Little boys love adventure. And when an adventure winds up with a treasure at the end, it’s even more exciting. It’s no surprise that kids often dress up like pirates for playtime; they love the thrill of the hunt and the booty they amass while pretending to pillage ships and towns.
The Adventure Begins
Well, one little boy didn’t have to pretend to be a pirate to find his very own buried treasure. He had no idea what he was getting into when he discovered what looked like a map to an unknown location. He soon realized it was the beginning of an exciting treasure hunt.
Documenting the Process
The little boy’s hunt for his buried treasure started in April 2017. His progress and entire adventure was documented by his father, who goes by the name of “thiswayandthatway” online. Dad uploaded several photos from their journey on the image-sharing website Imgur. And as you can see from the photo above, the boy was super excited to be involved in such an adventure.
He looks around six years old, is apparently a Star Wars fan, and has a lot of enthusiasm for the big-time treasure hunt he’s about to embark on. Where will the mysterious map lead him and his dad?
The First Clue
The little boy found a spiral-shaped object and two scraps of paper along with the mysterious map. One of the pieces of paper was written with the instructions, “FIND THE WORDS.” The other piece of paper had several strange symbols scattered all over it.
At this point, it was unclear what the collection of items had in common with one another. Dad, fortunately, was there to help his son figure out the mystery. He folded up the paper with the symbols on it, and together they formed a message. It appeared that the first clue to the treasure was revealed!
A Box with More Clues
The boy and his father read the message, which had another set of instructions: “UNDER STEPS.” The smart little boy knew exactly what to do, so he went to peer under the steps of his house. Without too much effort, he located a box below the staircase.
It didn’t take him long to figure out what to do next: open it up! Inside the box were some very interesting objects, including another piece of a treasure map and two ripped pieces of paper. These were the most interesting finds because they contained what appeared to be a random collection of letters on them.
A Point in the Right Direction
While the letters at first appeared to be written in random order, they were actually strategically placed in certain spots. One of the scraps of paper, which instructed, “FIND THE WORDS,” also included an arrow. The boy and his dad transposed the arrow onto one of the sheets of paper with the letters and created the radius of a circle.
That’s when things started clicking into place. By following this process, they determined that the circumference of the circle actually spelled out another clue! So the pair carefully wrote down the letters from the circle and proceeded to the next step.
A Clue in the Front Yard
There were several letters in the circumference of the circle. When the boy figured out how to read them in the proper order, the clue revealed “FRONT BUSH.” So he continued his adventure by going towards his front yard and looking in, under, and around the bushes in front of his house.
The boy was not prepared for what awaited for him. He discovered several more clues that would lead him to his buried treasure. Some of them were difficult to decipher, but fortunately his father was right by his side to help him figure out the next step.
A Cryptic Message
One thing that the boy found under the bush was a piece of parchment paper with two drawings of pirate swords on it. It also contained a very cryptic message, “The treasure is shining through the two swords.” As this point in his treasure hunt, the little boy didn’t have any idea what it meant.
Also, the latest clue didn’t appear to be related to the other clues that he had received so far. Maybe the mysterious message would have more meaning later on in the investigation? The boy had no choice but to continue examining the clues for more answers.
An Intriguing, Cut-Up Image
The little boy and his dad turned their attentions to another item that they found in the bushes in front of their house. One piece of paper, which was torn at the edges, portrayed several ships that looked as though they had crashed on some rocks.
The image, depicted in black and gray, was very gloomy and foreboding. But the strange thing was that numerous square holes had been cut out of the picture. They almost looked as though they were windows of some sort, but what were they looking into? Obviously, there was a message here. But the boy didn’t yet know what it was.
The Pieces Start Getting Put Together
Everyone knows that when you’re on a treasure hunt you have to be sure to examine the clues from every angle. And this picture with square holes was very mysterious. So the boy and his boy turned it over.
Thiswayandthat wrote on Imgur, “On the back was this weird mark. That’s when it dawned on us… We needed to use two of the other clues we got to find the message.” That was their “Aha!” moment. The pieces of the puzzle were finally starting to fit together. The scraps of paper they discovered earlier would help them find what they were looking for.
The Key to the Puzzle
The father explained on Imgur, “Once we put the paper with letters on the back of the boat picture with holes, the swirly key told us what the correct alignment should look like.” This is the part of the adventure when things got exciting.
Sure, collecting clues is fun, but when you finally get to piece the clues together, that’s when the magic happens! The odd spiral-shaped object was key to helping the little boy and his dad figure out what to do next. So they put one and one together to figure out the next step. And the result was pretty neat.
Trial and Error
At this point, the pair was not sure what the key would open. We’re sure that their imaginations were running wild. There could be so many possibilities! The boy and his dad tried to put the clues together, but it was a little more difficult than they expected, and it didn’t happen right away.
It took some trial and error to make all the pieces fit together correctly. It was particularly important that the scraps of paper were aligned in the right spot so they could create a fully formed swirl. But with a little bit of effort, they got it right.
Another Location Revealed
Thiswayandthat explained on Imgur, “When we aligned the letters with the picture with the holes cut out using the key, we found the location of the next set of clues.” Finally! If you look at the picture above, you can see how the swirls on the object match the key.
This was the scrap of paper that needed to be aligned with the picture with the holes cut out of it. The question was, what location was this clue revealing and where would it lead the father and son duo next on their adventure? The answer was quite obvious.
A Perfect Fit
When the picture with the square holes was lined up over the scrap of paper with random letters, it revealed the next clue: U-N-D-E-R-T-H-E-S-T-A-I-R-S, or “UNDER THE STAIRS.”
At this point, the boy had gone under the steps and looked under a bush. So then he looked under the stairs to find additional clues. When he looked in the right spot he found the last fragments of the mysterious map. When he put the pieces of the map together, it revealed a magical place featuring sand dunes, camels, and oceans, alongside other interesting spots.
An Exotic Land? Not Quite
While the map appeared to portray a very exotic and faraway land, when the little boy looked at it more closely, he discovered some very familiar spots on it. First of all, the building in the left corner of the map looked suspiciously like his home. And the ocean resembled a lake nearby.
And while there were camels in the picture, they weren’t hanging out in a beautiful desert — they were located in what appeared to be a sandbox in the boy’s own backyard. It shows, that with just a little imagination, sometimes things right before your eyes can be magical.
Where Is the Treasure?
At this point, the little boy was getting really close to finally finding the buried treasure. He had been through quite a bit of adventure and sleuthing, but the best was yet to come. Remember, the mysterious scrap of paper that said, “The treasure is shining through the two swords.” What did this mean?
Well, once again dad came to the rescue and helped his son figure out how to decipher the clue. He wrote on Imgur, “Which meant placing the swords over the sun. Once we over-laid the key on top of the map … We found the location of the treasure!!!”
Right under His Nose
You know how your keys are always in the last place you look? Well, the same is true for this little boy and his buried treasure. Often, a great journey begins and ends in the same place.
And when the little boy placed the parchment over the map, he was stunned to discover that the location of the buried treasure was actually quite a bit closer than he thought. So close, it was right under his nose! In fact, the treasure was somewhere on the west side of his house. Of course, it didn’t take him long to go home to find it.
Digging for Treasure
It’s not worth the effort of finding a buried treasure unless you actually have to use some muscles to dig it out. The little boy, armed with his trusty yellow-handled shovel, set to unearthing his prize.
And even though he was quite small, he gets an “A” for effort. His dad didn’t make him do all the work, however. It didn’t take long for him to jump in and help his son. Before long, the shovel struck something solid. The map was real! All along it had been guiding them to this very moment. That’s when they found a tiny wooden box.
A Treasure Chest Unearthed
You can see by the little boy’s expression that this was an enormously exciting moment. After searching all over the yard, following multiple clues and wondering where everything would lead, the pair had finally found what they had been looking for. And it was exactly what you would want after such an adventure: a treasure chest!
The pair pulled it out of the ground and scraped away all the dirt. The dad put the box in front of his son, and the little boy couldn’t contain his excitement. So he opened it up to finally found out what was inside.
A Huge Success
Inside was more treasure than any little boy could ever want. There were hundreds of coins and all sorts of pirate booty, including what looks like a pearl necklace and some silver-plated dishware.
And in case you haven’t suspected yet, thiswayandthat was a little bit more involved in the treasure hunt than he initially let on. He wrote on Imgur, “Okay so one of my hobbies is planning treasure hunts. As a User Experience Designer, planning out wonderful experiences is what I get into most. I planned this one for my children and it was a huge success.” Bravo!
Dad of the Year
Who wouldn’t want a dad like that? He took the time and effort to create a magical and special adventure for his son, and in the process made memories that will last a lifetime. They will talk about it for years!
Every little kid would love to experience something similar. You’re only young once. We can’t help but wonder what other adventures this dad will create in the upcoming years to bond with his children and let them know how much he loves them. Perhaps their adventures will take them all over the world and to real exotic and faraway lands.