Dozens of fairytales and legends are known for their iconic “treasure chest” scenes. A lone traveller uncovers an elaborate box after years of searching with a wrinkled old map, and lifts the lid to find a wealth of sparkling coins and gems.
Most of these scenes are rooted in fantasy, but there are actually plenty of real-life stories of treasure out there too! Don’t believe us? We’ve rounded up four examples of some of the most expensive treasure chests to ever be uncovered.
1. “The Thrill of the Chase”
It hasn’t been found yet, but about four years ago, Mexico multimillionaire Forrest Fenn announced he had hidden a box of treasure worth more than 5 million dollars. Fenn calls the hunt “The Thrill of the Chase” and hopes it will inspire people who wouldn’t normally venture away from their computers and TV sets to get out there and explore the world. The best part? Instead of map, Fenn released a poem full of clues.
2. “Gampong Pande Treasure Chest”
A poor village woman searching for oyster in an Indonesian swamp near Gampong Pande village found more than what she was looking for. Instead of oysters, she uprooted a treasure chest that was thrown into the ocean during the 2004 tsunami. The coins were dated as far back as the 12th century, and were valued at over 50 pounds a piece.
3. “TV Stand Turned Treasure Chest”
For more than half a century, the Victoria and Albert Museum searched across the globe for an elusive antique Japanese treasure chest. The catch? It wasn’t the chest’s contents that made it valuable—it was the intricate depictions of celebrated myths on the outside, including The Tale of Genji, known in many parts as the world’s first novel. The box was eventually found under a television set, having been deemed almost worthless by the owner, for any purpose aside from use as a TV stand. Purchased for only 100 pounds, it ended up selling at auction for over 63, 000, 000.
4. Gold Hoard in a Garage
More than 2,000 ancient cold were found in the garage of recluse, Walter Samaszko Jr., after he died alone in Carson City. One batch of gold bullion sold for $3.4 million at an auction last February.
Inspired to start doing your own treasure hunting endeavors? Don’t worry if you don’t have a map to get started. If these stories have shown anything, it’s that the best treasure of all is found where you least expect it!