What If We Discovered The Holy Grail? | Unveiled

VOICE OVER: Noah Baum WRITTEN BY: Dylan Musselman
The Holy Grail is one of the most legendary items in human history. It's the cup that Jesus allegedly drank from at the Last Supper and a relic that King Arthur and the Round Table spent decades trying to find... but to no avail. Anyone who drinks from the Holy Grail is said to gain eternal youth, eternal happiness and to have all of their injuries healed. In this video, Unveiled looks at what would happen if the Holy Grail was not only proven to exist, but was also discovered and used...

What If We Discovered the Holy Grail?

We’ve all heard the tales of King Arthur; from pulling the fabled sword Excalibur out of the stone, to his friendship with the magician Merlin, to his adventures with the Knights of the Round Table. There’s plenty of myth surrounding him, but there’s also some evidence that King Arthur was a real historical figure. So, what would happen if certain other aspects of his legend were found to be true?

This is Unveiled and today we’re answering the extraordinary question; What if we discovered the Holy Grail?

The Holy Grail is an iconic, historic object and was by far the most important treasure sought by Arthur and his knights on their various quests. It’s thought to be what Jesus drank from at the Last Supper, as well as the vessel used to collect the Son of God’s blood while he was being crucified. All in all, to say that the Holy Grail has an impressive back story would be an understatement of monumental proportions.

As such, the Grail is believed to possess great powers. Just drinking from it is said to grant instant happiness, unlimited sustenance, eternal youth, and to heal any and all injuries. We generally think of it as a cup, but it’s actually appeared in various legends also as a dish, a platter, and even as a stone. In most tales it was kept and guarded by a figure known as the Fisher King… though, in one form of the legend, Arthur’s knights finally find the Grail and, instead of taking it back to Camelot, allow it to be lifted into the sky by a heavenly light.

Which is all well and good, but what if it is still here on Earth? And what if we find it? Life as we know it would change.

First off, upon its discovery, we’d have to find a way to explain all of its apparently “magical” properties. After all, an object can’t simply have unlimited nourishment, right? Or just contain eternal youth? In reality, the Holy Grail would need to be something packing a tremendous amount of energy into a very small space - and it’d need to laugh in the face of conventional physics. Turning all of that energy into actual matter and experience, though - a tangible and effectual something - is another problem entirely… and the Grail would represent some kind of miracle of quantum mechanics. Or an ultra-ultra-advanced technology not of this world, which can somehow manipulate and optimise our biological processes. At least, these are the ways we’d try to rationalise it… because nothing that we know or understand would really explain how this object exists.

If we could make some sense of its secrets then, ideally, we’d try to replicate them. The Holy Grail on loop could feasibly end world hunger, cure disease, improve mental health and - if its power really could be harnessed - even make everyone immortal via a single sip. In the 1990s, the scientist and Gerontologist Caleb Finch, an expert in the field of human aging, worked on theoretical equations to show the possible lifespan of people who don’t age. And, depending on various other factors, we’d wind up living an average of between 1,200 years to even more than 20,000 years! The Grail wouldn’t protect people from fatal accidents so humanity wouldn’t be indestructible - it’s said to heal injuries but not prevent them - but we would all suddenly have much more time on our hands! More time to enjoy life, but also to study, discover and try to advance the human race further still.

All of this is assuming, though, that whoever discovers the Holy Grail lets everyone else know about it. Which wouldn’t be certain… That person, or group of people, would find themselves holding until-then unimaginable power, wealth and potential. They could transform into a millionaire overnight and they’d never have to worry about getting sick again. But the discoverer wouldn’t necessarily know what they had unearthed… Say the Holy Grail was stumbled upon by chance, the person doing the stumbling would simply find themselves imbued with an inexplicable feeling of happiness, health and contentment. And so, they might unknowingly take it to someone who did know what it was and only learn of its true magnitude that way. In either case, the future of humanity would rest on what they chose to do next; to keep it for themselves, or to offer it to everyone.

Were that one person, or one group, to keep the Grail a closely guarded secret, they could pass through history with ease, although their actual day-to-day lives would take some planning. They’d never necessarily need to eat or drink, but would also not want to be known for not eating or drinking. Similarly, they’d need to move houses and towns fairly frequently to avoid arousing suspicions amongst neighbours. And they’d be in-and-out of jobs as though always on the run - but for a pretty enviable reason. Who knows, perhaps all the stories about King Arthur are actually true, and he’s the one making sure they’re passed through time because he did actually find the Grail and has been hiding out in this way for all of these years.

More likely, though, the secret would somehow get out. And then the Holy Grail would become a matter of international law. Where was it found? Whose land was it found on? Which government can stake a claim to it? And how much is it worth? All questions that’d need answering fast… But perhaps the issue of its value would prove the most problematic of all. Clearly, a real-life Holy Grail could potentially help and improve the lives of every single person on the planet. But it could just as easily be at the centre of a bidding war, where only the richest are able to reap its rewards.

In the end, it could even become the catalyst for an actual war, as well. And might also inspire a revived fervour for treasure hunting, too. Because if the Grail exists, then what else does? Things like the Seven-league boots, the Cap of Invisibility and the Ark of the Covenant would top most lists on “what to find next”. At the very least we’d expect Excalibur to show up somewhere. Or perhaps even a verifiable Pandora’s Box. Since they’d now be immortal, hunters could devote centuries to finding these items… and scientists and engineers could devote years to replicating their powers, in line with the Grail. Before long, we’d be well on our way to obtaining godlike powers.

But perhaps that’s all just a little too dramatic. Say the Grail more simply became a plain fact of life; an accepted miracle that essentially belongs to humanity as a whole. No secrets, no fighting, no slew of superpowers, just an incredible energy source granting everyone on Earth with eternal life. Is it a formality that everyone would drink from it? Possibly not.

For some, the benefits the Grail provides would seem otherworldly, unnatural and inhuman. There’d be those that distrust the Grail and everything it promises. And there’d be those who just flat-out prefer a mortal life. Perhaps a group would form, calling themselves something like the “True Humans”, who value life and death equally, considering them both essential to the human experience. Spiritually, the Grail might even be seen as temptation from the Devil to forego God’s gift of an afterlife, or as plainly blocking a person’s path to heaven. And before long, the global population would split into two; the immortal and the mortal - with the timelines of both groups heading in very different directions.

In fact, in such a scenario, the mortals (those shunning the Grail) might actually have the advantage. In 2011, scientist André Martins developed a computer simulation with two groups, one lived forever and the other didn’t. Despite all expectations, the sim showed how it was actually the mortals who eventually became dominant because of evolution. For the immortals, evolution steadily ground to a halt… while those with finite lives continued to adapt and change to their environment with every passing generation, until eventually they were better suited to life on Earth than those who’d been here for thousands of years. Far enough into a future shaped by the Holy Grail, then, and it’s possible that the non-Grail mortals would rise and even kill off the complacent and lazy immortals, thereby destroying the Holy Grail and effectively resetting humanity back to before the discovery.

With the Cup of Christ in one hand and the future of the human race in the other, practically anything really is possible. And that’s what would happen if we discovered the Holy Grail.