Treasure Hunting Shows

The most exciting finds from Expedition Unknown

Josh Gates and his team have certainly come up with some pretty exciting discoveries over the course of Expedition Unknown’s 12 seasons.

With the title of the most popular unscripted cable series among men between the ages of 25 and 54, 12 seasons, and over 200 episodes firmly in its grasp, Expedition Unknown remains one of the most popular adventure shows on television.

Over the course of the show’s (now more than a) decade on television, expert explorer and host, Josh Gates, has taken the audience along as he investigates mysteries ranging from the disappearance of Amelia Earhart off the coast of Fiji to the legend of a Viking King Harald Bluetooth who used to traverse across Scandinavia.

Josh Gates and the Expedition Unknown investigations

It is sometimes difficult to believe that there are still so many perplexing, strange and downright unfathomable unsolved mysteries around today that explorers like Gates can fill more than 200 hours of television space with their investigations.

Yet, Gates and his team of eye-witnesses, local guides and niche field-experts have uncovered some pretty amazing things in the last few years.

And since Gates does not seem to have any plans to retire from his Indiana Jones-esque explorer life anytime soon, there really is no telling what the show might still discover in the future.

Josh Gates’s most exciting Expedition Unknown discoveries ranked

The magic of watching Expedition Unknown – just like any real-life treasure hunt really – lies in the fact that you never quite know whether the episode will end with a great history-altering discovery, or a simple smile and wave from Gates.

And while there is never any guarantee of what Gates might find when he first sets out on a new adventure, the Expedition Unknown investigations have led to some very interesting discoveries.

The details surrounding some of Expedition Unknown’s most notable finds can be summarized as follows:

Rank Discovery Episode
3. The 1940s coin Season 3, episode 20: “Corsica’s Nazi Treasure”
2. The shipwreck from 1830 Season 6, episode 6: “Ghost Ship of the Great Lakes”
1. The Navy plane Season 12, episode 8: “Hunt for the Secret Seaplane”

The 1940s coin

The “Corsica’s Nazi Treasure” episode from season three of Expedition Unknown saw Gates travel far and wide (and up and down a whole bunch of stairs) in search of the rumored lost treasure the Nazi general Erwin Rommel.

Although this particular episode of Expedition Unknown premiered more than seven years ago, it is still well-known for being one of the show’s most exciting episodes to this day, for various reasons.

In the first half of this episode, Gates traverses the caverns hidden beneath the island of Corsica and finds a wooden box which seems like it could be the one referenced in the legends about Rommel’s treasure.

However, the crucial point in this episode actually happens much later when Gates’s diving expedition along the Northern edge of the island, off the coast of Bastia, uncovers an unknown shipwreck.

This episode ends with Gates finding what could be a new lead in the search to find Rommel’s lost treasure; a shiny 1940s Reichspfennig coin amongst the other pieces of metal, and debris in this shipwreck.

The shipwreck from 1830

Each Expedition Unknown investigation is entertaining in its own right, but there is just something about a swash-buckling pirate legend that makes any find seem a little bit more whimsical.

In the “Ghost Ship of the Great Lakes” episode, Gates investigates the rumored lost treasure of the infamous pirate, Jose Gaspar, using a variety of treasure-hunting methods ranging from metal-detecting deep in the Florida swamplands to diving off the coast of Key West.

And while Gates still cannot quite call himself a modern, gold-wielding pirate, he can confidently declare that he and the team from Mel Fisher Treasures, managed to locate a real and formerly-un-catalogued shipwreck, estimated to be almost 200 years old, at the bottom of the Gold Coast.

The Navy plane

Expedition Unknown’s season 12 “Hunt for the Secret Seaplane” episode took Gates to the coast of San Diego, in an endeavor to investigate the one-of-a-kind XP5Y US prototype Navy seaplane, which was lost to the ocean after a devastating crash landing.

However, Gates’ investigation for this prototype plane ends up taking a rather unexpected turn when the 2 hour-long extensive, sonar-filled underwater investigation reveals the wreckage of an entirely different Navy plane, which has somehow ended up drowned in the exact spot where some experts believe the XP5Y went down.

And while this discovery is not exactly the plane that Gates was expecting to find – there is nothing more exciting than an unexplained coincidence.

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