While pets and children are the most frequent visitors for most backyards, the few people that dare to go and check it out do not consider them anything more than just a yard. If you decide to dig up your backyard, you may find a few old cans, worms and maybe some old coins. However, some people’s lives have been changed by their backyards. While some people have struck life-changing fortunes lying idle right there in their backyards, others discovered life-threatening encounters that made them regret ever owning or visiting their backyards at all. Of these intriguing stories, these are the strangest top 10 backyard finds.
1. An Ice Age Mammoth Femur
In 2012, one of the greatest archeological sites turned up in John’s backyard in Iowa while he was hunting with his sons. It is not every day that a berry hunting trip pays off with one of the most massive mammoth bones ever discovered. John, a farmer from Iowa, came to the grave of what is called the mother of all mammoths in Iowa when his son spotted the head of the femur bone which he thought was a ball.
At 46 inches in length and weighing 70 pounds, this is one of the most massive bones ever found on earth. It was huge, and he could hardly carry it, well he loved the find and called in excavators from The University of Iowa to investigate. They estimated that the animal had lain there for over 12,000 years since the last ice age. The farmer decided to keep it for himself as a monument. Quite a great hunt, right?
It takes many guts to bury cash or even a diamond ring underground but a Ferrari! No. In 1978 however, a group of buys digging around in the backyard hit a large piece of metal that turned out to be a Ferrari. The Dino had been lying there for more than four years after a group of thieves that buried it took a little too long to come for it. The owner was fed up with it and wanted to cash in with insurance money, everyone earned their share of course, but the boys became more famous when they became the first people to dig up one of the most expensive machines from their backyard.
There was no perfect explanation on the state of the car after being unearthed but the years in the ground had taken off a big chunk of life from her. The car was auctioned at a disappointingly low price to a businessman who later sold it to a mechanic to revive it. DUG UP” as the ultimate buyer named her Is still one of the most famous 1974 Ferrari Dinos in LA even today.
3. Live World War II Bombs
Bombs are tested before being taken to war, and the best place to do it is a mostly uninhabited place. Everyone would say Utah, but Orlando Florida was the victim this time. The army had used the 12000-acre property to test heavy-duty bomb shooting during World War II, but the shooting range seems to have been forgotten. The first scare came when bomb fragments injured developers of a race track in Odyssey middle school.
The clear map of the range testing site was drawn forcing the Army corps to start a 10 million dollar clean up. The result was a whole neighborhood with lots of red flags pointing at hundreds of live bombs. People were outraged because their property prices plummeted overnight and the cleanup crew was never able to get all the bombs. So next time you buy a house on former military land, you better make sure it was used for guns only.
4. An Ancient Royal Treasure
This was a good one. A whole 3 kilos worth of gold, silver and other precious stones were discovered by a man in his backyard in 2007. He didn’t attach any value to the items; he simply tucked them away because they were covered in mud. Quite a fairy tale he gave! After selling his house, he noticed the shiny emeralds while packing and posted photos online before being warned that he was dealing with something royal and precious.
He went to the Austrian department of antiques. The authorities confirmed that the quality was associated with royal families and the jewelry was over 650 years old left behind by a fleeing royal or a merchant. Who knows, maybe he bought back his house and dug the backyard again. Either way, they were worth more than $130,000. Considering he reported it over a year of digging them up, maybe he kept some.
5. 8 Cans Full of Gold Coins
Getting old coins in the backyard is nothing strange but gold coins take a little more luck. The most valuable coin discovery in a backyard happened to a couple in March 2014. This was the biggest ever treasure trove in US history. This time the couple was not digging, they were walking a dog in the backyard.
The gold coins are believed to have been left behind in the 19th-century old rush, but the most astonishing fact was the $10 million valuation that changed the couple’s life forever. They put them up for auction on Amazon raking in millions within the first 24 hours. The whole treasure was made of 8 cans packed with 1427 gold coins just waiting to be picked. Well, at least the lady said she had been preparing her whole life for such a day anyway.
6. A Whole 18th-Century Cemetery
A 10-million-dollar lottery in your backyard sounds like good luck, but backyards sometimes change people’s lives for the worst. What do you do when you realize that your backyard is the resting place for dozens of people? This is what happened to the Salazars in DuPage county Chicago when they discovered that they got what used to be Thurston cemetery for a backyard. The county had paid for the bodies to be moved in the 60s, but it turned out that a massive chunk of the cemetery remained untouched because of the unmarked graves.
7. Pablo Escobar’s $600 Million
This is an unexpected backyard discovery since it is exactly 1000 times larger than the largest ever US backyard cash discovery. The US one was the remaining part of a million-dollar heist by drivers of a Bank of America Armored car. The robbers were caught with $400,000; the remaining amount was declared missing until a year later when a man dug it out of his backyard, Well the CIA said Pablo Escobar had $1 billion buried all over rural Colombia, and this find seemed to have unearthed the biggest part of it.
Pablo Escobar is the richest ever drug lord in history, and he had more money than he could spend. He stashed lots of cash in his safehouses and buried the rest underground. Most of the money was forgotten, and farmers find it now and then in Colombia but Jose Mariena Carlos, a palm plantation owner made the largest of them all. He discovered the 0.6 billion dollars while working on the farm in his backyard. Astonishingly, he handed it over to the authorities. He is a one in a million or one in 600 million in this case.
8. A Cheetah
Cheetahs are large African cats that you expect to find in a zoo or a park in Africa while on a Safari but a backyard in Cambridge shire, well that was astonishing and quite scary. The discovery was made by 9-year-old Toby as he was playing with his bike. The big cat which also happens to be the fastest animal on land was just 15 feet from him. Not enough head start for a death run but the cat was quite harmless, it only wanted to join the boy and play with the bike. The boy’s mother was ready to scream at him when she saw the rare background discovery and called the police. They later found out that the cat had escaped from a nearby zoo and was only looking for a playmate as she was taught since she grew up in a domestic setting — quite a relief for poor Toby.
9. A Roman Emperor’s Villa
Finding out that an ancient house, even more, precious than your lies beneath your property can be quite intriguing. Luke Irwin was laying an electric cable for his home in Wiltshire when he noticed a unique mosaic lying underneath. After sending a photo to archeologists, he was visited by a group of excavators who established his find as part of a 220 AD Roman emperor’s villa.
The structure which was associated with a three-story villa is still considered the greatest archeological discovery in that part of the UK in the century. The site was so vast that after eight days of digging, the excavators found out that this precious piece of architecture stretched underneath the neighboring houses. There was no way to unearth and reach all of it, and maybe rebuild the whole villa, Irwin and his neighbors just had to stay knowing they inherited an ancient royal Roman home.
10. $150,000 Worth of Cursed Money
Wayne Sabaj, a jobless carpenter, struck gold when he found the cash stashed in a bag in his backyard in 2011. He theorized that the money was dropped from a low flying drug plane and fell into his backyard, but after giving it to the Authorities, his neighbor Delores Johnson claimed she threw it away because it was cursed. A local grocery store owner also brought a claim to court saying a similar amount had been stolen from him in 2010, but the court dropped his claim.
Delores Jonson’s daughter lay claim on the money and they set a court date for a sharing settlement, but Wayne died just days to the court date from a strange diabetic complication. His father also suffered a cardiac arrest on learning about his death while Delores, the neighbor who had Dementia also died a few days later. The money was then settled between Wayne’s son and Johnson’s daughter, well the deaths stopped. Maybe the curse was finally lifted.