You may want to make sure that there are no kids in the room while you’re reading this. Otherwise, you may have some ‘splainin to do. According to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, archeologists may have discovered Santa Claus’s tomb underneath the Saint Nicholas Church in Turkey’s Demre district. Cemil Karabayram, the Turkish province of Antalya’s director of surveying and monuments, reports that during scientific and technological work, a new section of the existing temple was unearthed. This is where scientists believe St. Nicholas may be buried.
Notes from the 1940s through the 1960s state that, at one point, the Saint Nicholas Church was demolished and rebuilt. During reconstruction, traders were believed to have taken St. Nicholas’s bones from the temple. It was later found that these bones belonged to another priest.
A team of archaeologists is now preparing to excavate the tomb. Karabayram told Hurriyet, “It is hard to enter it because there are stones with motifs on the ground. These stones should be scaled one by one and then removed.”
The process will take time, but Karabayram is hopeful that this discovery will bring international attention to the Saint Nicholas Church.
There’s also a solid chance that St. Nick is under the Saint Nicholas Church since he lived in Demre, which was called “Myra” during his time. Other historians claim his remains were smuggled out of the city, but no one knows for sure where he ended up.
At the present, wherever he is, the Christian saint’s bones are about 1,600 years old. And no, he’s probably not still alive in the North Pole with a slew of elves and reindeer. Sorry.
The team has already been at work on the excavation for three months, and Karabayram says that once the mosaic is removed, they’ll be able to get in and determine who is buried in that secret tomb.
If they find Santa Claus — ahem, Saint Nicholas — under the church, mystery solved! And if not, then we’ll just go on believing that he’s making toys for all the good girls and boys. Either way, it’s a win-win scenario.