A video showing a man unearthing what appears to be an ancient “treasure pot” is going viral on social media platforms. The video starts with a man opening a sealed urn during an ‘excavation’, and finding ‘hidden treasure guarded’ by a snake inside it. A dead frog can also be seen inside the pot. After getting rid of the snake, the man empties the contents of the vessel to find a gold chain and scores of gold coins.
Several Facebook users shared the video claiming to show “gold coins” unearthed during the redevelopment work at Central Market in Mangalore. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.
The video is being widely shared and circulated with the caption, “During excavation work in the *Central Market for redevelopment, gold coins* were discovered. Surprising how a serpent was found inside the sealed vessel alive after so many years! This was in Mangalore…”
Newschecker also received the same video on our WhatsApp tipline (+91-9999499044) multiple times requesting to be fact checked.
We began our investigation by ascertaining whether any urn filled with gold coins was unearthed in Mangalore or now. Notably, Google searches for “Mangalore central market treasure,” “Mangalore central market gold coins,” “Mangalore treasure,” and “Gold Coins Unearthed In Mangalore,” did not yield any relevant results.
Following this, we scanned through various Facebook posts carrying the viral video and spotted a tab saying “Watch more original videos by: Hazine avcısı” under most of such posts.
On clicking the ‘Go’ option hyperlinked in the tab, we were directed to the Facebook page of one ‘Hazine avcısı’ (@expertarchaeologist) having over 6,40,000 followers. The ‘About’ section of the page reads, “If you live within the borders of Turkey; Those who conduct research, excavation and sound work without permission will be punished in accordance with the provision of Article 74 of the Law No. 5879 on the Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets. (translated from Turkish)”
Since the ‘About’ section failed to provide any relevant information, we started examining the type of content posted on the page, skimming through a series of “treasure hunting” videos. This, further, led us to a post dated September 23, 2022, caption “the moment of finding a mysterious treasure.” Displaying snippets of the viral video, the “creation team” was identified as ‘Hazine avcısı’ and ‘treasure.path’.
Treasure.path (@yourfactsx) is a ‘Digital creator’ whose ‘About’ section reads, “The world’s most real popurler videos you can follow the page here (sic)”
We continued scanning through various posts on Hazine avcısı’s Facebook page and spotted the gold chain- identical to the one seen in the viral clip- in several other “treasure hunting” videos from different dates and visibly different locations. For instance, in a post, dated September 6, 2022, the chain was discovered from a vessel hidden inside a “fearful cave,” while in a post dated September 20, 2022, it was found inside a smaller vessel dug out from the Earth, and in the viral video the chain is recovered from a urn “protected by a snake.”
Further, we looked up the verified YouTube channel of Hazine avcısı and found a longer version of the viral video – showcasing the entire ‘excavation’ process- that was uploaded on July 16, 2022, titled ‘moment of finding treasure with scoop.’
Notably, the description of the video was written in three languages – English, Turkish and Georgian. While the English description was for “Deep Gold Discrimination buyers,” the Turkish one roughly translates to “attention. If you live in Turkey, I prefer that you read this and follow the rules. ‼️ ‼ ️ ‼ ️ ‼ ️ Important ‼ ️ ‼ ️ ‼ ️Those who conduct research, excavation and sounding without permission will be punished in accordance with the provision of Article 74 of the Law No. 5879 on the Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets. According to this provision; “Anyone who digs or drills without permission in order to find cultural assets is punished with imprisonment from two to five years. (Note: all the scenes exhibited are edited)”
Furthermore, the Georgian says, “attention. It’s all made up. It’s not real. All videos are fictional. The goal is to entertain people.”
Additionally, we came across a video uploaded on May 21, 2022, titled ‘I took the chest full of gold with a ladle from 3 meters.’ Around 16 minutes into the video, we saw a person digging out the same urn as seen in the viral clip. The description of this video was the same as mentioned before.
Viral posts claiming to show “gold coins” unearthed during the redevelopment work at Central Market in Mangalore are false.
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