One of the greatest astronomical mystery stories of the century so far is the origin of the enigmatic short duration radio bursts detected by the world’s largest radio telescopes. The bursts last just a few milliseconds but are extremely energetic, suggesting that they might mark the destruction of the source that generated them. Possible origins include: merging neutron stars or the formation of a black hole from a neutron star. The bursts are also known to traverse exceptionally large distances, providing a unique to tool with which to study the intervening space. I will present the current state of our understanding and the exciting prospects from new telescopes like MeerKAT and the Square Kilometre Arrray.