Top 10 Incredible Discoveries People Have Found Under Ground


– [Narrator] From fragment of lost worlds, to hypnotizing stones and treasures, the ground beneath our feet
has been a constant provider of both mystery and knowledge. Today we’re digging up 10 of
its most intriguing secrets. (bright electronic music) Number 10: star rubies. Rubies are rarer than diamonds, and star rubies are even
rarer than normal rubies, which is what makes
this find so incredible. Star rubies have a brilliant
six-rayed, star-shaped pattern, which is the result of
light being reflected by other minerals like rutile, which are trapped within the stone. In 1990, a fishing guide
from North Carolina named Wayne Messer was
walking around a stream bed in the Appalachian
Mountains when he came upon trace amounts of corundum, the mineral responsible for rubies and sapphires. He dug an eight-foot hole into the ground and found four extraordinary star rubies, including one of the largest
star rubies ever discovered. Nicknamed “The Appalachian Ruby Star” it weighs 139.43 carats. Most often discovered in
areas of Burma and Sri Lanka, the Mountain Star Ruby Collection is all the more astounding
for its North American origin. Various attempts have
been made over the years to sell the collection
with several appraisals valuing the stones at
more than $100 million, but only recently, years
after Messer passed away from cancer, has his family
decided to put them up for sale at an auction house in New York City. Number nine: dinosaur bones. It was 1990, and
Paleontologist Sue Hendrickson was in an area of western
south Dakota near the city of Faith, attempting to
find fossils in the area. On the last day of their expedition, her team noticed a flat
tire on their truck. While part of the team
went to repair the truck, Sue decided to give one final look around some nearby cliffs that
nobody had checked before. There she found small bone fragments, which led her to a much more
significant bone structure protruding from the wall of the cliff. It may not look like much, but
a rare set of circumstances, led to this specimen being the largest, most complete T-Rex ever found, with 90% of its original bones recovered in pristine condition. It’s 12.3 meters long, and weighed around 6.4-10.2 metric tons when it was alive, making it the oldest T-Rex known, until Trix was found in 2013. Usually over half of
the bones are missing, but according to scientists
this specimen preserved well, after being covered by mud and
water soon after its death. Unluckily for the paleontologists, the owner of the land gained
legal ownership over it, and earned $8.3 million dollars
from the find at auction, the highest amount ever
paid for a dinosaur fossil. Thankfully, it was bought
for public display, and you can view it at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. Number eight: Americas biggest hoard. One day in 2013, a Californian couple were enjoying their daily
walk through their property when they stumbled upon a
conspicuous-looking old tree with a rusty can hanging
from one of its branches. At first they thought it might be a place for someone to put flowers
in for a grave site, but on further inspection, they discovered a second can sticking out from the earth. What they found inside became known as the Saddle Ridge Hoard and became part of the largest buried treasure
ever found in America. They returned three days later
and dug up seven more cans, eventually unearthing 1,427
rare, pristine U.S. coins dating from 1847 to 1894. The couple was so freaked
out, their immediate response was to rebury the coins
under their woodpile until they decide how to deal with them. Most of them were $20 gold
coins, but they also found 50 $10 coins and four $5 coins. Though their face value is $27,980, they’re really worth around $10 million. The anonymous couple is
selling 90% of their coins through Amazon and
donates some of the money to local charities that
support the homeless and hungry in their area. Theories abound regarding
the origin of the hoard. Some say the trove was supposedly hidden by the Knights of the Golden Circle to fund a second civil
war, but it’s more likely to have been the cache
of an unknown individual who chose to bury the
coins rather than trust the banks to protect their wealth. Number seven: an army. The dynamic emperor Qin Shi Huang who united China in 221 BC, forging his vast empire
through the imposition of single systems of
writing, money, and measures wanted something he could
never have: immortality. Knowing of ancient kings
who lived for 10 000 years, he started drinking draughts of wine sweetened with honey
and laced with mercury. Poisoned by his own medicine, he gave up his dream of immortality and settled for ruling
eternally in the afterlife. In March of 1974, six
farmers digging a water well unearthed his vast afterlife kingdom: 8,000 life-sized terracotta warriors, each presenting distinctive features, originally painted in bright
red, blue, pink and gold. The figures included a
mix of chariots, cavalry, armored soldiers and
high ranking officers, located approximately 1.5 kilometers east of the emperor’s colossal
pyramid shaped mausoleum. As extra protection in the afterlife, craftsmen were ordered to
make crossbows and arrows primed to shoot at anyone
who enters the tomb. As you could imagine, archeologists aren’t keen on opening the tomb, so what lies inside remains
a secret to this day. Some of the warriors from the find are on loan to various
museums around the world, each one valued at around $4.5 million. Number six: a Ferrari. In February of 1978, two boys were digging in their new Los Angeles backyard. While they would’ve settled
for a weird looking rock or some worms, instead,
they found something that clearly didn’t belong
there: a ’74 Ferrari Dino. But, who did this Ferrari belonged to? And why was it buried
in someone’s backyard? After much speculation, it was concluded that the car had been
buried there by thieves. The car was returned to
the insurance company that had covered the
original’s owner’s loss and was put up for a private auction. While the thieves who buried it tried to prevent interior damage by placing towels in the windows, they also forgot to roll up
the side windows all the way, causing its value to drop
from a promising $18,000 to somewhere around $5000. Number five: whale fossils. Fossils are all around us, whether deep beneath our feet, or
high on mountain tops. But mountains seem like
the last place you’d expect to find marine remains,
let alone those of whales. But this phenomenon is no mystery. The bones make their
way to the mountain tops over the course of millions of years as the shifting of tectonic plates push mountain chains to
rise rapidly from the sea. And some of these whale fossils may have not even come from the sea. For example, the world’s
oldest whale fossil, dating back to about
53.5 million years old, was discovered in the
foothills of the Himalayas and shed some light on the evolution of this incredibly successful
group of sea mammals. Scientists concluded they had adapted to a semi-aquatic life in river estuaries and shallow seas before
becoming fully marine. The ancient whale, called
Himalayacetus subatheunsis only spent some of its time in water, returning to land to rest and breed. Other ancient whale bones were discovered in South and North American mountains, each like a puzzle in this
fascinating mammal’s evolution. Number four: fatbergs. Sewers are the last place you’d expect to find any interesting discoveries, but in many London’s
Victorian-era tunnels, you’ll find something spectacular. An incredibly large,
congealed, immovable mass. One of the largest
fatbergs ever discovered was 250 meters long in
Whitechapel and weighed 130 tons, the same as 11 double-decker buses. The fatberg was blocking a section of London’s sewage network
and was discovered in 2017 during a routine inspection. What did this monster
feed on you might ask? It started its life as wet
wipes, nappies, cotton buds and sanitary towels
which congealed together and grew with cooking
fats, oils and greases that got put down the sinks. It doesn’t breakdown
like toilet paper does, so it turns it into one sticky lump. A lot of the fat comes
from food outlet sinks, but the nappies and sanitary items were likely domestic items
flushed down the toilet. TV crews were dispatched
from all over the world to stand along Whitechapel
Road and hold their noses, while workmen in protective suits used high powered jets
and shovels to remove it. By the time it was over,
some of its smaller relatives were unearthed in Belfast,
Denver and Melbourne. The folks at the Museum of London decided they gotta have some of it, so a big chunk of fatberg
is currently displayed in the museum’s galleries. Number three: cinema in Paris. While walking through
the 170 miles of tunnels that underlie large parts of Paris, police on a routine inspection
in the underbelly of Paris came across a tarpaulin marked
“Building site, No access”. Behind that, a TV-camera set to automatically record anyone passing. The mechanism also triggered
a tape of dogs barking which did just what was designed for: scare the crap out of everyone. Eventually, the tunnel opened
into a vast 400 square meters, with a fully sized cinema
screen, projection equipment and tapes of a wide variety of films, including 50’s film noir classics
and more recent thrillers. 20 seats were carved into the stone itself and a smaller cave next
door had been turned into an informal restaurant bar, with bottles of whiskey
and a couscous maker. What police couldn’t figure out is how they installed a
professional electricity system with at least three
phone lines down there. They returned three days later with agents from an electricity company,
but the wiring was gone, and so was the equipment and the booze. The only thing left was a note saying “do not try to find us”. Number two: beneath Mars. Finding stuff hidden under
Earth’s surface is exciting, but not as exciting as finding
hidden treasurers under Mars, especially when they offer
exciting new opportunities to search for life-forms beyond Earth. One such discovery occurred last July, as scientists reported the
discovery of a sub-glacial lake on Mars, the first known stable
body of water on the planet. Sitting 1.5 kilometers below the surface at the base of the southern polar ice cap, it’s about 20 kilometers, or
12 miles, from end to end. The lake was discovered
using a radar instrument called MARSIS, on board
the Mars Express orbiter. But does that mean we going to mingle with fellow Martians any time soon? Probably not. The high levels of radiation
on the planet’s surface means life’s only likely
to exist underground, and while it’s possible
that life can adapt to such extreme conditions,
it would be very primitive. Still, it’s an exciting
prospect for astrobiologists who’ll no doubt back a Mars mission to drill into this
buried water pocket soon. Before I reveal the
most amazing discovery, here are some honorable mentions. First up, If you’re ever walking around the British countryside, be
aware you may stumble upon some strange openings like this,
as posted by a Reddit user. Turns out, this is one
of Winston Churchill’s secret bunkers. As the Nazis were making
their way into France, Winston Churchill thoroughly prepared backup plans in case England came next. Over 1,000 bunkers
packed with special units were set up in the countryside
in case of a land invasion. These units were trained
to use guerilla tactics, such as going behind the
Germans as they advanced, carrying out pin prick attacks. Most of the bunkers remain
unearthed to this day and have recently picked
the interest of historians, war veterans and enthusiasts alike, eager to discover their locations
and unravel their secrets. Next up, a forest below the ground. In the heavy depths of a
Southern Illinois coal mine, 800 feet underground, lies the largest fossil forest ever discovered. Dating from the Carboniferous era, this 360-million-year-old ecosystem stretches out across at
least eight active coal mines and was traversed by a river
as wide as The Mississippi. Climate grew dry with rising temperature in the late carboniferous
period and rain became seasonal, pounding sediment out of the soil and filling the river with silt. This suffocated the forest as the river spilled over its bank. This lost world is the closest thing you’ll find to time travel and might shed new light
on climate change today. Still, if you ever come across a rock with a strange appearance
like this one, take note that you may have a fossilized
tree trunk impression! And number one: opals. What’s really cool about
this kaleidoscopic gemstone is that, unlike other stones, it doesn’t have a defined
crystalline structure. Because its formed from
an evaporated solution of silicon dioxide and
water, this form of silica takes on many shapes
and colors, and as such, there’s always more to
opal than meets the eye. But opal mining isn’t as smooth as these precious stones are. To find opal, modern treasure hunters often have to dig and climb
into random deep holes in areas of known deposits to find them. Some have mesmerizing patterns that compete in complexity and depth with the works of renowned painters, like this breathtaking opal that appears to have a planetary cloud trapped inside. Others simulate the flaming
fire of burning sulfur, like this stunning fire
opal born in the fires of the ancient volcanoes of Mexico. The earth beneath Australia
provides 98% of the world’s opal supply, but, opal is
not exclusive to this planet. A handful of these intriguing gemstones were recently discovered on Mars. So, which discovery did you
think was the most amazing? And do you know of any others that should have made this list? Let me know in the comments
section down below. And thanks for watching!

Comments 100

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *