Persona (19)

Still alive ?
Who was the famous playwright poet ?
A murderous plot disguised as suicide ?
Her Disappearance
Poisoned ?
The mysteries of the Third Reich
The prince of darkness
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The assassination of John F Kennedy
The Sinner Denigrated by the Church
The Predictions of Michel de Nostredame
Who is Behind The Murders ?
Has She Risen ?
Eustache Dauger
The Eternal Saga
Ogre or Bluebeard ?
The Child Who Came From None
Premonitorial Signs Announced His Death ?
Has He Existed ?

Science (10)

The Disappearance
Are we alone ?
Who are our ancestors ?
Fiction or Reality ?
The Practitioner of Yoga
Are Black Holes Time Breaches?
Where is the Cemetery ?
Do Stars Dictate Our Destiny ?
500 KM of Geoglyphs

Ufology (3)

UFO crash in New Mexico
The Most Secret Military Zone In The World
Extraterrestrials Live Among Us

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The Sixth Sense of People
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Mysterious Place (8)

The Moai of Rapa Nui
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Magical City
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Ayers Rock

Egypt (7)

What killed the young pharaoh ?
What Secret Hides the Legendary Monument ?
A Monument That Defies Time
Bitten By A King Cobra?
What Has Become Of The Beautiful Queen Of Egypt ?
Assassinated By His Womens ?
The Books Written By The Gods

Cryptozoology (10)

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Voodoo and Golems - Myth ?
Serial Killer of the Eighteenth Century ?

Strange Phenomenon (9)

Mysterious disappearances
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Spiritism and Ghosts
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The Route Without Gravity ?
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Bible and Religion (11)

Who Wrote It ?
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The Dead Sea Scrolls
And The Star of Bethlehem
Where Is It ?
The Sources Of The Arcanes

Magic (4)

Grimoire and Rituals
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Mediator Between the Spiritual and Material World
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Monument (5)

Did They Really Exist ?
What Did It Look Like ?
Has It Existed ?
The Fury of Building

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The Lost Continent
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The Lost City
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The Book That Lit The Pyres
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The Lost Colony

Relic (2)

An Endless Quest

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The Oldest Civilization of Meso America
The Decline of the Mayan Civilization
The People of Amma
The Celtic's Spiritual Elite
A Kingdom Without Men

Conspiracy Theory (1)

The Conspiracy Theory

Elephant Graveyard

A European Myth ?

Elephant Cemetery

The legend of elephant graveyards comes from European explorers who went hunting for ivory in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the myth, old elephants in the midst of nasty caries and sensing death approaching would instinctively go to a hidden place to give up the ghost. These mythical elephant graveyards would abound in dead pachyderms tusks ivory and became in the nineteenth century an obsession for elephant hunters coming from Europe hoping to make a fortune.


Elephants tusk ivory, a prized stuff

Elephant Tusks Ivory

For a long time, ivory has been a highly sought-after material by human beings, which uses it mainly for sculpture as well as for the production of various goods such as piano keys and billiard balls. Ivory is also in Christian religion a purist emblem associated with the Virgin Mary. Mammoth and elephant tusks are a prime target, but since the prohibition of trade, poachers have been turning more and more to narwhal horns, a species of marine unicorn, as the primary source of ivory. Narwhal horns would have wonderful properties and were used in medieval times to detect food poisoning.

David Livingstone - Africa

A European and African legend

Among stories that feed the myth of secret elephant graveyards are those of David Livingstone, a Scottish-born missionary and cartographer who has been on safari across Africa. Livingstone spent many years studying African relief and his stories are mostly at the origin of the legend of elephant graveyards.

Sub-Saharan beliefs tell that elephants, and especially old sages, would unconsciously be led to a burial place known only to pachyderms. It is on this vast isolated ground that tired elephants would lay in order to die.


Rational explanations

Elephant Tusk and bones

The presence of several carcasses of elephants piled up in one place can be explained in various ways and the existence of authentic graveyards remains highly controversial. Indeed, a pile of bones can be explained by poaching but also by natural disasters and by quicksand. But the most likely explanation for those alleged elephant graveyards is that the teeth of pachyderms wear out with age and form large cavities. Like rhinos, elephants would reach streams of muddy water to soothe the pain. They often die of hunger and given the arid climate of the savannah, many elephants would go to the same swamps, which would explain that sometimes one find piles of bones still containing tusks.

Elephant graveyards in Siberia

By the turn of the 18th century, Siberia would have become extremely popular for its many elephant graveyards dotted with mammoth skeletons. Ivory is so abundant in this region of the world that it has maintained European trade alone for almost a millennium. What is more, in the 1960s around Kiev, whole villages were discovered built from tusks and elephant bones.