We all know that a holiday can set us back a pretty penny, but what if your vacation paid for itself and then some? Most people think buried treasure is relegated to the realms of storybooks and history programs, but these 10 lost riches are still waiting to be found by some daring treasure hunter! Do you have what it takes?
Lake Toplitz, Austria
Lake Toplitz once served as a Nazi Naval testing station, but as the war came to a close the Nazi's had to make a hasty retreat. Legend has it that before they abandoned the area, Nazi officers dumped mysterious iron crates into the water with unknown contents. Many believe that the crates contained looted gold that the officers intended to come back for after the war. There have been multiple attempts to find the crates, but they have eluded divers due to a dense layer of sunken logs halfway to the bottom of the lake. The most notable discovery from any of these dives is over £100 million worth of counterfeit British sterling that was found in 1959. It's believed that Nazi high command planned to use it to undermine the British economy. Other dives have recovered missiles and rockets, but chances are good that more lost treasures remain at the bottom of the lake!
Transvaal, South Africa
During the end of the second Anglo-Boer War, the Boer capital of Pretoria was on the verge of being lost to the British. With this in mind the Boer generals decided to gut the city of much of its valuables to keep them out of British hands. Taking as much gold as they could from government reserves, banks and the mines, they made their escape. Many of the riches were used to mint new coins to pay Boer troops in the event that the war continued. The Boer President Paul Kruger ordered the fortune be hidden from the advancing British as he left for exile in Switzerland. According to legend, the gold remained behind, hidden somewhere in the bushveld of the Transvaal where treasure hunters still search for the Kruger Millions.
The Catskills, New York, USA
Dutch Schultz was one of the most notorious prohibition era gangsters who made a small fortune through racketeering and bootlegging. However, in the mid-30s Schultz was under pressure from the IRS as well as threats from fellow mobster Lucky Luciano, so he decided that it would be best to stash his fortune somewhere safe. And so the legend goes that Schultz commissioned the construction of a special airtight and waterproof safe, into which he placed between 7 and 9 million dollars in cash and bonds. Other versions of the story declare that the fortune was a combination of cash, gold and jewels. He then drove the safe to somewhere in upstate New York, buried it, and took its location to the grave with him. Legend has it that Schultz's enemies spent the remainder of their lives searching for the safe and today treasure hunters still meet annually to search for the riches hidden in somewhere in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York.
The last true emperor of Vietnam, Tu Duc, is rumored to have been buried alongside the wealth of his kingdom. But his original mausoleum, which is incredibly ornate and took years to build, is not the location of his burial. The story goes that Tu Duc ordered 200 of his loyal servants to bury him with gold, gems and ornaments in an unknown location and then for them all to commit suicide, meaning no one would ever know where he was buried. Many believe the legend is true, and that leaves the treasure buried somewhere in the Vietnamese jungle! If you don't manage to dig up any treasure on your visit still make sure to go and admire the wonder of Tu Duc's empty tomb.
Israel and the Palestinian Territories
When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered they were of huge historical, religious and linguistic importance. However, most intruiging of all is the fact that parts of the scrolls also act as a treasure map. It was found that the Copper Scroll amongst the group contained a list of 64 locations around Israel and the Palestinian Territories where gold and silver were hidden or buried. But deciphering the scroll isn't as easy as it looks. For example, the scroll refers to one burial place as the Valley of Achor, a biblical location allegedly near Jericho that has yet to be pinpointed in real life. Many attribute it to Qumran, a series of caves in the West Bank also near Jericho, but no one knows for sure. Some also believe that the treasure is a hoax.