Top 10 Incredible Discoveries People Have Found Under Ground

Top 10 Incredible Discoveries People Have Found Under Ground

From fragment of lost worlds to hypnotizing stones and treasures, the ground beneath our feet has been a constant provider of both mystery and knowledge. Today we're digging up 10 of its most intriguing secrets.

10-Star rubies  

Rubies are rarer than diamonds, and star rubies are even rarer than normal rubies, which is what makes this find so incredible. Star rubies have a brilliant six-rayed, star-shaped pattern, which is the result of light being reflected by other minerals like rutile, which are trapped within the stone. In 1990, a fishing guide from North Carolina named Wayne Messer was walking around a stream bed in the Appalachian Mountains when he came upon trace amounts of corundum, the mineral responsible for rubies and sapphires. He dug an eight-foot hole into the ground and found four extraordinary star rubies, including one of the largest star rubies ever discovered. Nicknamed "The Appalachian Ruby Star" it weighs 139.43 carats. Most often discovered in areas of Burma and Sri Lanka, the Mountain Star Ruby Collection is all the more astounding for its North American origin. Various attempts have been made over the years to sell the collection with several appraisals valuing the stones at more than $100 million, but only recently, years after Messer passed away from cancer, has his family decided to put them up for sale at an auction house in New York City.

9-Dinosaur bones

It was 1990, and Paleontologist Sue Hendrickson was in an area of western South Dakota near the city of Faith, attempting to find fossils in the area. On the last day of their expedition, her team noticed a flat tire on their truck. While part of the team went to repair the truck, Sue decided to give one final look around some nearby cliffs that nobody had checked before. There she found small bone fragments, which led her to a much more significant bone structure protruding from the wall of the cliff. It may not look like much, but a rare set of circumstances, led to this specimen being the largest, most complete T-Rex ever found, with 90% of its original bones recovered in pristine condition. It's 12.3 meters long, and weighed around 6.4-10.2 metric tons when it was alive, making it the oldest T-Rex known until Trix was found in 2013. Usually, over half of the bones are missing, but according to scientists, this specimen preserved well, after being covered by mud and water soon after its death. Unluckily for the paleontologists, the owner of the land gained legal ownership over it, and earned $8.3 million dollars from the find at auction, the highest amount ever paid for a dinosaur fossil. Thankfully, it was bought for public display, and you can view it at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.

8-Americas biggest hoard

One day in 2013, a Californian couple were enjoying their daily walk through their property when they stumbled upon a conspicuous-looking old tree with a rusty can hanging from one of its branches. At first they thought it might be a place for someone to put flowers in for a grave site, but on further inspection, they discovered a second can sticking out from the earth. What they found inside became known as the Saddle Ridge Hoard and became part of the largest buried treasure ever found in America. They returned three days later and dug up seven more cans, eventually unearthing 1,427 rare, pristine U.S. coins dating from 1847 to 1894. The couple was so freaked out, their immediate response was to rebury the coins under their woodpile until they decide how to deal with them. Most of them were $20 gold coins, but they also found 50 $10 coins and four $5 coins. Though their face value is $27,980, they're really worth around $10 million. The anonymous couple is selling 90% of their coins through Amazon and donates some of the money to local charities that support the homeless and hungry in their area. Theories abound regarding the origin of the hoard. Some say the trove was supposedly hidden by the Knights of the Golden Circle to fund a second civil war, but it's more likely to have been the cache of an unknown individual who chose to bury the coins rather than trust the banks to protect their wealth.

7-An army

The dynamic emperor Qin Shi Huang who united China in 221 BC, forging his vast empire through the imposition of single systems of writing, money, and measures wanted something he could never have: immortality. Knowing of ancient kings who lived for 10 000 years, he started drinking draughts of wine sweetened with honey and laced with mercury. Poisoned by his own medicine, he gave up his dream of immortality and settled for ruling eternally in the afterlife. In March of 1974, six farmers digging a water well unearthed his vast afterlife kingdom: 8,000 life-sized terracotta warriors, each presenting distinctive features, originally painted in bright red, blue, pink and gold. The figures included a mix of chariots, cavalry, armored soldiers and high ranking officers, located approximately 1.5 kilometers east of the emperor's colossal pyramid-shaped mausoleum. As extra protection in the afterlife, craftsmen were ordered to make crossbows and arrows primed to shoot at anyone who enters the tomb. As you could imagine, archeologists aren't keen on opening the tomb, so what lies inside remains a secret to this day. Some of the warriors from the find are on loan to various museums around the world, each one valued at around $4.5 million.

6-A Ferrari

In February of 1978, two boys were digging in their new Los Angeles backyard. While they would've settled for a weird looking rock or some worms, instead, they found something that clearly didn't belong there: a '74 Ferrari Dino. But, who did this Ferrari belonged to? And why was it buried in someone's backyard? After much speculation, it was concluded that the car had been buried there by thieves. The car was returned to the insurance company that had covered the original's owner's loss and was put up for a private auction. While the thieves who buried it tried to prevent interior damage by placing towels in the windows, they also forgot to roll up the side windows all the way, causing its value to drop from a promising $18,000 to somewhere around $5000.

5-Whale fossils

Fossils are all around us, whether deep beneath our feet, or high on mountain tops. But mountains seem like the last place you'd expect to find marine remains, let alone those of whales. But this phenomenon is no mystery. The bones make their way to the mountain tops over the course of millions of years as the shifting of tectonic plates push mountain chains to rise rapidly from the sea. And some of these whale fossils may have not even come from the sea. For example, the world's oldest whale fossil, dating back to about 53.5 million years old, was discovered in the foothills of the Himalayas and shed some light on the evolution of this incredibly successful group of sea mammals. Scientists concluded they had adapted to a semi-aquatic life in river estuaries and shallow seas before becoming fully marine. The ancient whale, called Himalayacetus subatheunsis only spent some of its time in water, returning to land to rest and breed. Other ancient whale bones were discovered in South and North American mountains, each like a puzzle in this fascinating mammal's evolution.


Sewers are the last place you'd expect to find any interesting discoveries, but in many London's Victorian-era tunnels, you'll find something spectacular. An incredibly large, congealed, immovable mass. One of the largest fatbergs ever discovered was 250 meters long in Whitechapel and weighed 130 tons, the same as 11 double-decker buses. The fatberg was blocking a section of London's sewage network and was discovered in 2017 during a routine inspection. What did this monster feed on you might ask? It started its life as wet wipes, nappies, cotton buds, and sanitary towels which congealed together and grew with cooking fats, oils and greases that got put down the sinks. It doesn't breakdown like toilet paper does, so it turns it into one sticky lump. A lot of the fat comes from food outlet sinks, but the nappies and sanitary items were likely domestic items flushed down the toilet. TV crews were dispatched from all over the world to stand along Whitechapel Road and hold their noses, while workmen in protective suits used high powered jets and shovels to remove it. By the time it was over, some of its smaller relatives were unearthed in Belfast, Denver and Melbourne. The folks at the Museum of London decided they gotta have some of it, so a big chunk of fatberg is currently displayed in the museum's galleries.

3-Cinema in Paris

While walking through the 170 miles of tunnels that underlie large parts of Paris, police on a routine inspection in the underbelly of Paris came across a tarpaulin marked "Building site, No access". Behind that, a TV-camera set to automatically record anyone passing. The mechanism also triggered a tape of dogs barking which did just what was designed for: scare the crap out of everyone. Eventually, the tunnel opened into a vast 400 square meters, with a fully sized cinema screen, projection equipment and tapes of a wide variety of films, including 50's film noir classics and more recent thrillers. 20 seats were carved into the stone itself and a smaller cave next door had been turned into an informal restaurant bar, with bottles of whiskey and a couscous maker. What police couldn't figure out is how they installed a professional electricity system with at least three phone lines down there. They returned three days later with agents from an electricity company, but the wiring was gone, and so was the equipment and the booze. The only thing left was a note saying "do not try to find us".

2-Beneath Mars

Finding stuff hidden under Earth's surface is exciting, but not as exciting as finding hidden treasurers under Mars, especially when they offer exciting new opportunities to search for life-forms beyond Earth. One such discovery occurred last July, as scientists reported the discovery of a sub-glacial lake on Mars, the first known stable body of water on the planet. Sitting 1.5 kilometers below the surface at the base of the southern polar ice cap, it's about 20 kilometers, or 12 miles, from end to end. The lake was discovered using a radar instrument called MARSIS, on board the Mars Express orbiter. But does that mean we going to mingle with fellow Martians any time soon? Probably not. The high levels of radiation on the planet's surface means life's only likely to exist underground, and while it's possible that life can adapt to such extreme conditions, it would be very primitive. Still, it's an exciting prospect for astrobiologists who'll no doubt back a Mars mission to drill into this buried water pocket soon.


What's really cool about this kaleidoscopic gemstone is that, unlike other stones, it doesn't have a defined crystalline structure. Because its formed from an evaporated solution of silicon dioxide and water, this form of silica takes on many shapes and colors, and as such, there's always more to opal than meets the eye. But opal mining isn't as smooth as these precious stones are. To find opal, modern treasure hunters often have to dig and climb into random deep holes in areas of known deposits to find them. Some have mesmerizing patterns that compete in complexity and depth with the works of renowned painters, like this breathtaking opal that appears to have a planetary cloud trapped inside. Others simulate the flaming fire of burning sulfur, like this stunning fire opal born in the fires of the ancient volcanoes of Mexico. The earth beneath Australia provides 98% of the world's opal supply, but, opal is not exclusive to this planet. A handful of these intriguing gemstones were recently discovered on Mars.

So, which discovery did you think was the most amazing? And do you know of any others that should have made this list? Let me know in the comments section down below, And thank you so much.