Remember, each of us is walking on the remains (and ghosts!) of billions of formerly living things right now. (Plankton ghosts!) That's just the circle of life, and we should all be glad that we don't have to swim through the rotting corpses of our ancestors just to get to work every day. That said, it's easy to forget that our planet has a few mysteries up its subterranean sleeves that it's ready to pull out when we least expect it.
#4. Schools Keep Finding Mass Graves
The bigwigs at University of Mississippi Medical Center were getting ready to start building a new parking lot when some tests (and presumably local fortune tellers) delivered a nasty surprise: The ground under the future lot held something like 1,000 dead bodies. The deceased are believed to be former inmates of the long-gone Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum, because sometimes B-horror movies get things right.
It's unclear whether officials balked at the estimated $3 million required to rebury the bodies or if Ole Miss Movie Night had recently screened Poltergeist, but the school eventually decided to relocate the parking garage to next to the dental school ... which may contain bodies of former slaves and Civil War soldiers.
-- and slowly the camera pans away to reveal that all of Mississippi is actually a burial ground.
But at least they discovered their dead before they managed to offend any spirits, unlike a North Philadelphia elementary school, which plopped itself right on top of a former "odd fellows cemetery," which we'll incorrectly define as an archaic term for women who could do math. The city said that they had moved all graves when they bought the land, but a crew from the water department subsequently discovered gravestones and coffins under the dirt (that presumably had been scheduled for relocation on a Friday afternoon). The school stayed open and braced the student body for an exciting new semester of eerily floating desks and lockers that vomit blood.
#3. Belgrade Unearths One-Ton Bomb from World War II
Construction workers in Belgrade were rummaging around under the streets when they discovered a one-ton World War II-era bomb buried about 20 feet below street level.
A few pensive ass-scratches later, the construction workers notified the authorities that there were 620 kilograms (1,367 pounds) of explosives in the middle of a neighborhood and that several stiff raps with a hammer had failed to dislodge it. Residents were evacuated from the area, and the bomb was removed and taken to a military base for destruction, where we can only hope someone walked away from it slowly while putting on sunglasses.
#2. A Music Hall Under a Piano Store
Intrepid reporter Josh Coe was doing a story on a group of street performers in Boston when he heard a rumor about a mythical underground music theater, allegedly beneath the historic M. Steinert & Sons piano store. When the store employees stonewalled Coe (including a gaunt, elderly man with piano keys for dentures and a talking raven who told him that "it weren't meant to be disturbed"), he decided to dig deeper. He eventually went all the way to the top and talked to the president of Steinert, who told him, "Oh, yeah, it's totally there."
It turns out that one of the original Steinert sons had built Steinert Hall as a way for local pianists to come jam and show off the store's pianos, but he closed it when it became too costly to bring it up to code ... 60 years ago. This kick-ass stage has been hanging out under everyone's feet ever since, waiting for the right excruciatingly precious indie troubadour to discover it and call it home.
#1. Couple Finds $10 Million in Their Backyard
Treasure hunting is actually a legitimate career, even if it causes your dad to hastily change subjects whenever your name is brought up. But while most treasure hunters might spend thousands (if not millions) on sophisticated equipment and travel to exotic locations in search of lost fortunes, one Sierra Nevada couple had a decidedly less dramatic tale.
Seriously. There's not even a douchey real-estate developer or pirate legend with a porn name.
Did they use top-of-the-line metal detectors and scour historical maps for clues? Nope. They were playing with their dog in the yard and noticed the corner of a coffee can poking out of the ground. Instead of using special excavation equipment to preserve the treasure, the pair dug it out of the ground with a stick and discovered that the can was filled with $20 gold coins, dated from the 19th century. The couple kept digging anticlimactically and unearthed a total of eight cans containing nearly 1,500 coins. All said, they had the coins appraised at roughly $10 goddamn million. The world waits with bated breath for the 45-second blockbuster movie detailing the discovery of this lost lucre.