Guys like Indiana Jones and Rick O'Connell have been captivating us for decades, digging up old treasures and finding lost, well, pretty much everything. Cities, crystal skulls, evil mummies; these guys have been uncovering all sorts of finds. That's only on the big screen. In real life, however, we have Arthur Evans, who unearthed the ancient Minoan civilization. Robert Ballard found the Titanic. Howard Carter dug up King Tut. Besides have one hell of a cool first name, Thor Heyerdahl led one of the first scientific explorations of Easter Island, and that was after his trip on a raft called Kon-Tiki, which inspired his book and an Academy Award winning documentary. Louis Leakey taught us about our cavemen ancestors.
All these people, real or fiction, inspires us to look to the past, in hopes that we'll have a better view of where we're going. But what about 1,000 or so years from now? What will life now look like to the future inhabitants of Earth, or any other planet that might come exploring?
10. The Golden Gate Bridge
This 1.7 mile long, 90 foot wide, nearly 900 ton mammoth of a bridge, under the guidance of Joseph Strauss, took 4 years to be built. From 1933 until 1937, men worked on and men died for this bridge. When it was all done, Wills O’Brien, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, called the bridge a “necklace of surpassing beauty.”
In a thousand years, any number of things could happen that might bring the bridge down. A massive tidal wave, earthquake, war, or just plain old time. Steel and concrete don't last forever, after all. And where the San Francisco Bay is now, could be a dried up valley by then. A lot of bodies of water that once existed no longer do, and with the bay being quite a bit shallower than the Pacific Ocean, lowering sea levels, for whatever reason, could leave it a dry hole in the ground.
9. The Channel Tunnel
The “Chunnel” is 23.5 miles long, and is on many peoples' bucket lists as something they want to do in their lives. It connects England and France, and was first suggested as a architectural possibility in 1802 by Albert Mathieu-Favier. Multiple times, over the years, building a tunnel under the English channel is suggested, and shot down or shelved. Finally, in 1987, Margaret Thatcher and Francois Mitterrand ratified the Treaty of Canterbury, which officially made the bridge a reality. It was dug on both sides of the channel, and in 1990, in the service tunnel, diggers from the two sides finally met. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Having this long of a bridge underwater is just asking for trouble. Earthquakes, underwater volcanoes, and anything explosive could end the tunnel. Until, say, far in the future, when mankind is digging around and rediscovers this massive underground, under-the-water tunnel.
8. Christ the Redeemer Statue
This statue has starred in more action movies than The Rock. Any time you want to make a good movie ten times better, just add an aerial video of this status. 98 feet tall, and an arm span of 92 feet, it sits at the summit of Mount Corcovado, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Like the Golden Gate Bridge, no matter how strongly reinforced concrete is, it won't last forever. And unlike Noah's Ark, which came to rest on the top of a mountain after the flood and has never been found, if and when this statue falls, it should, for the most part, stay on the summit. Jesus' head might fall off and roll down the side of the mountain, creating all sorts of havoc and panic. But after a millennium of who knows what, including war, natural disasters, and zombies, it might be a while before humanity dusts itself off and decides it wants to go climbing random mountains in Brazil. Until then, the statue will remain undiscovered.
7. The Empire State Building
At the start of the 20th century, the skyline of New York was getting ready to be foreve changed. The Bank of Manhattan skyscraper topped the Woolworth Building. The Chrysler building went higher than the Bank of Manhattan skyscraper, thanks to a secret spire that went on top of the building, solely to make it the tallest building. Not to be outdone, the architects that built the Bank of Manhattan building put in The Empire State Building. Little did they know that a huge ape would be climbing to the top of it in multiple movies, swatting airplanes from the sky with one hand and holding a screaming woman in the other.
With plenty of doomsday movies out there, we're pretty prepared for whatever this building's fate might be around the year 3,000 A.D. Assuming, by some miracle, it's still standing then, anything from rising sea levels to the dreaded magnetic field flipping pole reversal that the movie 2012 introduced so many people to (thanks Mayan calendar) could bury half the building in sand or ice. An expedition inside the building could actually be reminiscent of some of the scenes from The Day After Tomorrow!
6. The Statue of Liberty
Another star of many, many movies, including a few doomsday flicks, this gal weighs in at a whopping 225 tons, is 111 feet, 6 inches tall, and has a healthy 35 foot waistline. Truly a work of art, and one of the most sought after sites of tourists, there are too many facts about this lady to cover here. But, here are a couple anyway. The seven rays on her crown represent the seven continents of the world, and the chains at the feet of the statue represent the broken shackles of tyranny and oppression.
Lady Liberty, like all other man-made structures, won't last forever. A stray asteroid, hitting just the right spot, could wipe her out in a split second. Or, pink slime could cause her to walk around and fall over in the middle of New York. Either way, think about how awesome it would be to discover her during an excavation. And how awesome it would be to tell all your workers that they need to dig her up while you get all the credit.
5. World's Largest Ball of Twine
In the heartland, Cawker City, Kansas, there lies one of the most loved and ridiculed tourist attractions on the planet. One huge ass ball of twine. It took Frank Stoeber 4 years, starting in 1953, to build the thing, and it's now the pride of the city. And apparently, one can even add twine to the ball!
Well, after the dust settles from World War 3, or 12, chances are that this big ball will survive, unless an open flame goes anywhere near it. Hopefully it'll get buried under rubble or dirt before that happens. Imagine being the guy to stumble upon this thing. You're out there digging around, looking for something cool like a rare iPad or hoverboard, when you hit a big ball of twine. After finding the end of it, you start pulling. But you keep pulling, and never, ever stop. Ever.
These days, on archaeological sites, popular items to find are bones, dishes, walls of houses, eating utensils, money, etc. That's because, way back when, those were pretty popular objects. People have always need to buy stuff, to eat stuff, and when they die, they would get buried. So, we find all of their junk.
What today is as popular as ceramic bowls to our ancestors? That's right. Televisions, MP3 players, computers, and iEverythings. In a thousand years, the odds are pretty good that treasure seekers won't be able to throw a stick without hitting a dug-up computer or flat screen. If televisions aren't around anymore in the future, for whatever reason, thanks to the half-life of plastic, our electronics are probably going to be getting dug up way beyond a thousand years down the road.
3. Cloud Gate Sculpture
Or as everyone knows it, the “bean.” Unveiled in Chicago in 2004, and sculpted by Anish Kapoor, it got it's Cloud Gate name because 80 percent of its surface reflects the sky. It's a tourist hotspot, much like the Statue of Liberty and huge ball of twine, and is in the background of many a selfie.
In the future, long after the shiny surface of the bean has lost it's luster, one can imagine a treasure seeker digging through the rubble that was once Chicago, and finding this huge metal object. If they don't run in terror, thinking it's an alien craft or egg, they're going to be in for a big surprise when they dig it up, and polish it really good, only to find that they've found a huge metal kidney bean.
2. Palm Tree Island
This massive man-made island in Dubai, a plot of which is owned by David Beckham himself, is just one of the many ambitious projects of this way-too-rich country. They weren't satisfied with gargantuan buildings, do the residents of this country started building enormous islands in the shape of palm trees and our own planet.
Animal effigy mounds, rock structures built by Native Americans in the shape of animals, and the serpent mound in Ohio are some examples of structures that have been discovered in our lifetime, and are sometimes so huge that they're visible from space. Now, imagine the coast off Dubai drying up in the future, and the inhabitants of our planet find some way of getting up high enough in the air to see the palm tree shaped island, and the group of islands that are arranged in the shape of Earth's continents. That's assuming, of course, we find our way back into the air after whatever disaster happens between now and the 31st century!
1. Newark Basket Building
This one has the potential for being the most confusing find of the 31st century. Forget Stonehenge and Roanoke. While those are both probably going to be unsolved mysteries as long as humanity rolls on, this building could cause absolute mass hysteria upon it's unearthing. After further digging, sure, it would be found to only be a building, but imagine the reaction when this huge picnic basket is discovered. Will they think that giants once inhabited the planet? You'd think that would be a story passed down from generation to generation.