The treasure hunt is a regular trope in popular culture. From Indiana Jones to National Treasure, we can't seem to get enough of dangerous missions in search of loot. Unfortunately, hidden treasure seems to be much more common in the movies than in real life. Most would-be treasure hunters settle for geocaching or messing around with metal detectors. However, there's at least one genuine, bonafide treasure hunt going on today, courtesy of Forrest Fenn.
The poem is classically cryptic, as any good treasure-hunt-related clue should be. Forrest Fenn graphic.
In a self-published book, The Thrill of the Chase, Fenn claimed to have hidden a "romanesque" chest full of jewels and gold somewhere in the Rockies. With an estimated value over two million dollars, it's no surprise that his hidden treasure has attracted significant attention. The subreddit r/findingfennsgold has over 15,000 subscribers, and Fenn himself has estimated that 65,000 have joined in the search, according to the New York Times.
Unfortunately, though not entirely unexpectedly, encouraging tens of thousands of random people to explore remote regions of the Rocky Mountains has resulted in at least two deaths. With treasure-hunting season approaching, the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office released the following statement on Facebook, encouraging potential treasure hunters to adequately prepare for the Rockies' often harsh climate and dangerous terrain:
We encourage all heading into the mountains to prepare appropriately, whether the goal is a box of gold or a simple weekend of camping.