For millions of years, the mountains have loomed above us, holding their chilling secrets in the clouds just out of our reach. However, as time goes on, humans make more progress toward unlocking answers to the world’s greatest puzzles. Even so, some of the most unsettling mysteries are lying on the colossal faces of the Earth’s mountains.
10 The Dyatlov Pass Incident
In 1959, on Siberia’s notorious Dyatlov Pass (aka “Death Mountain”), nine young Russian students on a skiing trip disappeared and were later found dead under extremely mysterious circumstances. The group had been missing for weeks, and a rescue team was sent to find them.
However, what they found was not at all what they expected. The group’s tents had been slashed open, with all the equipment still inside in almost pristine condition. Numerous sets of footprints led out into the snow.
The first bodies, which were completely frozen, were found almost 1.6 kilometers (1 mi) away, next to the remnants of a burned-out fire. Another 320 meters (1,050 ft) from the bodies lay the corpse of Igor Dyatlov, the student who had put the expedition together.
The body of Zina Kolmogorova, who lay under 10 centimeters (4 in) of snow, was found next. She was 183 meters (600 ft) from Igor’s body, making it appear as if they had been trying to crawl back to the tents.
Over two months later, the final bodies were discovered under 5 meters (15 ft) of snow in a hollow they had apparently dug out of desperation. They had dreadful injuries, such as broken bones and brain damage, but no external wounds at all.
Even stranger, the clothes contained higher levels of radiation than normal. The perplexing thing was how some bodies were fully clothed, yet some were nearly naked. Most confusing of all was the body of Lyudmila Dubinina, which was missing the tongue and eyes.
Although we still don’t know what happened to the students, some speculate that they had stumbled across a Soviet testing facility and had been killed to keep the location a secret. Others believe that the students were killed by aliens because bright lights were spotted in the sky around the time of the disappearance.
Perhaps the most disturbing theory is that the students had been attacked by an undocumented beast and left in the snow to die. There is no official conclusion to the case, and most likely, there never will be.
9 The Valley Of Headless Men
Nahanni National Park, part of the Mackenzie Mountains region in Canada, has become known as the Valley of Headless Men and with good reason. For thousands of years, the region was said to be evil, with many tribes refusing to settle there. The ones who did told of mysterious creatures inhabiting the vast forests and restless spirits stalking the area.
However, the greatest danger is said to be the violent Naha tribe of the mountains. The tribe allegedly consists of deadly warriors who wear masks and armor. Larger than normal men, these fighters wield strange and unidentifiable weapons. They are notorious for decapitating their victims.
In the 19th century, a whole tribe disappeared without a trace and many attribute their disappearance to the Naha warriors. Another case was the 1908 disappearance of the McLeod brothers, who were searching for gold in the area. They were both found dead, with their heads missing, along a riverbank.
There are a great number of other cases of decapitation in the valley. For example, gold miner Martin Jorgenson’s skeleton was found without the skull in his burned-down cabin in 1917.
More people have simply gone missing, with 44 unexplained disappearances by 1969. A large number of people also claimed to have seen strange lights in the sky or a huge, apelike man walking among the trees.
To this day, there is no explanation for the mysterious goings-on in the Nahanni Valley. An answer is unlikely in the foreseeable future as the region is still largely unexplored.
8 The Forbidden Mountain
For 800 years, the Khentii Mountains in Mongolia have been off-limits to tourists and travelers. The reason for this is largely unknown. But many say it is because the area contains the tomb of the 13th-century warrior, conqueror, and imperial ruler Genghis Khan.
According to legend, Khan’s tomb was a vast necropolis hidden deep inside the mountains and the builders of the tomb were executed to conceal the secret. It is also said that a forest was planted over the site to hide the leader in his final resting place. Today, over 800 years later, an elite tribe called the Darhad protects the land of their ancestor and will likely do so for generations to come.
Whether the region really is the location of Khan’s tomb is unknown to the public. Possibly, this is because the discovery of the tomb would have huge geopolitical repercussions as the Chinese believe Genghis Khan was from China.
7 Nepal Snow Saddle
The Kangtega peak (aka “The Snow Saddle”) is a mountain summit in the Himalayas of Nepal. The peak stands 6,782 meters (22,251 ft) high and was first climbed in 1964. What is especially strange about this mountain is that a point on one of its faces is blacked out on Google Earth.
This has led many to believe that it is a secret base for UFOs or a government hangar for testing futuristic aircraft. Although this is a possibility, many skeptics have claimed that it is nothing more than an accidental glitch.
Scott Waring, a UFO blogger, states that the darkened patch on Google Earth coincides with the highest ridge of the mountains. It is away from the direction in which climbers approach the summit and is only accessible by air. Whether this is a secret landing base for UFOs or simply a glitch in Google’s mapping systems, we still do not know.
6 The Big Grey Man Of Ben Macdhui
The mountain of Ben Macdhui in Scotland is allegedly inhabited by a large gray creature that many refer to simply as “The Big Grey Man.” The first reports of this beast were in 1925 when a member of the Cairngorm Club, who are well-known peak climbers, reported his experience at the summit of the mountain.
He stated that he could hear “something other than merely the noise of my own footsteps” when descending the mountain. “I heard a crunch,” he said, “then another crunch as if someone was walking after me but taking steps three or four times the length of my own.” This indicates that the creature is bigger than a normal human, meaning that it is Scotland’s Yeti.
The Cairngorm Club member concluded that “there is something queer about the top of Ben Macdhui and [I] will not go back there again by myself.” Whatever is on top of Ben Macdhui is still out there and still unexplained.
5 The Creatures Of Mount Nyangani
In November 2014, 20-year-old British explorer Thomas Gaisford set out alone to explore Mount Nyangani in Zimbabwe. He had won a university award that funded student trips to remote areas to build confidence.
He embarked on the trip alone and planned to reach the summit and stay there overnight. But Gaisford claims that a thick fog descended at 3:00 AM, leaving him disoriented and lost. Shortly after, heavy rain began to pour.
He decided to camp overnight where he was and wait for the peculiar weather to pass. However, in the darkness that surrounded him, Gaisford reported that he had been circled by various creatures that appeared to be observing him.
Before he had set off, the locals had told him to ignore any strangely acting animals as they were not of this world. For 10 hours, he lay there waiting for the fog to clear. When it eventually did, he rapidly left the mountain on foot.
What really happened is still unclear. Some say that Gaisford simply became dehydrated and started imagining things. Others believe that he was visited by creatures from another dimension. Perhaps we will never know.
4 The Mount Lykaion Sacrifice
A 3,000-year-old skeleton has recently been discovered on Mount Lykaion in Greece. The mountain is known for animal sacrifices to the god Zeus.
Legend tells of a young boy taken up Mount Lykaion as an offering to Zeus. The boy was cooked and consumed by the killers, who were then turned into wolves. While this legend is likely complete fiction, there may be some truth to it. The skeleton found recently was one of a child in the same region of the mountain where the legend was said to take place.
No one knows if this is the child of the legend. But the skeleton is an extremely important discovery because it gives archaeologists an insight into Greece’s darker side of history.
3 The Berwyn Mountain Incident
In January 1974, many reports were received of an enormous bang, tremors that shook the Earth, and a blazing light above the Berwyn Mountains in Wales. As many left their homes when they felt the tremor, they saw a blinding light on the mountainside.
Some people thought that a plane had crashed into the mountain. However, others described the light as a “pulsating orange-and-red glow.” When police searched the area, nothing was found, leading certain people to believe that a UFO crash had been covered up.
According to the official explanation, a meteorite had coincidentally crashed into Earth when an earthquake occurred. While this seems logical, many skeptics continue to believe that something else took place on the mountain that night.
2 The Untersberg Portals
Among the Berchtesgaden Alps on the Germany-Austria border lies the Untersberg mountain. It is one of the most mysterious mountains in the world—with legends of Roman emperors buried deep within its bowels, lost civilizations living in its chasms, and strange beasts prowling its forested surface.
It is said that these legends drew the attention of Adolf Hitler. Allegedly, he built a house on a nearby mountain and observed the Untersberg through high-power telescopes.
Many visitors to the Untersberg have reported missing time and waking up on another part of the mountain. Sometimes, the distances involved are incredibly long and could not have been traveled in the time lost.
People have suggested that this phenomenon is due to alien abductions, time warps, or portals to other worlds. More logical explanations state that people are ill, dehydrated, or falling into a partial sleep as they walk, which leads them to believe that they have been teleported.
The Austrian writer Stan Wolf claims to have gone up the mountain with a friend to search for these time slips. They reported finding areas on the mountain where their watches would run faster or slower than usual.
Wolf also claims that he found a group of men living in a cave who told him that they were SS soldiers from World War II. They supposedly had not aged and believed that the war had only ended recently.
Wolf attributes the time anomalies to black crystals called the “Gems of Dominion” that were given to a group of Knights Templar by a god. These gems could slow down time and provide answers to secrets. Wolf also believes that many portals to other dimensions are on the mountain, explaining why people go missing up there.
Could these far-fetched theories reflect some truth or are they purely the work of fiction? We may never know. But there is a reason so many strange happenings take place on the Untersberg, a reason that may never be understood by humans.
1 Black Mountain
Black Mountain can be found in Queensland, Australia, 25 kilometers (16 mi) from Cooktown. The mountain is famous for strange occurrences such as disappearances, unidentified creatures roaming the mountain at night, and shadowy figures. The most reported one is the ghost of a medicine man standing on the boulders that cover the surface.
Stories are told of herdsmen missing with entire herds of cattle, plane compasses disrupted when passing over, and unsuspecting travelers dragged into the mountain by spectral hands.
It is also said that animals are often afraid to go near the mountain, with some halting and some attempting to turn around. While this may be caused by the distinctive smell of the mountain, others think that the animals can sense an evil presence and try to stay away.
There are also tales of carnivorous mountain chambers that digest anything that wanders into the wrong cave. A large number of locals suspect that the mountain has huge underground caverns that host an alien civilization that built the mountain. This is widely speculated due to the mountain’s slightly artificial appearance.
Like so many others, this mountain harbors an array of unexplained mysteries, most of which will likely never be solved. However, it may be best not to know the answers as the truth may be too dark to handle.
I’m Joe, a researcher of ancient knowledge and the unexplained. I am the author of the popular truck driver stories on Reddit’s r/nosleep.