Have you ever lost something in your room and had it turn up in, say, the kitchen trash can? These trivial — yet trippy — occurrences are enough to pretty much blow our minds and have us calculatedly retracing steps all day, like we're detectives who were just assigned to solve our own mysteries.
These stories are a bit more baffling than that — or, we should say, most of them are. From a library card disappearing right before the librarian's eyes to inexplicable visits from strangers who leave photos of themselves behind, the internet came together on reddit to share incidents so confusing, they've been trying to account for them for years.
Read on for 25 stories so mysterious, they'll leave you searching for your magnifying glass (hint: it's not where you last placed it).
1. We demand an explanation!
I decided to trial a baby gymnastics with my 1 year old. She is having fun and I decide to get my phone to take a few photos. I notice it’s not with my bag but I don’t panic. I’d probably left it in the car. I know I had it in the car because I’d been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack. I finish the class and walk to my car that was parked parallel to the gym. I put the baby in her seat and call out ‘hey Siri,’ a long-established trick I use to help me find my phone. Siri doesn’t answer. I’m slightly more concerned than before, but I still get in the car, still expecting to see the car connect to my phone's bluetooth, because it’s in the car, right? I start driving and nothing happens. Now I know my phone is absolutely not in the car. I was already in the car so I pull into my mum's house (who lives two mins from the gym), frantically calling my mobile. To my relief, a woman answers, saying I left my phone at the gym. I thank her profusely, saying I’ll come right back and collect it. She says ‘okay!’ I drive back down the gym, walking in looking slightly embarrassed. The coach smiles and says ‘forget something?’ I laugh and say ‘my phone.’ Then she says ‘yeah go walk around and look for it.’ I paused. What? ‘But, I just called it and a lady said it was found at the gym?’ The coach is as confused as I am, saying no phone was handed in and no one had entered the gym since I left. She called out to the two other mums who were there, asking if they had any information. They didn’t.
So now I’m really confused. I borrowed the gym's phone to call my phone again. It rings, but no one answers.
I must have stood at the gym desk for five minutes just trying to process what was happening before I ask the coach if I could borrow her phone to look at ‘Find my phone.’ She hands over her phone, and I punch in my details.
The compass spins around a few times then stops. I see my phone on the map. Close by. In fact, only three streets away... AT ANOTHER GYM. I thank the coach, drive to the other gym (one I had never entered in my life) and see my phone sitting on the counter. I asked the receptionist who handed it in but she says she doesn’t really know. How did it get to the other gym? Where was it found? Who found it and why didn’t they drop it in to the first gym (since it HAD to have been lost on the sidewalk from the car to the first gym)? I still don’t know how it got to the other gym, or where it was found. I don’t think I ever will.
2. They disappeared just as suddenly as they appeared.
My childhood home in Utah was right behind a farm with regular farm things; horses, chickens, goats, etc.
One day a peacock shows up out of nowhere and makes the farm and our backyard his own home. He cries and cries for weeks. Later, a peahen shows up. They have babies, the babies have babies, loads of peafowl all over. They became part of my everyday life. My chores were to feed the peafowl our cat food, and scrape their poop off the deck everyday. This goes on for 8ish years.
Then, just as suddenly as Peter (the peacock) and Petra (the peahen) appeared, they all disappeared.
No one in the neighborhood had any idea where they came from or where they went.
3. This person's asking all the serious questions.
Is my dad really my dad?
When I was conceived, my mother and her then boyfriend were having some pretty bad relationship issues (he cheated on her with his ex-wife). She went on a road trip to another state with some girlfriends to clear her head and blow off steam. While there, she runs into another guy she knew from back home. He had a nice car, offered to give her a ride in it, and they spend the night together.
She goes back home and a short while after, she and her then bf make up and resume dating. Shortly after, she finds out she’s pregnant.
The bf wants her to have an abortion (I don’t think he knew about the other guy, however), but she refuses. They end up breaking up sometime during her pregnancy.
She was pretty sure that the guy with the car is the father, but doesn’t know for sure. The ex assumed he was the father, but didn’t really want to fill the daddy-role.
I come into the world and during my second year of life, she writes a letter to the guy with the car (using his mother’s address, as she couldn’t think of how else to contact him since she didn’t know where he was living at the time). She tells him about me and gives him the choice of being in my life or not. We were fine either way. She never got a response.
Fast-forward 13 years. My half-sister (from my mom’s previous marriage) is having a wedding. It’s pretty close to the home of the mother of the guy who had the car. I had heard as much as my mom could tell about him and I really wanted to meet him. She goes to the house, informs his mom of my existence, and leaves our phone number.
He calls later that night and we arrange a meeting for the next day (we lived pretty far away from each other). We met, he was very friendly, and we begin to form a relationship. He claimed he didn’t need a paternity test and believed he was the father. My mom believed it too. He died in a fire about four years later. The last two years of his life we didn’t get to see each other much, but kept in contact through the telephone. My mom died shortly after due to medical issues. I have never heard from her cheating ex bf since I was basically a toddler and I don’t even know if he’s alive.
4. Houdini hangs out in public libraries?
I worked at the public library. I scanned a guy's library card then went to hand it back to him. He saw me start to hand it to him. Our hands were about a foot apart. Then suddenly the card was gone. It never made it into his hand. We were both totally confused, I looked under the computer, desk in weird cracks but never found it.
I still think about it.
5. Is this daughter in cahoots with mom's secret admirer?
I got home one day and my daughter told me a guy had turned up on my doorstep asking for me by name with a huge bunch of flowers. She sent him on his way and didn't even ask for his name. I will never know who my lost love is.
6. Inexplicable meteorology.
When I was little, me and my babysitter were outside and it started to rain.
My babysitter said "watch this" and walked out into the road (no cars).
She lifted her arms to form a T shape, and it started to rain heavier.
She put them down and the rain slowed down.
She put them back up and it poured again.
I'm sure there's a valid explanation, but for now I'm still baffled.
7. Terrifyingly confusing.
Husband went out with some friends. I went to lay down upstairs, took all four dogs with me, closed the bedroom door. About an hour later I’m still scrolling online and hear the front door open. The dogs start going crazy. I hear keys hit the table, heavy footsteps walking up the stairs. The dogs are getting excited, whining, tails wagging, pawing at the door. The footsteps come down the hallway and toward our bedroom door then stop. I wait a few minutes and he still hasn’t come in the bedroom.
All four dogs sitting, staring at the door, tails wagging. I call out “hey! What are you doing? The doors unlocked.” (Sometimes I lock the bedroom door at night) No reply. I yell again, “hey, doors open!” Nothing. I open the bedroom door and the dogs take off through the house, running up and down the stairs. So I go back to the bed to grab my phone and call. I’m thinking maybe he left something in the car and stepped back our to get it? I call his cell, he picks up and I immediately hear the background noise of a bar: music/talking. My heart sank. I knew there was no way in two minutes he made it from home to the bar. I call the dogs, run back in the room and tell him what happened. He rushes home, checks the house and nothing.
I don’t know who came to visit me that night. I was wide awake, and the dogs reacting at the exact times I heard the door open/keys/footsteps only confirms to me that I didn’t imagine it.
8. Mystery playing card?
About a year ago, I found a playing card in my wallet with a scantily clad woman on it. No matter how much prodding I did, my husband and all our friends SWEAR they didn't do it. I still have it in my wallet and occasionally ask friends about it but to this day no one has fessed up.
9. For me, the real mystery involves this emergency axe.
Car followed me home from work late at night, didn't know where the police station was, so I stopped on a dark road near my suburb to make sure he was actually following me, and sure enough he stops behind me. I got out and grabbed the emergency axe out of the truck without even shutting off the car and started walking towards it, and the car sped off.
I was tired and stupid for doing that, but I will never know why or who that was.
10. Did the mom never believe it or was she just too scared of the possibility?
My mom and I were doing something at my grandpa's house while he was out and I was just messing around in the yard. I remember a Mustang coming down the street slow enough to be a bit suspicious. Then they slowed down even more when they started to pass me. So I was just standing there thinking, “What are they doing? This feels weird.”
I became overwhelmed with the urge to run inside the garage as fast as I could and a split second after that, the car suddenly reversed very quickly, enough to spin the tires a bit. I darted so fast into the garage and hit the button to close the door. I thought maybe I was just overreacting but as soon as the door closed, someone tried to kick it in and they left a huge dent and messed it up a little bit.
I was freaking out trying to tell my mom what happened, but I think she thought I was being high strung or something.
It was the eeriest feeling I ever had though. I haven’t thought about it in a long time and I’m getting that ‘in the gut’ dread of “something is definitely not right here” just thinking about it.
11. Hello, Brandy.
Fiancé and I come back to our apartment after being away all day. Get in, drop bags off, etc and I walk in the kitchen and there on my counter was a picture of a black girl. It was like a senior portrait with the name “Brandy” on it. My fiancé and I are white and we don’t know anyone named Brandy. I remember unlocking the door, so I know the door was locked and nothing else seemed out of sorts. Just a wallet sized photo. So naturally. I framed it and now Brandy is an unofficial member of our family.
Brandy, if you are out there, we love you. Come visit.
12. The further from home, the more mysterious the encounters.
I was traveling in Italy when two American girls came up to me and started talking excitedly about how they couldn't believe they'd run into me in Rome and wanted to know how my trip had been going, but I had no idea who either of them were. And if you're thinking "it's a prank, bro" they knew specific things about my life and my travels that only someone who knew me would have known. I still have no idea who the hell they were.
13. Decade-old ocular mystery.
When I was a kid, like 7 or 8, I started to randomly see nothing but brown. Like staring at a wall. Usually only on one eye, but not always the same, rarely on both at the same time. Went to several doctors and they did some testing, but nothing came up. As I grew older, there was more time between occurrences, and now I haven't had it in close to 10 years.
Sometimes it still bothers me not knowing [what] that was.
14. Red Hot Chili Peppers? Really?!
My mother died about a dozen years ago. At the funeral home we received a lovely bouquet of flowers with a card from the band The Red Hot Chili Peppers that said "We are saddened to hear of Renate's passing."
We are a humble family from southern Indiana. There is zero chance she ever had any contact with those boys. Is this something they just randomly do? They would have loved her, though. She was the warmest person you could ever hope to know.
15. Disappearing Mario
When I was like 7, I was playing my Gameboy at my grandma's house and I got [upset] that I kept dying in Mario so I took the actual game out and threw it at the wall. I saw the game hit the wall and fall behind the dresser, after moving everything in the room and many years of searching I still look for it and still wonder what happened to it occasionally
16. Maybe someone at the violations office has a crush!
A few years ago I got a citation, and when I went to pay it off ($350) they told me it was already paid for. Asked everyone I know, no one claimed they did. I don’t think I’ll ever find out who it was.
17. This makes zero sense whatsoever.
In 2015, I was working on some assignments at home at like 9 a.m. I was sitting at the desk in the living room, doing my work on the computer. I could see directly into my house-mate's room from the desk, but since he was asleep the door was shut. The door was slightly raised off the ground so you could see if there's anyone standing behind it (or their feet anyway).
Suddenly the door starts shaking and rattling as if someone is trying to demolish it. There's no one behind it. I'm just looking at it with my mouth agape and then, a few terrifying minutes later my roommate opens the door and asks me "dude [what] are you doing".
So I go, "It wasn't me, I'm sat over here" and we both are flummoxed to this day. [What] caused that?
18. How does one even get there?
The time I woke up on top of my refrigerator.
I don’t remember exactly how old I was, sometime in my early teens, but it’s exactly what I said; I woke up on top of my refrigerator.
I had been sleeping up there curled up like a cat, and to this day I have no idea how I got up there.
There was nobody home at the time who would/could have put me up there while I was sleeping, and there’s no way I could’ve climbed up there unassisted.
But there were no chairs or stools or anything around the fridge I could’ve used to climb up, and I obviously couldn’t have used one and put it back while I was still up there. I also had no prior history of sleepwalking whatsoever, and to my knowledge I’ve never sleepwalked again since.
To this day, I have absolutely no idea what happened, and it still bugs me.
19. The 3AM detail adds a bit of creepy to this already confusing tale.
Someone once came to my parents door at 3 a.m., claiming they ran away from home because they were being abused by their father and we were the only people to answer. My parents check that person into a shelter and funded them for weeks. Eventually they left the shelter and returned home. Then came out and said that my parents made the whole thing up and that their family is perfect. THEN sent a huge mailer out to hundreds of people saying my dad is [a sexual abuser] (he’s a local figure so it was a big deal). To this day I have no idea if that family is psychotic or somehow manipulated their child. Blows my mind.
20. Maybe they saw an actual dragon-dragon.
Definitely the time a friend and I saw a dragonfly that had a wingspan of over a foot in the American midwest. It was too big to be real yet it was. We were maybe 12 and this was over 20 years ago. He still remembers as vividly as I do.
21. This *is* mysterious! How does one manage to bed a longtime crush?
On the 4th of July I had a few drinks, then a few more. The next morning I had a black eye, a bunch of $1 bills ($137 worth) and a long-time crush in bed with me.
Neither of us remembers the night before after midnight, none of our friends saw us after midnight, and we both had no text or calls out going after midnight.
It was still one of my best 4ths ever, just with big gaps.
22. I once found $500 in a house I was moving into, so perhaps I just solved it.
When I was 12, I was working under the table jobs and made a lot of money. I hid it in a helmet in my room. I remember taking $20 once. But since then I’ve moved twice and to this day, don’t know where the money is. I had three total hiding spots and can’t remember if I spent it or someone stole it. It was probably $500.
23. This brings toilet paper frustrations to a whole new level.
I moved into a new house in July. After unloading all the things I am the owner of, I realized that I had neglected some basics like toilet paper and dish detergent. I went out and stocked up on a few things, including a giant pack of my favorite TP with the bears on it, only to realize that my mom had picked some up for me while I was out.
This giant pack of TP became a thorn in my side as I moved into a house that was a complete gut job and every way I turned I was tripping up over boxes and such. There wasn’t a shelf or cupboard big enough to store it, so I was always throwing it somewhere.
Cue the day I need it. Where is this monstrosity? NOWHERE. I search every nook and cranny of my house, which has become a lot more organized over the past couple of weeks. I search, I ask friends and family. It’s gone. I go shopping and try to forget about it.
I still look for that giant pack of toilet paper. I can’t forget. It haunts me. HOW DOES A HUMONGOUS PACK OF TOILET PAPER DISAPPEAR??
And this, I feel, will be the greatest mystery of my life.
24. Sounds at least like an *advanced* calculus teacher to us.
My calculus teacher just kind of materializes out of nowhere. I know what direction he walks toward the class from so I've stood out there and looked, but he doesn't come from anywhere, he is just walking towards class all of a sudden with a cup of coffee. It's like he lives in his own pocket dimension or something.