Oak Island up for sale

It may look like a fixer-upper at first glance, but what is buried beneath scrubby little Oak Island might just make its estimated $7 million price tag worth the investment. Oak Island, in Nova Scotia, is famous for its Money Pit, a mystery that has endured two centuries, claimed six lives and swallowed up millions in life savings. The Pit was discovered in 1795 by a local boy named Daniel McGinnis who, spotting an unusual clearing in the earth under one of the island's oak trees, was prompted to start digging. The discovery of layered planks, mysterious stone slabs, and mats made of coconut fibers descending deep into the ground turned his casual afternoon dig into an all-out excavation. Investors and thrill-seekers would eventually jump in and continue the work, kicking off one of the world's longest running treasure hunts. What appears to be a complex flooding trap has thwarted efforts to reach the bottom of the Money Pit ever since.

Some think the pit was purposely flooded with seawater, via a series of artificial swamps and tunnels, to hide its contents. Through the murk, drill borings and shafts dug by the island's series of owners have detected what seem to be cement vaulting, wooden chests, and scraps of parchment paper. Radiocarbon dating of these artifacts is consistent: whoever constructed the shaft likely did so sometime in the 16th Century. Speculation about the contents of Oak Island's Money Pit range from the treasure of the Knight's Templar to Shakespeare's original manuscripts.

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