Yes, it’s happened again. I got sucked into another treasure hunting show that was big on promises but weak on payoff. In this case a group of treasure hunters, who, using a map published in a newspaper in the 1930s and who believe that it shows an island off the coast of Brazil where a huge treasure might be hidden, have gone in search of it. This was Incan gold that had been moved across the continent to the coast of Brazil to keep it from the Spanish invaders but then had to be moved again to avoid pirates. There had been a map made back in 1524 or thereabouts that had disappeared until it was printed in a newspaper centuries later. Using modern satellite technology because where would a treasure hunting show be without modern satellite technology, they were able to find an island that matched that old map…
Well, sort of. There is a general shape that matches and it is off the coast of Brazil and that’s about it. I thought that if you looked hard enough you might find some other place, but these treasure hunters have decided that Snake Island is the right place.
This is the Treasure of the Trinity, which is supposed to be worth four hundred million dollars, or thereabouts, but I don’t know if that was sixteenth century money or modern money, which makes little real difference. Four hundred million is a pile of cash, or in this case gold and probably some silver and a few precious gems thrown in for good measure.
And the place isn’t called Snake Island for no reason. It seems this is the home of the Golden Lancehead Viper (Bothrops insularis), a highly venomous snake that has apparently wiped all mammalian life from the island so that the snakes now rely on migratory birds for dinner. One report claimed that the snakes were responsible for 90% of the snake bites in North and South America which struck me as odd since it is only found on that one island… other information suggests that other lancehead snakes (which include the Fer-de-Lance) in other areas do bite people but there isn’t a documented case of the Golden Lancehead ever biting a human (and here I qualify this by noting “documented” because it seems that a family that had been tending to a lighthouse built on the island were wiped out by these snakes sometime about a hundred years ago…)
Anyway, we are treated to the treasure hunters’ attempts to locate the treasure. Sometimes they are diving off the coast searching for clues and other times they are traipsing around the island while saying, “There’s a snake… there’s a snake” and there are a lot of them on the island.
This was beginning to remind me of Oak Island where we have lots of time spent with little payoff but in the last episode here it seems that they might have discovered the cave where the treasure was hidden. They had found old stone carvings that suggested where to look on Snake Island, but then Oak Island had those carvings and in two seasons they found what, two old Spanish pennies worth a few bucks each?
Exploring the cave indicated by their interpretation of the carvings and dodging the snakes (and a couple of ugly spiders) they find a partially buried box that looked as if it could have been used to haul treasure around a long time ago. After the obligatory commercial break, we come back to find that it’s not a box, but the lid to the box. Someone has been there first and the quest is now over…
Well, not really because they find a series of dots carved into the stone that look like a constellation and this might be a clue. Back on the boat, they decide that the dots refer to a Brazilian river and the treasure might have been moved there… I would think that having the snakes around to guard the treasure would be a real deterrent to anyone thinking of taking it (though no one on the expedition was bitten) but then, if that was true there is no treasure to find in the next season, or any reason to return to Brazil.
So, once again we have a big search that turns up little other than some clues carved in stone on an island that is out of the way and very dangerous. We have hints of something big, but in the end, we have nothing at all, other than those stone carvings and what looks like the top of a treasure box. But never fear, if the ratings were high enough, why next season, we’ll have them all mucking about on the mainland, with all kinds of new dangers as they search for the new location of this lost treasure.