When you think of World War II, you probably think of the Allied Powers joining together to stop Adolph Hitler and the Holocaust. Or you think of the attack on Pearl Harbor, drawing the U.S. into the war. Or you might think of the war coming to an end after the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan.
Besides the main events of WWII, there are many smaller aspects of the war that fascinating on their own. One of these was rumors of the existence of gold and jewels that were stolen during the war. The pilfered goods have been referred to as the Yamashita Treasure.
The story goes that, during World War II, the Japanese Imperial Army looted gemstones and gold bars worth billions of dollars. It was supposedly stolen in 1944 while the army was commanded by General Tomoyuki Yamashita, giving the treasure its name.
Unable to take the treasure with them, the Japanese Imperial Army allegedly buried the treasure. The rumor stated that the loot was stashed in over 145 tunnels and caves in the Philippines. And, supposedly, the army was unable to retrieve the loot before the end of the war.
A video on YouTube indicates that the Yamashita Treasure may actually be real after all. And that's because some travelers filmed themselves digging through some caves in the Philippines. Here's what they found.
The video has since gone viral, earning over 348,000 views and getting shared on Reddit. The discovery of the Yamashita Treasure has captured the attention of many people who want to believe that it's real. But is it?
Anthropologist Piers Kelly has long cautioned people against believing in the Yamashita Treasure. He said these tales have been told frequently throughout the Philippines, but with no proof. And this rumor goes back to before the second world war.
“Since at least the 19th century Filipino storytellers have shared tales of hidden valuables such as gold, church bells, silver coins and fine tableware,” Kelly said. “By tracing variations of this story, we were able to show that their popularity coincides with periods of war and crisis. The promise of future wealth may have served to boost local morale.”
So perhaps there really is no Yamashita Treasure after all. Or maybe the video really DOES show the treasure, but there's not enough evidence to prove it. Or, just maybe, the treasure is still out there, waiting around until it gets discovered by someone reading this article right now.