When someone renting a storage unit defaults on payment, the owner, after waiting a proper amount of time, can sell off the contents to the highest bidder. Because people bid for these units without knowing exactly what the contents are, this process translates to something of a treasure hunt. In fact, the excitement of the hunt has spawned shows like “Auction Hunters” and “Storage Wars.” Sure, a lot of what’s found in storage units is just random junk, but every now and then there’s a gem. The things found in abandoned storage units over the years would probably surprise you. Sometimes people make amazing an amazing from buying a unit for just a few hundred dollars and finding an antique in there worth thousands. Other times, the things found inside are just plain bizarre.
Here are a few of the most interesting things found in storage units over the years:
A Stalker’s Treasure Trove: In 2012, a man who spent his time stalking Madonna was re-convicted to a mental hospital after his death threats to the pop icon. Afterwards, his storage unit was revealed to the public, and it was just as creepy as you might imagine. The space was full of headless dolls, knives, and a clown mask.
A Dinosaur Jawbone: That’s right! Something that paleontologists spend years and fortunes to find in the earth was actually discovered in a storage unit in Canada. It’s believed that it was simply found and stored by a hobbying archaeologist. Surely, there are plenty of people clamoring to know exactly where that hobbyist picked up the jawbone, just in case there are more dinosaur remains in the same spot!
A Human Leg: In one of the most bizarre stories of our time, one man purchased a barbecue smoker at a storage auction and opened it up months later only to find a human leg inside. When he called the police, they tracked down the original owner, an amputee who had taken care of the leg with some DIY embalming. What followed was a wacky custody battle that created salacious headlines. Finally, in an episode of Judge Mathis, the original owner of the leg was awarded custody.
James Bond’s Car: In the film The Spy Who Loved Me, the notorious secret agent drives an underwater car. 8 cars were actually created and used in the film, but until one was unearthed in 1989 in a Long Island storage unit, only 7 of the 8 were accounted for. The man who bid on the storage unit’s contents bought the car for less than $100. Later, that underwater car was bought by Elon Musk at an auction for nearly a million bucks. There are plenty of other amazing vehicles that have been found in storage units, too, including a rare 1937 Bugatti and a 1966 Shelby Fastback (of which only about 1,000 were made) in near-pristine condition.
Pirate Gold: About $500,000 worth of Spanish gold coins were found in a unit in San Jose, CA. How they got there is a mystery, but they were stored in a small Rubbermaid bin and the unit had been owned by an elderly woman who had recently died. The man who won the auction on the item had a big payoff for his $1100 bid.
What would someone find if they discovered your storage unit 50 years from now? Would there be treasures inside?