Usually, weird things people found in their yards are fairly benign: an interesting rock here, a particularly beautiful flower there. But every once in a while, someone unwittingly stumbles across a historical treasure - or the horror of a lifetime. Of course, backyards aren't the only places people find unexpected things; construction workers and people who made the mistake of going into a basement have found an oddity or two, as well. But, somehow, unsettling discoveries are even more shocking when they occur so close to home.
In February 1978, The Los Angeles Times reported a shocking story: two Los Angeles children found a Dino 264 GTS Ferrari, which had apparently been stolen several years earlier, buried in their backyard. The Ferrari, claimed the reporter, was in shockingly good condition, with only a small hole over the right taillight belying the truth of its underground burial. Sounds fantastical, right?
As it turns out, the story of the buried Ferrari is a little more complicated than that. In 2012, Mike Spinelli of Jalopnik contacted one of the detectives that worked the case back in 1978. The detective, Dennis Carroll, claimed that a snitch tipped off police about the location of the car - the story about the two kids finding it was a plant to shield the snitch's identity. And, the snitch alleged, the car wasn't exactly stolen: the original owner hired a few guys to stage the crime so he could collect the insurance money. The police could never prove it, though, so the owner was never charged. And as for the Dino's condition when it was dug up? It was an absolute wreck. A passionate mechanic got his hands on it, did some extensive restorations, and is still driving it around today.
A Cemetery From The 1700s
In 2011, Vincent Marcello, a man living the French Quarter of New Orleans, attempted to dig a hole for his new swimming pool. Instead, he accidentally unearthed an 18th-century graveyard. The historic cemetery came complete with 13 caskets full of human remains – as well as a healthy supply of the heebie-jeebies. Marcello was aware that his property had historic ties, but until the discovery of the cemetery, he didn't know just how deep the history went.
Bombs From World War II
There’s a 12,000-acre space in Orlando, Florida, that used to be a World War II bombing range. Since 1992, over a hundred rockets and bombs have been discovered on the campus of a local school and in the yards of several housing developments. In spite of a $10 million cleanup effort on the part of the Army Corps of Engineers, there’s still a very real possibility that more bombs will be found in the area - much to the dismay of the area's residents. No children have been injured by the bombs and rockets, but two adults suffered burns when they found explosives on the school property.
A Mammoth Bone
There’s nothing like going out to pick some fruit in your backyard and somehow coming back with a wooly mammoth femur, but that’s exactly what happened to one Iowa family in July 2010. After the astounding discovery, scientists at a local university determined that the bone was about 12,000 years old and did, in fact, belong to a wooly mammoth.