Posted by Allanah Faherty @allanah
Staff Writer and resident Walking Dead expert at MP. Tweet me @bananallanah or email [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

Over the years there have been many films which have focussed on great discoveries. 1492: Conquest of Paradise told the story of the discovery of America, Jurassic Park revealed the discovery of dinosaur DNA, and The Breakfast Club was simply a discovery of self.

But while films often tell us a story of something being found, it's much less common for the film itself to lead to a discovery, but believe it or not it's actually happened! Take a look below and prepare to be taken aback by these two unlikely movies which lead to two almost unbelievable discoveries:

A lost painting rediscovered in Stuart Little

The Little family in front of the painting [Columbia Pictures]
The Little family in front of the painting [Columbia Pictures]

Stuart Little was released in 1999 as the first big screen adaption of the E.B. White's beloved book, and 10 years late the little mouse's appearance would actually lead to a rather big rediscovery.

Back in 2009, Hungarian art historian Gergely Barki was watching Stuart Little with his young daughter when a painting in the background of the Little household caught his eye. Immediately Barki recognized the painting as Róbert Berény’s lost painting 'Sleeping Lady with Black Vase,' which hadn't been seen since 1928.

Róbert Berény’s Sleeping Lady with Black Vase
Róbert Berény’s Sleeping Lady with Black Vase

After his discovery, Barki then spent two years attempting to track down the painting and eventually reached the assistant set designer who had purchased the painting for $500 from an antiques store in Pasadena, California (Barki believes the painting may have ended up in America after its Hungarian Jewish owner fled Europe during the war). Though the set designer had initially bought the painting because she thought it would work well in the Little's house, when the film wrapped she ended up buying it back off the studio for her own home.

After Barki was able to confirm the painting from the film was in fact the Berény’s lost portrait, the set designer sold the art work to a private collector and in 2014 it was sold at auction for around $244,000!

A new iguana identified in The Blue Lagoon

The Fiji Crested Iguana at the beginning of the film
The Fiji Crested Iguana at the beginning of the film

1980 film The Blue Lagoon may have been responsible for the sexual awakening of many pubescent viewers, but the film was also responsible for the identification of the Fiji Crested Iguana! The distinctive iguana, which has a crest running down its body and bold black and white markings, was discovered after herpetologist Dr. John Gibbons was invited to a screening of the film.

The iguana reappears throughout the movie
The iguana reappears throughout the movie

Director Randal Kleiser had filmed part of the movie on remote islands, and had purposely included shots of the native species to add to the isolated feel of the island. After Dr. Gibbons watched the film (which includes several shots of the iguana), he traveled to the island and was able to identify it as a totally distinct species of iguana. The Fiji Crested Iguana only lives on eight small Fijian islands, making its discovery even more special, though sadly it is now on the critically endangered list.

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Source: EOL.org, The Guardian