Who doesn't love mysteries? Every secluded part of earth holds mysteries that are waiting to be solved, and in this instance, that place was a river in Coventry. A magnet fisherman out with his two sons found almost 60 enigmatic cubes that are believed to show a sacred numerical inscription.
Will Read, the 38-year-old magnet fisherman from Finham, found the "lead blocks" while sifting through shallow water. They were searching for ferromagnetic objects available to pull with a strong neodymium magnet.
The cubes, which were small enough to hold between finger and thumb, weighed 125 grams each. They were set into neat grids with inscriptions thought to be in Sanskrit. As more and more people commented, the mystery started to unfold.
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Thought to be tiles or rocks at first
Read and his sons thought the cubes were debris that was littering the bottom of the River Sowe in South Coventry.
He recalled the unusual event to Coventry Live, "We were out magnet fishing as our daily activity in lockdown and we were at a relatively isolated spot. At first, we found keys and pennies and other bits and bobs, and then we looked down and saw what we thought were tiles."
He was reportedly live-streaming to his friends on Facebook and started picking up what he thought were tiles or rocks. "I showed them to the camera and as I looked back more and more kept appearing."
After collecting the mysterious cubes, Read posted the images on Facebook to find out what they might be. Of course, thousands of people started presenting their opinions, and let's just say that people's imaginations ran wild.
During this process, Read returned to the spot twice more and also found a silver coin that was lying by where the cubes were.
What are they?
The majority of the comments show that the cubes might be connected to a Hindu prayer ritual. Read says, "What I learned is that they are Indian in origin and they show incantations for prayers which take effect when they are thrown in running water."
All the cubes are entirely identical other than a different face on only one side. According to one Redditor, they, supposedly, are Jyotish tokens which contain a numerical formula to summon the protection of Rahu, a planet with God-like powers, who controls thieves, magicians, snakes, jails, and isolated places.
The comment reads, "Based on another comment these are Indian numerals:
15 8 13
10 12 14
11 16 9
All rows, columns, and diagonals add up to 36, this makes it a magic square! But more specifically, they are called Navagraha Yantras. There are traditionally 9 of them (one for each "planet"), each having a distinct combination of 9 numbers. Together they can be combined to form their own "Magic square."
"The words on the bottom are some form of either: om raam rahave namah om raag rahave namah or simply, om rahave namah. These are called Beej (seed) mantras."
Apparently, "the placement of Lead (raanga) in running water is particularly important in this practice as a remedy for specific things and astrological circumstances."
Latin Squares, Magic, and Euler
Moreover, as another Redditor points out, they are interesting in the mathematical-front too. "Magic squares (and a similar concept, known as Latin squares) can function as numeric representations of resource distribution and scheduling problems, where you need to ensure that every entity is treated equally."
Mathematic-enthusiasts can check out this thread which touches upon everything from magic cubes to famous conjectures of Euler's work on Latin squares.
However, these are not for certain and the cubes still remain a mystery. The mystery isn't solved yet in its entirety, and we still don't know how 60 of them ended up in a quiet river in Coventry. So, are they cursed or not? You be the judge.