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The 20 Coolest Unsolved Mysteries in History

Robin Hood's Identity

Humans love an outlaw with a heart of gold, and Robin Hood is the ultimate incarnation of that archetype. As a society, we feel the need to make a movie about this guy every decade or so, and books inspired by his story come out in droves each year. Yet we have hardly any idea how the legend of Robin Hood came to rise to such cultural prominence, or whether a real Robin Hood ever existed. He is thought to have been a contemporary of the crazy Plantagenet dynasty — a friend to Richard Lionheart and a foe to Richard's tax-hungry brother Prince John. But the historical evidence puts him all over the map, and several men could have been the inspiration for the legend. Unfortunately, we will never know if Robin Hood was an actual outlaw in the woods of Sherwood Forest, or if he was an amalgam of hopes and dreams for peasants living in unimaginably difficult times. We do know, however, that Prince John was kind of a scumbag. So there's that.

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

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Becky Ferreira

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

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