Everyone makes the unexpected find every once in a while. Maybe you found a leaf imprinted onto a rock? Or maybe you found $20 in a book you stashed away months ago. But sometimes you may end up finding something a little bit more exceptional. Here are some of the most interesting discoveries found in the world.
The Underground Pyramid In Bolivia
Tiahuanaco, Bolivia is a place where there have been quite a few archaeological finds, including ruins. However, that doesn’t mean that this particular structure was expected to be found there. And that would be an underground pyramid. Most of it hasn’t been excavated yet. People only know it’s a pyramid because of a ground-penetrating radar. They’ve also found monoliths within the structure.
A River Found In The Ocean
Would you ever expect to find a river in the ocean? Divers found such a thing underneath a cloud of toxic gas off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The source of the river is the Cenote Angelita, a massive sinkhole. 90 feet beneath the surface, the river flows out to the ocean. It’s surrounded by a blanket of hydrogen sulfide and is surrounded by petrified trees an a small skeleton. Ancient Mayans even believed that this might have been a gateway to hell. There are similar “bodies of water” like this around the world called brine lakes, but those are due to a high concentration of salt.
A Ship Found In The Namibian Desert
How many people would think to look for a ship in the desert? Well, the Bom Jesus was a Portuguese vessel that went missing off the coast of Namibia 500 years ago. And it ended up being discovered in 2008 in the Namibian Desert. It was found by diamond miners in the town Oranjemund who soon alerted the Namibian government. The loud the ship had been carrying included 2,000 gold coins and tens of thousands of pounds of copper ingots, almost completely intact. The cost of the treasure onboard is estimated to be around $13 million.
Underground Theater In The Paris Catacombs
The Paris Catacombs is a labyrinth, built by the city as a better location to store the dead. They began placing bodies there in the late 1700s. While they had been explored before, in 2004 Parisian police discovered something interesting during a training exercise. And that would be a fully-equipped movie theater in the catacombs. Terraces were cut into rock to form an amphitheater, it had a full-sized scree, and a variety of thrillers and noir films were found. It seemed as though someone had just wanted to create their own, private theater but it had become lost to time. Or just lost in general.
Ancient Chapel Under The House
In 2010, in Shropshire, England, on Good Friday, Pat and Diane Farla found this in their house. That being an ancient chapel behind a six-foot plate on their wall. It was cellar-like in its size and design, but came complete with pews and a cross. The belief was that the church was used by congregations fleeing religious persecution centuries ago during one of England’s religious wars.
A Viking Ship Buried In A Farm
Ground-penetrating radar has turned out to be a pretty useful archaeological tool. In Edoy, Norway, people were able to find ship buried beneath the ground. It was either from the Merovingian or Viking Period. Despite only being buried two feet below the surface, it wasn’t found until 2019. The archaeological team was there for a completely different expedition too. It had been a part of a burial mound 1000 years ago.
A Qing-Dynasty Vase Found In An Attic
Sometimes when you get a new house, you can go through the attic and find new and interesting items. Such as a beautiful, porcelain vase. And sometimes, when you take that vase to get appraised, you find out it’s worth at least $590,000 and from Qing Dynasty China. It’s unclear how it had gotten there, but the couple that bought the house probably didn’t mind. And it was sold at an auction $19 million.
A Painting In The Walls
After their father had died, two brothers began going through their father’s home. And that’s when they discovered something interesting in the walls. It was an original Normal Rockwell painting. Funnily enough, it matched the painting hanging on the wall just a few inches away. Their father was actually hiding the original from his ex-wife during their divorce. The painting was called Breaking Home Ties and sold for $15.4 million at auction.
An Original Mark Twain Script Found In A Trunk
Considering how hard it can be to find old manuscripts and papers, since they often disintegrate with time, finding a Mark Twain manuscript is very impressive. It was the original 665-page document of Huckleberry Finn. It was widely different from the final product as well. People had assumed it would never be found, since it disappeared in Buffalo, New York. But it was found in 1991 in a trunk in Hollywood by the granddaughter of one of Twain’s close friends.
World War II Plane Found In The Jungle
Known as the “Swamp Ghost”, it was a Boeing B-17E bomber that had been used in World War II. It went down in 1942 in the jungles of Papua New Guinea during a raid on Japanese forces in Rabaul, New Britain. It was untouched for decades, until it was found in 1972. It was so well preserved that they even found coffee still inside the thermoses in the cockpit. A well-preserved plane like this is believed to go for around $9 million.
The Antikythera Mechanism
A Mummy In A Statue
Finding a thousand-year-old Buddha statue is impressive enough on its own. But finding out there might be something inside would be an even greater surprise. Historians wanted to return the statue to its former glory and started running tests on it. One of these included an X-ray to see what it was made of. And that’s when the scientists found a human skeleton. It wasn’t actually a statue after all, it was a sarcophagus. As such, the scientists decided to just leave the person inside where they were.
A Burger King Behind A Wall
The Concord Mall is the oldest wall in Delaware, having had a number of restaurants, attractions, and shops come and go over the years. The mall had opened up a Burger King in the 1980s, but it had been shut down in 2009. However, it hadn’t been torn down. In the summer of 2022, someone accidentally broke through one of the walls to find the Burger King franchise, perfectly preserved in all its vintage glory.
A Third Century Home Underneath The Streets Of Rome
Excavators in 2017 were trying to find a good location to start a new metro line underneath Rome. Of course, the most famous archaeological finds are made by accident. Considering the fact that Rome is one of the oldest, major cities in the world, this should be even less surprising. They had actually found the ruins of a fancy, Third Century home that had been destroyed in a fire. As well as the skeleton of a dog that was 1,800 years old. The home was believed to have been owned by aristocrat Celian Hill.
A Preserved 1961 Fallout Shelter
The nuclear panic was really rampant in the 1960s. The Cold War had everyone on edge, so building a fallout shelter wasn’t the most out of the ordinary thing you could do. But flashing forward to 2013, we see what became of one of those shelters. A couple had found one in their new home. It had been perfectly preserved, acting as a sort of time capsule to the 60s.
Roman Coins Found In A Japanese Castle Ruins
Katsuren Castle was an old, imperial building in Okinawa, Japan. Considering Japan’s former isolationist policy (and its status as an island), it would be expected they would’ve had little contact with most of Europe during the early years of the current era. Which is why it’s even more surprising that Roman and Ottoman coins were found there in 2016. There were other items found in the excavation of the castle, but this was certainly the most surprising. People are still uncertain of how they could’ve gotten there.
The Largest Diamond In The United States
Most people think of African diamond mining when they might think of the origin of these crystals. But some have been found in America as well. Such as Uncle Sam. That’s the name of the Arkansas diamond found during a digging operation. It’s the largest diamond ever found in the United States. It was named Uncle Sam and sold to a dealer in Boston for $150,000 in 1971.
A Sprawling Tunnel System Under A Man’s House
There’s a lot of different things you can find underground. This list has proven that. But there’s a difference between archaeological finds and an entire tunnel system. A homeowner in Southern Italy had purchased a six-bedroom house in 2020. While there were tunnels listed as part of the property, they were labeled as being for storage. But when the purchaser got to see how deep the tunnels went, he was pretty surprised. As it turned out, the tunnel system was so deep and large that much it had become infested with bats.
Reservoir Of Water On Mars
Water can sometimes be found in unexpected places. But no place is more unexpected to find liquid water in than on another planet. Technically, Mars is the only other celestial body in our solar system that has H2O, but it’s frozen for a majority of the year on Mars’ poles. But in 2021, a Chinese probe called Zhurong had landed at Utopia Planitia, a plan in the northern hemisphere of Mars. It was the same spot that a the Viking 2 NASA lander had arrived at in 1976. Its goal was to find life on other planets. While it hasn’t yet, it found wet minerals in the Utopia Planitia Basin, indicating that it had recently been filled with water.
A Copy Of The Declaration Of Independence
There are a lot of different things you can find in a thrift store. And sometimes you can get something that’s worth a lot of money. For example, a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Technically, they had bought a painting for $4 because they liked the frame on the painting. And when they took it out, they discovered the copy. And it was a real one too. Meaning that it was one of the first printings of the historical document. It went up for auction in 1991 and was sold for $1 million.
A Medieval Well Under Their Living Room Floor
A couple in Plymouth, England was trying to discover why their living room wasn’t level. And that led to this discovery. Turns out there was a 30-foot medieval well beneath the floorboards. Some research revealed that the well was built in the 1500s as part of an aqueduct. Sir Francis Drake had it built in order to carry water from Plymouth to Dartmouth. They’ve since covered it with a trapdoor and installed lights to show it off.
Stonehenge At The Bottom Of Lake Michigan
When looking underneath the waters of Lake Michigan, archaeologists found something incredibly eerie. There was a Stonehenge-like structure 40 feet below the surface of Grand Traverse Bay. People don’t know why Stonehenge was built, but it can at least be seen that the sun shines in this specific location through Stonehenge at one day of the year. As for why this would be built underwater, that’s even more of a mystery. There was also a pier from the Civil War found, with quite a few sunken cars and boats.
Nanotechnology In A Roman Chalice
This Roman chalice was already worth a lot on its own. It’s called the Lycurgus Cup, as the scene it pictures involves Thrace’s King Lycurgus. When the cup’s lit up from the front, it looks jade green. And when it’s lit up from behind it turns red. It was discovered in the 1950s, but took until the 90s for them to figure out how this worked. As it turns out, the Romans may have been pioneers in nanotechnology, as they had used certain precious metal to alter the cup’s electrons.
Gold Sovereign Coins In A Piano
Bishops Castle Community College had an old piano they needed to have repaired. And when the tuner in question took the piano apart, he discovered a hoard of British, gold coins. The former owner of the gold had hidden it inside the piano and never returned for them. The Coroner’s Court of Shrewsbury declared the find “treasure”, so the college and tuner were allowed to split the proceeds. There were 913 gold coins, dated between 1847 and 1915. Their total value ended up being between $400,000 and $600,000.
Tombstones Washed Up At Ocean Beach
In 20212, a pair of beachgoers discovered a strange stone had washed up on the shore of Ocean Beach in San Francisco. As it turned out, it was the tombstone of a 20-year-old Emma Bosworth who had died in 1876. From that point on, they started to find additional tombstones, washing up at different points. This had happened because San Francisco had opted to move cemeteries within city limits to Colma, California. And during the move, the tombstones were left behind and repurposed into.a sea wall. And when those pieces broke off, they ended up washing back ashore to Ocean Beach.