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Archaeologists In Turkey Believe They've Discovered The Tomb Of Saint Nicholas

Updated August 13, 2019 390.3k views11 items

You and the rest of the Christmas-loving population may have thought that Santa Claus was alive and well, hanging out in the North Pole, prepping for the night he dusts off his sleigh and delivers presents to children the world over. Turns out, his icy home is just a myth – archaeologists have discovered Santa Claus's tomb in the decidedly hotter locale of Turkey.  

Where is Santa Claus buried? As creepy as it may seem, the real-life Saint Nicholas's tomb was discovered in Demre in October 2017. Blame the archaeologists who unearthed it for bringing about the is-Santa-real chat much earlier than you may have expected. But the story is actually fascinating, shedding new light on the life of the man who became known as Santa Claus.

  • Saint Nicholas Was Known To Give Gifts

    Saint Nicholas Was Known To Give Gifts
    Photo: Gerard David / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    According to legend, Saint Nicholas did share some notable traits with the modern-day Santa Claus – like his habit of dropping gifts down the chimney. One story tells of a poor man with three daughters. He was unable to marry them off, as he couldn't afford their dowries. Enter Saint Nicholas, who, in the dead of the night, dropped a bag of gold down the chimney. The gold fell into a stocking hung by the fireplace to dry.

    This gold allowed the eldest daughter to get married. The saint repeated the process for the second daughter, but was caught by the father on his third attempt. He asked the man not to tell anyone about his late night gold dispensing. But the cat was out of the bag, and from then on, whenever anyone received an anonymous gift, they believed it was from Saint Nicholas.

  • Saint Nicholas Is Linked To A Legend From The Netherlands

    Saint Nicholas Is Linked To A Legend From The Netherlands
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Another connection between Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus comes by way of the Netherlands. Saint Nicholas's selfless gift-giving made him the basis for the (controversialSinterklaas figure – the star of a parade that determines which children have been naughty or nice. The name "Sinterklaas" eventually morphed into the Americanized "Santa Claus."

  • Some People Believe St. Nicholas's Remains Might Be In Ireland

    Some People Believe St. Nicholas's Remains Might Be In Ireland
    Photo: Fiddawn / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    There's more than one theory circulating when it comes to the whereabouts of Saint Nicholas's remains. Local legend has it that the saint's remains were moved to Kilkenny in Ireland around 8oo years ago, making a stop in Italy along the way. The grave slab itself appears to feature the image of a cleric believed to be Saint Nicholas himself. The fact that the Normans in the area were ardent collectors of religious relics only serves to strengthen the argument that this corpse is, in fact, the real Saint Nick.