Australia’s lost gold: Lasseter’s reef

Unknown-1We have all dreamed about it.

Maybe even secretly hoped it would actually happen.

The ultimate zero effort, maximum benefit: stumble upon a big gold nugget during a leisurely walk.

Instantaneously rich.

Instant retirement.

Even better than winning the lottery as you didn’t even have pop into the news agency to buy a ticket.

This what happened to a man named Lewis Lasseter back in 1897 in the Australian Outback. At age 17, Lasseter was on a walk some 500 km west of Alice Springs – although the middle of the desert seems rather an odd place for a teenager to go for a leisurely walk.  There’s not much to do. Apart from tripping over gold, apparently. Although, tripping would be difficult in this instance as the gold reef as described by Lasseter was reef seven miles long, four to seven feet high, and 12 feet wide. Again, everything is big in Australia. Even the gold nuggets.

At this point you would wonder why you have never heard of the billionaire Lewis Lasseter or the Lasseter dynasty, (Paris) Hilton style. Well, incredibly Lasseter died a poor man in 1931 due to the fact that he had actually lost the reef. After his discovery he was never able to find it again. When talking about things that would be very frustrating, I am sure that losing a gold reef that is seven miles long would be right up on your list. Clearly frustrated, Lasseter actually died on an expedition to rediscover the gold reed, in early 1931 after he separated himself from an expedition. Maybe he didn’t want to share with his expedition members, when he did find it. However, none of them found any of it.

Before you drop everything you are doing, quite your job and sell your house to dash off to the Outback in the latest get-rich-quick scheme, which for a chance has not got anything to do with anything online, there have been 13 expeditions so far to find Lasseter’s gold reef.

So when you are telling your wife you’re off to the Outback to secure your financial future – and you’re sure to bring her back something nice – at least give her the honest odds. At 1:14, still far better than any lottery.

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