Homeowners all across the world have come upon cute, creepy, and downright questionable artifacts when they’ve taken a peek underneath their floorboards. Although some of the pieces are interesting, others fall into the “WTH” category.
When the Explanation is
More Fascinating Than the Object
Have you ever come across something and thought, “How the hell did that get there?” It’s a safe bet that these homeowners uttered those very words—or something close to them—when they found these items under their floorboards.
An imperfection turned out to be a piece of history from five centuries ago.
Reasonable explanations for a “give” in a floor is a weak piece of wood, a small hole in the boards, or even a crack that creates a cute little squeak when you step on it. The cause of a British couple’s unsteady floor, however, was the exact opposite of reasonable.
When Colin Steer of Plymouth, Devon, in England attempted to repair a piece of weak flooring in his home he unearthed a lot more than he—or anyone—would have expected.
"I was replacing the joists in the floor when I noticed a slight depression – it appeared to be filled in with the foundations of the house,” Steer told The Telegraph.
Steer dug about a foot into the hole’s dirt before stopping and covering the space out of safety concerns for his three young children. Although excavation of the hole was put on hold, Steer never stopped wanting to know what was hiding underneath the dirt.
When he retired from his civil servant job many years later, Steer began to dig. He dug for three days, using a rope to carry out the hole’s debris with the help of a friend. They dug down 17 feet and even discovered an old sword in the hole.
It turns out the Steers' home is sitting atop a 33-foot, 16th-century well. According to Steer’s research, the well is part of a watercourse that was built in the 16th century by Sir Francis Drake to carry water from Dartmoor to Plymouth.
Now, it's covered by a clear trap door, decorated with lights, and sits next to a sofa in the Steers' front room.
This definitely cost him one of his lives.
Whoever said dogs and cats don’t get along has clearly never met Chloe the dog and Ringer the cat.
When the Marr home in South Haven, Michigan, caught on fire, all residents were able to escape, except for Ringer. Even after search and rescue attempts, the cat was still lost and feared dead.
Two months later, homeowner Christine went back to the abandoned house. She brought Chloe the dog while she was meeting with a builder to begin reconstruction. Marr noticed that Chloe was acting odd as she continually sniffed one specific spot and kept returning to the same location.
Eventually, the dog and owner began to hear a cat crying. Underneath the floorboards and rubble, Chloe found Ringer the cat. Severely malnourished and dehydrated, the cat was likely living off of bugs and spiders the two months he was stuck underneath the home debris.
Now they can literally play a game on the floor.
Most homeowners expect the worst when removing carpeting that rests on hardwood floors. Scrapes, holes, discoloration, and plain old ugliness are common flooring hassles that many DIY-ers endure.
But luck was on Nyeland
This wasn’t your mother’s Monopoly board, however. The Community Chests were swapped out with silhouettes of naked women.
“It was some sort of risque party game,”
“That’s probably why we divorced,”
These messages were not meant to be found.
Imagine pulling up the baseboards in your bathroom and finding postcards nailed to the wall. It was this bizarre scenario that welcomed Amanda Reddy to her Minneapolis, Minnesota, neighborhood after she bought a 1900s-era home there in 2013.
Australian news site News.com.au reports that Reddy wrote on her now-defunct blog that the postcards are addressed to Mayme Berneck, one of the original owners of the house. The cards are nice enough, but there’s nothing too exciting about them on their own. What’s curious is that some of the postcards were dated back to 1907, three years before the house was even built. Whoever nailed the postcards there meant for them to stay hidden.
What’s the reason for the privacy? One possibility is that Berneck hid the postcards behind the baseboards during the house’s construction. On her blog, Reddy said, "I'd love to speculate that she maybe had a lover that she was hiding from her husband, but unfortunately the postcards didn't have any juicy details that would imply that."
A Trip Back in Time
Looking for some rare antiques? If so, take a look under your floorboards. They often make this space their secret hiding places.
This find won’t sail off into the sunset anytime soon.
In England, it's hard to ignore the history that's around every corner. Through the centuries, the English have had many monarchs, fought many wars, and made many discoveries. One such discovery was waiting under floorboards of a historic dockyard in Kent.
In 1995, a group of carpenters stumbled upon the bones of a ship. It wasn't until 2012, though, that the ship was identified as one that historian Dan Snow
The HMS Namur, once captained by author Jane Austen’s brother Charles, was built in 1756, as one of the first warships built with a copper bottom. In the ship’s 47 years of service, it was used to navigate through the waters of three major wars, including the Napoleonic Wars and the Seven Years’ War. It was eventually broken apart in 1834 and buried.
This iconic piece of history rested underneath the floorboards of the Historic Dockyard Chatham maritime museum, where it was built, for nearly two centuries. Twenty years after their discovery, the rescued pieces were featured as the centerpiece of an
Even time couldn’t beat the real thing.
What would you do if you found a 23-year-old unopened can of Coca-Cola hidden under the floorboards of a house you were working on? If you’re Will Unwin of Cheltenham, England, you drink it.
Unwin discovered that you “can’t beat the feeling” while ripping up floorboards in an old Georgian home that was originally built in 1860. When he saw the signature red can, he just couldn’t pass up his chance at a taste of American history.
“It wasn’t fizzy, but it didn’t taste too bad and didn’t make me feel ill,” Unwin told Metro.co.uk.
The sugary discovery was just the beginning of Unwin’s treasure hunt into the past. While tearing down a wall, he found the front page of a newspaper dated Nov. 22, 1963, announcing President Kennedy’s assassination.
Unwin announced he planned to place the paper in a frame and hang it in the home upon its completion. For Unwin, the benefits of finding these relics are two-fold.
“Not only is this an amazing snippet of history, but it has also allowed me to pinpoint the exact date renovations have been made to the building,” he said.