An epic decade-long treasure hunt has finally come to an end after one lucky adventurer discovered the hidden bounty in the Rocky Mountains.
The famed millionaire art and antiques collector, Forrest Fenn, kicked off a popular treasure hunt ten years ago by hiding a bronze chest filled with gold, rubies, diamonds and prehistoric jewels in a secret spot in the Rocky Mountains. And after teasing out cryptic clues to its whereabouts over the years Mr Fenn revealed in a surprise statement on Sunday that the search is finally over: the treasure has been discovered.
"It was under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains and had not moved from the spot where I hid it more than ten years ago," Fenn said in a statement to a blog run by treasure hunter Dal Neitzel. "I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot."
Mr Fenn never revealed exactly where it was hidden but he did post clues to its whereabouts online and within the stanzas of a poem he published in his 2010 memoir The Thrill of the Chase, which included the lines:
Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.
The popular quest had drawn droves of people to the New Mexico Rocky Mountains over the past decade, eager to make the discovery. It even inspired an annual gathering known as Fennboree, where treasure hunters and their families camped out, celebrated and swapped maps and clues.
Even though the riddle of the lost treasure been solved, one mystery remains: the identity of the person who discovered the bounty. Mr Fenn told the Santa Fe New Mexican that the man did not want to be named but claimed that he had confirmed his success in the quest by sending Mr Fenn photographs of the chest's contents.
This article originally ran on our sister site, Lonely Planet.