Nov. 5 (UPI) -- A pair of surfers on the northwestern tip of Ireland made an unusual discovery washed up on shore -- a time capsule tossed into an Arctic ice floe by the crew of a Russian ship.
"When I saw it, first I thought it was a steel pipe of a ship, then I lifted it and saw there was engraving on it. I thought it was a bomb then," McClory told the Donegal Daily. "When I saw the date on it I thought it could be somebody's ashes, so I didn't open it."
McClory showed the engraving to an acquaintance who speaks Russian, and they translated the engraving and revealed it was a time capsule.
The container was opened and McClory discovered messages in Russian and English from the crew and passengers of 50 Years of Victory, a nuclear-powered Russian icebreaker ship that tossed the time capsule into an ice floe at the North Pole in 2018.
The cylinder also contained photographs, beer mats, a menu, wine corks, badges and other items stowed away by the ship's crew.
McClory and Curran were able to contact the author of one of the letters from the time capsule on social media, and the person told them the time capsule's creators had not expected it to be found for 30 or 40 years.
"She let me know that they actually traveled to the 90-degree point of the North Pole," Curran told the Irish Independent. "They got a helicopter there and they put the time capsule in ice."
"So that means that the ice has melted and traveled over 4,000 kilometers [2,485 miles] in two years," she said.