This is possibly the best kind of Treasure Hunt - the kind with real treasure at the end.
Millionaire art curator Forrest Fenn has reportedly hidden a fortune in gold somewhere in the city of Santa Fe, in the US state of New Mexico. Fans of Robert Louis Stevenson's iconic novel, Treasure Island, and of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean films will be delighted to know the treasure includes gold coins.
Fenn claims he wants to motivate people to spend time out of doors and enjoy the natural beauty of their country, rather than spend time indoors, watching television or playing video games.
"Get your kids out in the countryside, take them fishing and get them away from their little hand-held machines," Fenn told Today News, adding that he'd buried the treasure three years ago.
The 82-year-old multimillionaire explained that he had two goals in mind - to encourage people to explore and marvel at America's scenic trails and to pass on the "thrill of the chase".
The clues to finding 40 pounds of gold, diamonds and precious jewels are believed to lie somewhere in Fenn's memoir, appropriately titled The Thrill of the Chase. The book contains nine poems with clues and an "unusual map".
The book's blurb reads: "This book is the remarkable true story of Forrest Fenn's life and of a hidden treasure, secreted somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe. The book contains clues to the treasure's location."
The Thrill of the Chase can be purchased online.
Who is Forrest Fenn?
Fenn opened the Fenn Gallery on Paseo de Peralta in Santa Fe in the 1970s. It took him years to collect the items he has placed in the treasure chest. Now, the Huffington Post reports that Fenn has been diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer and has only a 20 percent chance of surviving for more than three years.
"After I hid the treasure I walked back to my car feeling very proud of myself and laughing out loud," he said, continuing, "I asked, 'Forrest, did you really do that?' There have never been any regrets. Now it is for the ages and a big part of me in that treasure chest. I felt it go in as I closed the lid for the last time."
He claims he has already had more than 10,000 enquiries about the prize.
"If you read the poem, you'll go, 'Oh my God, how am I gonna find it from this?'" said Santa Fe jeweller Marc Howard, who has already gone searching for the treasure 20 times.
The Poem with the Clues in it:
As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.
Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.
From there it's no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There'll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.
If you've been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.
So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I've done it tired, and now I'm weak.
So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.