Just about every child learns about Santa Claus at a young age. And though it’s fun to pretend that a jolly old man with a big white beard surprises them with gifts under the tree every Christmas morning, there comes a day when they learn, sooner or later, that he’s not real. (Spoiler alert!)

…Or is he? Archaeologists in Turkey have recently uncovered what they believe to be the remains of the real-life St. Nicholas, and the discovery could rewrite history forever.

Take a look at their evidence and see for yourself. That jolly old man might be more real than anyone previously believed…

The story of Santa Claus is one that excites children all over the world. They all look forward to Christmas morning to see what presents the big man in the red suit left for them under the tree. But this story is all just a myth, right?

Think again! Recently, archaeologists in Turkey uncovered the untouched remains of what they believe could be Old Saint Nick himself. The discovery was made, appropriately, beneath the St. Nicholas Church in Demre, Turkey, after the team performed digital surveys of the grounds.

In recent years, the church, which is located near St. Nicholas’s birthplace, has been restored and draws a heavy flow of tourists. The structure is built on the ruins of Myra, which is said to be where “Santa Claus” lived long ago. But, were the remains actually his?

Expert archaeologists recently combed through historical records and found evidence supporting the fact that the original story of what happened to St. Nicholas’s remains could be riddled with inaccuracies…

According to some accounts, Italian merchants stole St. Nicholas’s bones from their tomb in Demre and smuggled them into the city of Bari, Italy, during the Crusades to make a profit. But the thieves may have taken the bones from the wrong tomb!

Researchers are now claiming the bones stolen by the merchants may have actually belonged to a local priest and not the saint. This fact would rewrite many of the events in history if they were true.

Although the story we now tell kids about Santa Claus is full of certain myths, St. Nicholas was an actual saint who lived in Europe during the 16th century. He became well-known for giving gifts to the children who lived in the town.

There are several locations across the globe that claim to house the remains of St. Nicholas, but the Basilica in Bari, Italy, is where the Catholic church claims the saint is actually buried. This discovery now throws a huge wrench in that story.

It will to take a little while before the archaeologists could gain access into the tomb. The excavation team needed the required permits to allow them to work around the beautiful tiled mosaic floors and stone reliefs, since everything in the temple must be kept intact throughout the process.

Archaeologists are, needless to say, thrilled about what they might find when they finally get the go-ahead to explore the tomb. The story of St. Nicholas was already an intriguing one, but now some of the greatest mysteries surrounding Santa could be answered.

History is so cool! The next time a child asks you if Santa Claus is real, you can tell them, “Yes! And his remains were found in Demre, Turkey!”

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