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Researchers find grave of real-life Santa Claus in Ancient Turkish Church

Researchers find grave of real-life Santa Claus in Ancient Turkish Church

We all know Santa doesn’t exist. Or does he?

The fat jolly old elf we all know and love was actually based on a real life man named St. Nicholas. And if you had any doubts as to whether he actually existed, his tomb was recently discovered under a 5th century church in Turkey. 

Historians have long been aware that St. Nick was buried in the Antalya province of Turkey. But his remains were pilfered approximately 700 years after his death. So, the location of his body was unknown until now. 

The burial spot was discovered while researchers were digging through the remains of the ancient church in Demre, a Turkish coastal town. 

The saint died on Dec. 6, 343 and was allegedly buried at the UNESCO Heritage site. But during the Middle Ages, his tomb was submerged under the rising waters of the Mediterranean Sea. 

Researchers find grave of real-life Santa Claus in Ancient Turkish Church

Researchers find grave of real-life Santa Claus in Ancient Turkish Church

A church was built on top of the burial mound to keep it protected. But in 1087, thieves from Bari, Italy, desecrated the tomb and stole most of the saint’s remains. 

Researchers believed they had no hopes of recovering St. Nick’s body until recent excavations revealed remnants of the tile and mosaic flooring from the original basilica. This gave them hope that they would find more of the holy man’s remains. 

“This is an extremely important discovery the first find from that period,” stated chairman of the Antalya Cultural Heritage Preservation Regional Board Osman Eravsar. 

“Now we have reached the first church and the floor on which St. Nicholas stepped.”

Researchers predict that the saint was laid to rest at the base of Jesus fresco. 

Not much is known about the life of the real St. Nick, but according to legend, he performed a variety of miracles throughout his life including rescuing young girls from prostitution, cutting down a tree possessed by demons, and praying to save a ship from wreckage. 

He also supposedly donated his wealth to the poor earning him the Father Christmas association.

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