THE HOLIDAY: What is the world’s greatest mystery? How one can become famous for being famous? How the empty milk carton is presumed to live in the fridge? What cats actually do all day? Curious Events Day celebrates the great mysteries of the world, possibly even greater ones than the ones I’ve already listed above. More
THE ART: For Curious Events Day, I decided to do a Moleskine illustration based on the unsolved mystery of the Somerton Man, also known as the Tamam Shud Case...
Early on the morning of December 1, 1948, a man was found dead on Somerton Beach in South Australia. The man carried no identification, and no obvious signs of death were apparent. An autopsy turned up little, but it is believed the cause of death was an undetectable poison. The man was in peak physical condition, aged approximately 40–45 years old, clean shaven, and well dressed in a fashionable suit and tie. His hands & nails showed no signs of manual labor. On his person he carried a thin aluminum comb, a pack of Army Club cigarettes (one cigarette was tucked behind his ear and a half-smoked cigarette was resting on his collar), a book of Bryant & May's matches, a half-chewed pack of Juicy Fruit gum, a used bus ticket from the city, and an unused 2nd class rail ticket from Adelaide to Henley Beach. Found in a hidden compartment of his trousers was a small rolled up scrap of paper with the inscription "Tamam Shud," which, translated from Persian, means "ended" or "finished."
It was later discovered that the scrap of paper was torn from the last page of the Rubaiyat, a collection of poems by 12th century poet Omar Khayyam. The actual book from which the scrap came was discovered days later, as a man in nearby Glenelg turned it in. He had discovered the book lying on the back seat of his unlocked car and had no idea how it wound up in his possession. Written in the book was something looking like a secret code, although the message has never been deciphered.
Theories revolved around the true identity of the Somerton Man. Some believe he was a spy, due to the encrypted message, some think his death was a suicide, while others believe it was the result of unrequited love. To this day, it remains one of Australia's greatest unsolved mysteries. Read more... — Mario Zucca