It’s important to be careful when digging around in the ground; you never know what you might find. In fact, if you plan on undertaking and serious digging then it is highly advisable to recruit the services of a professional locating company, as they can tell you exactly what is under you. Given that our species has been around for thousands of years and our planet considerably longer, there really is no telling what might be hiding just beneath the surface. Every now and again some really unbelievable treasures are unearthed by pure accident; all of the items below were genuinely discovered without being sought out, in fact some of these defy explanation!
The Antikythera Mechanism
This mysterious machine is a genuine historical anomaly. It was found buried in a sunken ship near the Greek island of Antikythera and is a vastly complex mechanism that used to accurately track the solar cycles of the sun and the moon to predict eclipses and track the solar and zodiac calendars. The mechanism is often regarded as the first mechanical computer and as if this wasn’t amazing enough, it has been accurately dated to the 2nd century B.C.E! Nothing remotely close to this level of complexity has been discovered dating this far back, in fact it is thousands of years ahead of its time.
The Baghdad Batteries
These strange items are quite possibly the earliest demonstration of electrical generation and storage; unfortunately, the exact specifics of their discovery have been lost during the Second World War. Apparently unearthed by a German in 1938, these mysterious jars have attracted a lot of contention ever since. The “batteries” are clay jars that have been fitted with an iron rod that has been encased in a copper cylinder and tests have proven that an acidic substance was also present. This has lead experts to believe they would have functioned in a similar manner to batteries and provided an electrical current given the similarities to the currently recognised “first battery”, the Voltaic Pile. Even though the dating of the Baghdad Batteries is contested, their age is placed at somewhere approaching 2,000 years ago; the Voltaic Pile was invented in 1800.
The Williams Enigmalith
This is a really bizarre one to end on; allegedly dug from the ground in 1998, the “Enigmalith” (a portmanteau of enigma and monolith) was discovered by John J. Williams whilst he was hiking. This item is an ovular rock that appears to have a three-pin electrical plug protruding from it, similar to the American mains plug standard. The strangest thing is that there is no evidence of the pins being glued, welded or fixed in any way to the rock, and the rock itself has been dated at around 100,00 years old!
Hopefully reading about these weird and wonderful treasures (or possibly hoaxes) from our history will encourage you to get a locating service to scan any ground before you start digging.