Search the bottom of any massive body of water, and you’re destined to find all sorts of junk. More often than not, the intrinsic value of the item is zilch. Then every so often an artifact found at the bottom of a lake sparks an intriguing mystery, untold story, or a nightmarish tale.
Whether found by divers or someone enjoying a lovely day out with family and friends, there have been some fascinating discoveries throughout time. Here’s a list of some of the more bizarre and mysterious objects found at the bottom of lakes.
An Undetonated Bomb At The Bottom Of Lake Washington
Talk about dangerous if in the wrong hands. In June 1988, a 100-pound World War II-era bomb was found on the bottom of Lake Washington in Seattle. The incredible part is that it was still active.
No one knows how it found its home at the bottom of the lake, but the ongoing theory is that a warplane flying in or out of a nearby airfield dropped the bomb into the water. The other mystery is why the pilot dropped the bomb on American soil.
Lost Civilization Rising From Lake Buchanan
Residents around the human-made Lake Buchanan always knew that the town of Bluffton would eventually flood, but due to Texas’ heavy rains, the flooding came early. Families of the community weren’t prepared to move at such short notice, after all, they were given a specific time frame on when they had to be cleared out of the town. But Mother Nature didn’t seem to care.
The lake flooded and what was once Bluffton became an underwater ghost town. Years have passed, and the waterline is finally receding, leaving exposed graves stones, utensils, and even parts of building foundation visible from the road.
A Ghost Plane On The Bottom Of Lake Norman
Charlotte Fire Department was in for a big surprise when they decided to test out new sonar equipment in Lake Norman in 2013. The firefighters ended up finding a fully intact single-engine airplane at the bottom of the large lake.
The plane was submerged about 100-feet underwater, making it impossible for the firefighters to open the doors to the cockpit. Luckily, there looked to be no human remains. A woman named Barbara Anderson said she lost the seaplane nearly 30-years ago and has spent thousands of dollars trying to find it.
The skeletons in Roopkund lake were first found by a British forest guard in 1942. He thought the remains were of Japanese soldiers who had died while crossing the Himalayas during World War II. It’s not a horrible hypothesis, but it’s not accurate.
Scientists have now discovered the bones belong to pilgrims and locals of the area. Since there were no fatal wounds found on the bones, researches have concluded that the cause of death was baseball-sized hail or ice hitting them in the head. When the ice melts you’re able to see hundred of scattered skulls in the lake.
Creepy Doll Head From Your Nightmares
In 2013, one Reddit user went to the board and let everyone know that “my brother and I found this at the bottom of a lake.” Apparently he’d been diving for clams when he came across the demonic-looking doll head. I feel like someone should have advised him to throw it back in the lake, or at least burn it.
There’s no way that thing isn’t evil, and I’m not just saying that because it’s mildly deteriorating from the lake water. As one of the comments beautifully stated, “PUT IT BACK! It was down there for a reason.”
Sometimes You Just Need A Place To Sit And Think
A Reddit user exclaims, “I’m exploring the bottom of Pavillion Lake for NASA, logging what is found… at 35 meters deep I run into this…” This being a chair. The question is how on Earth a chair wound up at the bottom of a lake that is right off a highway? Unless a scuba diver decided they needed a place to sit and think for a minute, I have nothing.
They probably thought life’s greatest mysteries could be solved at the bottom of a Canadian lake. Why not? Good a place as any. I guess we’ll never know.
Mini Underwater Stonehenge
Another mystery lies at the bottom of Lake Michigan, and researchers are calling it a mini pre-historic Stonehenge. As if Stonehenge wasn’t wild enough, now we have one underwater that has a strange carving of a mastodon on them. Think of a giant elephant-type creature from the ice age. The carving suggests the stones were there for at least 11,000 years.
Unfortunately, because the stones have been underwater for so long, researchers are having difficulty deciphering some of the strange carvings. They also have no idea how it got there or why it bears such a resemblance to Stonehenge in England.
The Joke’s On You
First launched on April Fool’s day in 1849, The James McBride was one of the first ships to transport goods from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. In 1857, the cargo ship was carrying wood from the Manitou Islands to Chicago when it was caught in rough winds and sank. The 121-foot long ship now rests under 15-feet of water near Sleeping Bear Point.
I would recommend to any and all boat captains to not launch a boat for the first time on April 1st. That’s just asking for something bad or silly to happen later down the line.
The Baltic Sea Anomaly
In June 2011 a Swedish diving team, “Ocean X” was diving at the center of the Gulf of Bothnia in the northern Baltic Sea when they came across a weird object. The team took a sonar image of the object and there have been several theories as to what it is.
Some think that it resembles a sunken UFO, but several scientists have agreed that it’s most likely a natural geological formation.
Ghost Ships And Grandpas
Another Great Lake mystery! In 1927 the SS Kamloops sank off Isle Royale in Lake Superior. The lake freighter was dispatched up the lakes with a mixed cargo of paper making machinery, coiled wire, shoes, food, piping, and tar paper. Unfortunately, a massive storm hit and the ship with its 22 crew members were never seen again. That is until it was finally found in 1977.
In the engine room, a well-preserved corpse nicknamed Old Whitey is thought to be the home of the ghostly spirit, “Grandpa.” He’s known to float up behind divers and follow them throughout the engine room.
Practice Makes Perfect
A Douglas SBC Dive Bomber was located in 2009, after sitting at the bottom of Lake Michigan for 65 years. This type of airplane was flown in World War II, utilized as both a scouting plane and a dive bomber. Not exactly the safest of gigs. The specific aircraft from the lake was used as an instructional tool for new pilots to practice landing on a cargo ship in the middle of Lake Michigan.
Seems as though one of the students missed their target if the Douglas SD was making friends with the fish for over 60 years.
Look, He Found A Rock
Leave it to a nine-year-old to find a pharyngeal tooth plate of a freshwater drum fish. I would have thought it was a weird rock and thrown it back into the lake. It looks like the Reddit user wasn’t sure what it was either, sharing, “This weird quarter-sized bone-like thing my son found at a lake in SE Kansas.”
Pharyngeal teeth are composed of hard, movable plates, which the fish uses to crush the exoskeleton of its prey. Being crushed by hard plates is some Salem Witch Trial type death that I am not on board with.
A Myth That Might Prove To Be True
In 2013, divers braved Yakutia, Russia’s freezing winter temperatures for the chance to dive in Lake Labynkyr in the first-ever attempt to reach the floor of the lake. The divers located skeletal remains and a jaw of what could possibly be the notorious “Devil” first reported in the 19th century by locals.
There have been no proven encounters with the Devil, only the briefest of sonar detections seen by Professor Emeliyanova, “It was our fourth or fifth day at the lake when our echo sounding device registered a huge object in the water under our boat.” Not exactly hard evidence.
One of the most hush-hush operations of World War II was the 1944 sinking of the Norwegian ferry Hydro with its cargo of “heavy water.” The ferry was destined to drop the necessary ingredient off at a nearby hydroelectric plant, the Nazi’s secret atomic bomb project headquarters. Thankfully, they never made it to the plant. Allied forces were able to sneak onboard and place bombs in the cargo hold, managing to sink Hydro 1,300-feet in Lake Tinn.
For years we haven’t been certain if the ferry held dangerous materials or not. In 2005, the hard water barrels were found onboard.
Talk About Holy Water
The tale of how this giant crucifix came to be at the bottom of one of the Great Lakes is a long one, dating back to 1956 with the death of a 15-year-old boy. His grieving parents commissioned the 11-foot, 1,850-pound marble crucifix from a sculptor in Italy. It arrived damaged, and the family ended up selling it to a local diving club.
The club made arrangements for the piece to be lowered into Lake Michigan in honor of a diver who recently drowned in Torch Lake. Over time, the crucifix became a sort of shrine to all who die in water.
Alien Or Plant
I thought I’d throw a mysterious little alien-type thing into the mix. One Reddit user went to the internet to try and figure out what this weird little guy might be, “What the heck is this alien-looking thing I found in my lake. About a foot to a foot and a half and has a weird shell and lots of legs looking things on one side?”
Unfortunately, this user is not the next great scientist. As it turns out, the alien is actually a water lily rhizome. Bummer.
Team Fishing Weight Vs. Team Cannonball
Although it’s not as cool as a skeleton tea party or as interesting as a ghost ship, this Reddit user has the internet picking sides on what this ball-type thing could be. The user says, “[It] was found on the shore of the Mozhaisk water reservoir (man-made lake flooded in the 1960s) which may or may not be relevant. Also 15 km northwest of the site of the battle of Borodino.” Many people commented saying that it’s a fishing net weight, others believe it to be a WWII cannonball.
To make life a bit more interesting, I’m siding with Team Cannonball.
Six Missing Teens Finally Found After Decades
In 2013, secrets were exposed in Lake Foss in Elk City, Oklahoma. When Highway Patrol was testing out new sonar equipment they stumbled across two Chevrolet’s that looked like they had been in the lake for years. The vehicles were found right next to each other in about 12-feet of water.
Assuming they were just stolen cars from way back when the patrol didn’t think much of it, so they went through the steps and removed the cars from the water. That’s when they saw skeletal remains of three people in each car.
A Prosthetic Leg In A Beaver Dam
Elliot Fuller and Jason Franklin were out on Lake Lucerne in Wisconsin when they stumbled upon what, at first, looked like a human foot sticking out of a beaver dam. They thought they’d come across a dead body! As it turns out, it was a prosthetic.
The man missing it, Mark Warner decided to put an ad out on Craigslist, offering a $50 reward for its return. It turns out, he lost the leg when his canoe capsized! Fuller and Franklin returned it, using the reward money to take their families out to breakfast.
County Commissioner Tom Sublett
County Commissioner Tom Sublett of Gleen County, Georgia, was found floating at the bottom of a local lake in December of 2012. His hands were tied in front of him and he had a gunshot wound to the head, yet the autopsy says the cause of death was drowning. Talk about a mysterious death.
The weird thing is that the police deemed the death a suicide, even though there was no note found and Sublett had no history of depression or drug abuse. There was a gun holster found in his car, but no gun was ever discovered. The public may never know what actually happened.