Expedition Unknown: Secret Locations Around the World

Channel your inner Josh Gates and explore these mysterious, remote, off-the-tourist-track adventures. From dinosaur-track hunting in British Columbia to following the Voodoo Trail in West Africa, we’ve rounded up the most far-flung expeditions around the world.

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An Earthquake Strikes Papua New Guinea ("Amelia Earhart")

An Earthquake Strikes Papua New Guinea ("Amelia Earhart")

Josh is winding up his tête-à-tête with a helpful tribal elder in a Papua New Guinean village when the ground itself performs a welcome dance for him and his crew: Earthquake! Children shriek, livestock gallop around the jungle clearing in crazy eights, and the island rattles beneath them all like a prospector’s pan. “It happens a lot here,” Josh’s translator says. Josh rolls with the rolling: “Massive earthquake during an interview: check.” (Watch the full episode here.) 960 1280

  

Spear-Waving Tribesmen Meet Josh's Helicopter ("Amelia Earhart")

Spear-Waving Tribesmen Meet Josh's Helicopter ("Amelia Earhart")

When the crew’s helicopter touches down in a remote jungle clearing near the remains of a plane crash, they learn that welcomes vary quite a bit from tribe to tribe. The cameraman leaps out to film Josh’s exit, and leaps right back in: “The natives over there are S#@&!%@ angry looking, bro!” Josh tumbles out with the rest of the team anyway, the chopper rises back into the sky without them, and the clearing bristles with well-armed locals. What happened to the happy mud dancers and the welcome-to-the-tribe paint? Happily, the war party is a welcome party, and its two fierce-looking spokesmen introduce themselves as Bill and Clement. Spear-waving is just their way of saying hello. 960 1280

  

Josh Eats a Guinea Pig ("City of Gold")

Josh Eats a Guinea Pig ("City of Gold")

Josh arrives in Lima, Peru’s gargantuan capital, with an appetite for exploration of all sorts. He’s heading to Cusco to join Greg Deyermenjian’s expedition and hunt for the Incas’ lost treasure, but he’s not about to do it on an empty stomach. He meets a street vendor and reaches for a delicacy locals have favored for more than five thousand years—known to them as cuy and in the States as guinea pig. “I really can’t look at it,” he says, “but it’s very good."  960 1280

  

A Drive Along Peruvian Cliffs of Death ("City of Gold")

A Drive Along Peruvian Cliffs of Death ("City of Gold")

If automotive safety innovations like asphalt and guard rails cramp your style, the stomach-churning route between the Peruvian city of Cusco and Lake Pumacocha is for you. In many remote villages, the locals perform their own roadwork by hand. Dramatic high-altitude storms, in turn, shroud the mountain paths in fog and pock them with massive mud puddles. The Paititi expedition’s 4x4s seem like a solid choice for the first portion of Josh and his companions’ trip, but let’s be honest: sure-footed llamas ruled the road at the height of Incan civilization for a reason.  960 1280

  

A Swarm of Hornets Attacks Josh ("City of Gold")

A Swarm of Hornets Attacks Josh ("City of Gold")

The Incas’ legendary stronghold of unimaginable wealth is thought by some to exist in the unexplored territory north of the former capital city of Cusco. Hornets’ nests, in turn, are known by some to exist in the unexplored territory north of the former capital city of Cusco. A member of Josh’s expedition group steps on one as they lurch through the brush at the edge of the Urubamba River. The Schmidt Pain Index describes the pain of various hornets’ stings as “rich, hearty, slightly crunchy...[s]imilar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door,” and “like a matchhead that flips off and burns on your skin.” We can’t know for sure what Josh’s particular stings felt like in the moment, due to a few well-placed bleeps. 960 1280

  

Josh is Chased Out of a Cemetery ("Hunting Vampires")

Josh is Chased Out of a Cemetery ("Hunting Vampires")

In Marotinu de Sus, a far-flung village in southwest Romania, superstitious locals dig up a recently deceased man, burn his heart, and mix its ashes with water as a quaff to heal the sick. To Josh, that can only mean one thing: It’s time for a road trip. He visits the scene of the desecration to investigate strigoi, or vampire-like beings that prey on the living. Then the living—who are not interested in attention from outsiders—show up to chase him out of the cemetery. (Watch the full episode here.)   960 1280

Josh Gates  

Josh Has a Close Call With a Land Mine ("Temple of Doom")

Josh Has a Close Call With a Land Mine ("Temple of Doom")

Josh’s trip to Cambodia to explore the rediscovered city of the 9th-century God King Jayavarman II and search for a sandstone artifact with supernatural powers sounds like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster—in fact, one of the experts he meets served as a local consultant on Tomb Raider—but the aftermath of the country’s brutal civil war is all too real. When he meets with Aki Ra, a demining expert who takes him into an area outside Phnom Kulen that’s still littered with land mines, he walks within feet of a live explosive. UN-approved protective gear or no, the experience is a sobering one. 960 1280

  

Josh Crosses the World's Worst Bridge ("Temple of Doom")

Josh Crosses the World's Worst Bridge ("Temple of Doom")

After demonstrating that he’s more than half crazy by wrangling a bird-sized black scorpion with his bare hands, an archaeological assistant named Pich offers to lead Josh up a haunted mountain, through a lightning storm and down a “very bad” road to a secret excavation site. Could this be the place where the Angkorian king Jayavarman II performed the Hindu ritual that enabled him to turn his enemies to ash? The good news is that Josh and Pich eventually find a yoni, or artifact that symbolizes the goddess Shakti, that has been perfectly preserved for 1,200 years. The bad news is that the ridiculous stick-bridge they take to get there looks like it won’t last the night. “I’ve seen a lot of bad bridges before,” Josh says. “This may be the worst one ever.”  960 1280

  

Josh is Nearly Buried Alive in a Mine ("World's 8th Wonder")

Josh is Nearly Buried Alive in a Mine ("World's 8th Wonder")

Josh follows a WWII-era paper trail to Deutschneudorf, Germany, where a 17th-century silver mine could conceal The Amber Chamber, a priceless masterpiece once stolen by the Nazis. The mine itself is something of a masterpiece, but its serpentine tunnels haven’t been reinforced in half a century. When Josh and Deutschneudorf’s mayor push to the edge of the explorers’ underground territory, a monstrous rumble makes it clear that they could end up buried for 50 years.  960 1280

  

Josh Decides It's Time to Rappel (Seasons 1-?)

Josh Decides It's Time to Rappel (Seasons 1-?)

Prominent Josh Gates scholars speculate that his Explorers Club initiation included a solemn, secret vow that he will never make use of stairs or a ladder when he has the opportunity to rappel. The theory has yet to find its way into textbooks, but supporting evidence is plentiful (and vicariously dizzying). Triple-check those knots, man. 960 1280

  

Looking Out Over Norway

Looking Out Over Norway

Josh takes in the view from atop Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway, while he searches for the mythical Viking sunstone. 960 1280

  

Nidaros Cathedral

Nidaros Cathedral

This is the glorious Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway. The cathedral is said to be the final resting place of Viking King St. Olaf, who is rumored to have a treasured sunstone buried with him. 960 1280

  

Inside Nidaros Cathedral

Inside Nidaros Cathedral

Josh stands in front of the beautiful, gothic architecture, Nidaros Cathedral. 960 1280

  

Sampling the Local Cuisine

Sampling the Local Cuisine

Before embarking on his quest for the elusive Viking sunstone, Josh sits in a small diner to sample Norway’s local cuisine and wine. 960 1280

  

Searching Catacombs

Searching Catacombs

Josh and church official Ingrid Tesli search the catacombs under Nidaros Cathedral for the unmarked tomb of King Olaf. 960 1280

  

Authentic Viking Hall

Authentic Viking Hall

During his journey across Norway, Josh stops at Migrad, an authentic Viking hall. People welcomed him with open arms on his quest to find a Viking sunstone. 960 1280

  

Feeling Like a Viking

Feeling Like a Viking

Josh is decked out in full Viking garb -- along with his companion craftsman Gyra -- as he gets ready to climb aboard an authentic Viking vessel in Oslo, Norway. 960 1280

  

Osseburg Viking Ship

Osseburg Viking Ship

Located inside the Viking Museum in Oslo, Norway, the Osseburg Viking ship was discovered completely intact. These vessels carried the Vikings across the Atlantic and throughout Europe. 960 1280

  

Looking for Calcite Crystals

Looking for Calcite Crystals

Josh and his guide, Christian Berg, repel deep into an abandoned mine in Kongsberg, Norway, in search of calcite crystal to test the sunstone myth. 960 1280

  

Old West Gates

Old West Gates

Josh Gates goes full cowboy in old west regalia while visiting a former boomtown in Montana. 960 1280

  

Plummer's Gold

Plummer's Gold

Josh examines mining records with historian Mark Webber as he investigates a notorious Montana sheriff's lost fortune. 

 

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Plummer's Gold

Plummer's Gold

Josh examines mining records with historian Mark Webber as he investigates a notorious Montana sheriff's lost fortune.  960 1280

  

Plummer's Gold

Plummer's Gold

Gold prospector Rob Towner and engineer Bobby show Josh a mining map as they search for evidence of a lost fortune in Montana.  960 1280

  

Plummer's Gold

Plummer's Gold

Boom! Josh and his guides set off controlled explosions in the Montana countryside.  960 1280

  

Boomtown

Boomtown

Josh played the part while meeting a group of gold rush reenactors in Montana. 960 1280

  

Montana Transport

Montana Transport

Josh explores Montana's backcountry via horse while he searches for Sheriff Henry Plummer's lost treasure.  960 1280

  

Plummer's Gold

Plummer's Gold

The jailhouse of Sheriff Henry Plummer still stands in Bannock, Montana.  960 1280

  

Boomtown

Boomtown

Josh checks out an abandoned building in a former Montana boomtown. 960 1280

  

Boomtown

Boomtown

Another left-behind building, an old schoolhouse, found in the abandoned boomtown Bannock, Montana. 960 1280

  

The Hunt for Attila

The Hunt for Attila

Historian Dr. Imre Lanszki and Josh examine wall carvings outside of Budapest that may lead them to the lost tomb of Attila the Hun. 

 

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Buried Clues

Buried Clues

Josh dusts off a found fossil at a dig site outside of Budapest. 960 1280

  

Steady Aim

Steady Aim

Josh tries his hand at archery while riding horseback.  960 1280

  

Budapest Ride

Budapest Ride

Josh drives a UAZ-469 utility vehicle during his investigation into the lost tomb of Attila the Hun.  960 1280

  

The Vanished Empire

The Vanished Empire

In his search for evidence of an empire unaccounted for, Josh Gates vists An ancient Greek temple. 960 1280

  

Greek Ruins

Greek Ruins

Archaeological ruins like these seen in Greece may lead to more clues of what happened to the lost Grecian empire.  960 1280

  

Parthenon

Parthenon

These ruins are all that stands of the former Athens temple dedicated to the goddess Athena.  960 1280

  

Ready for Battle

Ready for Battle

Josh explores the town in a Vespa while donning a Spartan helmet. 960 1280

  

Underwater Expedition

Underwater Expedition

Josh in full scuba gear wades in the water before going for a deep dive. 960 1280

  

Going Greek

Going Greek

Josh and historian Colin McDonald tour an ancient Greek temple. 960 1280

  

Dive Prep

Dive Prep

A member of the diving crew assembles a device before Josh and his team go for a dive in Grecian waters.  960 1280

  

Hanging Out

Hanging Out

Josh holds on for dear life in Greece.  960 1280

  

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