First, the facts of the situation, insofar as I could find out.
The coin is highly weathered, and has some phrases in both German and Spanish. It says "Nueva Alemania" ("New Germany," in Spanish) and "Alle in einer Nation" (German for "all in one nation"). There's a swastika on one side and the Iron Cross on the other, and a blurred date ending in "39." (If you want to see a video that includes shots of the coin, there's a clip at The Daily Star showing it and its finder, Diego Aviles.)
So that's the claim. Now let's see which of the three possible explanations proffered to account for it makes the most sense to you:
- It's a fake.
- It's an obscure coin, dating from the late 1930s, and could be potentially valuable as a historical artifact.
- The date actually reads "2039," so it's a coin from 21 years in the future, at which point a Nazi state will rule Mexico if not the rest of the world, except that one of the future Nazis time-slipped backwards and dropped the coin, only to be found by Aviles. Since the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945, the Nazis have been hiding out in Antarctica, from which they will burst out some time between now and 2039, to initiate World War III and take over the entire world.
But maybe I'm being a little uncharitable, because there are people who add to #3 some bizarre bullshit about it having to do with the "Mandela effect" and parallel universes and alternate realities.
Myself, I'm perfectly satisfied when I can explain things using the regular old reality. But that's just me.
NOTE: Not the coin they found. This one's a real Nazi coin. [image courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons]
Maybe the only explanation is that the Antarctic Nazis develop time travel in the near future, go back in time to the 1930’s, and try to convince the Mexican government to side with them in WWII by giving them a commemorative coin, which won’t work, because that’s a ridiculous and insulting way to forge an alliance. The commemorative future coin will then be thrown away and left to sit in the dirt until it’s unearthed in 2018. It’s the only rational explanation, really.Indeed. And we should also take into account that the story was broken in The Daily Star, which is the only media source I know that rivals The Daily
So the coin may well exist, but I'm putting my money on "fakery." Even the idea that it's a real coin from the 1930s doesn't bear much scrutiny, because Mexico and Germany weren't on the same side in World War II, so it'd be pretty bizarre to have some kind of Mexican Nazi currency lying around.
Of course, when the Stormtroopers come roaring out of their secret bases in Antarctica and Cancun, I suppose I'll have to eat my words. Occupational hazard of what I do.
This week's Featured Book on Skeptophilia:
This week I'm featuring a classic: Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. Sagan, famous for his work on the series Cosmos, here addresses the topics of pseudoscience, skepticism, credulity, and why it matters -- even to laypeople. Lucid, sometimes funny, always fascinating.