Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Daring archaeologist opens mysterious safe, unearths old promo condom for Vin Diesel's XXX

Indiana Jones prepares to claim a different, lesser treasure.
Indiana Jones prepares to claim a different, lesser treasure.
Screenshot: Movieclips

The world is filled with all kinds of strange secrets, hidden away in locked boxes, buried underground, or resting on the ocean floor. It makes sense, then, that if one were to find an unmarked metal container buried in the earth, they’d imagine it contains unimaginable treasures. In the case of one man in Australia who had to saw open a lockbox to retrieve a condom designed to promote the first, 2002-released installment in Vin Diesel’s Xander Cage-iverse, XXX, this assumption would be correct.


Christiaan Van Vuuren tweeted that his friend, Pat Stevenson, had “found a locked safe buried underground five years ago.” In the time since the discovery, Stevenson has looked to the box with “anticipation over what might be inside it.”

“Today, he finally opened that safe,” Van Vuuren writes. Photos show the laborious process of a saw biting through layers of metal, sparks flying, as it works to uncover the secret inside. What incredible things could be hidden within? The final image answers that long-awaited question with a picture of “a branded condom, from the 2002 movie [XXX] starring Vin Diesel!”

The majestic treasure is shown being held between thumb and forefinger, its new owner careful not to damage the advercondom’s bad-tattoo movie logo and a perfectly preserved line of text reading, “A NEW BREED OF SECRET AGENT.” Stevenson took his life in his own hands by opening the safe, not knowing if a cloud of noxious gas would emit from it—or if his tampering would set off a series of nearby traps—and his gambit paid off.

Now, the real question is whether Stevenson is willing to take the next, even riskier step of testing whether this ancient promo condom is still functional. We hope he doesn’t. And looking upon the relic, we can only echo the sage advice of cinema’s most famous archaeologist in saying: That XXX-branded condom from 19 years ago belongs in a museum.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.