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The 20 Coolest Unsolved Mysteries in History

By Becky Ferreira Sep 18, 2013

10 of 21

The Library of Alexandria's Full Collection

The Library of Alexandria was where all the cool kids of classic civilization hung out for eight straight centuries. It was Nerd Central in the ancient world, packed with about a million scrolls. Poetry, philosophy, science, history, drama — you name it, this library had it. Then one dude, ironically named Peter the Reader, burned the thing to the ground like the giant party pooper he was.

Imagine what the world would have been like if the untold wealth of information this library contained had survived. We'd probably be building space Parthenons on Mars by now. The library's full contents are unfortunately a mystery that will never be solved, but you can check out our list of seminal works we do know were burned from the library here. It's...quite painful to read. For example, Aristarchus of Samos totally figured out the Earth revolves around the Sun in the 3rd Century BCE, and his proof was in the library's collection. But we'll never know how Aristarchus discovered such a revolutionary breakthrough all those millennia ago, and that is a big, fat suckball.

Tags: history, slideshows, puzzles, mysteries, unsolved mysteries

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About the Author
Becky Ferreira

Becky Ferreira is a writer, performer, and raptor based in New York.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.

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