Looking for mysteries involving the stuff found on mountains
December 14, 2017 6:30 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for mysteries that AREN'T murders that involve stuff found on, are a part of or even involve the whole mountain itself. Like "okay that's random. What's THAT doing on this mountain?" "No idea." Or "why did THAT form that way? No? No idea either? Okay." Ideally still unsolved.
posted by rileyray3000 to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
It's been several years since I read it and I have a terrible memory, but I'm pretty certain the beginning (and perhaps several later parts) of Darwin's Radio involves a mysterious discovery in a mountain cave that drives the rest of the plot of the book (which is otherwise largely not mountain based, I think).
posted by phunniemee at 7:25 AM on December 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Marlen Haushofer's The Wall is about a woman who finds herself behind an invisible wall in a mountain lodge when most of the rest of the world has perished, and how she lives her life without other people.
posted by jabes at 8:04 AM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Are you looking for mystery fiction, or real life examples? These two threads on Reddit might have instances of what you are looking for, if you're interested in nonfiction.

HIKERS and BACKPACKERS of Reddit. What is the weirdest or creepiest thing you have found while hiking?

Travellers/hikers of Reddit, what's the creepiest thing you've encountered whilst out in the wilderness?

Also, the Dyatlov Pass incident, which is really strange.
posted by zoetrope at 8:24 AM on December 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

Missing 411 - (there's a documentary movie too) In theory, it's about a coverup in our National Parks over the number of people who go missing under mysterious circumstances. While the book link indicates who the author thinks is responsible, the movie never actually says "Sasquatch"....

(And to any who have hiked in northeast Massachusetts and found an old child's doll covered in sigils hanging from a tree, I'm very sorry, it was an awkward phase.)
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:31 AM on December 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

Funny that phunniemee mentioned Darwin. On his famous voyage, he discovered rocks with seashells in them at high altitude in the Andes.

And then there is the Ice Man discovered in the Alps.

And the lines found on the high deserts of Peru.
posted by SemiSalt at 12:00 PM on December 14, 2017

Missing 411 is your jam.
posted by jbenben at 12:37 PM on December 14, 2017


The final resting place of Noahs Ark. [citation needed]
posted by Jacen at 1:35 PM on December 14, 2017

The tiny coffins found on Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 5:27 PM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Wall, mentioned above, was originally a German-language novel (I think Austrian), "Die Wand." It's a movie as well, and when I saw it, there was some subtitled German during the setup, but in the version I saw the rest is narrated in English (by the same German actress) except for very few spoken lines, as she has nobody to talk to aloud-- no doubt there is an all-German version as well. Good movie; I'd like to read the book.

"Over Flat Mountain" is a short SF story by Terry Bisson. This link has scans of the Omni Magazine issue in which I first read it, but it's also in his excellent collection, "Bears Discover Fire." In this case, the mountain is the mystery; otherwise it's a story about a trucker and a hitchhiker. During some recent geological event, some part of the central US was rapidly elevated upwards into "Flat Mountain," raising a huge mass of land up over a mile.
posted by Sunburnt at 6:24 PM on December 14, 2017

Oh man, the top comment on that Hikers & Backpackers reddit thread is fucking insane. I was actually just trying to find it again last week and google wasn't coming through for me.

I'd also suggest At The Mountains Of Madness as a classic in this sub genre. It's Lovercraft, so standard disclaimer that he was a bit of a racist shitbag, but the story itself is great.
posted by mannequito at 8:47 PM on December 14, 2017

Hanging coffins in China, Indonesia and the Philippines (previously on the blue)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:15 PM on December 14, 2017

The abominable snowman, aka Yeti, in the Himalayas. There was also a search for a big cat of the tiger/leopard sort. I don't remember how that turned out.

People go missing on Mt. Everest from time to time. This has included some famous climbers who disappeared either without a trace, or leaving some bits of gear behind. Sometimes additional clues or mortal remains have been found years later.

Maybe off topic, but The Great Arc is the story of how India and the Himalayas were first surveyed.

A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain includes descriptions of events in the Alps including the Matterhorn, the Jungfrau, the Rigi-Kulm and Mont-Blanc.
posted by SemiSalt at 8:11 AM on December 15, 2017

"This Mortal Mountain" in Roger Zelazny's The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth, and Other Stories is about a mountain that contains a mystery.
posted by neushoorn at 2:04 PM on December 16, 2017

Response by poster: Well for the record I was looking for real life mysteries but so far this has mainly been that anyway
posted by rileyray3000 at 5:16 PM on December 17, 2017

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