A Michigan man’s routine home improvement project has become an intriguing mystery for social media after he discovered a seemingly endless pit of vintage bowling balls in the ground.
David Olson says he made the strange discovery in his back yard while trying to remove a concrete porch that had started to lean. The deeper he dug, the more balls he found, all of them held in place by hardened sand.
“I have conducted the official count and I have a whopping 158 bowling balls,” Olson said in a Facebook post.
“Anyone ever hear of bowling balls being used as land fill? Are these hazardous? Should I report this to the city? I’m at a loss.”
Olson, who lives in Muskegon along Lake Michigan, says the balls were so boundless that he began to suspect they might also serve as the foundation of his patio. “I do not have the time or energy for such an excavation,” he wrote.
Photos show the collection is made up of vintage Brunswick balls, most of them black and blue and all “unsealed,” meaning they are not completely ready for market, he said.
The discovery has fascinated amateur sleuths online, with his Facebook post racking up 3,300 reactions and 1,200 comments. Some have joked that he’s living atop a “bowling ball graveyard.” There have also been a lot of risqué ball jokes.
“Probably an old bowling alley site,” one person wrote.
“What’s holding up the house itself?” another commenter said.
“At least it wasn’t skulls?” asked another.
Olson says he almost “felt like a paleontologist” while dusting off the balls for clues, according to WLTX. “It became mind blowing,” he told the station “A few of them look like alien eggs.”
It remains a mystery how or why so many ended up in one spot, he says, but calls to a nearby bowling ball manufacturer revealed the company gave away damaged bowling balls in the 1950s.
Olson told McClatchy News he has given away a few for use in someone’s “bowling ball cannon,” but the rest are still at his home, their future undecided.
“It has been fun looking though the thousands of comments. There are some really funny ‘ball’ puns, as well as great ideas on possible uses for the balls,” he said.
“Sharing my story has, in my opinion, brought a little care free positive news to people who desperately need a break from the doom and gloom news that haunts our daily news feeds.”