There have been numerous stories of people discovering priceless works of art among junk at flea markets and garbage set to be thrown away, but rarely has an entire collection been discovered at once.
That is exactly what happened in London roughly 10 years ago, according to LittleThings.com. An abandoned townhouse was set to be demolished back in 2006 when a trust was established to analyze a collection of wooden crates that had been discovered in the basement.
The crates had reportedly been untouched since the 1940s. Upon opening them, members of the trust made a fascinating discovery: Inside were roughly 5,000 handcrafted figurines and artifacts allegedly dating back to the 1700s.
The specimens were crafted using flora and fauna that was taxidermied to create mythological creatures such as goblins, fairies, dragons, werewolves and other fantastical creations. There is even a baby triceratops, a small "foetal"skeleton, and a box of Larva non Volucris, which is a species of winged Fairy, according to LittleThings.com.
The man behind the treasure trove was Thomas Theodore Merrylin. Merrylin was a wealthy aristocrat and recluse born in the late 18th century, who reportedly studied and preserved these odd specimens for his own private collection.
Alex CF is the curator and custodian of what is now known as the Merrilyn Cryptid Collection. For the past 10 years he has dedicated himself to cataloging the nearly 5,000 artifacts discovered in the crates.
Many people are split as to whether this find is a legitimate one, however. Some have taken to the LittleThings.com's Facebook page to blast what they see as a glorified art project.
"If they were real […] they would be in a high end museum!!" one poster wrote.
" ... [S]ome questions if real or not but truly an amazing collection," another noted.
Aside from questions of authenticity, the commenters on Facebook were still impressed by the collection.
"The artifacts are certainly very interesting," one Facebook user wrote, " [...] would love to see them close up."
Currently, the collection is not open to the public and the specimens are not currently for sale, according to the collection's website.