The Pokemon Company changed the world with their first Pokedex in 1996, with the original 151 entrants all legends in their own right. As the series has progressed, though, more mysteries have surfaced and many still haven't been solved. Here, we will take a look at some of the biggest.
Trainers have jumped on boats between many areas of the Pokemon world in the 24 years the franchise has been running. We all started out at the Kanto Region and now, over two decades later, we find ourselves in a world of Gigantamaxing mons with the Galar region – and downloadable content islands Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra.
So many boundaries have been broken down to make it an all-encompassing franchise, achieving success on television, with its Trading Card Game, and even with its video games. The latest, Sword and Shield, released on Nintendo Switch.
However, mysteries come from both past and present. There are still big questions to be answered about our very first Pokemon adventures, and here we explore a whole bunch of them in detail. Hopefully one day, we'll be able to update this article and remove a few.
The nurse problem
Nurse Joy was the one Brock had his eyes on, back when the TV series first started, but he realized something interesting after that.
Every Pokemon Center they visited, the nurses looked the same. Not just in the Kanto Region, but in several other islands they have visited since. If you jump into any game as well, whether it be Pokemon Sword and Shield or Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, that trend continues.
It makes you wonder if they are clones, or potentially all from the same family. Who knows, but it's weird that's for sure.
Pokemon balls have been around since the very beginning. They have even become a worldwide symbol of the incredible fictional story of catching 'em all.
Let's start with what we know about them. They can be used to catch Pokemon, making them available to battle with. There are many types of ball, each having different qualities depending on the scenario. They can be bought and sold in any region in the world.
What we don't know is what's inside. Is it larger than life, almost like the Tardis from Doctor Who, when you step inside? Not only that, but why can't humans be trapped inside of them when the beam strikes them? As a matter of fact, why hasn't this been tried?
Maybe we will see the interior of one explored in the future, but it's shrouded in mystery for now.
Diglett and Dugtrio
We'll be short and sweet with this one.
Every Pokemon that has an evolved form usually takes on a different look, although Diglett appears to just appear out of the ground three times when evolved into Dugtrio.
Is this the worst evolution in history, does it not actually evolve at all, or is there something we're missing?
Ghost in Pokemon X & Y
There have been some spooky spectacles throughout the history of this franchise. It all started with Ghost-type Pokemon like Ghastly and Gengar, not to mention the haunting music of Lavender Town. It would send shivers up your spine, traversing the tower of ghosts.
Since then, things have gotten even worse. A ghost was discovered with zero explanation in X & Y's Lumiose City – seen in the YouTube video above from TheGamerFromMars. She has been dubbed "Ghost Girl."
The figure wasn't just a standalone character, either, reappearing in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Her only piece of dialogue was: "No, you're not the one," which begs the question of who is she looking for? Also, how did she pass away?
Maybe she will have a huge part to play in the future, or nothing at all.
Why did it take so long to meet Hoopa?
This was, at one time, at the heart of the biggest mystery the series had ever seen. The Pokemon was discovered in a leak before its release in Gen 6.
In a previous data mine flagged by Pokebeach, they uncovered some very interesting details about this species. Maybe its role in the world is much greater than anyone could have imagined when they first saw it in X & Y.
Leaked text stated: "The Pokémon called Hoopa is linked to many of the unexplained supernatural events that have occurred in this world. My search for Hoopa has led me to this library."
"See, I travel around the world, trying to solve its many mysteries. I've been researching supernatural events that have occurred over the last 100 years. One thing I've found is that the Mythical Pokémon Hoopa is connected to many of these strange events! I've also managed to come across some information about the mysterious power that Hoopa appears to wield. So, without further ado, I'd like to share my findings with you! After all, you're actually traveling with Hoopa–the very subject of my research!"
Rings, lair, and exploits
This was followed by three options a player could select. These were "Its mysterious rings," "the secrets of its lair" and "its deeds and exploits."
On the point of rings, this small species has the power to transport entire islands and move any object as it pleases. It's also said to have stolen mountains of gold and silver treasures from the wealthy in the past, hiding in a desert. Its backstory is also as strange and mysterious, with an unnamed organization having tried to wield the power of the Pokemon for themselves before Hoopa struck back by making their assets disappear one by one.
Having starred in the 18th Pokémon movie, Hoopa and the Clash of Ages, we now know a lot more about it since that leak. Should it fall into the wrong hands, the world could be doomed, and it probably has ample more secrets for us to uncover in the future too.
Why did it take so long for us to meet it if it was so pivotal, and powerful? Plus – what else don't we know about it?
What's inside a Forretress?
In Pokemon Gold, there was a very interesting description given to Forretress.
It reads: "Its entire body is shielded by a steel-hard shell. What lurks inside the armor is a total mystery." Since that time, we still haven't seen anything in relation to the contents of inside the shell, nor has there been any signs we will in the future.
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Entrants to the Pokedex can change in appearance when they adapt to different surroundings. Maybe in the right region, we'll find out what secret is being concealed here.
The mysterious Pokemon Wars have been theorized many times. What are they? What happened? Why do we think something like this occurred. There are many answers.
Firstly, most of the characters we meet in Kanto are not middle-aged. Those who are lead gyms, with players guessing that many of this age range participated in a great war between the Kanto and Johto regions. There are also a lot of hospitals and gyms in that region, too – noted by Creepypasta Wiki. Those may be big clues.
In fact, one of the gym leaders (of Vermilion City) even referenced war. "You won't live long in combat! That's for sure! I tell you what kid, electric Pokémon saved me during the war!" Lt. Surge said. The character was cautious in the army according to the limited lore available on him, which would explain why he would survive any battle that may have happened.
This is one of the most famous mysteries around, and we still are not sure if it happened.
Why can Meowth talk?
The story behind Meowth learning to communicate with humans is a somber one, actually.
According to Bulbapedia: "One day, Meowth came across a female Meowth named Meowzie. She rejected him, saying that he was poor and that she preferred humans, so Meowth attempted to make himself more human-like to make her love him. Thus, he painstakingly taught himself to speak human language and walk upright like a human."
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That explains the reason why the character developed the way it did, although it begs the question of why other Pokemon haven't had the same adaptation. Every Pokemon would be at a huge advantage if they could talk to their trainer about strategy, but strangely enough just Team Rocket is blessed with the phenomenon exclusively.
Wailmer mystery in Pokemon Sword & Shield
You don't have to know everything about the Pokemon games to understand this mystery. It's just common sense
A whale needs water. In fact, needs a whole lot of it to survive and live in the wild. That being said, in the Galar region, there are areas of the map where Wailmer and Wailord appear to be able to squeeze into the smallest spaces you've ever seen, maybe tinier than in captivity.
On one hand, you may say a trainer might have left it there after catching it in the sea, although that doesn't happen in Pokemon.
Just looking at the small size of the pond and the size of the onlooking Wailmer in this post from Reddit user Aeyen_the_lobster left us scratching our heads. We're not the only ones, either. People have even found Gyarados in similar spots.
Does water have different qualities in Pokemon that we don't know about, or is this just unrealistic placement?
Can we eat Pokemon?
The thought of catching Pokemon and eating them might be gruesome for some trainers. After all, all we know about them is that we help each other in battles. Many might even consider them pets, in all honesty.
That bond between animal and man is obviously evident in the real world, but so too is the slaughter of wild animals for humans to feed on. There is minimal information on this in the Pokemon world. Some scenes have shown people going to eat Pokemon, but the footage almost never gets shown.
In Sword and Shield, we were introduced to the idea of cooking curry to increase the happiness of our catches. Are they eating other Pokemon?
In the past, Brock has had pictures run through his mind of a cooked Magikarp, which would be normal. People eat fish. Slowpoke Tail Quiche has been mentioned in the show, too, not to mention people seemingly licking Vanilluxe.
Do they eat Pokemon though? Some say yes, others say no. It would be quite brutal, if true.
Arceus and the Unown
This species might have been held up as the creator of the world and all things in it, by its lore. It even mentions this notion of a "thousand arms" coming to assist his efforts, originating from an egg of nothingness. Now, that's just about as convincing as some stories about how our world started.
The Unown burst onto the scene early in the series, in Gold and Silver, along with Entei. They entered the space shrouded in mystery, really, and that mystique has somehow faded away. They looked different from everything else and still do. There were hundreds of them in the Pokemon movies.
Did these two come together to form the existence of mons? We're not entirely sure, but it sounds plausible based on the notes. There's even been a suggestion that the Unown, shaped like letters, could be some sort of DNA system for their formulation. Again, possible, yet not confirmed.
Storing Pokemon on the PC is engrained in the behavior of all trainers, We are taught right from the beginning that you can have a limited amount in your party, then by visiting computers dotted around each region we can store our mons – in a cloud-like system.
We don't really know what happens when we take off and leave them. They are transferred into data, according to the series, and then transported back into our world when we choose them again. That means hundreds of Pokemon are being farmed by just one player in the cloud. Across a period of 20+ years, that means billions of Pokemon have been snatched from their natural habitats and been left stuck as data.
The idealistic scenario here would take inspiration from Upload, a TV series on Amazon Prime Video. Here, they transport people into a sanctuary where it very much feels like real life, although unlike many characters on that show Pokemon can come back from that data state.
It would be interesting to see what happens from a Pokemon's perspective, because nobody really knows what it looks and feels like in there.
What was the first Pokemon?
As we just said, Arceus is known as the creator – but if he can also be trapped just like every other Pokemon, it flings the door wide open really.
There are many theories about our own existence, never mind Pokemon, yet the questions are similar. If there is just one species to kick things off, how did they breed and become the force they have in the world? These theories usually revolve around Mew, Arceus, Bulbasaur – for placing as No.1 on the Pokedex – and also Rhydon.
The last one on that list has been confirmed as the first ever designed by developers, although that doesn't necessarily mean it was the first to arrive in the story. Perhaps the real answer, which has not been revealed, encompasses a story of all four. You just never know.
Do you have a big mystery you would like an answer to? Hit us up @PokemonSwordNS on Twitter and we'll take a look at your comments.