From a skeleton inside a statue, to a King buried beneath a parking lot, here are 10
Amazing Secret Discoveries….
Oak Island, in Nova Scotia, has long been suspected to be the hiding place for a number
The legend is so convincing that even a young Franklin Roosevelt was part of a quest to
discover what was buried within the ground.
Despite people dedicating their lives to the search for historical objects, and devoting
vast resources to try and find what is thought to be the lost treasure of the Templar’s,
or even pirate hoards dug deep inside a hole that everyone keeps trying to visit, no one
has come forward to announce a find.
After a period of inactivity, in recent years the search for treasure has intensified, and
is the subject of a History Channel show.
Even though they haven’t found what they were directly looking for, they have found
some unexpected artefacts- one of which was an ancient Roman sword.
If it had been found in Europe, that wouldn’t be such a surprise, but the fact that it was
found in Canada raises questions about everything we know about the Romans.
Did they, contrary to previous belief, actually make it across the Atlantic to North America?
With the sword dating back to 200 BC, that would mean they arrived more than 800 years
before the Vikings, who are currently the first people thought to have made the first
contact between the old world and the new world.
This sword discovery could have changed history as we know it.
King Richard III
King Richard the third of England ruled between 1483 and 1485.
Despite such a short time on the throne, he was responsible for a number of famous stories,
such as the supposed murder of his nephews, the princes in the tower of London, and he
was also the last English King to die in battle.
He was killed at Bosworth field, during the War of the Roses, but no one was ever sure
what happened to his remains.
In August 2012, researchers from the University of Leicester began a quest to find his grave,
and they found it in a surprising place.
After discovering that he had been buried in a medieval monastic site, they looked at
the historic map and found that the grave had now been covered by a parking lot.
Permission was granted to excavate the site, and sure enough, they found his remains along
with those of a number of other soldiers.
His remains were removed and laid to rest, in 2015, in Leicester Cathedral- a far more
fitting location for such an influential member of the royal family.
18th Century Ship at the WTC
In 2010, with the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attack approaching, an astonishing discovery
was found at the site of ground zero- in what was to become the parking garage of the new
World Trade Center.
Builders started digging up pieces of old timber, and archaeologists were called in
to assess what it was.
It turned out to be the remains of an old ship, but how did it get there?
The answer was down to how the area was used hundreds of years ago.
At that time Lower Manhattan’s western shore was much further in, and the site was used
as an anchorage in the Hudson river.
It’s thought that the remains are of a Hudson River sloop, which was a type of merchant
vessel that would have carried resources and people up and down the river and the coast.
It seems to have been deliberately sunk, though, so some believe it was actually a British
ship that carried troops during the revolutionary war.
When workers in the Chinese city of Taizhou, in the Jiangsu province, were charting nearby
land for the expansion of a road, the last thing they would have expected to find was
a 700-year-old mummy.
Wrapped in silk and cotton, she was perfectly preserved, and is thought to have been a high
ranking member of the Ming dynasty who ruled China between 1368 and 1644.
She was found, along with two other wooden tombs, about 6 and a half feet beneath the
ground, and gives a clear insight into how people lived back then.
Her body was wrapped and surrounded by a brown liquid, and she was buried with ceramics,
writings, and relics.
Her features, including her skin, hair, eyelashes and face, show little sign of deterioration
and she was adorned with a variety of jewels.
It’s not actually unusual to find mummies in the region, as it was a common burial technique
during the Ming dynasty.
Still, though, it was certainly a surprise for the construction workers.
You might usually associate the discovery of Mayan artefacts with the jungle regions
of Latin America, but for one Guatemalan family their discovery was much closer to home- or,
to be more precise, inside it.
The Ramirez family were embarking on a renovation project in their kitchen, so they started
peeling back all the layers of paint and plaster that were on the walls.
When Mr. Ramirez reached the earliest layer, he found a series of Mayan murals dating back
hundreds of years.
One of them depicts people wearing Maya and Spanish dress, with some holding human hearts
in their hands.
The entire piece shows a conquest dance, something that is still performed to depict the Spanish
invasion, and the Maya conversion to Christianity.
Lots of home’s in the area date back to a similar time to this one, so archaeologists
hope they’ll have the chance to see behind the walls in other properties and potentially
learn a lot more about their culture.
A Medieval Hospital
Barely a shopping center or high street can exist these days without an Apple store nearby,
and with such rapid expansion of their presence, a lot of building work is required.
For one new store in Madrid, though, things didn’t go entirely as planned.
When the construction crew dug into the ground to begin work on the foundations of the Apple
Store, they discovered brickwork.
Further investigation found that it was the remains of a medieval hospital that was used
to treat victims of the plague that infected people across Europe in the 1400’s.
The hospital had been demolished in 1854 and built over- lost to the annals of history.
It’s not the first time a long lost building has been found in the region.
Four years earlier, a church was discovered on a neighbouring site which was being turned
into a metro station.
Development there was halted for 10 months while officials decided what to do.
They decided to install a glass panel over the ruins so that commuters could see the
ruins as they walk to the platform.
If you are visiting Madrid soon, be sure to go check it out!!
The Banwell Caves are a mysterious site in the south west of England.
They are made up of 2 caves, the first of which was discovered in 1757.
Known as the stalactite cave, it is full of the geological structures, and soon became
a tourist attraction when it was opened in 1824.
The biggest surprise was yet to come, though, and, while digging a new access tunnel to
make it easier for people to see the stalactites, a second cave was found- this time full of
The bone cave is a large cavern about 40 feet across and 20 feet tall.
The floor has been partially excavated and is covered in hundreds of animal bones, which
are also stacked at the side.
They come from bison, reindeer, cave bears, and wolves that lived in the Pleistocene era,
about 80,000 years ago.
It’s not entirely clear how so many bones came to be here, but there are 2 main theories.
The first is that a hole above the cave was used as a pitfall trap, which would provide
an easier and safer way for people from back in time to capture the animals.
Another theory, and the most widely accepted, is that the bones were washed into the cave
by water being released during the end of the last ice age.
Either way, it’s pretty creepy huh?
Catherine de Medici’s Hairpin
Catherine de Medici was the queen consort of France between 1547 and 1559.
She was known across Europe for her love of lavish jewellery, but most of her collection
has disappeared in the past centuries through being sold, lost, or stolen.
Any objects of hers that are found are sure to be worth a substantial sum, and they have
been known to appear in the most unlikely of places.
In 2012, archaeologists were excavating the Henry IV courtyard at Fontainebleau Palace
While they were digging away at what used to be a communal toilet, something glimmered
in the light.
It was a 3.5 inch pin clearly having belonged to Catherine because of its interlocking C’s,
and the finish of white and green, which were her colours.
It was totally unexpected to find a possession of hers in such a place, as opposed to somewhere
more “Royal”, and it could suggest that she lived a very different life to what the
history books would lead us to believe.
What the heck was her hairpin doing there??
At some point during the latter half of the 20th Century, a Dutch art collector bought
a Buddha statue that caught his eye.
It was only when he took it for restoration work in the 90’s that he would find out
the dark history of this ancient artefact.
The restorers noticed there was something inside, and to their shock they realised that
it was a human body.
They weren’t able to remove the remains without destroying the statue, so there they
In recent years, technology has progressed to a point where scans can be taken of what’s
inside, and it’s astonishing.
There’s the body of a mummified monk, about 1,000 years old, who’s sitting in the lotus
position- and he’s been perfectly preserved.
Possibly the most shocking thing about this was that the monk had mummified himself, which
was a far more common practise than you would think.
He is thought to have reduced the amount he ate and drank in his last few weeks until
falling into a trance.
Others would have put him by a fire to help dry him out and, once he died, he was put
It seems that at some point they decided to help preserve him further by encasing him
within the statue of Buddha- something that is far more unusual, as this is the only known
Who was this monk?
And why was he encased within the statue of Buddha?
Picasso’s “Blue Period” Masterpiece
Canvasses are one of the greatest expenses for artists, especially since they can only
be used once, and it’s a problem artist have been experiencing throughout history.
To overcome this, it was quite usual for them to be re-used, with older paintings being
covered up and then painted on again.
Now there is modern scanning technology, especially to be able to determine if an artwork is real
or fake, it’s now possible to see underneath he top layers of paint.
Occasionally, something extraordinary is found.
This is what happened recently when researchers from the NorthWestern University were conducting
a project that looked at the works of Picasso.
By using a technique called x-ray fluorescence, they found that one of his “Blue Period”
masterpieces, called “La Miséreuse Accroupie”, which translates as “The Crouching Beggar”,
was actually painted on top of work by a completely different artist.
The older painting was a landscape, and he even used what was once a cliff top as the
line of the cloaked woman’s back!
As more and more paintings are looked at in closer detail, a lot more can be understood
about how the artistic greats worked, and opens up the possibility that pieces that
have been created by less accomplished artists could be covering up something far more important
Thanks for watching!!