There are a limited number of places where you would not be surprised to find gold: a bank vault or a gold mine, for instance. Of course, these locations are difficult to access—hence the scarcity and high price of gold.
Nonetheless, the shiny yellow metal has been turning up in increasingly surprising places around the world lately!
Stolen Olympic Gold Medal
Joe Jacobi, an Olympic canoeist who won the gold medal in his sport at the 1992 Barcelona summer games, reportedly had the golden prize stolen from his vehicle in early June. A few weeks later, an Atlanta resident, Wayne Smith, recovered the gold medal when his six-year-old daughter spotted the Olympic medal—in a trash can!
“When she picked it up it just wowed me. I had to look at it for 20 minutes before it sunk in,” Smith told reporters.
This is, in fact, not the only time an Olympic medal has been recovered from the garbage in the past year. In 2015, a pair of medals from the middle of the 20th century were discovered in a trash bin in Australia.
Nearly two millennia ago, the Italian city of Pompeii was virtually eradicated when the volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the bustling urban center. Academics have been studying the evidence of this tragic event for centuries.
Archaeologists have uncovered more artifacts from Pompeii just recently. A group of four skeletons were uncovered earlier this summer. Significantly, these impromptu tombs also contained a gold necklace and three gold coins dating to antiquity.
In one of the stranger developments involving newfound gold recently, authorities in South Africa stopped a man driving an Audi they were investigating in connection with crime syndicate activity. When they looked under the hood of the vehicle, they discovered gold bullion worth 50 million rand ($3.4 million). The suspect was attempting to smuggle the gold to Gauteng, a province in South Africa that not only includes two of the country’s largest cities (Pretoria and Johannesburg) but literally translates to “place of gold.” It is likely that the millions worth of gold was connected to the money laundering operations of drug cartels.
Golden Calf . . . Urine?
Finally, the most unbelievable turn of events for where gold is being discovered sounds like something out of a Hollywood B-movie script: Indian scientists have discovered that cows in China are expelling non-negligible amounts of gold from their bladders!
The researchers confirmed that between 3 mg and 10 mg of water-soluble gold was contained in the urine of both adult cows and calves in Gir cows. (The concentrations of gold were higher in the calves.) Chemical processes can actually extract this gold from the liquid and convert it into a solid form. It remains to be seen whether or not this small amount of gold will prove to be a profitable endeavor for farmers or scientists.
Still, it makes one wonder what on earth they are feeding this breed of Gir cattle?
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