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Should this treasure hunt be allowed on Robinson Crusoe Island?

Robinson Crusoe Island, off the coast of Chile, is so named because it was here that Alexander Selkirk was marooned in 1704 and spent more than four years alone before being rescued. His experiences were the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s famous novel Robinson Crusoe, which was published in 1719.

However, the island is now in the spotlight thanks to a decision by the Chilean government to allow Bernard Keiser, a millionaire, to dig for buried treasure on the island.

Keiser has spent 20 years searching for the treasure, which is believed to have been hidden on Robinson Crusoe Island by a Spanish privateer named Juan Esteban Ubilla. The was back in 1714, only few years after Alexander Selkirk was rescued from his ordeal. The treasure is believed to contain gold and jewels that were originally raided from the Incas.

The main problem is that Keiser intends to use heavy machinery to dig at places where he thinks the treasure might be buried. In other words, his sole object is monetary gain, even if some of the items are damaged in the process.

The question is – should he be stopped?

  • Question of

    Should the treasure hunt be allowed?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    In general terms, should buried treasure stay buried?

    • Yes
    • No


What do you think?

14 Points

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  1. I definitely think this treasure hunt should not be allowed. And it’s not just because the man is only seeking monetary gain. I don’t see any reason to destroy that island. Maybe I’m ignorant but we probably have technology and equipment that that can be used to search for items that are buried without ripping up the whole place!

    I can’t say that all treasure hunts should be stopped because I come from Florida and people are always hunting for treasure. They do a lot of diving because there were a lot of shipwrecks. When they find the treasure I think it’s awesome.

    But back on point with the other guy’s quest. I … I … yeah I’ll say it. I think he’s just being a pig!

    • The worry is that if you set about digging at a site using heavy machinery you risk damaging items buried underground. If your only interest is monetary value such as you might get from melting down gold and wrenching precious stones out of artefacts, then that might be a quick and easy way to get rich. However, it is believed that these items are from ancient Inca sites and are therefore of enormous historical value – but only if recovered intact.

      • There are three situations here. 1. Dig ruthlessly, 2. Dig carefully, 3. Do nothing.
        If digging carefully is not possible then atleast someone will benefit from it digging ruthlessly, rather than doing nothing.

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