10 Incredible Things Mankind Has Managed To Lose

Extraordinary artefacts lost to accident, conflict, or good ol' human stupidity.

Moon Landing
© NASA/Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS

Our connection with our past is only going to get weaker as the years pass and the physical remnants of history decay. You'd think we were taking pains to slow this process down, but instead, the human race seems insistent on consigning as much of history as possible to oblivion before anyone's in danger of actually learning anything.

The human talent for creating works of majesty and art seems matched only by the human capacity for losing them. History's lost property box is crammed with art, technology, literature, and even large groups of people who have simple been lost.

Note that these aren't examples of malicious destruction. They are things that have simply been stolen and never recovered, that have vanished during an accident or catastrophe or, in a dismayingly large number of cases, lost through simply failing to keep tabs on where they were.

We box them up and forget where we put them, we give them to some random guy who walks in with a clipboard, and more often than anything else, we just throw them out with the trash.

10. The Amber Room

Michelangelo Merisi Da Caravaggio   Nativity With St Francis And St Lawrence   WGA04193
Branson DeCou [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Amber Room was one of the greatest monuments of raw blingitude ever constructed. It was a room panelled in hundreds of kilograms of amber, with precious stones all over the place, built for the Russian Tsar Peter the Great- because what's the point in being the Tsar if you can't have a room made of amber?

The Amber Room seems like a difficult thing to lose what with it being part of a building, but to the Nazis that just seemed like a challenge.

They looted the hell out of Catherine Palace in 1941 and removed the entire contents of the Amber Room. Then it went to a castle for some German officer to scowl at through his monocle.

After that, no one has any idea. Maybe it was destroyed in an air raid, or buried somewhere by retreating Nazis who are now all dead. Maybe cyborg Hitler uses it as his rumpus room. No one knows.

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Ben Counter is a fantasy and science fiction writer, gaming enthusiast, wrestling fan and miniature painting guru. He was raised on Warhammer, Star Wars and 1980s cartoons that, in retrospect, were't that good. Whoever you are, he is nerdier than you.