There is legitimate, no-fooling, actual buried treasure hiding somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, and people are dying in their quest to find it.

In case you were in need of an internet hole to fall down this afternoon, cop this.

The Fenn Treasure is a trove containing a reported US$2million worth of gold and jewels, housed in a chest and buried somewhere in the Rocky Mountains region of the US by author and art dealer Forrest Fenn.

Back in 1988, Fenn was diagnosed with cancer. During this time he came up with the idea to bury a chest full of treasure for someone to find. He’d then end his life nearby the burial site and the treasure would become his “legacy.” Fenn filled a chest with gold nuggets, jewellery, gemstones, rare coins, and an olive jar containing his autobiography. However, Fenn wound up surviving the illness and instead waited until he was around 79-years-old to bury the treasure.

Fenn published a poem intended to provide clues as to the treasure’s location, but so far the loot has not been discovered. Fenn asserts that while the nine reported clues have been uncovered, no one as yet has presented them to him “in the right order.” It’s said that people searching for the treasure have been as close as 200 feet away, with many coming as close as 500 feet.

See? “Clues.”

This is real. It’s a real thing.

Only problem is, people are dying while trying to find it.

Two people, on separate search expeditions, have died in the past 12 months while trying to locate Fenn’s treasure.

In July of last year, the remains of Randy Bilyeu were found after the 54-year-old went missing in January while hunting for the treasure.

More recently, Colorado pastor Paris Wallace was found dead, floating in a New Mexico section of the Rio Grande river, after going missing while searching for the treasure last week. His vehicle was located stretched across a tributary of the river with a torn rope nearby. His body was found floating several miles downstream.

The deaths have sparked police to criticise the treasure hunt, causing Fenn to rethink the experiment entirely.

Fenn reportedly stated that he is even considering calling the search off entirely.

“I am thinking about several options, including stopping the search. I have consulted several friends who are helping me decide.”

For the time being, the search remains on. And those screaming “there’s gold in them thar hills” are quite literally correct.

Actual treasure. Un-bloody-believable.

Source: NY Daily News.