A remote island which inspired the authors behind Jurassic Park and Treasure Island may contain a $1 billion treasure hoard - but you will never find it.
The treasure, which consists of hundreds of silver coins, diamonds, and gold life-sized Virgin Mary statue, was supposedly moved from the Peruvian capital of Lima in 1820 to the Costa Rican island of Cocos.
However adventures on the island are banned, which has now become a UNESO World Heritage Site.
The island is also guarded by killer sharks!
British captain William Thompson and his vessel Mary Dear were tasked with guarding the haul and its safe passage to Mexico back in 1820.
But they killed all the soldiers and priests on board and buried it on the island.
They were soon apprehended by a Spanish warship, who hanged the entire crew except for Johnson and his first mate.
The wily pirates agreed to retrieve the loot – now valued at $1 billion (£820m) – but escaped after landing back on the island.
Another deposit of gold, silver and gems was left by Portuguese pirate Benito Bonito in the early 19th century.
His hoard alone has been estimated by some at $300m (£245k).
Since the stories emerged, the island has become a magnet for treasure hunters.
Some was discovered in May 1856 by mercenaries fleeing a battle in Nicaragua.
They apparently dug up a bronze chain in a sea cave, pulled it up and recovered a chest full of Spanish gold coins.
It has also attracted a raft of ramous writers – Michael Crichton based Jurassic Park on Cocos, and it was central to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
Hundreds of expeditions have been launched since, but the treasure has proved elusive on each outing.
Along with its huge array of wildlife, the island is also surrounded by tigers and hammerhead sharks – making future missions potentially life-threatening.
Several researchers have claimed that the treasure is buried elsewhere, while others maintain that the entire story is a fabricated pirate’s tale.
“There was even a lot of misinformation purposefully spread by treasure hunters trying to throw other treasure hunters off the track."
One carving left on a tree on the island suggests the treasure may be long gone.
It simply reads: “The bird has flown.”
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