13 Phenomena That Science Has No Explanation For

unexplained phenomena science1. The Placebo Effect

Isotonic saline solution is no less potent than morphine anaesthetic, if it is injected after repeated use of the drug into a patient without telling about the substitution. But after adding naloxone, which blocks the effect of morphine, to the saline solution, the anaesthetic effect disappears. Science does not know why it happens. There are many other examples of changes in the physiological and psychological state of patients after receiving a neutral substance administered under the pretence of being an effective remedy.

2. The Horizon Phenomenon

It is believed that our universe is 14 billion years old, and the age within its end points, which can be observed, is 28 billion years. It was found that the temperature of the background radiation is the same everywhere. To reach this temperature, it would require expansion of the universe to its current size in 10-33 seconds! Did this actually happen? Uniform “heating” remains an anomaly for science.

3. Ultra-intense cosmic radiation

Cosmic rays are protons travelling at nearly the light speed (or heavy atomic nuclei.) One of their sources is the creation of a supernova. The maximum energy of cosmic rays is equal to 5×1019 electron volts (Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuzmin Limit) if they were not created in our galaxy. Ten years ago, particles with higher energy limits and which did not originate in our galaxy have been discovered. Whether the measurements were incorrect, or this is a special case of Einstein’s theory of relativity, but ultra-intense cosmic radiation exists, without any explanation of its origin.

4. Belfast homeopathy results

Pharmacologist Madeleine Ennis decided to prove the absolute falsehood of homeopathy, but instead came up with a stunning result: no matter how much a solution with a certain drug is diluted, it continues to have medicinal properties. Even when it is contrary to common sense, when not a single drug molecule is left in the solution. Or maybe some undetectable traces of the drug.

5. Dark Matter

The phenomenon of gravity is described in detail in every physics textbook. But textbooks do not reveal the fact that if scientific theories are correct, the universe may fall apart. This is because spinning galaxies do not have enough mass for their gravitational attraction, which would create centripetal forces. Where is an explanation for this discrepancy? Perhaps there is “dark matter”, which could account for 90% of the mass of the universe, but it has not been found yet.

6. Martian Methane

If the soil on Mars emits methane, then there must be life present. But despite the CH4 is present, there is no life. Devices sent to Mars from Earth have proven this, not a single organic molecule was detected. Scientists have one more opportunity to find life by finding “chiral” molecules (they are mirror images of each other) and measuring their ratios. If the proportion of right-handed (left-handed) molecules is greater than the proportion of left-handed (right-handed) molecules, life on the red planet may exist. Or existed in the past.

7. Tetra-Neutrons

Four years ago, during an experimental study, tetra-neutrons were discovered: four neutrons that are connected into a system. This is contrary to the Pauli’s exclusion principle: even two protons or neutrons in a single system cannot be characterized by similar quantum properties, much less four of them. In addition, nuclear forces cannot even retain two single neutrons. Neutron stars support the fact of tetra-neutrons existence, but the existence of the entire universe does not seem to support this phenomenon. Because it would have collapsed, long before expanding, if such particles existed for some time.

8. The Pioneer Anomaly

Two spacecrafts Pioneer-10 and Pioneer-11 sent to space back in the 70’s were supposed to exit the solar system and be forgotten about. But acceleration of an unknown nature, measuring less than a nanometer per second squared, altered the Pioneer-10’s trajectory by 400 000 kilometers from its original course. The same thing happened to the Pioneer-11. Some possible causes (such as software errors, the solar wind or fuel leakage) have already been ruled-out. Scientists continue to speculate what caused the observed acceleration.

9. Dark Energy

In 1998 it became known that the universe is expanding at an increasing rate. But according to the postulates of modern physics, the rate must be declining. One possible explanation is dark energy (a hypothetical form of energy that has negative pressure and evenly fills the entire space of the Universe), which we really do not know much about.

unexplained phenomena science10. Kuiper Belt

There is a cluster of asteroids near Pluto, which suddenly ends with an absolutely empty space. One of the hypotheses suggests the existence of the tenth planet which had cleared this space. But it has not been detected yet, because studying this region of the solar system from Earth is problematic. By the year 2015, the New Horizons probe sent to this mysterious part of space, may help explain this phenomenon.

11. A signal from space

In 1977, the American astronomer Jerry R. Ehman recorded an unusual signal from the Sagittarius constellation which was 37 seconds in duration. The radiation surge had a narrow frequency band of around 1420 MHz. All transmissions of this frequency are prohibited by the international agreement. Natural sources of radiation have much broader frequency bands. This mysterious source of the signal remains unknown.

12. Inconstant constants

The light from quasars on its way of up to billions of years passes through interstellar clouds containing metals (iron, nickel, chromium). In 1997, when a study was conducted, it was found that the cloud has absorbed some of the photons of light from the quasar. But not the ones which were expected to be absorbed. The only reasonable explanation is that the constant for this thin structure, called alpha, had a different value at the time when the light has passed through the cloud. But alpha determines how light interacts with matter, and cannot change. Its value depends on the speed of light, Planck’s constant and the charge of the electron. Which of these constants has changed is not known.

13. Thermonuclear fusion

Experiments have shown that immersion of palladium electrodes in heavy water (which has oxygen atom bound to the hydrogen isotope deuterium) can generate enormous energy output. Perhaps deuterium nuclei under the electrostatic force between the electrodes are forced inside molecular lattice of palladium allowing nuclei to fuse with a significant release of energy. But science postulates that fusion at room temperature is not possible! All attempts to explain these phenomena result in more questions than answers.

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Anna LeMind

Anna LeMind

Anna is the founder and lead editor of the website Learning-mind.com. She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.


  1. CehdHab August 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    The HPBW means the length of time that it took the signal to rise from a power (signal-strength) level of 50% of the maximum to the maximum and back down to the 50% level. Some persons have misunderstood this value of 37 seconds by declaring that the “Wow!” signal lasted only 37 seconds. That is incorrect! The signal lasted about 72 seconds, because we had 6 data points (6EQUJ5) with a separation between data successive points of 12 seconds (hence, 6 times 12 = 72).

  2. rudresh agadi March 24, 2014 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    it is a good site and helps persons with inquisitive, learning mind and I hope this will help all.

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13 Phenomena That Science Has No Explanation For