15. Fire of Australia Opal
A man called Walter Bartram discovered this uncut opal weighing a little less than 5,000 carats – that’s a bit more than 35 ounces – in 1946. He came across it in South Australia near the town of Cobber Pedy at a barren desert location named Eight Mile Field. Looking at the sparkling, multicolored hues of the opal, it’s easy enough to see why it was christened the Fire of Australia. Bartram sold it for just over $362,000 to the South Australian Museum. This was considerably less than its true worth, but he was keen to see it stay in Australia.
14. The Ten Commandments film set
Hidden beneath the sands of Guadalupe, California lay a film set, undisturbed for the best part of a century. The movie was the epic 1923 The Ten Commandments, a lavish no-expenses-spared production by the legendary Cecil B. DeMille. The silent-movie era picture’s set included a 12-story tall Pharaoh’s city and 15-foot tall replicas of the sphinx. Urban myth had it that the set was dynamited at the end of filming. But in fact the natural action of the desert buried it.