Some Of The Most Valuable Objects That Were Randomly Found In The Desert
When you think of the desert you think of a place that is super hot, bone dry, unbelievably barren and beyond desolate. The desert is for tumbleweeds. It is where people go to disappear and to hide out and get away from it all. Only the brave go to the desert, unless you are going somewhere like Palm Springs where this is a pool and you can look cute and lounge with a glass of sav blanc in hand.
But we aren’t talking about that kind of desert. We are talking about the kind of desert that will leave you parched and sunburned and delirious, begging for just a sip of water. And some of those dry land explorers who are brave enough to conquer that kind of desert have returned with so much more than just a sunburn. Here are some of the most valuable objects that were randomly found in the desert.
Prada Marfa is an art installation that was built in 2005 that found its permanent home just over a mile outside of Valentine, Texas in the middle of the desert.
This store stands alone in the middle of nowhere and is fully stocked with Prada clothes, shoes and handbags.
You can’t go inside in the store, you can’t buy anything you see in there, but still it’s cool enough for Beyonce to visit, so you better get onboard.
Winchester Model 1873
Manufactured in 1873, this rifle, the Winchester Model 1873 is now worth $15,000.
And while something so expensive should be safely stored, it was discovered resting against a tree in Nevada’s Great Basin National Park by a service employees in 2014.
What was once only worth $35-$50 back in the 19th century, it is now worth so much more. The original owner of the rifle or why it was left leaning against a tree in what is now the park, remains a mystery.
The Atari Landfill
After the video game crash in 1983, the gaming company Atari didn’t know what to do with all of its unsold games.
They decided to bury their unsold games, worth about $108,000 from 900 different games, in the New Mexico desert. Seems like a totally normal thing to do, right?
When the landfill was excavated, the surviving games were auctioned off for mucho money. The sale included a single copy of “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial” from 1982. Once names the worst video game ever, the game sold for $1,535.
Libyan Desert Glass
Libyan Desert Glass is the purest natural silica glass ever found on earth. It is a type of glass that is considered to be one of the rarest minerals on planet Earth.
It is only formed when lightning strikes, from volcanic activity and from meteor impacts.
It is only found in the deserts of Libya where over a thousand tons of this glass is strewn across hundreds of kilometers of bleak desert.
It may not be unusual to see a fancy Ferrari in the land of wealth that is Dubai, this particular Ferrari was found in the middle of the desert with nobody around to claim it.
Locals think that the vehicle’s owner may have actually been on the run, which would explain why it was just left there.
This particular Ferrari, the Enzo Ferrari is worth $1.1 million. That is a hard and very expensive thing to lose in the desert.
This Ptolemaic Coin
When this Ptolemaic Coin was discovered in Israel in 2010, the coin was dubbed by researchers as the most valuable coin ever discovered, now worth $10,000.
The one little coin is more than 2,200 years old and it is believed to have been worth half a year’s salary at the time of its circulation.
Could you imagine if we had one coin that was worth half of our year’s salary? You better not lose that little thing!
Iraqi Fighter Jets
During a sweep to find weapons of mass destruction in the Iraqi desert, Americans found something that they least expected.
They found 30 Iraqi fighter jets buried in the sand, worth more than $300 million.
Despite their time under the sand, the aircraft were in pretty good shape and could have been returned to service with minimal maintenance.
The Gibeon Meteorite
The Gibeon Meteorite, now worth $383,806, formed fragments after it struck the Earth during prehistoric times.
The meteorite was first reported by Caption J.E. Alexander in 1838 when he heard that there were masses of native iron up to two square feet on the east side of the Great Fish River.
Back in the day, bits of the meteorite were used by natives to craft tools and weapons.
Death Valley Mother Lode
In 1999, a pair of archeologists were treasure hunting in the Death Valley when they stumbled upon a large wooden chest.
When they opened the chest, they found 80 coins, a book of hymns, baby shoes, a pistol, pottery and a letter from a lost pioneer.
According to Jerry Freeman, one of the archaeologists who found the chest, the artifacts were from a party of 49ers on their way to the California Gold Rush. This chest is now worth more than $500,000. What an amazing find!
The Set Of ‘The Ten Commandments’
When they were finished filming the movie The Ten Commandments in 1923, they destroyed and buried the set shortly after production.
Many believe that the removal of the set would be too expensive and too valuable to leave behind for rival filmmakers to poach so they buried it deep beneath the dunes.
In 2014, a perfectly intact 300-pound plaster Egyptian sphinx head emerged from the sand in Santa Barbara, prompting a recovery effort to completely excavate the “lost” city.
The Fire Of Australia
Considered to be one of Australia’s greatest treasures, besides kangaroos of course, this opal was found in 1946 in the small desert town of Coober Pedy, South Australia.
The rough-cut gem, worth a record $675,000, weighs in at just under 5,000 carats.
The massive opal is roughly the size of two cricket balls and is now on display in Adelaide’s South Australian Museum.
The Boot Of Cortez
Using only a RadioShack metal detector, this gold nugget, named The Boot of Cortez, was discovered in 1989.
The Boot of Cortez is the largest surviving gold nugget found in the western hemisphere and was found by a local prospector from Senora, Mexico, which is approximately 70 miles south of the Arizona border.
The Boot of Cortez is worth a hefty $1.5 million dollars. We bet that guy was happy he purchased that metal detector.
The James Ossuary
Believed to have once contained the body of James the Just, the brother of Jesus of Nazareth, this religious artifact was discovered in a cave in the Silwan area of Jerusalem.
Since its authenticity has never been verified, it is valued at a shockingly low price for what it claims to be and only $50,000.
While many believe that this was the family tomb of Jesus’ family, other researchers are still skeptical.
The Death Mask of King Tut
The treasure trove that King Tut left behind in the desert in Egypt is legendary.
His tomb was discovered in 1922 by archeologist Howard Carter and his patron, Lord Carnarvon.
When they opened the chamber, they had no idea that they were about to find the greatest archeological find in history. The greatest find and the most valuable find. The death mask and sarcophagus alone are worth $2 million.
The Bom Jesus
A group of DeBeers miners were searching around for hidden treasure when they stumbled upon something much bigger than diamonds, jewels or gold.
They accidentally discovered a 500-year-old sunken ship at the bottom of a dried lagoon.
The ship once belonged to the King of Portugal and was chock full of gold, tin, ivory tusks and 44,000 pounds of copper ingots. Talk about a happy accident!
Shell Spill Documents
Following a pipeline oil spill in Midland, Texas back in 1992, the Shell Company sold the rights to the pipeline and got rid of any evidence that they had anything to do with the spill.
How did they do that, you ask? Well, they quietly buried the proof in a nearby desert hoping no one would ever find it.
Well, they did. And when they were found, Shell was forced to “shell out” some major litigations costs. We hope whoever had the not-so-brilliant idea to hide the papers in the desert was fired because that was an epic fail.
Peg Leg’s Black Gold
Back in 1965, an anonymous prospector claimed that he had discovered exhibitioner Peg Leg Smith’s hidden stash of black gold.
This discovery sparked many other treasure hunters to search for the rest of Peg Leg’s goods and his legendary lost mine.
The gold that was found was worth $3 million. This is all hearsay, however. There is no actual evidence that Peg Leg had a lost mine at all.
In 2005, a recluse named Scott Taylor discovered millions of dollars worth of gold and antique guns while he was hiking on public land in West Utah.
Instead of cashing in on it, he plans to leave the treasures where he found it because he doesn’t want to deal with the US government.
Apparently the fortune is still there, and he never cashed in on the 280 gold bricks, two Civil War-era rifles, a six-shooter, and a load of dynamite.
Chinese Aluminum Hoard
When a United States aluminum executive heard that a massive pile of aluminum was just sitting in a Mexican desert, he wanted to see it for himself.
He chartered a plane over the desert and sure enough, he found nearly 6% of the world’s aluminum supply, enough to make 77 billion beer cans.
U.S. industry officials believe the metal got there as part of a scheme to evade trade restrictions. If they could move the aluminum through Mexico into the U.S., they could benefit from provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The Copper Scroll
The Copper Scroll is one of the Dead Sea Scrolls and is said to be a treasure map to hidden treasure.
While the other Dead Sea Scrolls contain religious and Biblical works, the Copper Scroll is simply a list of 64 locations and corresponding amounts of gold and silver.
The hidden treasure supposedly includes 65 tons of silver and 26 tons of gold hidden away by the Essenes during the Roman conquest of Jerusalem. What are your plans right now? Shall we try to go find it?