35 Surprising Discoveries Found Right In People’s Backyards

By: Riley Brown | Published: Nov 06, 2023

How cool would it be to find something amazing right in your own backyard?  

Most of us don’t go poking around in our yards looking for buried treasure, but what if you just literally stumbled across a strange item while just mowing the lawn or taking out the garbage? Just read the stories below about people who did just that and you might think again about going out and digging around.  

How Did It Get There?

Gary Johnson of Los Angeles discovered what seemed like a big bone in his yard. When he dug further, he realized that the bone was huge and very, very old. 

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Source: Ed Crisotomo

Believe it or not, he had happened upon a whale fossil. Specialists told him that it was about 14 to 16 million years old. It really makes you think about what the world was like then, where the seas were, and how this whale ended up dying in this particular spot. 

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A Boy’s Dream

Imagine two 11-year-old boys just playing around near their home in Detroit. Like kids do, they were probably digging around, hoping to find something interesting to take home and show their friends. 

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Source: Kathleen Galligan, Detroit Free Press

What these kids found was the bone of a mastodon!  Experts told them that this incredible find is 13,000-14,000 years old and that mastodons apparently lived in that part of what is now suburban Detroit. We’ll bet that their friends were extremely impressed!

I Found It!

When you lose something important, like a wedding ring, you spend days, maybe months, looking for it. It’s pretty traumatic losing such an important item, and you probably feel awful for a long time. 

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Source: BBC

Lena Paahlsson had given up on finding her lost wedding ring almost 16 years earlier. She had looked everywhere and finally resigned herself to never finding it. Then, one day she was pulling up carrots from her garden and she was shocked to find the ring, sitting happily on top of the carrot.

Snake in the Grass

How do you feel about snakes? Well, whether you find them cuddly or terrifying, one thing you don’t want is to find a huge dangerous one near your home. That’s what happened to a family in Melbourne, Florida.

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Source: ABC

Now, anacondas are not poisonous, so that’s a relief. But they are huge (this one was almost 10 feet long), and if you get close to them, they may bite you. Their bite is not poisonous, but we’ll bet it’s painful. We’d stay away.

Money Stolen, Money Found

A group of truck drivers worked together to steal $1 million from a Bank of America shipment. We can assume that they planned to split the money and congratulate themselves on their successful heist.

Source: ABC

Well, we’re not sure what happened with the split. Maybe the group haggled over how much each would get, or perhaps one of the thieves decided to hide their cut.  Either way, owners of a home in Fontana, California, found $600,000 that was identified as part of the money from the theft. 

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Not a Native

In the Disney movie “Madagascar,” one of the main characters is King Julien, a lemur. That makes sense, because lemurs are native animals to Africa and Asia. What does not make sense is finding a lemur in California.

Source: Mike Owyang/Sacramento Zoo

Last year, a resident of Turlock, California, found this adorable animal in the backyard of his home. The real question is how did the lemur make its way from thousands of miles away to a little town in California?  The likely answer is that someone purchased the exotic animal, and it escaped. We hope it found its way home!

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Babes in the Woods

Lots of people living in suburban areas see foxes and deer now and then. It isn’t uncommon to wake up, look out to the backyard, and see these creatures munching on grass or leaves. But what this family found was quite unusual.  

Source: Philip Wang

A family in New Jersey looked out one day to see several tiny baby foxes in their yard. They might have been concerned that the mother fox had abandoned them and probably worried about how the babies would survive. 

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Ancient Tools

David Ford of Florissant, Missouri, found a fascinating artifact in his yard. It was a crude tool, and looked like it was something used for cutting or chopping. He took it to an expert to find out more. 

Source: Leon Algee/St. Louis Post Dispatch

He found out that this tool was about 1,000 years old and was used for cutting chores. Even more fascinating was that this tool was probably made by Native Americans. It makes you think about who was living on David’s property one thousand years ago! 

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That’s a Big Bone

Is your dog the kind that buries bones in the backyard? Next time Fido goes digging, go along and see exactly what he’s digging up. This Iowa family found something amazing in their yard, but it wasn’t exactly Fido’s size. 

Source: WOI/ABC News

In July 2010 a family in Oskaloosa, Iowa found prehistoric bones on their property. Look at the size of just one of the bones! It turns out that the yard contained a nearly complete skeleton of the creature, which roamed the area about 12,000 years ago.

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A Bear Came to Visit

A Reddit user known as killltheclown was startled to find a huge paw print on his bathroom window. Apparently the bear stood up and looked into the window, probably looking for food.

Source: reddit

Luckily, the bear did not gain entrance to the home, but just knowing that it had come that close to getting in was pretty frightening for the homeowners. Bears can be pretty brazen when searching for something to eat, and now the owners know that their local bears are getting close to their homes at night. 

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Who Dropped This In My Yard?

What do you do when you find an old pistol in your backyard? The folks who found this one realized it must be very old, since it was thoroughly rusted. A specialist determined that it was a typical toy pistol used in the 1920s through the 1950s.  

Source: reddit

The real question is – why did this person hide a pistol? We’ll bet we can all come up with some interesting possibilities. This could have been hidden as far back as 100 years ago, so it’s in pretty good shape. What do you think happened?

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Drifting

Snow can be treacherous, and most of us don’t like driving in it, but almost everyone loves to watch it come down while we’re safe and snug inside. The next day, when we look outside, sometimes the way the snow falls is absolutely beautiful. 

Source: reddit

Just look at the graceful lines of the snow drift.  Don’t think about the fact that you have no idea when you’re going to get out of the house or uncover your car. Just enjoy the simple beauty for a moment, and have a cup of cocoa.

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We Live On Top of a Cemetery

Talk about fear of bad luck. What if you found out that your house was built over a cemetery? We’d move out immediately. Obviously no one remembered the cemetery that was only in operation for about 30 years, from 1840 to 1872, and since then many houses may have been constructed on top of it. 

Source: imgur

But it looks like the homeowners started digging on their grounds and found remnants of the poor souls who were buried there about 150 years earlier. The finds may have interest for archaeologists, but for the residents, it’s just plain creepy.

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Now This is Just Cute

Someone might have heard animal sounds and went looking around their yard to find out what was going on. What they found was a family of cats, including some adorable kittens. It’s a fun find if you like cats. 

Source: imgur

These babies are clearly just born and it looks like they lived under the home somewhere. Hopefully they were warm and dry, and maybe the family that lives there will give them a home, or find one for them.

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Secrets of Older Homes

This bottle is 100 years old. It’s in excellent shape and is quite beautiful; we especially love the blue glass. If you live in an older home, you might find some real treasures buried around the property, and some might be quite valuable.

Source: reddit

Before modern trash collection was a reality, people would often bury their trash in their yards. If you live in an old home, there’s a good chance you’ll find something that would be a collector’s item. 

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Just Hanging Out

You just put up that lovely hammock and can’t wait to go out on a sunny day with your iced tea and relax. Well, someone beat you to it. This family had quite the surprise finding a huge black bear enjoying their hammock in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Source: imgur

One wonders, considering how hard it can be for humans to get onto a hammock, how this bear got himself all cozy and relaxed. Never mind that, how did he even know that this thing was for resting? Well, don’t go ask him, that may be a bad idea.

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Pokémon Treasure Trove

This treasure hunter found some Pokémon Kabutops cards in his yard. Considering that these cards are not very old, we’d love to find out who buried them and why.  Was it a game of Pokémon gone horribly wrong? Someone hoarding cards? 

Source: imgur

Apparently these cards are quite valuable in the Pokémon world, so this treasure hunter is going to make someone’s day (or his own day) in the world of Pokémon card collection. We’d still like to know how and why these cards got buried. 

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Sweet Puppy

Now, come on, who would do this? This puppy was wrapped in a blanket and just abandoned in someone’s backyard. She’s just adorable and so in need of loving care. 

Source: reddit

How could the homeowner family ever say no to that face? She just looks so sweet and just wants to be loved. Whoever abandoned her should be ashamed as they could at least have taken her to a rescue shelter for someone else to love. But we’ll bet the family adopted her and she’s thriving right where she was abandoned.

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Uh Oh

OK, let’s consider this picture. There is a bullet on what looks like a roof. What are the possible ways it could have landed there, upright?  Was someone shooting into the air? We certainly hope not.

Source: reddit

Whatever the reason for a bullet to be sitting on a roof, none are good. We certainly hope that no one was playing with a gun or with bullets, and maybe this photo is a prank? No one wants to find a bullet anywhere near their home.

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Prop for a Horror Movie?

What is this? Well, obviously it’s a dangerous looking weapon that someone found in their backyard. This thing can do a great deal of damage, and we can’t imagine what it was used for and why it was hidden.

Source: imgur

The metal rod and mace (studded ball) attached to it were weapons used in the Middle Ages and can inflict terrible pain and suffering. Let’s hope that kids didn’t find this and decide to swing it around to see what it could do. 

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Uninvited Guests?

Well, one never knows what one will find at Grandma’s house. This person found a friendly group of black roosters when he visited his grandmother for Christmas. What we don’t know is why they were there.

Source: imgur

While they are striking looking, they don’t look too friendly. We wonder whether Grandma is raising them, or just invites them over for tea. Either way, they are amazing to look at, with such shiny coats and bright red coloring. And her grandson was quite surprised to find them and decided to post the image on Reddit.

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Sweet Memorial

While working on the yard, a family found this sweet tombstone in their yard. It says, “In loving remembrance of Juliet the hamster, mother of 20. May she rest in peace forever. June 11, 1997.”  

Source: imgur

All we can think of is some little girl or boy who was terribly distraught at the loss of their beloved hamster, mother of 20!  Juliet must have been very loved for a child to go to all the trouble of creating this lovely memorial. Rest in Peace, Juliet.

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Creepy or Cool?

When we saw this image we immediately thought of a science fiction monster with long talons. Maybe that’s just us. In fact, it is a tree which has grown around a table. So as far as nature is concerned, it is fascinating.

Source: imgur

Nature is very powerful and somehow always finds a way to continue. Just like those little plants that creep out in parking lots and sidewalks, when nature wants to grow, it will not be stopped.  There’s a lesson in that somewhere.

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Ancient Communication Tool

This is pretty amazing. A cassette tape has fossilized onto a rock and someone found it in their backyard. There are lots of questions here.  For example, how did the plastic weld itself onto the rock? And why was someone trying to hide this tape?

Source: imgur

Maybe it was a mix-tape that someone made for his girlfriend and she tossed it after they broke up?  There are a thousand stories we could make up about this find. But you have to admit, cassette tapes did go the way of the dodo bird not too long ago.

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Bulbasaur Found!

For those of you not familiar with the Pokémon world, a Bulbasaur is a Pokémon creature that has a cute body and a seed on its back. Pokémon players go wild finding real life look-alikes for the game’s characters.

Source: imgur

This player was so thrilled to find a rock with an acorn on its back that looked somewhat like a Bulbasaur, that he posted it for all to see. The world of Pokémon is a universe unto itself, and apparently has its own vocabulary and millions of fans. 

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The Ice Did It

Nature can be beautiful and dangerous at the same time, as we all know. One weather event that is especially vicious is an ice storm. The ice is extremely heavy and can down branches and electrical poles in a split second.

Source: reddit

In this case, the storm basically blasted apart a tree, putting so much weight on its branches that the trunk split apart from the stress. It just goes to prove how heavy the ice is, and the damage it can do, even to a strong tree. 

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The Water Park Next Door

In some ways, some of us wish that our neighbors had a huge pool and told us we could use it any time we want. In other ways, we can have neighbors that go a bit too far in providing entertainment for their children, and put a strain on the folks who live next door. 

Source: reddi

Imagine being this guy’s neighbor and watching this structure being built, wondering how big it was going to be, and how noisy it would be all summer with kids playing on it. We have sympathy for the poor neighbors. 

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Hash Stash!

Mack Reed went out to access his backyard underground vault. There he found a bag stuffed with hashish worth about $175,000. Someone had hidden the drug there and could come back to get it. 

Source: SCPR

He called the police and told them that he had posted something about being away. So someone knew the house would be empty and hid the stash there. Reed wanted the perpetrator to know that the stash was gone, so he left a note on the vault, “We found it and called the LAPD. They confiscated it and are now watching the place. Sorry.”

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Car in the Yard

Two kids digging in the backyard. It’s 1978 in Los Angeles and the boys find the unthinkable – a full sized Dino 246 GTS Ferrari is buried in the yard. Excavators pulled it out of the ground, and police found that the vehicle had been stolen four years earlier.

Source: vintag.es

The Ferrari was worth $18,000 (about $75,000 today). Then the story came out that thieves had been hired to destroy the car so that the owner could collect the insurance. But the thieves loved the car and buried it so that they could come back for it. The original owner now has the car back. Too bad the kids couldn’t keep it.  

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Gold Rush!

If someone asked you what you would most like to find in your backyard, what would you say?  We bet you’d say gold. For a couple in the Sierra Nevada, this wish came true. The couple found a rusty can and realized they’d stumbled upon a pile of $20 gold coins dating from the 1890s.   

Source: deluthnewstribune

They then found seven more cans containing 1,427 coins with a face value of $27,980. This is the biggest hoard of gold coins ever unearthed in the United States and is valued at $10 million.  Just how the hoard got buried there remains a mystery.  

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Secret Room

A couple in Woodland Hills, California bought a home and were told that it included a fallout shelter. The shelter was built in the 1960s during the height of the Cold War. What Chris and Colleen Otcasek didn’t know was what they would find in the shelter. 

Source: SCPR

In fact, the shelter was perfectly preserved, with all of its contents and equipment. They found all sorts of supplies, including aluminum foil, paper towels, medicines, cans of food, and tins of coffee.

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Cursed Money?

In August 2011, Wayne Sabaj of Illinois  found $150,000 stashed in his yard. He turned it over to the police, who said the money would be his if it wasn’t claimed in about a year.  

Source: GETTY

Sabaj’s neighbor claimed the money was hers and she had ditched it because it was cursed. She died in January 2012. The judge gave the money to her daughter, and gave some to Sabaj as a reward. Sabaj died ten days before receiving the money. His father then received the money but died when he heard about his son’s death. Sounds cursed to us.

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Creepy Bones

Digging in his backyard, a man from Salt Lake City discovered a pile of human bones. He reported the find to the police, and then the state’s medical examiner took a look. He determined that the bones were over 1,000 years old!

Source: Stock vault

In fact, the medical examiner could tell that the bones were from a Native American who lived in the area. More research will determine which tribe the individual belonged to, and they will be returned to the tribe for burial. What a creepy thing to find in your own yard!

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Fairy Tale Find

Andreas K from Wiener Neustadt, Austria happened upon quite a treasure in 2007 in his backyard. He found more than 200 rings, brooches, ornate belt buckles, and many other types of jewelry and ornaments.

Source: Archeology News Network

He stashed the find and didn’t think about it again until two years later when he was packing to move. It turns out that the items are about 650 years old! He posted photos on social media and was told that they were extremely valuable. He immediately delivered them to the Austrian Federal Monument Agency (BDA), and is happy to have them housed there.

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Bombs in the Yard!

Before builders begin constructing a new development, there are all kinds of surveys done about the area. One Orlando, Florida developer missed that memo. Thousands of homes were built in a 12,000 acre area that was once a World War II bombing range. The range was torn down but many live bombs were left underground. 

Source: Reddit

Since 1968, 126 rockets have been found, many on school properties. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers launched a $10 million area cleanup, but they may not have found every bomb. As a result, area home values have plummeted, and many lawsuits were filed accusing builders of gross negligence and seeking monetary damages.

After reading about these treasure-finders, we’re betting you’re already outside with a shovel, hoping for the best. Who knows what you may find?  We wish you luck in finding something interesting! 

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