Since the start of civilization, people have been hiding treasures. Pirates were known to frequently hide their booty. There are over three million shipwrecks on the ocean floor, and collectively, they are worth billions of dollars in treasure. Here is a list revealing some of the most tantalizing treasures waiting for you to discover.
Hidden Treasure of Fenn
Hailing from Texas, Forrest Fenn was an avid treasure hunter throughout his life. He became a pilot in the air force in the 1960s, and he would regularly fly to Pompeii to look for valuables. Fenn earned a fortune from his artifacts.
In the 1980s, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer and told he would have just a short time to live. He decided to place his most valuable artifacts in a solid bronze chest. The chest alone was worth $25,000. It supposedly contains a treasure worth millions of dollars.
Fenn hid the treasure somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He wrote a poem and posted it on his Web site. He said there are nine clues in the poem, and those clues will lead you to the treasure. Anyone can try looking for the treasure, and though many have tried, no one has been successful thus far.
The Beale Ciphers
The legend says that in 1816, a man named Thomas Beale and a few men he traveled with found a large sum of gold and silver while mining the Rocky Mountains. The fortune is said to be worth around $63 million today. Since the fortune was so large, Beale and his companions wanted to make sure that their families would get a cut of the money after their deaths.
Beale buried the treasure in a secret location in Bedford Country, Virginia, and wrote three ciphers. The first cipher described the exact location of the treasure. The second described the contents of the treasure, and the third cipher contained the names and addresses of the group’s next of kin.
Beale left the box with the three ciphers with a local innkeeper named Robert Morris. Morris was told that if in ten years, Beale did not return for the box, he would be mailed the key to the ciphers. After 23 years, the innkeeper still hadn’t had any word or mail from Beale. He then spent 20 years trying to decode the cipher texts with a friend.
They only managed to decode the cipher that contained the contents of the treasure. After Morris died, a friend of his published the ciphers in the 1880s. Since then, there have been many attempts at deciphering the texts and locating the treasure, but all have failed. The treasure remains buried to this day.
The Oak Island Money Pit
This buried treasure is different because everyone knows where it is. The only problem is accessing the treasure. Oak Island is located just off the east coast of Nova Scotia, Canada.
The urban legend goes that one day in 1795, eighteen-year-old Daniel McGinnis saw strange lights coming from the island and went to investigate. At the far end of the island, he saw a circular ground depression in a clearing of trees.
Daniel knew that the island was mostly uninhabited and mostly used by hikers, so he thought that there must be treasure at the bottom of the pit he stumbled upon. This story has inspired many treasure hunters to try and reach the bottom of the Oak Island Money Pit and uncover its treasures.
There are many theories as to what lies at the bottom: Capt. Black Beard’s treasure, the Ark of the Covenant, and Marie Antoinette’s jewels. Despite tremendous efforts, to this day, no one has been able to reach the bottom of the pit. This is due to a series of water traps that fill the pit with sea water when the earth inside is removed.
You could say that it’s all just urban legend and that there’s no treasure in the pit, but a group of treasure hunters called the Onslow Company began uncovering the treasure. They made it to a much deeper depth than any of the previous excavations. They reached a depth of 90 feet, and they found a stone tablet with a code.
Decades passed, and everyone thought the tablet was insignificant. Then in the 1860s, a professor of languages at Dalhousie University James Leitchi successfully decoded the tablet. The tablet reads “Forty feet below, two million pounds are buried.”
Since the tablet was found at 90 feet, the treasure is believed to lie at 130 feet. More excavation attempts have been unsuccessful because of the pit’s series of traps. In fact, six treasure hunters have lost their lives in the money pit. No one knows who built it or why treasure was placed there. It’s one of Earth’s greatest mysteries.
During World War II, the Nazis plundered Europe and amassed some of the world’s greatest treasures. Priceless artworks, diamonds, and gold were all part of their stolen loot.
These treasures are hidden in underground bunkers and shipwrecks throughout Europe. A significant amount of Nazi gold, priceless artworks, and millions of pounds of pound sterling currency were taken to the Austrian Alps to a mountain lake called Lake Toplitz. The treasure was thrown to the bottom of the lake, and although numerous dives have been done to recover the treasure, it is rumored that a majority of the treasure still lies at the bottom of the lake.
The San Miguel Treasure Fleet
To get your hands on one of the most valuable treasures to ever exist, you will have to get sophisticated diving gear because it is at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
In 1712, Spain had one of the richest treasure fleets. It consisted of eleven ships filled with gold, silver, jewels, and pearls, with a combined worth of over $2 billion dollars by today’s standards.
They had planned on setting sail from Cuba before the hurricane season, but it turns out this was a huge mistake. Only six days after leaving Cuba, the entire fleet perished because of a hurricane, and all the treasures sunk to the bottom of the ocean.
Since then, seven ships have been recovered off the east coast of Florida, but the recovered ships only contained a fraction of the massive loot. The bulk of the treasure is believed to have been on the main vessel called the San Miguel, and it has yet to be found.
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