Unexplained disappearances, strange and otherworldly manuscripts, deaths with no known cause — these are the mysteries that have been staples of literary fiction for centuries. But they've also been staples of literary fact: the history of writing is littered with the inexplicable and the just plain weird. Usually, when we're reading a mystery book or watching a mystery show, we can count on some kind of ending that ties up most of the loose ends, even if the conclusion isn't totally satisfying (I'm still mad about that finale, Lost). With real life mysteries, though, sometimes we have to accept that we'll just never know what really went down. Here are some of the true literary mysteries that have yet to be solved.
And when I say "true mysteries," I don't just mean unfinished mystery novels. These are frustrating questions that book nerds have asked for generations, without getting any closer to a conclusive answer. The tough pill to swallow with all of these mysteries is that they may never be solved. But if you're looking for inspiration for your next historical fiction novel and/or time travel film, here you go. Sometimes the truth is stranger (and a whole lot messier) than fiction: