It may sound like the plot of a National Treasure sequel, but this story is taken straight from Nicolas Cage’s real life.
Cage recently discovered that the rare Tyrannosaurus bataar skull he owns is actually one of many fossils stolen from Mongolia’s Gobi desert. For years, Mongolia has been working to track down stolen fossils that have been unlawfully taken from their land. Artifacts and fossils sold illegally can turn a huge profit for criminals, but carelessly removing them from their resting place greatly diminishes their scientific value, among other concerns.
The actor found this particular fossil eight years ago at an anonymous auction where he purchased it for $276,000 (rumor has it that he beat out Leonardo DiCaprio for the piece). After investigators determined that it had indeed been taken illegally, Cage agreed to hand it over to the federal government so it could be returned to Mongolia—which is an admittedly much less action-packed conclusion than one you’d see in the movies.
[h/t: Popular Science]