Ever taken your winter coat out of storage and found 20 bucks in the pocket? A nice little windfall like that is enough to make anyone's day, but there are some lucky bastards out there whose accidental discoveries made their entire lives. The best part? They didn't even have to leave their own homes ...
6A Man Tries To Repair His Toilet, Finds Underground Catacombs Older Than Jesus
Luciano Faggiano of Italy dreamed of turning a property he owned into a restaurant, but there was one problem: the toilet stank. It was so bad that the previous tenants had left because of a faulty pipe. Since no one in the history of mankind has heard of an eating establishment with a gross men's room, Faggiano and his sons started digging under the bathroom to find that damn pipe.
And then they kept digging. And digging. And digging. Turns out there was a whole series of ancient tunnels right under the place where they'd been dropping butt bombs.
It's unclear who flushed the tunnels down there in the first place, but the middle son has a guilty look on his face.
The underground rooms and corridors were packed with treasures dating back thousands of years, including Roman artifacts, artwork left by the Knights Templar, a Messapian tomb, and a Jesuit ring that contained 33 diamonds. They also ... hold up, a stodgy Italian man trying to fix the plumbing finds himself transported to a vast land filled with riches?! Are we sure this isn't a Super Mario Bros. reboot?
"That's where the giant turtle started spitting fire at me. We're tennis buddies now."
Faggiano initially kept his little excavation project a secret from his wife, thinking she might object to the whole "lowering their 12-year-old son into unreachable spaces with a rope" part. Eventually, the massive amounts of debris he was hauling away in the family car became too obvious, and the authorities got involved. This means that the family unfortunately couldn't keep most of the treasure to themselves, due to a technicality called "the Italian government calls dibs."
Davide Monteleone / New York Times
Prime Minister Link, in particular, wanted everything to himself.
Still, in the end, it was all worth it. After years of digging, they were finally able to find the pipe that caused the toilet to malfunction in the first place. So if you ever visit the archaeological museum they opened in the building, at least you're guaranteed a pleasant pooping experience.
Make sure to wave at all the mole men and Morlocks watching you from below as you go.
5A Family Realizes They've Been Using A $436,000 Lou Gehrig Bat As Protection For 30 Years
Bats -- the sporting equipment, not the animal -- are a popular choice for home protection, since they won't shoot you in the face or bite you in the crotch if you touch them the wrong way. That's why for 30 years, a New York family kept their trusty anti-home invasion bat right behind their front door ... without realizing that it once belonged to Lou "my name is easier to pronounce than 'amyotrophic lateral sclerosis'" Gehrig. In retrospect, perhaps they should have paid more attention to the clues -- like the fact that they got the bat from a relative of a Yankees Stadium groundskeeper, or that it freaking says "Lou Gehrig" on it.
When someone finally pointed out that this thing could be worth something, the family showed the bat to an expert and discovered that Gehrig had played with it during one of his best seasons. Which is to say, someone was planning to beat the shit out of a burglar with a very rare piece of baseball memorabilia. And a very expensive one, too -- when the bat went to auction, it ended up selling for $436,970. The exorbitant price is probably due its rarity, since fewer than 20 game-used bats belonging to the sports legend remain in existence; the rest presumably disintegrated from hitting baseballs too hard.
The miraculous part is that the family managed to hold on to the bat for three whole decades despite clearly not giving the slightest shit about baseball. In fact, they almost left the bat behind when they moved to a new house 15 years ago, before finding out that crime exists in other parts of New York. At one point, they nearly gave the bat to a neighbor's kid, which surely would have sent him on a magical adventure involving a talking baseball-playing dog.
Love Of The Game Auctions
"Thanks for being a little turd and making us reconsider, Timmy."
The identity of the family hasn't been disclosed, which is probably for the best, since they suddenly have a lot more money laying around and no means of protecting it.