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The 20 Coolest Unsolved Mysteries in History

Who the Hell was Kaspar Hauser?

On May 28, 1828, a weird teenager stumbled onto the streets of Nuremberg with a letter addressed to a military captain. He could barely talk, walk, or use his fingers, and was wowed by simple sensations such as cooked food and fine clothes. The kid was given a piece of paper and pen and to everyone's surprise printed "Kaspar Hauser" in mature writing.

He was adopted into a family and educated somewhat, eventually being able to communicate that he had spent his entire childhood locked up in a dungeon. That was consistent with his behavior as a feral child, and his increased comfort at night time because he could see better in the dark. But the real mystery is why Kaspar was stabbed to death on December 14, 1833 — after two other unsuccessful attempts on his life. The theory is that he may have been high born, and had been locked away at a young age and eventually murdered so as to be taken out of consideration for a royal title. This is one of those stories that can't be easily summed up — take some time to research it yourself, from Kaspar's considerable artistic talent to his hauntingly poetic last words, "I didn't do it myself."

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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