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Geocaching: the Contemporary Treasure Hunt

A hunt for treasure is, in many ways, more about the hunt itself than what exactly you find. Think about all of the kids who've gone out with their phones looking for a Gyarados or a Snorlax in Pokémon GO. It's only a digital creature, but the pursuit is irresistible.

Geocachers on the island of Naissaar (from geocaching.com)

A hunt for treasure is, in many ways, more about the hunt itself than what exactly you find. Think about all of the kids who've gone out with their phones looking for a Gyarados or a Snorlax in Pokémon GO. It's only a digital creature, but the pursuit is irresistible.

Just like if you bring a metal detector to the beach. It's the act of patrolling the sands, with the wind fluttering against your jacket, and the salty ocean spray. The dopamine kick of a high pitched beep, the sound of valuable metal, and then sifting out the sand with a scoop. These are tangible hobbies. Physical games. And if you get a curio or souvenir out of it, all the better.

Imagine searching for lost treasure in between the walls of St. Catherine's Passage, Tallinn. Or around the Kaali meteorite craters on Saaremaa. You could search high and low near the spooky, abandoned Rummu quarry, or on the trails through Suitsna bog in southeast Estonia.

These places are all host to one of the latest iterations of scavenger hunting, called “Geocaching”, which has a burgeoning community in Estonia, Canada, and elsewhere. These “geocachers” go out of their way to add a challenge to a...

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