Food & Culture

We May Have Found the Untouched Tomb of Santa Claus, and It's Not at the North Pole

We're not sure how to break this news to you, but here goes: Santa is dead. The spirit of Christmas sure isn't, but the real-life saint that inspired the jolly holiday man is very much no longer living. This shouldn't be a shock to you. What is shocking is the claim that archaeologists may have found his untouched sarcophagus. Stay tuned to see if the tomb contains a red suit.

Don't Tell the Kids

Turkish archaeologists are apparently trying to ruin Christmas. Jokes aside, this team claims to have uncovered a huge find: the untouched burial site of Saint Nicholas, the Christian bishop who inspired the Santa Claus character. Digital scans of St. Nicholas Church in Antalya, Turkey revealed a completely intact temple and burial site underground. This region is where the saint is believed to have been born. North Pole who?

"We have obtained very good results but the real work starts now," Cemil Karabayram, the director of surveying and monuments in Antalya, told The Guardian, referring to the sizeable job of removing the tiles on the floor. "We will reach the ground and maybe we will find the untouched body of Saint Nicholas." If these archaeologists are right, they just stumbled upon the sarcophagus of a celebrity that has gone undisturbed since year 343 A.D.

Searching for Santa

This, of course, isn't the first time anyone has gone on a Santa search. It was generally assumed, until now, that Saint Nicholas was buried in a tomb under the Antalya church. However, as legend had it, some sneaky merchants weaseled their way in and stole the saint's bones in 1087 to bring them to Bari, Italy, where a basilica was built to house the remains. In 2014, forensic experts reconstructed the face of the man in the Bari crypt, revealing what they said was the true face of Santa. If the Turkish archaeologists are correct, the real Santa's tomb has never been tampered with. That face is just that of some random priest.

As reported by Gizmodo, the clergy collects a clear liquid that seeps from the tomb in Bari every year on December 6th. As the tale goes, the stuff has miraculous powers (it's likely just seawater, as the tomb is below sea level). What a downer if it's not even nasty juice from the right dead guy, right? But, who knows, it could be reindeer drool. The only way to know if the real Santa is buried in Bari or is truly resting in peace in Antalya is to wait for December 24th and see where the sleigh pulls up.

The History of Santa Claus

Written by Joanie Faletto December 7, 2017