Some of the Most Surprising and Valuable Things That Have Turned Up in Strange Places
Have you ever uncovered something that completely floored you? While sprucing up the basement, you might come across a priceless keepsake from your family’s past. Most of the discoveries listed here were unexpected–similar to yours. But some were due to resilience and determination.
This article should encourage you to remain open and curious. You never know when you’ll uncover something extraordinary.
The Discovery of a Subterranean Pyramid in Bolivia
For years, private and state digs in Bolivia’s Tiahuanaco ruins have unearthed numerous treasures. In 2015 the existence of the Tiahuanaco underground pyramid stunned archaeologists when they located the pyramid using ground-penetrating radar.
The pyramid structure uncovered had monoliths. This ancient city, once South America’s most extensive metropolis, is still being excavated. The 231,000-square-mile city ruins include imperial palace remnants, stone monuments, sculptures, and much more. Thus since 2000, Tiahuanaco has been declared a national historic landmark and received the distinction of being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Witch Bottle” Uncovered in English Fireplace
In 2019, workers dismantling a bar in Watford, England, recovered a witch bottle inside the chimney. The bottle’s contents were presumed to include an unknown substance, teeth, and broken glass, and it was estimated to date back to the 1800s with a value worth $40.
Perhaps it was placed there to guard against witches. Given that the property’s original owner, Angeline Tubbs, later became known as the Witch of Saratoga and earned money through fortune-telling and making witch bottles to frighten away rivals in the industry, it makes sense.
Oversize Lego Swimming Around World’s Beaches
Decaying creatures on the coastlines may lead one to believe in water quality issues. So what does it mean when there’s a huge, scary Lego man? A Japanese surfer on Yuigahama Beach spotted this possible omen. The Lego man wore an eerie “No Real Than You Are” t-shirt.
Ego Leonard, a surreal Dutch artist, built this massive Lego. Based on his webpage, this artist originates from a “virtual world.” And this isn’t the first giant Lego to wash up. Topanga Beach, California, and Siesta Key, Florida, have had these giants.
World’s Largest Flower Found in Jungle
When Exploring the tropical jungle of West Sumatra in Indonesia, environmentalists came across the world’s largest known blossom in 2020. The Rafflesia tuan-mudae is a kind of flower well-known for the huge, elusive blooms it produces and the fact that it blooms for only a week towards the very end of its expected life span.
This Rafflesia was huge, with a record-breaking 3.6-foot diameter. The flesh-colored flower’s white-speckled petals stand out. As a “corpse flower,” it smells reminiscent of a decomposing cadaver, making this unfavorable label fitting.
A Shark Right in the Center of the Fairway
Released in 2013 to much ridicule, Thunder Levin’s Sharknado has some basis in reality. A year before Sharknado aired, a bird carrying a two-pound leopard shark from the ocean accidentally dropped it on a golf course green in California.
Shockingly, workers at San Juan Capistrano Golf Course collected the living shark in a pail of saline water and released it back into the ocean. The Sharknado scenario, in which sharks rain down from the sky, was made more plausible by this actual occurrence.
A River Discovered Submerged in the Ocean
Divers discovered in 2016 that the Cenote Angelita on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico contains an underwater river. A cloud of poisonous hydrogen sulfide gas encircles the river as it travels from a large sinkhole to the ocean. The sinkhole is the source of the river.
Petrified trees and a little skeleton were also discovered by divers while exploring the gas. Cenote Angelita was thought by the ancient Mayans to be a portal to the underworld, which contributes to the creepy vibe that permeates this peculiar underwater discovery.
Treasure-laden Vessel Spotted in Namibian Desert
Ships are unlikely to be found in the Namibian Desert. However, the Bom Jesus‘ remnants were found there. This Portuguese ship went down in Namibia five centuries ago. Bom Jesus was uncovered as the shoreline seas subsided.
A tempest drowned the cargo ship together with gold and copper ingots on its journey to India. The Namibian government deployed a crew to recover the vessel after diamond miners found it. The Bom Jesus, estimated to cost $13 million, was discovered to hold gold coins and copper ingots in pristine condition.
Parisian Catacombs Feature a Hidden Cinema
The Paris tunnels are a tangled mess. The city erected the Catacombs to bury the deceased sufficiently. In the late 1700s, Paris placed bodies into five-story tunnels.
The setting tends to make this revelation creepy. In August 2004, Parisian police trainees located a furnished cinema in one of the Catacombs’ unknown caverns. A movie theater with projection equipment, a big screen, and thrillers and noir flicks had been dug into the rock. The films were neither provocative nor forbidden–someone merely wanted to open a spooky personal auditorium.
Family Discovers Ancient Chapel Hidden Under Their House
This shocking revelation was like the prologue to a terrifying film. One attendee at Pat and Diane Farla’s Good Friday party in Shropshire, England, was interested in the six-foot-long metal grate on their wall–which they had never glimpsed in though they had lived there for three years.
Upon lifting the grate, they uncovered an entrance to a little chapel deep down underground. A crucifix and some benches were found in the religious cellar-like edifice. Investigators theorized that parishioners in one of England’s periodic religious battles found sanctuary in this underground chapel.
Long-lost Viking Ship Unearthed in Pasture After a Thousand Years
Norway’s ground penetrating radar enabled a group of archaeologists to unearth a mysterious object buried two feet below a farm. They exhumed a ship that could have been from the Merovingian or Viking era, depending on certain factors.
The said team was actually there for a specific mission when they stumbled upon this vessel. This was a section of a burial chamber that dates back 1,000 years. They utilized the same deep-radar method that uncovered the GJellestad Ship in Norway.
Couple Finds 50-year-old Safe Hidden in Kitchen Wall
In Phoenix, Arizona, a couple discovered a 50-year-old safe during kitchen remodeling in 2015. A map of Arizona, a Bingo board with numbers, and a book were among the items stored in the safe, along with $50,000 and a bottle of bourbon from the 1960s with a $100 bill.
The book entitled A Guide for the Perplexed by E.F. Schumacher, published in 1977, had marked passages indicating a possible treasure hunt. Yet the pair have not found the treasure since they have not yet solved the intricate series of clues.
Hidden Treasure in the Attic From Qing Dynasty
A French couple was cleaning up their attic when they came across an exquisite porcelain vase dating back to the Qing Dynasty. Following an evaluation by Sotheby’s, the vase was estimated to be worth $590,000 to $825,000, yet, it was able to fetch a winning offer of $19 million when put up for auction.
The one-of-a-kind qualities of the vase, along with its limited availability, contributed to the item’s status as a highly desirable work of art, resulting in a higher selling price than its initial estimation.
Two Brothers Uncover a Rockwell Painting
Two brothers were doing a post-mortem home assessment in Arlington, Vermont, when they came across an unexpected discovery hidden within the walls of the house. The painting that was on show in the house was an exact replica of the one that was painted by Norman Rockwell, but upon closer examination, it was discovered that the artwork that was on display was a forgery.
During the course of their parents’ divorce, their father concealed the original painting of Breaking Home Ties inside the wall. At a Sotheby’s auction, the artwork was purchased for a price of $15.4 million.
A Century-old Mark Twain Manuscript Accidentally Discovered in a Trunk
A missing original script written by Mark Twain was discovered in 1991 inside a trunk in the attic in Hollywood. The handwritten primary source 665-page document astounded literary circles due to its significant difference from the widely known published text.
The Huckleberry Finn manuscript, which was thought to have been lost for all time, was brought by the grandchild of one of Twain’s closest friends to Sotheby’s so that it could be authenticated. The incalculably valuable piece of literary history was purchased for approximately $1.5 million.
Ancient Terracotta Soldiers Unearthed in Tomb's Surrounding Pit
When Chinese construction workers in Xi’an, China, uncovered the Terracotta Warriors in 1974, the world took notice. The duplicate army was discovered next to the burial place of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.
Only 2,000 of the 8,000 statues have been unearthed thus far. This army of warriors was assembled in 210 BC to accompany the monarch on the afterlife’s voyage. Because of their remarkable age and significance, they have been recognized collectively as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and valued at $4.5 million a piece.
Swedish Researchers Find Mysterious Object in the Baltic Sea
In 2015, leading Swedish researchers investigating possible extraterrestrial life in the ocean discovered a strange structure buried at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. They claimed it wasn’t a spaceship from another planet, but they could not clearly explain it.
Peter Lindberg, the person in charge, stated that it was a natural geological structure since it was not composed of metal. Despite this, many people are of the opinion that it may, in reality, be an artifact from another planet. The true worth of this finding is as yet undetermined.
An Aircraft Well-preserved in Kunai Grass
An aircraft called the “Swamp Ghost” was found in 1972. It was a Boeing B-17E bomber isolated from civilization in the Papua New Guinea rainforests in 1942 while on a mission to attack Japanese soldiers during World War II in Rabaul, New Britain.
The aircraft was abandoned and was buried in kunai grass and muck for so long. Yet, it had been preserved so well that the thermoses in the cockpit were still full of coffee. The Swamp Ghost was estimated to be worth 9 million dollars.
An Amazing Discovery From a 2000-year-old Shipwreck: The Antikythera Mechanism
An ancient astronomical calculator dating back two thousand years, the Antikythera Mechanism consists of thirty bronze gears carved by hand. A shipwreck recovered off the coast of Antikythera, Greece, in 1900 unearthed the complex instrument that has baffled researchers for a long time.
Antikythera Mechanism is a precious relic of ancient Greek culture, rivaling the famed Mona Lisa in terms of its cultural significance. The artifact dates back to 65 B.C., according to radiocarbon analysis. Who could ever place a price on learning how archaic people interpreted the stars?
Unsettling Figures on Alaskan Coast Unveiled
In 2015, a group of mysterious figures was found on the desolate shoreline of Point Woronzof, Alaska. It was later determined that these individuals were part of an artwork created by Sarah Davies.
Based on Buzzfeed News, the artist’s personal experience with an undetected sickness was portrayed through the collection’s more than eighty-five human-like sculptures. They were the “physical encapsulation of hundreds of unique experiences of vulnerability.” The eerie shapes inspired by Davies are considered priceless because of their emotional and symbolic value.
An Ancient Chinese Buddha Statue Was Revealed to Contain a Mummy
In 1990, X-rays were used to assess the state of a Buddha statue in China so that it might be restored if necessary. Upon further examination, it was discovered that the statue was actually a coffin for a mummy encasing a human skeleton.
The researchers chose not to remove the mummy from its tomb even though it was over a thousand years old. The sarcophagus has an estimated worth of $80,000. This finding elucidates old methods of storing the deceased and reminds us of the wealth of undiscovered cultural traditions.
The ‘80s Style Burger King Hidden in a Delaware Mall
In 2022, a long-lost Burger King restaurant was uncovered in the back of the Concord Mall in Wilmington, Delaware. In the late 1980s, it was a popular dining option at the mall, but its existence was forgotten until a viral photo surfaced in the summer of 2022.
The diner’s original 1980s flair was very well-kept, and it impressed visitors. This forgotten relic, which can be yours for a franchise fee of around $50,000, is proof of the long-lasting influence of fast food.
A Creative Retreat Concealed Underneath a Bridge
While many kids nowadays construct tiny houses in the backyard, Fernando Abellanas, from Valencia, Spain, built a hidden studio apartment under a bridge–inspired by his fond recollections of playing in forts and hiding out as a kid.
Abellanas, an amateur architect, designed compact but comfortable living quarters for himself, complete with shelves, a bed, a desk, and a chair, all concealed behind walls that can be folded up or down. This hidden studio is a testament to the strength of imagination and creativity, and its discovery was a pleasant surprise.
The Puzzling Appearance of Metal Monoliths Structures
Conspiracies and wild imaginations abound as multiple identical metal monoliths appeared simultaneously in different places in 2020. These mysterious structures, measuring ten to twelve feet in length, have been spotted in several places, including New Mexico, Utah, California, and Romania.
Some have speculated that the monoliths are an art installation, while others have suggested that they are the result of a government experiment, a joke, or even an alien invasion due to their mysterious origin. These metal structures continue to be perplexing despite numerous attempts to explain their appearance.
A Magnificent Ancient Roman Residence Unearthed
Many intriguing items have been uncovered in Rome, one of the world’s oldest cities. A luxurious villa from the third century was uncovered in 2017 during the construction of a new metro system in Rome, Italy.
After a fire destroyed the mansion of a Celian Hill aristocracy, it was found preserved in the ash. The skeletal remains of a crouching dog, estimated to be 1,800 years old, were also found; the dog had perished in the fire. The discovery provided insight into the luxury and prosperity of ancient Rome.
Hidden Bunker Found in California Yard
This fallout bunker was discovered in 2013 by a couple in Woodland Hills, California. The bunker, which had been constructed during the Cold War era, had food, water, beds, and other supplies that had been there for nearly fifty years but had never been used.
When they first moved there, they recognized the bunker as a pit in the ground. The public got a fascinating look into the past as the couple explored the bunker, which drove home the dread and uncertainty of life in that era.
Ancient Goddess Statuette Dating Back 4,500 Years Found in Gaza
A farmer in the Gaza Strip discovered a limestone statue dating back 4,500 years. The figure depicts Anat, the ancient Canaanite deity of beauty, love, and war.
The farmer knew he had made an important discovery because it illustrated a goddess with a snake engraved on her head. The snake symbolizes her invisibility and power. The Greek goddess Athena, who was also frequently depicted with snakes, is thought to have been the statue’s inspiration. The figurine’s true worth has yet to be determined.
Strange Discovery of Ancient Roman Coins in Japanese Castle Ruins
In 2016, ancient Ottoman civilization and rare Roman coins were discovered in the rubble of Katsuren Castle in Okinawa, Japan. While investigating the area, Toshio Tsukamoto, a researcher, discovered the ten coins.
These relatively uncommon coins were located in 2016 alongside Chinese ceramics and nickels during the fourth year of the castle’s excavation, which began in 2013. They have not learned how the pieces got there since they’re from the Roman and Ottoman eras. Archaeologists are still determining how they ended up in Katsuren, a southern Japanese castle.
Man’s Unusual Find in a River
In November 2013, a man in England was out on a walk with his dog when he came across an intriguing find in the waters of the Spalding River. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash floated around in the water.
He quickly informed the authorities of his discovery, and they obtained the money for a forensic examination. Most of the bills were safe, but a few had been affected by water. The Lincolnshire Police looked into the matter to find out where the money came from and who was the rightful owner.
Tea Party Under Colorado River
The Sheriff’s office in La Paz County, Arizona, was notified that there might be skeletal remains in the Colorado River. Two skeletons were discovered having a tea party when divers with a camcorder dove to the bottom.
Both of the remains were fake and sat rigidly in lawn chairs; one wore aviator sunglasses and a bib, while the other one held a placard that read “Dream in the River” and the date August 16, 2014. There is still no explanation for the strange discovery’s intended purpose.
Atari’s Flop E.T. Video Games Uncovered From a Garbage Dump
The urban belief that Atari dumped its E.T. game in a trash yard in Alamogordo, New Mexico, was proven in 2014. Atari covertly dumped millions of unsold copies of the game into a landfill after its 1983 release due to bad reception and low sales.
In 2014, an excavation proved the existence of the “Atari Dump,” which shed light on the full scope of the game’s failure and Atari’s efforts to unload the surplus stock. It’s thought that the recovered games are now worth between $5 million and $10 million.