You know that horrible feeling when you check your bank balance after coming home from a holiday? Well, imagine returning as a millionaire instead – it’s a real possibility if your next holiday is to the Seychelles!
The Seychelles is an archipelago made up of 115 tropical islands in the Indian Ocean. It’s famous for its pristine beaches, stunning coral reefs and gigantic tortoises, making it a popular destination for holidaymakers. However, 300 years ago the Seychelles were popular with a different kind of tourist… pirates! These rough and tumble raiders didn’t even use travel insurance, the monsters!
Towards the end of the 17th century, many pirate fleets left the Caribbean after Spanish, French and English naval ships forced them out of their stomping grounds. These pirates flocked to the Indian Ocean to prey on vessels leaving the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and one of the most famous of these pirates was Oliver Le Vasseur.
Born in France, Oliver Le Vasseur was more famously known as “La Buse” (French for ‘the buzzard’) owing to the speed and ruthlessness with which he attacked his enemies. At the peak of his pirating career, La Buse and his crew boarded a Portuguese galleon and took it for their own, claiming a bounty of diamonds, gold, silver and pearls.
With the British navy in hot pursuit, La Buse divided the booty between the crew and fled for the island of Mahé in the Seychelles, which if rumour is to be believed, is the last known location of La Buse’s treasure – worth an estimated £100 million.
La Buse spent the next few years lying low in the Seychelles but was eventually captured in 1730 and sentenced to death for high piracy. The story goes that, before his execution, La Buse threw some parchment into the air while yelling “My treasure for he who can understand!” This parchment was a treasure map in the form of a cryptogram (a type of secret puzzle used to encrypt a hidden message), which to this day has yet to be deciphered.
So now you’ve learnt about this treasure, if you happen to stumble upon it while you’re in the Seychelles I think it’s only fair that you give me 50%, right?