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Hunt for the Metal Library is the 6th episode in Season 4 of Expedition Unknown.

Plot Synopsis

Josh travels through the jungles of Ecuador to explore the watery depths of Tayos Cave for a legendary set of metal plates that are believed to have been created by an advanced ancient civilisation.

Historical Context

"In the mid-1960s, a prospector named Juan Moricz treks into the dangerous jungles of Ecuador and discovers a foreboding and seemingly endless cave. Inside, he claims to find man-made architecture, perfectly carved walls and ceilings, and in the deepest recesses, a collection of shimmering, metallic tablets inscribed with mysterious symbols. He believes they represent a priceless library of knowledge left by an advanced ancient civilisation. Others decry it as an elaborate lie. A best-selling book brings international attention to the story, which inspires a major expedition, launched by engineer Stanley Hall and none other than astronaut Neil Armstrong. The team reaches the remote cave and maps part of its interior, but the location of the metal library remains an enigma."

~ Josh Gates


Josh goes to Cuenca, Ecuador and meets Gerardo Peña Matheus, an attorney who represented Juan Moricz and he tells Josh about their original expedition. Josh then visits Pumapungo Museum and meets Dr Florencio Delgado, an archaeologist. He shows Josh artefacts from the forests of Ecuador including metal tablets supposedly from Tayos. They use XRF which detects atomic elements and they find the plates are made of copper, meaning they may be ancient.

Josh and Florencio go to meet Eileen Hall, the daughter of Stanley Hall, and the group hikes to Tayos Cave in the Ecuadorian jungle. They also meet up with Dr Theofilos Toulkeridis, a geologist, and they rappel down 200 feet into the cave. Over two days they explore and see Juan Moricz's arch, the hall of stalactites, a staircase, and other otherworldly formations that seem manmade. They don't find the library but there is to more cave left to be discovered. A few days later, the crew comes down with rotavirus from the uncovered food in the cave.

Final Words

"Juan Moricz claimed he had discovered an archive that would change the world. Eileen's father, Stanley Hall, and Neil Armstrong delved deep underground, seeking our connection to the ancients, and author Erich von Daniken claimed proof of alien contact. The truth is, I think this cave does hold answers. There is no literal library but rather, a geological chronicle etched over aeons. Nature has carved arches, corridors and temples that are as spectacular as anything made by man, and with more yet to be explored, there are undoubtedly new chapters yet to be written."

- Josh Gates

Notes & Trivia

  • This is where you can put notes and trivia, anything that is interesting or strange can be included here


  • "This is my genuine Panama hat from Ecuador."
  • "Luckily, those thorns broke my fall."
  • "We've got tuna, potatoes, mixed veggies, and a big bowl of coffee. What else do you need in life?"
  • "Cleanliness goes out the window pretty quickly when you're living in a cave."