Even today, with satellite technology and GPS mapping, the world’s jungles remain mysterious and dangerous places, as the following true stories will testify.
Disappearance of Michael Rockerfeller
In 1961 at the age of 23 Michael Rockerfeller embarked on an expedition to study the Asmat tribe of New Guinea. On November 17th the canoe he was travelling in with Dutch anthropologist Rene Wassing capsized in the middle of the river, three miles from shore. Believing he could swim to safety and get help, he left Wassing clutching the capsized boat, and was never seen again. Despite and lengthy and intensive search his body was never found. Speculation was rife: did he drown? Get eaten by wild animals? Did he make it to shore only to be killed and eaten by the cannibalistic Asmat tribe? Despite exhaustive investigations, to this day the Rockerfeller family have found nothing to conclusively prove their son’s fate.
Stone Balls of Costa Rica
Discovered in the 1930’s during jungle clearing in the Diquis Delta, the stone spheres of Costa Rica have so far defied analysis. Over 300 of them in various sizes were discovered, some just a few centimetres in diameter, some measuring over two meters and weighing over 16 tons. They are certainly not natural in origin, being almost perfectly spherical, but how or why they got to where they were remains an unsolved mystery. Some were found in straight or curved lines, triangles or parallelograms, suggesting alignment with the earth’s magnetic forces. Some suggested that there is gold hidden within them, but although several of them have been destroyed no gold has been found.
The Boiling River of Peru
Deep in the heart of Amazonian Peru is the world’s largest thermal river. Four miles long, up to 80 feet wide and 16 feet deep, It runs at temperatures over 200°F – hot enough to kill you should you fall in. Thermal rivers are not unknown in nature, but the mystery of why this river is so hot remains. Scientists have yet to find the source of the heat; there are no geothermal systems to feed it, and the sheer volume of water defies explanation. The current working hypothesis is that hot geothermal water is pouring in from fault zones or cracks in the earth, heating the river up, but its true origins are as yet unknown.
Lost Dutch Girls of Panama
On April 1st 2014, two young Dutch tourists, Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon, disappeared while hiking the Pianista Trail near Boquete, Panama. For months there was no sign of them but Lisanne’s backpack was found. In it were a camera and both girls’ phones. It soon became apparent that both phones had been used many times to make emergency calls over several days. On the camera there were over 90 shots taken in darkness and deep in the jungle over a week after they first went missing. A renewed search eventually found both girls’ remains scattered along a river bank but the precise details of what happened to Kris and Lisanne will probably never be known.