18 Objects Discovered In Deserts That Turned Out To Be Worth A Bucketload Of Money

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Image: National Park Service via The Washington Post

18. The Forgotten Winchester

The “Forgotten Winchester” is a Winchester 1873 rifle made in 1882. A team of archaeologists were working in the Great Basin National Park in Nevada, when they came across the .44-40 Winchester leaning on a juniper tree. Nobody really has a clue how this antique rifle could have been left there, probably for as much as a century. Speaking to The Washington Post, Basin National Park staffer Nicole Andler said, “It looked like someone propped it up there, sat down to have their lunch and got up to walk off without it.” Originally costing $25, today the gun is likely to be worth thousands.

Image: Taylorhatmaker

17. Buried Atari video games

In a move some believed to be mythical, Atari Inc. interred a load of old-school video games back in 1983. It was said to be because the company couldn’t sell them. But it was no myth – the burial really did happen. Some 700,000 video game cartridges lay buried in a New Mexico landfill. Then in 2013 a film company decided to make a documentary about the story and located the landfill site. Ultimately, excavations at the site yielded about 1,300 game cartridges. Some of those then went to the New Mexico Museum of Space History. Consequently, by 2015 officials had raised $107,000 from selling off about 880 of the games.

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Image: US Mint

16. 2,200-year-old gold coin

It was 2010 when University of Michigan and University of Minnesota researchers found this extremely rare 2,200-year-old solid gold coin. They uncovered the coin, which weighs nearly an ounce, from the ruins of the city of Tel Kedesh in northern Israel not far from the Lebanese border. Dr. Donald T. Ariel of the Israel Antiquities Authority told CNN, “The coin is beautiful and in excellent preservation. It is the heaviest gold coin with the highest contemporary value of any coin ever found in an excavation in Israel.”

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