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700-YEAR-OLD STATUE OF BUDDHA MADE OF 5 TONS OF GOLD

THERE WAS A 700-YEAR-OLD STATUE OF BUDDHA MADE OF 5 TONS OF GOLD THAT NO ONE KNEW ABOUT.

Wat Traimit Witthayaram, or the Temple of the Golden Buddha, is a buddhist temple in Bangkok. The Golden Buddha is 4 meters high and 3 meters wide (from the farthest apart points, the knees).

The entire thing is cast in 5 tons of solid gold. It might seem unusual that such an impressive statue could go unnoticed. When Bangkok was established as the new capital of Thailand, the recovery of many Buddha statues was encouraged. Many of them were transported to Bangkok.

In the early 19th century, a huge Buddha statue made of brown clay was installed in a temple. In the early 20th century, the temple was abandoned and deserted until 1957 when the East Asiatic Company took over the premises.

Of the two Buddha statues in the temple, one was transferred to the Wat Traimit Witthayaram. When that statue was being hoisted up, it slipped and fell to the ground.

It turns out the statue was only covered in clay and lacquer, and was actually 5 tons of gold. The fall had shattered all the clay to pieces, revealing the gold. So in the end, it was one of the more fortunate outcomes of something accidentally falling and breaking to pieces.