A couple weeks ago, the Trust for Public Land was in trouble. The deadline given to it by Fox River Financial Resources to purchase some 138 acres of unspoiled land around the iconic Hollywood sign was approaching fast — and it needed some $1.5 million to meet the $12.5 million purchase price.

A flurry of last-minute fundraising pushed the total close, but it was a $900,000 donation from Hugh Hefner that sealed the deal — and helped preserve the area from development. Just like a Hollywood happy ending, the land will become part of a public park system with access roads and trails built for hikers and nature lovers.

But it might have all turned out a lot differently.

Fox River Financial has revealed that when the land was first put up for sale in 2008 with an asking price of $22 million, all sorts of "kooks and nuts” appeared with offers and bizarre development ideas.

One wanted to build a giant zip-line park — which personally, sounds awesome — but environmentally, would still scar the beauty of the peak and its surrounding area. Another represented a secret club whose members wanted "to erect a clubhouse on the peak". Once again, I'm intrigued. Is this Skull and Bones? Or how about some evil villains looking to take over the world? In either case, having the Hollywood sign revealing your location to every tourist with binoculars doesn't sound so "secret", but I digress.

Thankfully, we don't have to wonder anymore about what will befall one of the world's most recognizable landmarks. However, if anyone wants to hook a zip line up to the "H" and offer a one-time ride down to West Hollywood, count me in.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

The Hollywood sign as a zip-line park?
Seller of the recently preserved land around the iconic landmark reveals some of the bizarre offers he had.