TechFlesh Blog

Nine lost treasures – and why science wants them back

Feb 27, 2012 by Administrator

One of the rarest Archaeopteryx fossils disappeared after its irascible owner died. Was it stolen, is it buried with him, or something else?

The Loch Ness monster that got away

In the 1600s, the specimen of a curious long-necked seal emerged. It could explain tall stories of sea serpents – if only it hadn’t been mislaid.

President Nixon’s moon rocks

Priceless lunar samples gifted after the Apollo landings fell into wrong hands – meet the moon-hunter who went undercover to get them back.

Peking man’s bones

A crate containing some the world’s most important hominy fossils vanished amid war in 1941 – along with secrets about the origins of language.

The napalm of Byzantium

It was one of the most terrifying weapons ever made. But the ingredients and technology that made “Greek fire” are a family secret lost in the 12th century.

The Soviet seed bank

Botanist Nikolai Vavilov collected seeds and plants to help feed the Soviet Union. What happened to the 40,000 samples stolen by Nazi commandos?

The missing Mars Polar Lander

One AWOL spacecraft still stands a chance of discovery – and you might even be able to spot it yourself.

Miraculous Damascus steel

European Crusaders told of Islamic warriors wielding super-sharp, implausibly flexible blades. Had the sword smiths stumbled on nanotechnology?

Trees from the moon

Apollo 14 took 500 tree seeds to the moon and back. Most germinated, and they were planted around the world – but no one kept track of where.


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