Exploring Oak Island, Nova Scotia, in 1795, three boys discovered an old tackle block hung from a tree directly over a circular depression. Excited by thoughts of buried treasure, the three dug down 30 feet, discovering a layer of flagstones followed by layers of logs about every 10 feet, according to news accounts in 1856. That attracted serious treasure hunters, and subsequent digs got as deep as 80 feet, where reportedly they turned up a large inscribed stone (“Forty feet below lies two million pounds”) just before the pit flooded.
That stopped the digging for a while, but it attracted still more attention. In 1849 a drill passed through the following layers, starting at the 98-foot mark:
- spruce platform
- 12-inch space
- 22 inches of “metal in pieces”
- 8 inches of oak
- 22 inches of metal
- 4 inches of oak
- another spruce layer
- 7 feet of clay
Reportedly the operators found three small links of a gold chain in the mud stuck to the drill. There have been at least 11 digs since then, ultimately producing nothing. Possibly “the money pit” still holds loot belonging to Blackbeard or Captain Kidd … but no one’s been able to find it.