Five mysterious hidden treasures that have never been found in hundreds of years

Treasure hunters reckon they are on the brink of finding the world’s most valuable stash of gold, jewels and ancient artefacts worth £15billion.

There’s only one issue – no-one knows for a fact this hoard exists.

They are relying on the word of an eccentric mystic, who claimed to know secrets of human history and had very odd teachings about sex.

The group of amateurs have spent more than 34 years looking for the Lemminkäinen Hoard at a cave ­system near Helsinki in Finland.

Now, as we reported earlier this week, they believe they will finally be able to break into the temple when digging resumes in May.

Its treasure is said to number more than 50,000 gems, several 18-carat gold statues and at least 1,000 artefacts dating back thousands of years.

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But the existence of this treasure only emerged in 1984 when landowner Ior Bock claimed his family had been the keeper of secret knowledge passed down over centuries.

The so-called Bock Saga covered the origin of man in Finland 50million years ago, how the Ice Age caused people to scatter and establish the first civilisations around the world and the mysteries of the country’s gods.

Bock was also a tour guide and ­actor, and his stranger “revelations” included the idea that early man learned how to pleasure themselves orally and drink their own semen – which was dubbed “water of wisdom”. According to Bock, the chamber on his large estate was sealed up with huge stone slabs in the 10th century to protect vast treasures owned by the ancient royal family from ­invading armies.

The childless Bock said he was revealing the temple’s existence so it would not die with him.

In 1987, he recruited 24 of his followers as an excavation team.

None had any archaeological experience. Since then, the group has removed several of the giant granite slabs from the cave entrance and excavated around 400 tonnes of sediment below it.

Bock died in 2010, aged 68, but expert on him Carl Borgen, says: “We’re entering the end game and the treasures to be found there will be unimaginable.”

It isn’t the only mythical treasure to have sparked mystery. Here are five other ­fabled stashes…

Lost Dutchman's gold mine

This mine in Arizona, US, is named after German immigrant Jakob Waltz who is said to have discovered it in the 19th century, removed the gold and kept it a secret.

Until his death in 1891, he described the location of the mine to only one person – his neighbour, who looked after him in his final days. Each year people search for the mine, and some have died doing so, sparking rumours of a curse.

Riches of the Knights Templar

The Knights Templar were one of the most famous religious military orders in Europe, founded in 1119 to protect Christians.

Over time, it gained enormous influence and wealth. In 1307, the French king Philip IV – who was threatened by their power – arrested the knights and smashed their treasury. But it turned out to be empty.

Exactly what the Templar treasure is and where it is hidden remains a mystery.

Montezuma's treasure

In 1519, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés arrived in the Aztec Empire and was greeted by Emperor Montezuma II, who offered him gold and silver to leave in peace.

But after the greedy Spaniards attempted to ransack the city, there was a rebellion and Cortés was forced to flee, dumping the treasure in Lake Texcoco in Mexico.

According to legend, the riches lie on the bottom of the lake – and many have attempted to find them, without success.

Ivan the Terrible's lost library

Also known as the lost library of the Moscow Tsars, this is said to have been assembled by ruler Ivan the Great in the 16th century and to contain rare ancient texts.

It has been historically located under the Kremlin.

Ivan the Terrible is said to have managed to hide the priceless texts – although there are also claims he cursed the library, causing blindness to anyone who looked for it, and used the books to learn about black magic.

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The Ark of the Covenant

Famously hunted by Indiana Jones, this was a gold chest holding the tablets engraved with the 10 commandments God gave to Moses.

It was kept in a sacred Jewish temple in Jerusalem but was said to have been destroyed in 587 BC when a Babylonian army conquered the city.But some claim it still exists and resides in the Church of St Mary of Zion in Axum, Ethiopia.

There’s even a theory that it was brought to Earth by ancient aliens, who later took it back with them.

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