Dear Ocean, thank you for making us feel tiny, humble, inspired, and salty all at once.
The ocean is a huge body of salt water that covers about 71% of the worlds surface. It inhabits millions of species, many still undiscovered today. Trillions of items have been lost in the water by people all over the world. Some say that the ocean itself contains millions worth of gold, ancient collections, antiques waiting to be found. The question is, where do we search? Are treasures only found in the Ocean?
Where should you go hunting?
Over time, people buried their valuables to be safe. There were no banks hundreds of years ago, and it was unsafe to leave money or gold lying around. Some cultures even buried heirlooms as an “offering”.
People mistake the notion of treasure by thinking of one big box hidden in one place, being impossible to find without clues. The reality is people all over the world hid their valuables. It is possible to find smaller treasures in multiple places, when knowing where to search.
The most important choice to make when searching for treasures is the location. When searching on the beach, you will most probably find lost jewelry, coins, and watches. On a civil war battlefield site, you are more likely to find buttons, bayonets, canteens, and shell casting. Accordingly, if you visit the site of a century-old privy pit, you are more likely to find antique bottles and jars.
Veteran detectorists have a rule of thumb: search where many people have walked.
However, some search for lost items, and others search for hidden treasures. Those hidden are usually of more value and harder to find.
What do you need to go hunting?
The logistics behind locating a hidden treasure can make anyone crazy. With greater rewards come the necessity to have more sophisticated equipment. However, today’s metal detectors can find deep caches that went undetected by the best treasure hunters decades ago.
Before hunting for caches or hoards, extensive research needs to be done. Deciding which equipment to use depends extensively on the area where the search will happen.
When searching for larger treasures, a simple metal detector will not work. Since the dept of a treasure cache can go up to 4 feet down or even deeper, it is recommended to use a 2-box metal detector, which penetrates the ground using special search coils that transmit signals.
Throughout history, great treasures from various cultures have been stolen or otherwise gone missing, often during times of war or disaster. Here, you will find a list of some treasures that are still missing, and may never be found:
- The Amber Room: constructed in the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoe Selo, near St. Petersburg, the Amber Room contained gold-gilded mosaics, mirrors, and carvings, along with panels constructed out of about 1,000 pounds of amber. It was captured by Germany in 1941, during World War ll, disassembled and sent to Germany. They have not been seen since and may have been destroyed.
- The Florentine Diamond: Boasting in 133 carats, the Florentine Diamond was reputed to be the largest pink gem of its type in the world. Today, the diamonds origins and whereabouts are unclear. In November 1918, it was in the possession of Habsburg Royal Family who had just been deposed after Austria-Hungary found themselves on the loosing side of the World War l. The family deposited the gem in a bank in Switzerland, entrusting it to their lawyer Bruno Steiner. Bruno Steiner got arrested and deposed. It is possible the diamond was recut after the war and is now a series of smaller diamonds.
- Da Vinci Mural: in 1505 Leonardo da Vinci painted a mural depicting the 1440 victory of the Italian League over Milan in the battle of Anghiari. The painting disappeared in 1563, when the hall was remodeled by Giorgio Vasari. In 2021, a team of experts announced they had evidence that the mural had simply been painted over. However, this could never be confirmed.
- Isabella Steward: In 1990, two thieves dressed as police officers broke into the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum and stole 13 works of art valued at about $500 million. The identity of these thieves is unknown, and the artwork has never been recovered.
- Nazi Gold in lake Toplitz: Near the end of World War ll, a Nazi force led by SS officer Ernst Kaltenbrunner sunk a vast amount of gold into Lake Toplitz in Austria to keep it from being captured by the Allies. Since that time, divers have died trying to find the gold in the lake’s waters.
Some treasures have sunk in the ocean and are still waiting to be found. There have been hundreds of stories about divers finding their fortunes under the water.
- Cornwall Coast in the UK: This coast is a magnet for shipwrecks. British weather has ravished countless ships throughout the years. In 2007, 17 tons of gold and silver were recovered from a shipwreck worth over 250 million pounds.
- Royal carter in Wales UK: wrecked in 1859 when a Hurricane stuck. The ship was carrying 120 million pounds worth of gold. A diver discovers a gold nugget worth 50,000 pounds in 2016. Many people are still trying to locate the lost gold up today.
- Lake Guatavita, Columbia: The legend of El Dorado says that ancient tribes in Columbia would honor their gods by throwing gold in Lake Guatavita. This is more than a legend since gold have been found after the arrival of the Spanish in 1536. Some items have been recovered and are now in a museum in Bogota.
- 1715 Treasure Fleet, Florida: in 1715, a fleet of 11 Spanish ships sunk after being attacked by a deadly storm on the coast of Florida. These ships were laid with gold, silver, and gemstones. Coins and Artifacts are continuously washing up the Florida Shores and a Family found over a million dollars’ worth treasure. 400 million dollars’ worth of gold still lays scattered and is waiting to be discovered from the Spanish treasure fleet.
- Flor De La Mar, Sumatra: Also known as the flower of the sea was a 400-ton Portuguese ship. It was sunk by a powerful storm of the coast of Indonesia. This is the richest shipwreck in the world and is estimated to hold more than 2 billion dollars’ worth of gold.
Divers and explorers have rediscovered a surprising number of underwater cities that were long forgotten or considered as legends.
- Baia and Pompeii, scattered under the Guld of Naples were ancient Roman towns that fell victim to volcanic activity.
- Pavlopetri, Greece: about 5000 years old and the oldest submerged lost city in the Mediterranean Sea.
- Atlit-Yam, Israel: more of a village than a city, this site remains off the coast of northern Israel. The site is about 7,500 to 8,000 years old and contains nearly 10 acres of house foundations, human graves, animal remains, and tools. Two buried individuals buried on the site show genetic markings of tuberculosis, making them the oldest human tuberculosis patients yet found.