ear something that appears to be a cell phone. Look at the end of the gif how the person turns around and appears to be talking to someone. Is this a person that travelled back in time only to be cascually caught on film while trying to get some cell phone reception in the late 20s? Or what do you think is going on here?


I’m pretty sure I know the first two, so I won’t comment on those.

I’ve seen the last one before but don’t know the explanation, so I’ll think on that one. Can we see the gif?

The first one reminds me of an elephant’s trunk. I’ll go with that explanation.

As for the second one, I think the fairies are made out of china or a similar material, and attached to a grassy mound in front of the girl.

The first one is a person doing crawl
The second one is plastic or china figures. Although it has a bit of poor photoshopping to it too ( different light)
The third one she is missing her right shoe, so she’ll holding that to her face.

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You can in the preview strangly enough. I think I´ll have to find another one. No idea why it does not display in the actual posting.

How many elephants are there in scottish lakes usually?

Way simpler than that.

No, that is the way it was done in 1917. No photoshop.


Fun topic! Can’t answer, as I think I know the answers. The fairies picture is one of the set of five pictures.

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Correct. I picked the most iconic one.

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Dito. :wink:

You can de-mystify a lot of these kind of pictures if you know a little bit about visual effects. :slight_smile:

Should be working now. Either embedded or as a link should discourse change their mind again.

Three pink ones if you had too much whiskey!
(The correct answer being probably more than there are monsters in them usually)

Actual people in the foreground dressed up before a giant billboard?

Hm. I still can’t see it. Oi, Discourse.

Oh FFS, it just worked seconds ago! I went to two different sources. Are they banning gifs completly now on here?

I would add the video but I´m afraid that would also lead to countless debunking video links, so I gif would be better.

Let me test…


This one works. Obviously discourse is part of the evil plot and doesn’t like debunkers.

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Yeah it seems only silly gifs are allowed!

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Usually none. But perhaps one escaped from a nearby zoo and went for a swim?
Elephants can swim underwater, and they use their trunks like snorkels. I didn’t know that until today! :smiley:


It’s weird that the gif won’t appear :thinking:
(Peanut Butter Jelly Time works.)

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And not as periscopes as we were lead to believe growing up :flushed:

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My replies:

  1. I know the picture, I don’t know the background. So I guess: it’s a photo of a wooden shape, purposely made to get a picture of a fake monster

  2. I know this one, so I won’t reply

  3. She has both shoes. And, BTW: why should she speak into her shoe?? I’ve seen the footage, but no debunking videos. She’s clearly talking into her hand. She is probably thinking “Some day they will invent a mobile phone. So, let’s talk nonsense into my hand, just to drive crazy some bunch of future nerds”


Correct! They are pictures cut out of a children´s book mounted on toothpicks.

The hoax wasn´t confirmed until a deathbed confession by one of the two girls decades later. I have no idea why no one just recognized the pictures from that book.


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Yes. That’s the very same video I’ve seen prior t give my answer