5 Amazing Relics (Discovered In The Dumbest Way Possible)
Every bargain shopper's big dream is to walk out of the thrift store with one of two things: a previously overlooked treasure or a sweetass painting of Black Jesus. Sadly, many of us will never know the joy of finding either. These lucky so-and-so's not only stumbled onto amazing gifts from the universe itself but they found them while sleepwalking through their everyday lives.
Beachside Bachelor Party Ends With Discovery Of Mastodon Skull
If you go to the beach during the summer, you will typically find no fewer than six old dudes sweeping the sand with a metal detector in search of coins/cars, and at least half of them will be wearing Speedos or g-strings. And since no old man in a Speedo has ever steered us wrong, we have to conclude those guys are onto something.
At the hilariously named Elephant Butte Lake State Park in New Mexico, a rowdy bachelor party drunkenly wandering around said Park O' Elephant Buttes found a large, phallic object jutting out of the ground. After telling the requisite dick jokes and taking as many mock-fellatio pictures as they could think of, the group decided to dig a little deeper so they could move into faux-threesome territory. However, they quickly discovered that the object was not, in fact, a fortuitously placed dildo for their sophisticated amusement, but a tusk belonging to the skull of a three-million-year-old mastodon.
"We also want to give a shout-out to our local sports team! Go Elephant Butte Lakers!"
In spite of being as careful as... well, as careful as a bunch of dudes at a bachelor party, the group unearthed a large portion of the skull without damaging it. When they realized what it was, they had a quick discussion, voted 4-3 against turning it into a bong, and instead notified local authorities. Paleontologists arrived on the scene and discovered that the skull is nearly 100 percent complete and may in fact be the most complete mastodon skull ever discovered.
Yes, we know it's pronounced "byoot." No, we don't care.
Once scientists have unearthed the half-ton skull, it will be transported to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science for eventual display, but only after staff have had an opportunity to clean the specimen, despite repeated, unsolicited reassurances from the guys that they totally didn't whiz on it.
Workers Fix A Leak And Find A Time Capsule Left By Samuel Adams And Paul Revere
Time capsules are one of those ideas that seem cool until you really think about it. In order for it to have any historical surprise to people, it likely won't be dug up until long after you're dead. And it doesn't help that 99 percent of all time capsules are stuffed with Beanie Babies and New Coke cans.
"This belongs in a museum trash can!"
Luckily, stupid customs are not unique to our era, as several workers in Boston discovered in 2014. They had been hired to fix a leak in the Massachusetts State House, which is where the state government meets (alternatively, it's where you can find a mirelurk queen in Fallout 4). When they began digging into the cornerstone of the house, they stumbled upon a green metal box. Judging its age to be roughly old as shit, the workers notified some historians who then extracted the contents using highly specialized archaeological tools such as a porcupine quill and dental pick.
Inside were five different newspapers, 23 different coins, ranging as far back as 1652, a copper medal with George Washington's face on it, and a silver plate commemorating Samuel Adams and the groundbreaking of the State House on the 20th anniversary of freedom, July 4th, 1796. Historians believe the plate to be the work none other than Paul Revere, who was a master metalsmith when he wasn't riding around town counting lanterns and yelling at all hours of the night.
"The British are coming, the British are coming!"
"KEEP IT DOWN OUT THERE, DRUNKY! SOME OF US ARE TRYING TO SLEEP!"
But the discovery of the time capsule shouldn't have been a big surprise -- it had actually been dug up once before. Historians found records indicating that the capsule had been discovered once before in 1855. Whomever had found it then made a note of its location, added a few coins, reburied it, and then promptly forgot it existed again. We couldn't even remember our note to remember a time capsule buried by Paul goddamn Revere, ain't nobody going to remember that you buried Season 2 of True Detective.
Father Setting Up Ping Pong Table Discovers 1,800 Year Old Roman Ruins
At some point, you've probably heard or seen commercials from utility companies advising people to "call before you dig!", so that when Johnny DIY decides to dig a new post hole for his mailbox, he doesn't nick a gas line and blow up the neighborhood or, worse, hack through a fiber optic cable and fuck up everyone's internet. A Briton by the name of Luke Irwin was laying some electrical cables to his barn so his kids could play table tennis and while he may have checked with the utility companies, he failed to consult his local Roman Historical Records.
Luke was digging a trench for the cable when he found some tiles that looked to belong to a long-buried mosaic. He took a picture of it, sent it off to some historians (who everyone in this article seems to be able to get ahold of with surprising speed), and they responded by excavating his entire backyard. What they found was not just an astonishingly well-preserved Roman mosaic, but an entire freakin' Roman villa, thought to be one of the largest and most intact villas ever discovered in Great Britain.
And vaguely featuring the shape and colors of the Union Jack...
The villa dates back to around 200 A.D., the height of Rome's reign in Britain, a short period of time when they managed to mutilate the language into the chaotic monstrosity it is today and impart a certain fondness of taking over other, better places to live. The villa is believed to have belonged to a pretty important dude, possibly even the emperor himself, judging from the numerous bones of hunted animals, the fact that the villa is estimated to be three expensive stories tall, and the "extremely high-status pottery" (which we assume is the kind that has pictures of people fucking on it).
Guy Renovates Kitchen And Finds Ancient Mayan Drawings Under Wallpaper
Realtors generally agree that minor kitchen remodeling is one of the most cost-effective ways to add value to your house. Even though it might not satisfy that insufferable bastard on House Hunters who goes into anaphylactic shock at the sight of a kitchen without pocket doors, some new cabinets and a fresh coat of paint can bring a feel of modernness in a way that your pea-green Electrolux fridge just can't.
When a Guatemalan farmer named Lucas Asicona Ramirez began scraping away the plaster in his kitchen he revealed some crude drawings hidden underneath. He continued to work, simultaneously cursing his children for drawing on the walls and marveling at their ingenuity in covering it, when he noticed that the artwork was depicting tall, white dudes with flutes and drums, while others were dressed in traditional Mayan garb and carrying what appeared to be human hearts.
"Okay, but that still doesn't prove that my kids didn't draw these."
Asicona dialed 1-800-INDIANA and got a researcher to come check it out. A historian quickly determined that the paintings were authentic and others were invited to come examine the artworks, which were in pretty good shape considering they had not been specially preserved in any way.
"I'm sure this will do wonders for my property value."
Unfortunately, exposing the old-ass paintings to the elements has resulted in them quickly fading, leaving researchers very little time to study them. For his part, Asicona has done his best to preserve them, turning his humble abode into a makeshift museum. He's moved all the furniture out of the kitchen, put his stove outside, and keeps all the local kids from rubbing their grubby hands all over it. "The house is very humid and some of the colors have been fading ... but we do what we can without any funding," Asicona said with the resigned tone of a man who just wanted to repaint his goddamn kitchen.
Dude Taking A Leak Finds Earliest Signs Of Humans In Australia
Since it's a big-ass continent in the middle of an ocean, one of the first questions people had about Australia was how aborigines had come there, quickly followed by "what the fuck kind of animal is that?", which was then followed by silence because they were killed by said animal. But while it's believed that native Australians migrated across a land-bridge from Asia (which had disappeared underwater by the time they realized that the entire continent was venomous and tried to go back), there's still a question of when they crossed and why they don't seem to be genetically related to any of the other indigenous peoples in the region.
Well, all the sun exposure and snake/spider/platypus venom is bound to mess with your DNA.
A man by the name of Clifford Coulthard was driving around the Outback surveying gorges when he had to take a piss. He pulled the car over, walked up to an embankment to take a leak in a nearby stream (is there anything more divine than peeing into running water?), and discovered a rock shelter with a blackened roof, indicating that somebody had once lit a fire there, as well as some rock art. Even more fortuitous was the fact that Cliff was actually riding around with a friggin' archaeologist who immediately recognized it as an ancient human settlement.
Seriously, are we the only ones without an archaeologist on speed dial?
And when we say ancient, we mean really goddamn old, as in the oldest human settlement ever discovered in Australia, pre-dating the next oldest site by 10,000 years. Investigation of the shelter and surrounding area led to discovery of weapons, tools, and animal bones. One curious aspect of Australian wildlife is that there's only one animal that routinely grows bigger than 200 pounds -- the saltwater crocodile -- and for years scientists have wondered why bigger animals aren't around today. Bones found at the site indicate that, at one point, there were bigger animals, but humans, as they are wont to do, killed all the big animals that couldn't fuck them up, leaving crocs as the continent's largest surviving animal (and forcing smaller creatures to improvise more creative methods of defense/revenge).
When he's not sending Christmas cards to archaeologists, Chris writes stupid stuff on Twitter.
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