Our world is strange place. As much as the advancement of science is a wonder, the historical discoveries too are equally surprising. Our world is so much more than what meets our eyes. It’s when sudden discoveries are made, do we realise that truly how complex, mysterious and old our world is. Most of the discoveries were made by accidents. With science evolving, it enables us to study and date the discoveries back to when they are from using carbon dating. Following are eight such interesting discoveries that were total accidents:
8. Fossilized mammoth tusks
The largest ever discovery made in Seattle was on a construction site, where the workers accidently discovered the 8 feet 6 inches long tusk. It was either from a Mastodons and Mammoth, who are ancient relatives of the present-day elephant.
Palaeontologists were quickly called in to investigate. After carbon dating of the tusk, it was found that the tusk was about 60,000 years old! Although, it was discovered on private property where it could’ve become somebody’s private collection, the Museum was called in to take care of it. Since then, it has been through several museum’s display sections.
7. Skeleton of a 2000-year old woman
Around Christmas while installing a new water pipeline in Florida, they discovered the remnants of a 2000-year old woman. The authorities acknowledged that perhaps it was the best-preserved skeleton found in about last 40 years.
The state authorities require that the area in construction near historical sites be surveyed before construction. This ensures that no historical site of value is destroyed in the construction process. They’ve found bones and artefacts previously but never a full skeleton.
It’s said that it was the skeleton of a woman of about 20 to 30 years old. They couldn’t carbon date the bones as the Florida tribes allowed no destruction of bones.
6. Rare Spider species
A discovery of this spider, which was thought to be extinct, stopped a 15M highway construction project till unforeseeable future, to preserve the natural habitat of these Spiders.
Raken Bat Cave Meshweaver (Cicurina venii) spider was put on the endangered list around the 2000. The discovery, that was made when rain exposed a 6-foot-deep spider hole, by a biologist who was consulting on the project.
It is difficult to understand how a small spider could stop a million-dollar project but the discovery is worth so much that the habitat conservation is a top priority for the authorities.
5. Bomb from WWII unearthed
A local area was evacuated in Belgrade in Serbia when a bomb was discovered by two construction workers. The bomb that weighed a ton posed a threat to the surrounding area. It could have led to the destruction of several blocks around that area.
Since, WWII there have been several similar discoveries of undetonated bombs that are a threat if not handled with care. After the discovery, the bomb was transferred to a military facility to detonate. The bomb is thought to be made in Germany.
4. Did someone say diamonds?
A pile of diamonds was found stashed away in a home in California which was previously a Jewellery store in Fresno. They were found in small envelops hidden behind some shelves. It is thought that the diamonds were of the store owner who passed away 6-years ago. His daughter sold the property before this discovery was made. Legal battles are being fought to decide who gets to keep the diamonds. The one who found it or the previous owners of the house.
3. Mummified Monk
A discovery was made, when a Chinese Buddha statue that was brought into the art markets by a Dutch private collector, was scanned. The statue was brought in to better preserve it when a CAT scan showed that it contained a 1000-year old mummified monk. It is said that the monk starved himself resulting in self-mummification. It wasn’t uncommon back then, but discovering a complete mummy with flesh and bones and not just the skeleton is extremely rare.
The bones were taken for carbon dating to determine the exact age. It was then studied by a team of experts and doctors that revealed that the Monk’s organs had been removed and the cavities were filled with paper that had ancient Chinese text on it. The monk was found in sitting in the Lotus position. It is speculated that the statue had been sitting for 200-years before someone thought of converting it into a statue.
2. Terracotta Army
Considered one of the greatest archaeological finds of all times, this terracotta army contains thousands of soldiers that have peculiar expressions on their faces and were found to be standing according to rank, in corridors built underground that resemble a trench. They also had remnants of colour on them suggesting that once they were perhaps painted with bright colours once upon a time ago.
According to experts, it was created to accompany the Emperor Qin of China to his afterlife to protect him. It was a discovery made by workers digging the site, who then immediately informed the Chinese authorities. The trench also contained horse driven chariots and weapons. The actual tomb was left untouched. Though experimental pits dug around indicated the presence of dancers, musicians, and acrobats in the tomb.
1. Ancient Cave drawings
15000 to 17000-year-old cave drawings were accidently discovered by 4 teenagers who came across the narrow cave following their dog.
The drawings and the illustrations correspond to the Upper Palaeolithic Period. They were discovered in Lascaux in France. They were studied by a French archaeologist named Henri-Édouard-Prosper Breuil. They were initially open to the public but the artificial lights were destroying the painting when the decision to close the cave to public was made. The cave has a staggering number of 1500 engravings and about 600 painted and drawn animals and symbols. The drawings also contain the depiction of some mythical creatures.
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