With that being said, it’s clear that Germany used Lake Toplitz as a sort of watery safe deposit box during World War II. In 1959 divers discovered around £700 million in fake British pounds below the lake’s surface (pictured above). They were part of a shelved plan to trigger severe inflation in Britain by air-dropping massive amounts of counterfeit money over population centers (via We Are The Mighty). If the lake was used to hide that then, at least in the minds of many prospective treasure hunters, surely the Nazis could have hidden gold there as well.

It’s true that the Germans could have, but the reality is that Lake Toplitz presents many obstacles to finding the truth. It has a maximum depth of over 300 feet, and recreational scuba divers can only descend safely to about 130 feet, says ScubaDiving.com. A dense concentration of logs and other debris covers the lake bottom. Five have been killed in pursuit of the supposed treasure, which led to diving being banned in the lake, which itself is frozen for six months out of the year (via ABC). In the early 2000s further searches were allowed to be conducted, including one with a mini-submarine, but these similarly failed to turn up anything conclusive.

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