Aside from those booby traps and man-made chemicals that the Japanese Imperial Army used to protect their hidden Yamashita treasures, they were also clever enough to utilized natural objects such as water, rocks, and soil as traps. We have already covered water traps in the previous posts. So on this post; we are going to discuss a trap known as “suspended rocks and soil”.

So what exactly is a suspended rock and soil trap?

“Suspended” means that, the rock or soil is attached or supported from above so it won’t fall off. When unsuspecting diggers dug near the supported rock or soil, they will most likely remove the support which will trigger the trap causing the huge rock to collapse the hole.

Let’s have a much detailed illustration about a suspended rock trap.

Basing it in all of my previous treasure hunting experiences, the Japanese Imperial Soldiers intentionally used a foundation of loose type of soil underneath the huge rock. Worst, if the area is near a certain water source, the soil is going to be most likely wet. Aside from the soil, we also experienced sands or mixtures of both soil and sands.

Let’s assume that you dug on the side of a huge rock with a certain sign on it that confirmed the digging spot. As you can see on the illustration, the layer of loose soil won’t be able to support the weight of the huge rock. Thus, at any given time, the hole will collapse.

I actually had an old fellow treasure hunter and a close friend who preferred to work alone all by himself. But one time, he unexpectedly called us for help to excavate his site. We were surprised by his invitation. However, we rejected it because the weather condition at that time was not good and unsafe to dig for buried treasures.

Despite our refusal to his offer, he went on his own working alone during the heavy rainfall. At that point onwards, he never came back for several days. His family and friends including us had no clue where to find him. Thus, together with the search and rescue volunteers, someone found him caught under the bottom of a huge rock due to his rotten smell. He actually got trapped by a suspended rock.

So, how to properly deal with a suspended rock trap?

What we often do when dealing with suspended rock traps is to provide support by using timbers, rope, or both. Another option is to break the huge rock which can be very time-consuming but it guarantees your safety.

Moreover, what I have illustrated on this post is simply the most basic suspended rock trap setup by the Japanese Imperial Army to protect their hidden Yamashita treasures. In most cases, these suspended rock traps may come in different clever designs which can be a bit quite tricky especially for the amateur treasure hunters. So if it happens that you are not sure about your safety then it is best for you to stop and analyze the situation of the hole that you are trying to dig. You should only proceed with your excavation when you are confident enough with your safety.


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