15 of the Most Shocking Historical Photos You Must See

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By: Lydia Iseh | Published: Jun 04, 2023

Photos, especially old ones, usually have interesting stories behind them, but some don’t. A few of them defy explanations and have remained a subject of controversy to date.

We’ve put together a gallery of some of the most mysterious historical photos around. These photos will have you racking your brain for answers. Let’s see if you can find any!

The Mystery of the Babushka Lady

This photo was taken just moments before the passing of former American president John F. Kennedy. The identity of the scarfed lady who appears in the photo has remained unknown to date. 

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Source: Reddit

After the tragic incident occurred, the woman, who is now popularly referred to as the Babushka Lady, remained at the spot and continued filming the scene even after almost everyone fled. Appeals from the FBI for her to provide her footage still haven’t been honored.

The Big Secret of Great Wine

The consumption of wine dates back thousands of years. So, in case you are wondering how wine was preserved in the days before colored television, the photo below provides your answer.

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Source: Wikipedia

However, what remains a mystery is how these gigantic wine vessels were made. What we know is that this picture was taken in the late 1800s, these pots were lined with beeswax, and they were completely buried in the ground.

A Strange Aquatic Creature from 1964

This photo shows a yet-to-be-identified sea creature beneath the water off Hook Island, Australia. A couple sighted the strange black and gigantic creature as it moved close to them. 

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Source: BahweepGragnahWheepNinibong/Imgur

Thankfully, they managed to take several photographs of the animal, which is estimated to be around 80 ft in length. Nothing of the sort has been seen again to date.

Is There Such Thing as a Human Deer?

This photo depicts a smart and stylish kid from back in the day with an odd head adornment—deer antlers.

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Source: Imgur

What if they were attached to his head? Could a deer be hiding behind his back? Or what if the horns are his? We have more questions than answers.

Funny, But Not That Funny

If this photo was taken in the past two decades, we could have concluded that it was Photoshopped. Unfortunately, it wasn’t, so we have to keep guessing about it. 

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Source: Dankaay/Reddit

Several aspects of this photo seem weird. From the possibility of holding another human in his palm to the small stature of the young, old man. Who can unravel these mysteries?

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Little Girl Enjoys an Unusual Ride

This little girl should have been super proud of herself when she grew older and saw this photo. Not many adults would be brave enough to stand on the back of a crocodile – even a toothless one – for even a second. 

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Source: @theAmericanJou1/Twitter

However, there could be uncertainly about whether this croc was an actual live one or a dummy. Whether it was or not, the young lady seems happy with her ride.

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A Man Ahead of His Time

The reopening of the South Forks Bridge in Fountain Lake, Arkansas, took place in 1941. As expected, an event of this magnitude attracted a sizable crowd that took lots of photos. 

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Source: gamophyte/Reddit

One of these pictures caught the eye of viewers because it had a man wearing clothes that were way ahead of the time. This man could easily pass for a tourist in 2020. Many believe that he was a time traveler. 

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An Elderly Woman and Her Mysterious Bodyguard

At the time this photo was taken, this elderly woman was mourning her husband, who had just passed away. However, the photo makes it difficult to believe because the husband appears to be right behind her like a guardian angel. 

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Source: Lutch Green/YouTube

There have been several explanations for her husband’s post-mortem photo appearance. The most convincing is that the camera had created a second image while trying to focus on her.

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Mysterious Company in One Girl's Portrait

Sometime in May 1964, professional photographer Jim Templeton took some photos of his adorable daughter while they were out having a good time. It was shocking to see an image of a strange figure just above his daughter’s head in one of the photographs. 

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Source: PD/YouTube

Mr. Templeton was sure that there was no one else in the vicinity besides two elderly women in a car quite far away. No one knows how this mystery figure found its way into a photograph. To spice up your curiosity, the authenticity of the photo has been verified.

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Three Teens Spot a Shy Visitor

What was meant to be a normal photo of three friends in the woods soon turned out to be an object of speculation. 

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Source: Pikabur

When the three friends took a closer look at the photograph back home, they discovered they had some strange company lurking behind them and spying on their activities. Seems like something straight out of a movie. 

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Mars' Surface Unveils a Surprise

The planet of Mars is full of surprises. One of the most recent was a discovery made by NASA during the Curiosity Rover expedition in 2019—an image taken of Mars showed a mass of light from a distance.

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Source: bOyle/Twitter

Space experts aren’t sure what it could be. However, some believed that it looked like particles of light from other planets called cosmic rays.

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Documentation of the Last Tasmanian Tiger

Only a few people are likely to recognize the animal in the image below. That’s because it is a rare 1933 photo of the last known Tasmanian Tiger. 

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Source: LividBit/Reddit

The Tasmanian tiger is extinct now, but this photo reminds us all of its existence. Even all these years later the animal remains a source of wonder to all.

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A One Hundred-Fifty-Year-Old Photo of the Quagga

Have you heard of the Quagga? The animal partly looks like a zebra and partly a horse. Precisely, the animal is a subspecies of the zebra.

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Source: Wikipedia

This photo is the only way we can remember what this animal looked like. The photo was taken close more than 150 years ago (1870) at the Regent’s Park Zoo in London. 

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A Rare View of Albert Einstein’s Office

If you are one of the multitudes who hold Albert Einstein in high esteem, you may wish he were still around. This photo was taken on the day he passed.

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Source: MrAlek360/Reddit

The image gives us a better understanding of the kind of man he was. The picture shows the thinker’s hard work, passion, and dedication to the service of humanity.

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An Astronaut Left His Family Photo on the Moon

When Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke walked on the moon in April 1972, he made history as the youngest to ever do it—he was just 36 at the time. 

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Source: Tumblr

Besides his footprints, the young astronaut left something else behind on the powdery surface of the moon. His family photo remains on the extra-terrestrial wonder to date. He didn’t forget to take a photo of the portrait as proof.

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