Expressing Things Without Mincing Words

Tag: Mysteries of India

The Unfortunate Ship Mary Celeste

For more than 100 years, many attempts have been being made to unravel the great mystery of American ship Mary Celeste. This 150-year-old incident is a subject of great curiosity among people till today.

Newspaper cover, Mary Celeste Arizona Republic. License: Fallen in the open (Public domain)

On 7th November, 1872, Mary Celeste, a 282-ton ship, set off from New York port to Genoa in Italy. The ship’s cargo contained 1700 barrels of industrial alcohol, which cost $35000 that time. On board were 10 people, which included ship’s Captain Benjamin Briggs, his wife Sarah, their 2-year-old daughter Sophia and 7 crew members.

About a month later, on December 5, Mary Celeste was found adrift 400 miles from Santa Maria’s Azore Islands. It was first sighted by David Morehouse, captain of a British ship Dei Gratia. What was surprising that there was not a single person present on the ship among those 10 people.

So where did all those people go? Various theories from North African pirates to insurance scam to sea monster to explosion due to industrial alcohol to mutiny among crew members ranged.

Image by Noupload from Pixabay

But neither there was any sign of any kind of violence nor the cargo was missing. This rejected the possibility of piracy and violence among crew members. In the same way, other theories were dismissed due to lack of concrete evidences.

According to experts, the strongest possibility was of a sea storm. The last entry in the ship’s log was made on 25th November at 5 a.m. Captain Briggs was a very rational and experienced person. A person like him could have never made the decision of abandoning the ship without any strong reason. And if it was so then what happened that day?

When Mary Celeste was found, there was several feet water in its cargo compartment and its lifeboat was also missing. Moreover, there was no damage to the ship and it had food items and water available for the next 6 months. But the ship’s papers and Captain Briggs’ navigational instruments were missing. So, does this mean Captain Briggs ordered to leave the ship only after sighting land. If yes, then why?

Many reasons were considered for that. The night before the ship’s last log entry, Mary Celeste had to face a severe storm. Captain Briggs’s estimation of proximity of land proved to be wrong due to faulty marine chronometer.

Still, these two reasons were not enough for an experienced captain like Briggs to abandon the ship.

During investigations, it came to light that Mary Celeste had carried coals in its previous journey. Apart from this, the ship underwent massive repairs. Coal dust and construction debris damaged its pumps. With the inoperative pumps, it became very difficult for Captain Briggs to ascertain the water level in ship’s hull only by seeing it. In that situation, Briggs did not have any other way to know if the ship would drown or not.

Thus, rough weather, misapprehension of sighting land and threat of ship’s sinking would have made Captain Briggs to abandon Mary Celeste. It might be possible that the boat they aboard would have met some accident resulting in the death of all of them.

However, there is still no consensus of opinion on what happened to the unfortunate people aboard Mary Celeste. That’s why even after 150 years, attempts are still being made to know about the fate of Mary Celeste’s passengers.

Aleya Ghost Lights

A marshy land in the middle of deserted jungles and a mysterious flickering light over it, which has created a sense of terror among people since a long time. You might encounter these lights in the jungles of Sundarbans in West Bengal.

Courtesy: misterbharat

These lights often emerge in the marshy regions of West Bengal and Bangladesh and prove to be a messenger of death for many people. Famous as Aleya ghost lights or light of ghosts, their name is enough to send shivers down local residents’ spine.

People of the area believe that these lights are nothing but the haunting spirits of fishermen who were killed here due to some reasons while fishing. According to them, whoever sees these lights they either lose their way or die after some days. What is interesting is that these lights are seen only at night, that too in remote, secluded places.


Fishermen of these area have claimed to see these lights. Many times, the corpses of fishermen have been found here. It is believed that whoever chases these lights either drowns or lose mental balance.


As per them, some spirits kill fishermen by leading them astray while some guides them to correct direction. Though, local administration has refused to see it as a paranormal event. It might be possible that a person would lose way and eventually drown in the marsh.


Not only in Bengal, these mysterious lights are also seen in many cities of UK, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Australia along with North and South America. Here, these are known as will-o’-the-wisp or jack-o’-lantern. In these countries, these lights are considered to be related to hidden treasures.

Whereas, scientists attributed this phenomenon to theories like ionization of methane or geological faulting on marshy lands.

Whatever may be the reason, the mystery of these lights have remained unsolved in Bengal till today. What do you think?

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